How to make Southern Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake
I love Red Velvet!

I think the main reason I love it, it the color.
I really love red.
Is that a shock?
I didn’t think so.
I do really love the wonderful taste of red velvet, but I like to taste the cocoa, it can’t be hiding.
Don’t even get me going on cream cheese. Really, Cream…good! Cheese…good! Now I sound like Joey from Friends. Custard good, jam good, beef good! It still cracks me up! Here is the link if you need a laugh, I had to watch it again.

I do have something to share about cream cheese, I hope I don’t forget.

First I wanted to share with you the recipe I used. After looking at multiple Red Velvet Cake Recipes, I could not find one that screamed it was the one, so I combined ideas from each and made this.
I added way more cocoa than the other had, after I tested the batter I knew it wasn’t quite right. I stopped
when the batter tasted GREAT, and it worked this cake tastes moist and delicious. I will be making this one over and over again. It really is the best red velvet cake I’ve had.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Printable Red Velvet Cake Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons Dutch Cocoa
3 large eggs (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (I use dry butter milk)
2 Tablespoons Americolor super-red coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

In a stand mixer beat butter, add sugar and cream together until smooth.add gs one at a time, mixing in after each addition. Scrape sides add vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Mix flour cocoa and salt together, in a separate bowl mix buttermilk with food coloring. Then add buttermilk mixture along alternating with flour mixture to butter and sugar. Alternating in three additions. Begin and end with flour mixture. Mix vinegar and baking soda let it fizz then add to batter bowl and blend in.

Red Velvet Cake

Separate batter into cake pans that have been greased and floured. Any size, just adjust your baking time accordingly.

Bake at 350 unless using darker pans then bake at 325.
The cakes I made were 4×2 3×2 and 2×2. the smaller sized baked for 18 minutes and the 4×2 baked for just over 30 minutes. Test you cake to be sure you do not over bake it. It will them taste dry.

Red Velvet Cake

This is the dry butter milk I’ve been using for years. It’s great.
No need to purchase buttermilk for a specific recipe. I always have it on hand. It make pasta sauces creamy as well.

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake
room temperature eggs incorporate more evenly into the batter and create a less dry cake. Place eggs in a glass or bowl with warm water for a few minutes. When you hold and egg and gently shake it you can feel if it’s still cold inside. This method is great if you forget to take them out early. Which ALWAYS happens to me, I am not a good planner.

Cream Cheese (I didn’t forget)
I love Cream Cheese Frosting!
When I saw Fat Free Cream Cheese
Red Velvet Cake
in my store I thought it would be a great time to try it. Well, it won’t be going on my bagel anytime soon, I didn’t like it on it’s own. It did however work out extremely well for frosting. They make it with skim milk so there isn’t a ton of sugar added to compensate for the change. Which happens most of the time. I have used the 1/3 less fat cream cheese dozens of times with no problem in frosting. The Fat Free Cream Cheese tasted great in the frosting, after all there is butter and sugar in  it.

I would use 1/2 cup fat free cream cheese with 1/2 cup butter. Mixed with 4 cups powdered sugar and three tablespoons milk. (You can double this if you are filling the cake as well)
Printable Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
I used cream cheese frosting on some other items I baked this day too, so on my cake the sides were first coated with cream cheese frosting ( I then ran out :( so I gave the second coat of the sides of the cake with buttercream frosting and the rose is made with the cream cheese frosting. I would have preferred cream cheese frosting on all of it, but there goes that good planning gene I don’t have. I should have chilled the cakes and waited patiently, but didn’t. I think they would have iced smoother.

Here is a video on How to frost a rose.


I am much more of a cupcake baker whether they are giant

or regular sized cupcakes
pink rose cupcakes

it’s been a while since I’ve made round cakes. I ordered the three pans I used from Sweet Baking Supply. They have lost of great stuff, I can’t wait to use the other items I ordered. I’ve used a few of their individual cupcake boxes already and tied them up with their twine, I put my blog sticker on top and delivered it to a friend.
cupcake box

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  1. 2

    Stephanie L. Brooks says

    Hi there! I was just wondering approximately how many people this recipe serves. Thanks! Can’t wait to try this recipe out for Valentine’s Day!!!

    • 3

      Diane says

      This is a large recipe I made cake and cupcakes with the same batch, so if I were to guess, there would be enough cake for at least 2 9″ inch pans. Depending on how you slice it, you’d get about 9 slices from a 9 inch cake which means at least 18 pieces. If you need less just refrigerate or freeze batter to bake another time, I hope that was helpful.

  2. 5

    Natalie says

    Do you mix the dry buttermilk with water prior to adding the food coloring? I bought this same dry mix and I noticed it says to add to dry ingredients and then add water with wet ingredients so I was wondering how you use it.

    • 6

      Diane says

      When using the dry buttermilk in a recipe,I mix the powder with water and add it as a liquid.
      Happy Baking!

  3. 7

    Kayla says

    Im making a 2 to 3 tiered red velvet cake for my sisters sweet 16 and this recipe seems great. I was wondering if the cake is dense enough to withstand the weight of being stacked. Thanks

  4. 13

    Jasmine says

    Hi I was wondering what size pipping tip did you use for this cake? How big is the top layer? I wanna make a giant rosé on a cake for my mother but I have no idea how to get a rosé to be this huge!

    • 14

      Diane says

      I use a 2D Wilton tip for the rose. The cake pans are 2″, 3″ and 4″ there is a link to where I ordered them from. The time baked are mentioned for each pan as well.
      If you need to cover a larger cake and want it to look like a rose consider doing multiple roses on the cake to completely cover it.
      I have a video on how to frost a rose here if that is helpful:

    • 19

      Diane says

      The recipe calls for one cup buttermilk. Yes regular buttermilk is ok, I use dry buttermilk mixed according to the package directions as I always have that on hand. Which ever you prefer to use if fine.

  5. 20

    physalisl says

    I can not color super red you mentioned in the recipe, any other alternative ? I used normal red colour but finished product looks so funny.


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