Red Velvet Cake – an elegant and moist layered cake baked from scratch with a chocolate buttery cake tinted red. You’ll taste combination of vanilla and chocolate flavors and a tad bit of tang from the buttermilk. An iconic cake with great texture, flavors and frosting!
They say saved the best for last. And so I heed to this old time saying.
This Red Velvet Cake is the queen of all layered cakes. The most beautiful, vibrant and flavorful cake of all time. I should also add that it’s the trickiest, too, compared with those other layered cakes I’ve shared recently.
It’s pretty easy to nail the tropical flavors of bananas and pineapple in this Hummingbird Cake or the caramel frosting for this Caramel Cake. But with this Red Velvet Cake, you’ll try to spot not just one but two com
What is Red Velvet Cake?
Red Velvet cake is traditionally a red or maroon colored layer cake with a cream cheese frosting. This elegant cake is usually served on Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Red Velvet Cakes nowadays are tinted with red dye, however, back then, the red color was due to non-Dutched anthocyanin-rich cocoa. Others also use beetroot to color the cake red.
Here in America, Red Velvet Cake is mostly popular in the southern region. It always makes an impression.
It’s buttery and moist, generously smothered in fluffy, silky smooth, cream cheese frosting. What’s not to love?
The flavors are even superb! You’d never guess if it’s the chocolate or vanilla that makes this a joy to eat or is it that little tang from buttermilk. You’d never know but you can’t help but shove this down to your throat bite after bite ’cause this cake is like Christmas in your mouth.
After a lot of trial and error and some digging, I finally made the best Red Velvet Cake to date (at least in our house. ;).. ).
Here, I use cake flour instead of all purpose flour since it’s much lighter resulting to a soft and light crumb texture.
If you also noticed, this recipe uses butter and oil. I know, there’s just too much fat in this but who cares, right? This is not the season to care about fats and calories. Bring on the stretchy pants! But seriously, this two goes hand-in-hand to perfect a buttery and moist cake.
Oil brings more moist to a cake compared to butter but of course, cake wouldn’t be complete without that buttery flavor. So, I decided to throw in these two.
And lastly, I added 2 teaspoons of vinegar. Don’t freak out yet! You wouldn’t even taste the vinegar. A touch of vinegar in this recipe activates the baking soda making the cake rise beautifully. This too also brighten up the red color.
Now let’s put all the talking behind and get down to this recipe.
You may top this cake with candied cranberries like I did or simply use the cake crumbs to decorate it. This cake will surely be the spotlight on your holiday table. So fancy, tasty and overly indulgent! It’s like eating a cake from posh French bakeries. Dig in!
Tips and Notes:
- Cake flour produces lighter and very soft crumb texture. If you can’t find cake flour or simply can’t use it, you may sub it with a mix of 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 5 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift them together. Or just go with all purpose flour. It’ll work fine but not as soft when using cake flour.
- To substitute buttermilk, add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar and enough regular milk to make 1/2 cup. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- You may prep the cakes and frosting a day in advance. Just keep the cakes in room temperature and covered tightly while prepared frosting must be stored in an airtight continue and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Make sure not to overbake. Check the cake at 25 minutes.
- The cakes are really moist. It is preferable that once it cooled down, you wrap them up tightly and place in the fridge overnight before stacking them.
- Someone asked me what cream cheese do I use for my cake cream cheese frosting. I go by with Philadelphia Cream Cheese but if you can’t have one, regular ones will work fine.
Red Velvet Cake
- 2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons (30 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, (at room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (240 ml) buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
- 2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch round baking pan with baking spray; Line with parchment paper if desired ,set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar at high speed in a stand mixture until it’s fluffy and starting to look white, about 4 minutes, add sour cream and mix for another minute. Followed by the oil – mix for another minute
Add in eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each addition.
Next pour in the vanilla and buttermilk, thoroughly mix.
Add food coloring until desired color has been reached .
Slowing add flour mixture into the batter. Mix baking soda and vinegar and gently fold into cake batter. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, tap the on the countertop to release bubbles .
Bake at 350 Degrees F for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Let the the cakes sit in their pans for about 10- 15 minutes. Gently place cakes on a wire rack and invert, lifting off the pan.
Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap them in plastic paper and place the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour or preferably overnight. Makes it so much easier.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Whisk cream cheese, butter and vanilla until creamy. You may use a mixer, if desired.
Gradually sieve in powdered sugar, mix as you go along until smooth.
Assembling the Cake
Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Spread about about 1 1/2 cup of cream cheese frosting over cake layer. Top with second layer, and more frosting over cake layer.
Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish, with candied cranberries, if desired .
How to Make a Red Velvet Cake?
In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch round baking pan with baking spray; line with parchment paper if desired, set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar at high speed in a stand mixture until it’s fluffy and starting to look white, about 4 minutes, then add sour cream.
Mix thoroughly for another minute. Followed by the oil – then mix for another minute.
Add in eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each addition. Next pour in the vanilla and buttermilk, thoroughly mix.
Add food coloring until desired color has been reached.
Slowing, add flour mixture into the batter. Mix baking soda and vinegar and gently fold into cake batter. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, tap the on the countertop to release bubbles. Bake at 350 Degrees F for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Let the the cakes sit in their pans for about 10- 15 minutes. Gently place cakes on a wire rack and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap them in plastic paper and place the cake in the refrigerator for at least an hour or preferably overnight. Makes it so much easier. (See recipe box for the cream cheese frosting and assembly instructions.)