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Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

An authentic three layer red velvet cake made with cream cheese icing.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12
Author Cookie Madness


  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour 6 oz
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 5 oz**
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Morton
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Hershey's natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring "Super Red" if you can find it
  • 1 1/2 sticks 6 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting**

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar plus more as needed


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 9 inch round pans with flour-added baking spray.
  • Stir together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  • In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla and vinegar.
  • In a very small bowl (I use a custard cup), make a paste with the cocoa powder and red food coloring.
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attached, beat sugar and butter at medium-high speed, scraping bowl, for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add the egg and flour mixture alternately beginning and ending with flour and scraping bowl.
  • Scrape the cocoa paste mixture into the batter and beat on low or by hand, scraping the bowl well, until fully mixed.
  • Spread evenly in pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Gradually add powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla
  • Frost and stack the cakes.


For best results, weigh the flour. I used 11 oz total. Volume measurements are less accurate.
**This frosting has a strong cream cheese flavor and can be a little runny, but I love its tart flavor and smooth texture. For a sweeter, more traditional cream cheese frosting, use 8 oz of cream cheese, 4 oz of butter and about 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.