Red Velvet Cake From Scratch

Jasmeet Kaur Wilku

By Jasmeet Kaur Wilku

  • 10 Min Read
  • 20th December, 2022
Red Velvet Cake From Scratch

When it comes to cake, very few can compete with the classic red velvet cake. This iconic cake has been around for centuries and has a rich history. The red velvet cake is perfect for any occasion, whether you are looking for a show-stopping centerpiece for a birthday party or a simple dessert for a dinner party. This recipe is easy to follow and produces a delicious cake that is sure to impress your guests.

Easy Way To Make Red Velvet Cake From Scratch


Unsalted butter at room temperature1/2 cup (120g)
Powdered sugar (or fine white granulated sugar)1 1/2 cups (300g)
Large eggs2
Cooking oil1/4 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon extra for dusting1 tablespoon (10g)
Red food colouring (liquid, not gel)2 1/2 tablespoons
Pure vanilla extract2 teaspoons (10 ml)
White vinegar1 tablespoon (20 ml)
Plain cake flour, sifted (or all-purpose/plain flour)2 1/2 cups (350g)
Baking soda1 teaspoon
Salt1 teaspoon
Buttermilk1 cup (250 ml)
Cream cheese at room temperature14 ounces (400 g)
Unsalted butter at room temperature1/2 cup (120g)
Pure vanilla extract2 teaspoons
Powdered sugar (or powdered sugar)4 cups
Lemon juice (optional - adds a subtle hint of lemon)1 tablespoon


For Cake

  1. Heat oven to 350°F | 175 degrees. Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans with butter or non-stick oil spray and lightly dust with 1 tablespoon of the sifted cocoa powder.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light in colour. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, remaining cocoa powder, red food coloring and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Stir the coloring mixture and vinegar through the cream and sugar mixture to combine. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a separate bowl.
  5. Add half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk to the wet ingredients; mix well. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk.
  6. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

For Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and lighter in color (about 3-4 minutes).
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar until the icing is light and fluffy (if the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar and beat again until desired consistency is achieved).
  3. Optional if used: mix in lemon juice.

Assemble Cake

  1. Place 1 cake flat-side down on a serving platter/plate.
  2. Cut the top dome off the cake for a flat bottom later.
  3. Pour about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of frosting onto the cake, spreading evenly over it.
  4. Place the second cake layer on top and use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Crumble the cut cake pieces to decorate. Enjoy!

Points To Remember

Red velvet cake is a classic dessert that's perfect for any occasion. Whether you're serving it at a birthday party or taking it to a potluck, this cake is sure to be a hit. But before you start baking, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Here are some important tips to remember while making red velvet cake from scratch:

1. Use high-quality cocoa powder. This is what gives the cake its distinctive red colour. If you use a cheap cocoa powder, your cake will be browner than red.

2. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Overmixing will make the cake tough and dense.

3. Use buttermilk instead of milk. This will add more richness and flavour to the cake.

4. Preheat the oven before you start baking. This will ensure that your cake cooks evenly.

5. Bake the cake in two 8-inch pans. This will prevent the cake from being too dense.

6. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. This will help the frosting set and prevent it from melting.

7. Use a classic cream cheese frosting. This is the traditional frosting for red velvet cake and it's always a hit.

8. Store the cake in the fridge. Red velvet cake is best served cold, so it's best to store it in the fridge until you're ready to serve it.

Enjoy your delicious red velvet cake at home!


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you put vinegar in a red velvet cake?

The vinegar is put in the red velvet cake to give it a fluffy texture and also give it a tender crumb.

Red Velvet cake is a vanilla cake with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and red food colouring. Vinegar and buttermilk bring some acidity to the batter and add a bit of spiciness that balances out the standard sweet cream cheese butter frosting.

The best is Cream Cheese Frosting along with some strawberries or cherries also Cream cheese icing, butter icing, and red, or pink icing sugar.

When cocoa powder, vinegar, and baking soda react in a red velvet recipe, a crazy colour change happens, turning the cake from brown to a sort of brownish-red.

For a richer flavour, substitute equal amounts of melted butter for the oil. Adding an extra egg is one way to increase density. Replace the water with equal parts milk or, in the case of red velvet cake, buttermilk. Or substitute half parts water and half parts sour cream.


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