red velvet cake

This red velvet cake recipe is my favorite and my go-to recipe whenever there is an occasion. It’s also common on my end to have a cake order for a wedding cake with this flavor. I  certainly love the tasty cake and the taste of the tangy but a bit sweet frosting. You try it too and fall in love with this cake!

What is Red Velvet Cake?

A red Velvet Cake is a red-colored cake with white icing. It is usually made with cocoa, flour, buttermilk, and butter. The white icing is generally made from cream cheese.

Red velvet cake origin

The velvet cake is from the Victorian Era. This type of cake is being served in restaurants to the aristocrats on special occasions. The word “velvet” from its name let the elites know that the cake has a velvety and delicate texture.

In world war II, food and supplies were rationed to the soldiers and civilians. Because of this, some bakers use beet juice for their cakes. Beets act as a filler that helps the cake be moist, and importantly it makes the cake more appealing.

As of today, red velvet cake is trendy and is being served in every restaurant. There is a variation of red velvet from cookies, brownies, and pies!

Is red velvet cake chocolate?

Though there is a little cocoa in this cake,it does not taste like chocolate at all

Can I freeze red velvet cake before adding the icing?

Yes. You can definitely do it,just wrap it nicely in a cling wrap. Freezing the cake before icing helps the cake to be more moist.

Is red velvet cake the same as devil's food cake?

 No it is not, though they are very similar and they share the same history. There is a rumor in the past that devil’s food cake was tainted with red as well because of the combination of cocoa powder and baking soda. Devil’s food cake is a cocoa version of chocolate cake and a cousin of red velvet cake.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe



  • 2 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups  white sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup at room temperature
  • 2  tbsp red food coloring liquid
  • ½ cup espresso(for additional flavor,optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 300F (all oven types). Grease the sides and bottom of two 8″ round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder.
  • Sift the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk to combine. Set aside
  • Beat the sugar, butter, and vegetable oil on a medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the buttermilk(mixture of 1 cup milk and 1tbsp vinegar) followed by red food color and vanilla extract. Beat again.
  • Add the eggs and the espresso for 30 seconds.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix for 3 minutes.
  • Strain the batter to make sure that it is smooth and transfer it to the prepared cake pans.
  • Bake it for 60 minutes or until the center looks cooked. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake, if the toothpick is clean after removing then, it’s cooked.

Bakers Note:

Do not overcook the cake as the sides can easily burn.

The temperature should always be between 300 to 350 but I prefer 300, this is to avoid the cake from the dome top.

One way to get a flat-top cake is to wrap the sides of the baking pan with a cake strip/cake belt. You can also use a wet towel in place of the cake belt.

icing with beater/red velvet cake recipe

Red Velvet Cake Frosting(cream cheese frosting)

 This is my go-to recipe for cream cheese because it’s not only delicious but it’s also very stable. This recipe was originally shared by chef Angie Fraginal.


  • 1 cup Confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 300g softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Beat the butter until it’s light in color.
  • Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar
  • Add the softened cream cheese and beat until smooth consistency.

I hope you enjoy this red velvet cake recipe, you will surely love it!

Is it necessary to use vinegar when baking red velvet cake?

Yes!. A cake recipe does not usually call for vinegar, but because we are creating a soft, moist, and tender cake, we must use it. In the cake, vinegar combines with leavening chemicals such as baking soda and baking powder, causing the cake to rise. It triggers the leavening properties of those two ingredients. Additionally, adding vinegar to the red velvet cake recipe causes the cocoa powder to react with the vinegar, intensifying the red color of the cake. Furthermore, the vinegar and buttermilk give the red velvet cake a distinct flavor that is difficult to replicate.

Why is red velvet always paired with cream cheese?

The main reason is TRADITION. People used to serve it with ermine frosting, which is a rich white sauce. On the other hand, people began to make cream cheese frosting, which is similarly white, since they found it to be more convenient to make. Ermine frosting is also an excellent frosting for a cake. However, the flavor of cream cheese frosting is one that I enjoy. Either way, the red velvet cake is perfect for both of them, and it is really up to each person who is tasting it whether they like it or not.

What makes red velvet cake very costly?

Red velvet cakes aren’t significantly more expensive to bake than any other type of cake. There are just two ingredients that may increase the cost of this cake: the red food coloring and the cream cheese that will be needed to make the cream cheese frosting.

What can I use instead of white vinegar in baking red velvet cake?

The vinegar used in this recipe is cider vinegar, which has a mild flavor, but lemon juice would also be good as an alternate acid ingredient since it should not interfere with the flavor of the cakes.