Decadent. I LOVE Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese frosting. It’s the sexiest cake of all the cakes hands down.
It’s totally worth making from scratch, as long as you have all of the ingredients below on hand (buttermilk, no-taste red gel food color etc…). This cake is moist, slightly chocolatey and rich with flavor. I don’t go overboard on the red coloring, it bakes to a gorgeous deep mahogany red not a glaringly fake bright red.
I suggest making this the day before and leaving frosted overnight (in the fridge). The Red Velvet flavor really blends with the sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. I prefer this cake served just slightly cooler than room temperature, remove from refrigerator 30-45 minutes before serving.
This recipe would also make about 24 cupcakes, adjusted bake time in the notes below.
Red Velvet CakePrint Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 3 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa (not dutch processed)
- 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
- 1 cup Canola Oil
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar
- 2 tsp (heaping) No Taste Red Gel Food Color - I use Wilton brand
- 1 tsp Espresso Powder
- 1 batch Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe under Sweets)
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9" round cake pans. (I use coconut oil spray and non stick cake pans).
Mix the first 5 dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda & cocoa) in a medium bowl and whisk together to fully combine.
Mix remaining ingredients (buttermilk, canola oil, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar & espresso powder) in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed to fully combine.
Slowly in 2-3 parts, add and combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients on low speed. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to fully incorporate all the dry ingredients.
Beat for 60 seconds on medium speed to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
Pour batter into well greased pans, eyeballing to split half of the batter in each pan*.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the middle is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Some ovens can run hot so check cake every 4 minutes after the 30 minute mark if it needs more time so it does not over-bake.
Let pans cool on a cooling rack until warm to the touch, gently slide a knife or offset spatula alone the sides (in between the cake and the pan) to help loosen the sides before removing from the pans.
When cakes are completely cooled, handle gently and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Even a slightly warm cake can melt the frosting.
Refrigerate cake, remove 30-45 minutes prior to serving.
*Cupcakes: reduce bake time to 18-22 minutes at 350 degrees, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Check every 2 minutes after 18 minutes to be careful not to over-bake. *I've successfully cut this recipe in half when I only wanted "a little cake" and I've baked it in a well greased or parchment lined 8x8 square pan (about 35-45 min). I like using parchment in square pans because you can lift it right out. If you make half, be sure to scale the frosting recipe down to half too 🙂 *Color: if you want a more intensely red cake, you can add a little more of the gel food color. Also as an FYI the cake will look more bright red as batter, it does darken once baked.