Self-Rising Flour Red Velvet Half-Cake is a good way to use self-rising flour. If you have all-purpose flour, you may want to try a different red velvet recipe, but if you are just trying to use some self-rising flour, this recipe’s perfect. It’s also easy to make because you just stir the batter together and pour it in the pan.
The recipe is based on a different recipe where the full batch calls for 1 1/2 cups of oil. Since this is a half cake, you’d think there would be 3/4 cup oil. However, I’ve tested the recipe with 3/4 cup of oil and 1/2 cup and think the 1/2 cup version is just as good. Using 3/4 cup makes it lighter and crumblier, which is also good. I just feel like the 1/2 cup of oil is enough so I keep it at that.
Buying and Using Self Rising Flour
So far I’ve tested this recipe with both Gold Medal and Pillsbury Self-Rising Flour. White Lily will work too, but if you use White Lily make sure to use the weight (165 grams) rather than just volume because White Lily is a little lighter in weight per cup. Self-rising flour can be clumpy, so make sure to sift it or whisk it before using. If you are measuring by volume, make sure to measure and THEN sift. If measuring by weight it doesn’t matter. With the self-rising flour, you will get a little sinkage in the middle. This is why I recommend this cake as “a way to use self-rising flour” and not as the go-to red velvet cake. Want a cake that sinks less? Don’t need to use self-rising flour? Here’s another good one.
Notice there’s no salt in the recipe? That’s because self-rising flour already has salt in it. If for some reason you don’t think the cake is salty enough you can add a pinch.
Red Food Coloring
The red food coloring I use most often is McCormick because it’s easy to find, but I also love Americolor Super Red If you use Americolor Super Red, you only need 2 teaspoons and not 2 full tablespoon. The redness of the cake might also be affected by what type of oil you use. I like baking with grapeseed oil, but it has a bit of a green cast to it which doesn’t seem to affect the color much.
9-Inch Cake Pan for Half Cake or Two 6-Inch Cake Pans
For this recipe you’ll need a 9-inch cake pan that is at least 2 inches high. The first time I made this I realized my 9-inch pan wasn’t deep enough and had to use a springform. Since the first time I made this cake I’ve acquired a lot of pans including 6-inch cake pans. This cake works well with those, too. Just divide the batter between two 6-inch pans.
Sweetness of Frosting
The frosting for this cake is pretty sweet when made with the full 2 cups of sugar, so feel free to use less if you prefer a frosting with less sweetness and more cream cheese flavor. With 2 cups, the frosting tastes very sweet at first, then kind of mellows out after a few hours. So it might taste too sweet in the bowl, but once it’s on the cake it’s fine. Also, with 2 cups of sugar the icing holds better at room temperature, whereas if you cut it down to 1 or 1 1/2 cups you’ll have a higher ratio of butter & cheese and will need to refrigerate. I store the cake in the refrigerator anyway, but sometimes I’ll cut a slice and leave it out for a while.
Self-Rising Flour Red Velvet Half-Cake
- 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour 165 grams
- 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder not dark cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar 144 grams
- 4 oz cream cheese softened, 114 grams
- 2 oz butter softened, 56 grams
- 2 cups powdered sugar (You can use less if you want)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×2 inch cake pan.
- Mix the flour, cocoa and baking soda together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mix the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring together in a liquid measuring cup and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, oil and sugar. Using a heavy duty scraper or large spoon, add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the egg mixture alternately in three parts, stirring until flour is mixed in.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from pan. If using a springform, you can remove the sides and invert.
- Let cool completely.
- To make frosting, mix together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
- To make a layer cake, cut the cake round in half. Ice one half. Stack second half on top and ice the whole half-cake.
I’m so glad you found this self rising red velvet cake recipe. I actually need to make it again and update the photos. About the color, I just used 2 tablespoons of either McCormick or Adam’s brand red food coloring. What brand of food coloring did you use? The little ones used for dying Easter eggs might not give you such a rich color. Another problem could be that you used a really dark colored cocoa powder like Hershey’s Dark. Then again, it says not to so I’m going to assume you didn’t do that.
For red velvet cakes, the best thing to use (in my opinion) is something called Super Red by Americolor. You’ll have to get it from a cake supply store OR order it from Amazon, but it’s totally worth it if you like Red Velvet. It smells better than some of the other colors and gives you a deep red color.
Hi! Thank you for this amazing cake recipe! I am not a baker and followed your recipe as written and it was perfect! Everyone loved it and it was delicious! I have already shared this gem of a recipe of yours with quite a few people. The only question I have is, how do you get that beautiful red color? Mine was more brownish and the color didn’t turn out like yours. Any tips for that?
thanks for you’re quick answer… I’ll let you know how it works.
That’s a good question. One of these days I’m going to try this same recipe with the standard self-rising flour substitute. I believe it’s 1 cup all purpose plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1/4 teaspoon salt. I’m pretty sure that would work.
Hi there ! Your cake looks gorgeous indeed. I live abroad and can’t find self-rising flour here. Can I use regular flour and baking powder ? and how much of each ? thanks in advance for your answer.
that cake is gorgeous!
the cake looks great and beautiful, love the red color
yummy! It looks delicious!! 🙂 I like your idea of halving a round pan to make a double layer. Genius!!!
oops… that should have been *SOME cupcakes*
Did you get to stop at the newly opened Sprinkles Bakery while you were in Chicago??
I leave about 40 minutes from the city and I’ve been tempted to take a trip into the city to get come cupcakes from Sprinkles!
This looks delish!!! And the cream cheese frosting is something else.
Babette, yes! I am debating on whether or not to post a trip report. My pictures aren’t that great, but we had a lot of fun. The Art Institute was terrific. I didn’t stop at any bakeries, though. We just bought desserts at whatever restaurant we were eating and stuck with our old favorites.
Betty @ scrambled hen fruit
Haven’t made a red velvet cake in ages! Why don’t I ever think to just make half? Great idea! (and beautiful cake.)
Wait,you were in Chicago? Did you go to the Art Institute? What did Fuzz think? I know a “Sprinkles” bakery just opened here, but I haven’t been yet.
I can’t believe I’ve still never made a red velvet cake. (We’ll blame that on the hub who doesn’t like cake.) Having a b-day shindig for two SIL’s on Sunday. Hmmm? They like cake. I loved Rina’s cakes that had a little bit of mini cc’s in it. Have you ever gotten her recipe from her?
Vinegar/Lemon juice (an acid) help when a recipe calls for buttermilk. Would wine do the same thing?
the red velvet looks so rich and intense!
You can get to know your new neighbors quicker, if you “share” good things. 🙂
Phillygirl, it’s definately quick and easy.
Fallon, I am actually going to try the same recipe again as cupcakes, but I might try using bread flour like Cooks Illustrated did with their Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes.
Josie, I wish I’d stopped by Tweet, but I’m sure it’s not near any areas we traversed while in Chicago. I went by “More” (a cupcake place) and Twisted Bakery.
Sue, I phrased it funny. It’s “red wine vinegar”. You could use wine, though. It wouldn’t do anything.
Dawn, I only half things so we can finish them up and move on to something else. Plus I don’t have a lot of people to share with right now.
Tina, it’s red wine vinegar. I should probably re-write that ingredient since I wrote it as “red wine or any type of vinegar”. Confusing.
Tina from PA
Anna, I have a question. When I looked at the ingredients, I thought you were using “red wine vinegar” but reading the comments someone said the “wine” was interesting . Please clear this up for me. Thank You ! I want to make this soon ,it looks great!
i love how you only make half…i need to adopt that discipline
That little bit of wine in there is interesting. The cake is really attractive.
Anna, you’re my hero!!! I am a Red Velvet fiend. In fact, I have a piece coming to me (via airplane) from Chicago’s Tweet from a friend who is visiting there. Due to arrive next Friday in SF. Best Red Velvet in the history of Red Velvet. Of course, I haven’t made yours yet.
That looks delicious. Sounds like it would make great cupcakes!
Wow, Anna, that cake looks great. Definitely do-able for a weekend “snack.” 😀