Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 2/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • red gel food coloring

Cream Cheese Buttercream:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • milk, if needed

Baker's Note:  I have experimented with swapping out some of the oil for more buttermilk (1 cup oil with 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk), which works just as well, if you don't want to use quite that much oil.

Bake the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms only of three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray the paper also.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk vigorously for several minutes until smooth and well blended.  Divide batter between the pans.

Bake on the middle rack for 25-28 minutes, until the centers spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean.  Set on wire racks, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and cool completely.

Make the Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, mixing on low to combine.  Add the vanilla.  Increase speed to medium and beat for several minutes until smooth and creamy; add milk if needed to reach the desired consistency for spreading or piping.


Remove the cakes from the pans and discard the parchment paper; level the tops of the cakes, reserving the cake scraps.

Place one layer of cake on a serving plate or cake pedestal.  Frost with a thin layer of buttercream.  Repeat with the other layers of cake, then frost the cake all over with a thin "crumb coat" of buttercream.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat, then frost all over with a final coat of buttercream, reserving some of the buttercream for piping swirls on top.

Take the cake scraps from leveling the cake and break them up into fine crumbs, either with a fork or in the food processor.  Press the crumbs around the sides of the cake.  Pipe swirls of buttercream on top of the cake to finish, and sprinkle a few more crumbs on top.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen