The classic Red Velvet Cake has always been a crowd pleaser for it’s beautiful color, taste and flavor. This cake is moist and delicious-perfect for any occasion.
Red velvet cake is surprisingly simple to make. It turns out soft, tender and pairs so great with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
Red Velvet Cake
Red velvet cake has quite the history that has evolved over time. It was first made in the 1800s when bakers were using cocoa to soften the flour and make the texture of the cake more fine. The smooth texture gave the look of velvet and the craze began. The color of the cake intensified when during the World Ward II food items were rationed so bakers began to add beets or beet juice to the cake. This increased the red color and solidified the cake as a popular dessert.
Nowadays, most red velvet cakes don’t use beets but food coloring. I prefer to use gel food coloring because you need less of it because it is more concentrated. I have seen red velvet cake recipes that use beet powder as well.
- Red food coloring
- Baking Soda
- Grease 8 inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Then add eggs and mix.
- Mix red food coloring with cocoa to make a paste.
- Add to butter mixture and mix.
- Add salt and 1 cup of flour and mix.
- Add ½ cup buttermilk and vanilla and mix.
- Add 1 cup flour and mix.
- Add remaining buttermilk and mix.
- Add remaining flour and mix.
- Add vinegar to the baking soda and immediately add to mixture.
- Divide between the cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from pans and cool on cooling racks.
Frequently Asked Questions
I love pairing cream cheese frosting with red velvet cake. It compliments the sweetness perfectly and looks pretty too.
I like to get the butter out of the fridge 1-2 hours before baking so it is time to come to room temperature. You can also cut the stick of butter into smaller slices to speed up the process.
If ingredients such as eggs, milk and cream cheese are brought to room temperature they will be easier to incorporate without over mixing.
Red velvet cake has a distinct flavor due to the combination of cocoa powder, vinegar, buttermilk and cream cheese frosting. It has a light chocolate taste with hints of vanilla too. Trust me, it is tasty!
- Chocolate Bundt Cake
- Blueberry Lemon Layer Cake
- Coconut Cream Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- Red Velvet Cookies
If you’ve tried this Red Velvet Cake or any other recipe on Barbara Bakes, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
For the Cake:
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter 3 sticks
- 1 ½ cup sugar granulated
- 1 oz red food coloring
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
Cream cheese frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, at room temperature
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease 3, 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. This helps the cake to not stick and is worth the extra effort.
- In a medium bowl cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides as needed.
- Add eggs and mix until well combined.
- In a small bowl mix the red food coloring with cocoa to make a paste, you can use a fork to combine it well.
- Add the food coloring mixture to the bowl with the whipped butter and beat to combine.
- Add the salt and 1 cup of flour and mix just until combined.
- Add ½ cup buttermilk and vanilla and mix until the mixture just comes together.
- Add 1 cup flour and mix just until combined.
- Add remaining buttermilk and mix until a smooth batter forms.
- Add remaining flour and mix to combine.
- Add vinegar to the baking soda and immediately add to mixture. Mix thoroughly.
- Divide between the cake pans, smooth out the tops with a spatula, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cakes spring back lightly when touched.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then run a knife around the ends of the pan and flip the cakes out onto cooling racks. Let the cakes cool before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until completely combined
- Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Add more heavy cream if it seems too thick, it should be stable but spreadable.
- Frost cake with and generous portion of frosting between each layer
- The red cake crumbs can come through the frosting easily so a crumb coat makes frosting much easier. Do this by lightly frosting the outside of the cake, letting the crumbs come through, and then chill for 10-15 minutes. Frost as you normally would after the cake as chilled and decorate with toasted pecans around the bottom of the cake if you desire.
You are going to really enjoy this Red Velvet Cake that is moist, tender and delicious. It is a real showstopper that tastes good too.