Red Velvet Cake Made With White Lily

My goal for today was to use some of my new White Lily flour, and since I had some red food coloring on hand, I picked a red velvet cake recipe from The Purse Forum.  Yes, you read that right.


The cake was terrific! I did make a few changes. I used a tiny bit less oil (I was running low) and added some butter extract. I figured if I was using red food coloring, why the heck not add butter extract too? But it’s optional. What’s not optional for this recipe is White Lily Self Rising flour. If you just feel like making a good red velvet cake, there are others which use all purpose. But this cake was an exercise in using low protein/soft wheat flour — something I’ll be using more often in cakes. In fact, I’ll probably go buy some non-self-rising White Lily today.

And for the record, here’s another excuse to buy the White Lily Self Rising – Shirley Corriher’s biscuits.

Red Velvet Cake made with white lily


Red Velvet Cake Made With White Lily
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Three layer red velvet cake made with White Lily self-rising flour.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 2 1/2 cups White Lily Self Rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (use natural rather than dark or Dutch)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used 1 1/3)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional)
  • 1 1/2 oz red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar**
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 9 inch cake pans with flour-added cooking spray or grease and flour and line with parchment rounds.
  2. Sift together self-rising flour, baking soda and cocoa powder. Set aside. In mixing bowl, stir together sugar, oil, vanilla and butter flavoring (if using). Using an electric mixer, beat in eggs, one by one, beating 30 seconds after each egg. Stir in red coloring and vinegar. If you are using a stand mixer, remove bowl from stand at this point.
  3. By hand, stir in half of the flour mixture. Slowly stir in all of the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour mixture. Stir until fully incorporated and batter is smooth. You could also use low speed of mixer - I just prefer doing this by hand. Pour into cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until cake springs back lightly when touched and toothpick inserted comes out clean (test your cake when it starts to smell).
  4. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then flip onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  5. Prepare frosting. Beat together softened butter and cream cheese, stir in sugar, then beat until fluffy and light. Beat in vanilla and lemon juice. This frosting is not terribly sweet, so feel free to add more sugar as desired. I like a strong cream cheese flavor.

One more note. If you are looking for a really great sifter – buy one of these. It may seem expensive, but it will change your attitude about sifting! That is, if you have a bad attitude toward sifting, as I did. This one is actually fun to use and makes the job easy.

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  1. Jackie says

    I have never heard of White Lily or low protein flour. Is was wondering if any of your readers in New England know if it is available up here.

    I am so in awe of your cooking and my family is glad that I have started reading your blog as they are getting more baked goods than usual!

    Today I made the Cappucino Caramel Oat Bars that I found through your site. I messed up when I made them a couple of weeks ago and I had to prove to myself that I could make them properly. When made properly they are wonderful.

  2. Melody says

    A few things . . .
    A: The fact that there’s a purse lady forum blows my mind.
    B: I always really enjoy your scientific analyses.
    C: To be completely honest . . . red velvet is not my favorite. I mean, it’s still cake, so it automatically has a place in my heart but my feelings have always been lukewarm at best. But this entry may have made me a believer. It’s gorgeous!

    PS- I’m stuck in New York for Thanksgiving- so I’m planning on trying out Fuzz’s pumpkin pie recipe. Perfect for a city holiday!!

  3. Anna says

    Hi Melody,

    I love that you are calling Eagle Brand’s recipe “Fuzz’s Pie”. Also, I really think I like the purse ladies. They seem very stylish. The only problem is, I am brand loyal to Coach bags. I think the purse ladies are “beyond” that…
    It’s okay not to like red velvet. Alton Brown hates it.

  4. Anna says

    Hi Jackie,
    Sorry your comment is just now appearing on the blog. My Spam filter is out of whack. So don’t worry, I am not moderating your comments all of a sudden ;). Also, I’m pretty sure you could find low protein flour somewhere in New England. Maybe King Arthur sells it? If you email me exactly where you are, I can do some research.

    Cindy, it’s funny how Americans are just now really catching on to Nutella. Thanks for the tip on the Baking Sheet cookies — those look good.

    Claire, you are from the South so it figures ;).

  5. says

    I hate my sifter, so I appreciate the sifter recommendation. Thanks! The cake looks yummy. Interesting information on the low-protein flour.

  6. Laurel says

    The cake is beautiful!

    I can’t find White Lily flour here in Minnesota, but I have a nephew who just moved to Kentucky and when my sister visited, he sent her home with BAGS of White Lily, both all-purpose and bread, for me. Now I just have to get to Iowa.


  7. tracy says

    Very interesting … I’ve never had Red Velvet cake and I’ve never used White Lily flour. Two things to put on the “to-try” list!

  8. says

    I loved Red Velvet Cake when I was growing up. But we usually had a cooked white frosting.

    We had your pork medallions with Razzpotle sauce & gorgonzola grits for dinner last night. Delicious!

    p.s. Coach wristlets are pretty much the only purses I carry. The outlet in San Marcos has great prices.

  9. Anna says

    Jill, this sifter will change your life.

    Tracy, I am really surprised you haven’t tried red velvet. Let me know what you think. When you eat it, try not to think of it as chocolate cake. It has chocolate undertones, but the tangy notes are what really stand out….or at least they should. Amy, I haven’t tried the cooked frosting mainly because I grew up on the cream cheese kind. THANK YOU so much for trying my pork recipe.

  10. says

    That sifter you linked to really brings back some memories: It’s exactly like the one used in our household when I was a kid (back in the 50’s). And I think that one had been passed down to my mother by her own mother.

    All the modern space-age plastics and CAD-designed kitchen tools are great in their way, but there a certain charm in the old-fashioned tinware and wooden kitchen utensils. (I still tend to get my old hand-powered eggbeater out when I just need to cream some eggs and sugar, or other lightweight mixing jobs.)

  11. says

    I really like learning about the scientific reasons for different ingredients so I liked your post a lot. I was wondering if you would only use self-rising low protein flour for cakes, or if regular low protein plus baking powder produces an equal result. What is the difference. Does low protein flour in general make a cake more moist and light? I recently baked a chocolate cake with AP flour with a protein content on the high side and the cake was a lot drier than I like. Thanks!

  12. Anna says

    Hola Bruce, Thanks for stopping by. I have a feeling if I owned some of that old tinware, I’d use it often. With the popularity of KitchenAid these days, I feel I’m being quaint when I pull out my electric hand-held mixer! (and that is often, btw). I like my KA, but use it for heavy-duty beating jobs such as meringues, bread dough and pound cake.

    Hi Julie, I just bought a bag of the NON self-rising low protein flour and plan on trying it out. To my knowledge, the NON self-rising low protein flour is standard. In fact, White Lily has a great looking cake recipe which call for it (and baking powder).

    I just happened to have the self-rising low protein and decided to use it in that red velvet cake.

    Here’s another low protein flour cake.It’s a pound cake, and the only leavening appears to be air (no baking powder).

    (watch out — the ingredient order is out of sync with the directions)


    1/4 tsp. baking soda
    6 jumbo eggs
    1 (8-oz.) pkg. Breakstone sour cream
    2 tsp. vanilla
    1 c. butter, softened
    3 c. sugar, sifted 6 times
    3 c. White Lily flour
    1/4 tsp. salt

    Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a 10″ tube pan with butter flavored Pam. Sift the flour with the baking soda and the salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter
    well…about 3 minutes. Add the sifted sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. This takes at least 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour alternately with sour cream, in three parts, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes, to 1 hour, 30 minutes. Pick inserted in cake should be ALMOST clean. The top should be crusty.

    This recipe was posted by Brenda Atkins of FL.

  13. Jim Palmieri says

    I made the Red Velvet cake recipe, but here in North San Diego County, I could not find any. I used a coventional flour and the visual red as seen in your recipe was diasappointing. I had a brick or dark red color! Except for that, it was an outstanding recipe.
    So…where can I find this White Lily flour?

  14. says

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the feedback. I’m surprised to hear your cake wasn’t quite as red as mine. Did you by any chance use Hershey’s Dark cocoa for the two tablespoons cocoa? It’s pretty dark and might have added some murkiness. For the red food color, I use either Adam’s brand (which you might not have) or McCormick red. It also takes a full 1 1/2 ounces.

    As for the White Lily, I buy it at the grocery store here, but you might need to order it from White Lily’s online store. Here’s the link.

  15. Kelly says

    I live up in Canada and I can’t find that flour, but your recipe is the only one I have ever found that sounds and looks like how I remember red velvet cake. I have been searching for a true recipe ever since I fist had this cake. So I have a question…Can I use all purpose flour? Or a type of self rising flour that is not low gluten? Do I have to use low gluten flour for this recipe?


  16. says

    Hi Kelly,

    I think White Lily makes the cake superior, but you can still make a great cake without it. Here’s a recipe that looks very similar to the one I use.

    This person uses regular self rising (as opposed to soft wheat) flour. There are some other minor differences, but it’s a very, very similar recipe. There are lots of good recipes using all purpose. If you are going to use all purpose, you should probably just go with a different recipe. OR, you could use all purpose and make the “do it yourself” version of self-rising flour by adding baking powder. You’d need to Google up the exact measurements.

  17. Charlene Ray says

    I am from the South and I have moved to Colorado. I have missed my White Lily flour and I am going for a visit to Georgia in April. I will come back with bags of White Lily flour on my return.
    The Red Velvet I make at Christmas with White Lily and my Buttermilk Pound Cake. I would use no other.
    I am at 10,000 feet above sea level in Colorado and I have a hard time baking. I will see if the White Lily will make a difference.

  18. telesma says

    If you can’t find White Lily flour, you can mix equal parts all-purpose and cake flour. Google for instructions to make your own self-rising flour, using that 1:1 blend as a base. It will be pretty close to the soft southern flour.

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