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Healthy Low-Fat Red Velvet Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting Recipes

Updated on March 8, 2011

Red velvet cake is a light, chocolate-flavored cake with a vivid red hue and delicious moist texture. Traditionally frosted with cream-cheese icing and often garnished with coconut, this cake is as tasty on the tongue as it is striking in appearance. The white and red color combination makes it ideal as a Valentine's treat, but the flavor will having you baking it all year round! If you're a red velvet fan, or just looking for something new to tickle your palate, you simply must try this low-fat rendition, complete with low-fat cream cheese icing, found below.

Low-Fat Red Velvet Cake


  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spray two 9-in round cake pans with fat-free zero-calorie cooking spray, and line the bottoms with parchment paper. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Separately, in large bowl or electric mixer, beat together sugar, applesauce, and oil. Add egg, egg whites, and vanilla one at a time, beating well after adding each one. In a small bowl combine fat-free buttermilk (see Low-Fat Cooking Substitutions to make your own) and food coloring. Add half the flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring well, then add buttermilk mixture, stir, and finally the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until well combined. Combine baking soda and vinegar in small bowl or measuring cup, allow to fizz, then fold into batter. Immediately divide evenly between cake pans and smooth the tops, then bake 25-30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool completely. Wrap layers separately in plastic wrap and freeze at least 60 minutes before icing with low-fat cream-cheese frosting, below.

Low-Fat Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 3/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup fat-free small curd cottage cheese
  • 16 oz Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar


Drain/press any excess liquid from cottage cheese.  Place yogurt and cottage cheese together in food processor and process until smooth. Cube cream cheese and add to processor, processing again until smooth. Add sugar in three parts, processing to mix between additions. Cover and refrigerate until hardened enough to spread.

Icing The Cake

Once cake has hardened in the freezer and frosting is spreadable, cut each 9-inch round in half horizontally to create four layers (or, if you prefer a smaller icing-to-cake ratio, leave as is). Place the first on your serving platter, then spread with frosting. Repeat with next three layers, then frost the sides of the cake. Garnish with grated coconut if desired, and return to refrigerator to let frosting set.


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    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

      My granddaughter has requested a Red Velvet cake for her upcoming am looking. Yours sounds great -- I like the idea of 'hardening' the cake in freezer too. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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      Kim 6 years ago

      Or maybe use Greek yogurt. It is thicker in consistency.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Hi Lamphong,

      Did you drain your cottage cheese before using it? Also, see my comment above about reducing the amount of yogurt. Yogurts can vary in texture.

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      Lamphong Hoopaugh 6 years ago

      I've made the icing this evening, and it was runny. It tasted great. I'm so in love with the taste. I wish it weren't so runny.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Hi Penelope. Maybe the texture of your yogurt is too runny. Try reducing the amount of yogurt.

    • profile image

      Penelope 6 years ago

      Love the cake but the frosting keeps turning out really runny regardless of how long I keep it in the fridge. Any suggestions?

    • profile image

      Jess 6 years ago

      knowing the nutritional value and all of the other things like how much sodium would be good to know

    • profile image

      Dani 6 years ago

      Looks yummy but what are the nutrition facts!??

    • profile image

      nihao 6 years ago

      soo good! i made cupcakes though :P

    • iZeko profile image

      iZeko 6 years ago

      I'll give this a try. It looks really good!

    • profile image

      sanford 7 years ago

      none of your recipes have a nutrition guide

    • profile image

      Lorraine Kobold 7 years ago

      I've been having difficulty with low cal cream cheese frostings being too runny. How is this one?

    • profile image

      alexandra 8 years ago

      this cake is 7 weight watchers points if you use splenda sugar baking blend and cut the cake in 16 servings, otherwise the typical 12 serving size cake is 9 points per slice.

      Go Small, Win Big!

    • C. Stewart profile image

      C. Stewart 8 years ago


    • blackbv profile image

      blackbv 9 years ago from Canada

      That looks great, I'll definitely give it a try. Do you have the timings if you want to make cupcakes instead?

    • profile image

      jimmurdoch 10 years ago

      Wow, that looks good. I'll bake one for my wife at the weekend. Thanks.

    • Evelyn Lim profile image

      Evelyn Lim 10 years ago from Singapore

      It sure looks yummy!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

      This sounds delicious. I haven't had cake in awhile.