Red Velvet Cake

It’s been a while since I posted a red velvet cake, so here’s the recipe for the one I made yesterday. It’s similar to the original Waldorf Astoria version, but uses butter instead of shortening and cake flour instead of all-purpose or White Lily. If you compare this recipe with a few others, you can see it has less fat. It’s not quite as heavy textured and if made right, it still comes out moist enough. What I like best about this one is that it’s got the traditional red velvet flavor with very little chocolate and lots of whatever it is that comes together and makes red velvet that taste like red velvet.

Red Velvet Cake

I adapted this recipe from Aunt Mildred’s Red Velvet Cake which I’d been wanting to try for a while. What’s funny is after I made the cake, I went back and looked at other red velvets and saw that this one was very similar to King Arthur’s Red Velvet Cake. So there’s some validation for you in case you’re still on the fence. They used a regular buttercream icing, though. I still love red velvet with cream cheese.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Our family's favorite tried and true red velvet cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 2 slightly heaping tablespoons cocoa powder (natural)
  • 2 ounces (1/4 c) red food coloring
  • 2 1/4 c of cake flour (9 oz)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
Frosting for Red Velvet Cake
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8 inch round cake pans with baking spray.
  2. In bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and salt until light. Add the vanilla and the eggs beating 30 seconds after each egg is added. Make a paste of food coloring and cocoa and add to the creamed mixture. Add buttermilk and flour alternately, beating at low speed until mixed.
  3. In a small cup, combine the soda and the vinegar and let it foam up. Pour the foaming mixture into the batter and stir until it’s mixed in. Immediately pour into the two 8 inch pans and bake for 27-30 minutes.
  4. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans set on a rack. Flip from pans and let cool completely. Make icing.
  5. Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add confectioner’s sugar slowly, beating until smooth. For a little tartness, beat in some lemon juice.

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  1. says

    Shelley, I hope you try this one. If you do, let me know what you think. Also, thanks for being patient with my site today. We’re having problems with the hosting provider and it’s loading really slowly. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

  2. says

    I’m not sure that I have ever actually eaten a red velvet cake. I certainly have never baked one. The recipe looks interesting, I may have to give it a try.

  3. says

    What’s funny is I just made red velvet cupcakes tonight wtih a Paula Deen recipe that is very similar. I know that Wilton makes a no-taste red – it can be difficult to find, you might have to get it online, but if you are really sensitive to the red color taste, that might be a route to try!

  4. Lindsey says

    Thank you for the recipes. I have made red velvet cake a few times and I love it.

    I have a question, though….being in Canada, this is not a common cake and a few of my friends and I are having an argument. If you use the no-taste red-dye, is it still really Red Velvet cake? Will the flavour be the same? Or is it just a chocolate cake that is red?


  5. says

    For some reason, I don’t like using recipes that don’t provide a picture. Weird right? Anyway thanks for stopping by my blog, I really appreciate it. Btw, I really should invest in 2 8 inch cake pans and one more 9 inch cake pan… Oh and just wondering, but what would happen to the cake if I left out the food coloring, other than the lack of redness. I’m just worried that too much food coloring is bad for the body.

  6. Gale Reed says

    Cake newbie here, this is my 2nd scratch cake and it turned out FABULOUS! Thank you so much for the recipe and the clear directions. It came out moist with just that hint of chocolate, we were all very impressed with the result. I lessened the sugar in the icing and had so much left over that I dyed the leftover batch and made more squiggles on the cake. I’m going to try making your breakfast carrot cookies in a few days. I’m so excited! 🙂 Appreciate your site so much!

  7. Needa says

    Hi, i’m from Malaysia.. I had problem with my red velvet cake this few days, it tasted a bit bitter.. Is that normal? Can anyone help me with this matter? By the way, i used a bottle of red food colouring but it turned out dark red.. 🙁 I can’t find buttermilk overhere, so I used a cup of milk with 1tbsp of white vinegar.. If we add extra vinegar, can it reduce the bitter taste in cake? I really hope anyone can give me any suggestion or solution.. thank you in advance..

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