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Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Updated on March 3, 2008

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Delicious Red Velvet Cake Recipe

A Red Velvet Cake recipe is the perfect choice for St. Valentine's Day or Christmas because of its unusual, deep red color. Heck, it would even go with a 4th of July theme for Americans. But a Red Velvet cake is elegant and delicious enough for any special occasion. This particular Red Velvet Cake recipe contains more cocoa than most. I love chocolate, so reduce the cocoa to 3 or even 2 tablespoons if you want less of a chocolate flavor.

Traditionally, a Red Velvet Cake recipe includes a cream cheese frosting. But experiment and try other frosting recipes with your Red Velvet Cake. You may come up with an irresistible new Red Velvet Cake recipe combination.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe Memories

Red Velvet Cake holds some fond memories for me. The first memory is when I was a teenager visiting my dad and stepmother in the summer. They were friends with the sweetest people that went on vacation with us. The woman was one of the best cooks ever. But the one thing she made that surpassed everything else was her Red Velvet Cake recipe. It was moist, delicious, and a curious rich, ruby red color. I loved it.

But my favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe memory involves my youngest daughter. She wanted to enter something at the state fair. We decided she should bake something. After searching through every recipe I had, she decided on a Red Velvet Cake recipe. (She liked the name of the recipe.)

This was the first time that my daughter baked anything doing most of the work herself. I hung around for support and to answer any questions. She slaved on that Red Velvet Cake all evening. When she had finished frosting her Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting, she looked as if she had conquered the world. And she still has a souvenir to remember her first Red Velvet Cake recipe; a blue ribbon is still in a prominent place hanging on her wall.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Red Velvet Cake Recipe Ingredients

1/2 cup shortening (do not substitute butter or margarine)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, presifted

1 cup buttermilk

4 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 bottle red food coloring

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Cream together the shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after adding each egg. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk, mixing on medium until blended. In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa, vanilla, and food coloring. Then fill up the food coloring bottle with water and add the water to the mix. Use a whisk to mix until smooth. Add this to the Red Velvet cake batter. Mix well on low. Dissolve the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Add to the cake batter and mix.

Pour the Red Velvet cake batter into two greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the Red Velvet cake for about 10 minutes before removing from the cake pans. Then remove from cake pans. Let your Red Velvet cake cool completely before frosting with the frosting of your choice.

Cream Cheese Frosting for a Red Velvet Cake

Cream Cheese Frosting

2- 8 ounces packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened (do not substitute margarine)

1 cup finely chopped pecans

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add the chopped pecans. Mix well until creamy. Then add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Mix well with a blender or by hand. Put cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator while the Red Velvet cake is baking. Do not use the frosting until it is cold. Apply to the Red Velvet cake after the cake has completely cooled.

Optional ideas for frosting and decorating your Red Velvet Cake is to sprinkle the top with coconut, chopped pecans, or colored sugar granules. If you want chocolate frosting, add 1/3 cup cocoa to the cream cheese frosting recipe.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe Tips

The only allowable substitutes for this Red Velvet Cake recipe is for the buttermilk. For the buttermilk, use 1 cup milk and add one tablespoon vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes at room temperature before adding it to the Red Velvet Cake. However, do NOT substitute oil, butter, or margarine for the shortening. The texture of the Red Velvet cake recipe will be tougher and drier than when you use shortening. Also, using apple cider vinegar will give a better taste to your cake than white vinegar. The last secret to a delicious Red Velvet Cake recipe is to use real vanilla extract, not imitation.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe Comments

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I hope this is the red velvet cake recipe that I've been looking for. As a child, I remember my mother making a fantasic one, but she lost the recipe. I've tried every red velvet recipe I can get my hands on, and nothing is it. Only one came close -- it was better, actually -- except it was custom made by a local professional cake baker who would not divulge the recipe, even when we moved away. I hope this is it!

    • lemonkerdz profile image


      6 years ago from LIMA, PERU

      so many times i have been watching the "cake boss"and seen the red velvet cake and always thought i would love to have a go at making one as they look so good. looking forward to trying out your recipe. thanks for sharing with us.

    • profile image

      Your Name 

      7 years ago


    • profile image


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow! Yummy! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I've been meaning to try this for a long time.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i am going to try to make this recipe soon but i think you forget to mention how much for the water.

      when you said mix the bottle coloring with water.

      please double check and let me know.


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have a question! why is it when i make my red velet cake it turns out like rubber? what am i doing wrong? i put everything in that is called for

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      cant wait to try it


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Can i sub coloring paste for liquid coloring?

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 

      9 years ago from Central Oregon

      Believe it or not, I've never had Red Velvet Cake. I've seen it, on TV and magazines, but never tried it myself. I can't wait to make it for my husband's BD - I think he will love it. I just saved your page in my Favorites (recipe folder). Thanks.

    • steffsings profile image


      9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      yummy, I'm searching for the best Red Velvet recipes tonight to make for my daughters next visit home. This seems divine.

    • BigGirlBlue profile image


      9 years ago from Eastern Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful. I used to have an instructor who talked about making this. She made it sound a lot harder to make.

    • profile image

      i will not say =p 

      9 years ago

      i liiiike it =p

      but the recipe is hard =s

      but i like it yuuuuuuuuummm =|

      BTW thank u =p << they didn't do any thing DuUuuUhHh =p

      Byeeeeeeeeeeeeee ;***** T,C every one and stomechache for all of u (A) =p c,ya =p

    • perfectweight profile image


      9 years ago

      Great recipe. I remember making this recipe when I was younger. The cake look delicious!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm so excited about trying this recipe.Last night my son asked me to make that "red cake" i have never done before so I'm not sure where he even saw a red velvet cake at but while I was looking around for a different recipe for Thanksgiving this was the first recipe that popped up. I have never even been on this website before but you can bet I'll be back to let you know how it all turned out. I think this cake is just destined to be made..hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and may your blessings be many

    • Angela Harris profile imageAUTHOR

      Angela Harris 

      10 years ago from Around the USA

      That's so cool because I have one daughter born in December and one born in July. Both have had Red Velvet Cakes for their birthdays at least once, needless to say.

      Ooooh I don't like going up against anybody's Mom's recipe. I'm sure hers will be better. ;) I hope you enjoy the Red Velvet Cake recipe though, seriously.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      My absolute FAVORITE dessert in the whole wide world! I'll have to try your recipe to see how it compares to my mom's. I am a December baby, so I always enjoyed Red Velvet Cake for my birthday. But my July sister also has one with the 4th of July theme. I am so excited you wrote this hub!


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