White Cake Mix Red Velvet Cake is my quick cure for red velvet cravings. I was a little hesitant to post a cake mix red velvet since I have so many scratch recipes, but my family loves this one. It's also a no-brainer and good for situations where you don't have scratch ingredients. Maybe you are staying at a vacation home, traveling in an RV or visiting a friend who doesn't have the baking basics? Hopefully someone will find this recipe useful.
White Cake Mix Red Velvet
The recipe starts with white cake mix, so the flavor is a little different from cake made with chocolate or red velvet cake mix. Also, since it starts with a white cake mix and has such a small amount of chocolate, the color is a more vibrant red. It's definitely less of a chocolate cake than some others.
Red Velvet Cake Mix
I like the white cake mix version of this, but just for fun (and to avoid having to buy red food coloring) I tested it with red velvet cake mix. That is, I followed the recipe as written but omitted the red food coloring and cocoa powder and used Duncan Hines red velvet flavored mix. The cake was denser and didn't rise as much, plus it wasn't as bright red. It was pretty much a disaster and not worth eating, so be careful substituting other types of cake mix.
Americolor Super Red
I make most of my red velvet cakes with Americolor Super Red, a very concentrated coloring I discovered years ago at a cake decorating shop in Austin. You can buy it on-line and it lasts a long time. If a recipe calls for 2 ounces of red food coloring, you'll only need about a half ounce (1 tablespoon) of Super Red. If you end up loving this recipe or get really into red velvet, the Americolor is worth ordering. Otherwise, just use McCormic brand or whatever the grocery store has on the baking aisle.
Cream Cheese Frosting
The cake may start with a mix, but it's balanced with a scratch cream cheese frosting. This frosting is heavy on the cream cheese and lower in sugar, which I think goes well with the cake. I only use 2 cups of confectioners' sugar. If you'd prefer a sweeter frosting, I put another recipe in the Notes section.
A Few More Ideas
Cake Mix Red Velvet Cake
- 1 box white cake mix Betty Crocker
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 stick unsalted or salted butter, melted (114 grams)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 ounces of red food coloring or 1 T. Super Red
- ¼ teaspoon salt If using the unsalted butter
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (114 grams)
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened (450 grams)
- 2-3 cups confectioners' sugar (240 grams) plus more as needed
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round pans or 3 8-inch round pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together all ingredients in order listed. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Pour into pans and bake for 28 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
- Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert and let cool completely on a rack.
- To make the frosting, beat the softened butter and 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar until creamy. Add the softened cream cheese and beat until smooth, then beat in another cups of sugar and vanilla extract. For extra tartness, add the lemon juice. Taste test and add more sugar if you like a sweeter frosting. You may use up to 3 cups.