The only red velvet cake recipe you’ll ever need is here! This is The Very Best Red Velvet Cake. It’s perfectly moist, decadent, and so simple to make.
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June is birthday month in our house, starting with Kayla, and ending with me. The beginning of June we celebrated Kayla turning 18 with these Funfetti Cupcakes, and now we are celebrating Zack’s birthday with The Very Best Red Velvet Cake!
Y’all, this cake is simply AMAZING! It’s moist, thanks to the buttermilk, butter, and eggs.
The texture is perfect, thanks to the combination of all purpose flour and cake flour.
The cream cheese frosting will knock your socks off, with just the right amount of sweetness.
This cake will stop your guests in their tracks because you produced a red velvet cake that is not only beautiful (done so easily), but freaking delicious!
So, how do I know that this is The Very Best Red Velvet Cake?
Well….because I’ve eaten a lot of red velvet cake over the years. From store bought to homemade this one was the first one that I ever was like, “WOW.”
I’ve probably made about a dozen different recipes, but after finding one that I really liked, and playing around with it to find The Very Best Red Velvet Cake, I knew that it had to be for Zack’s birthday, and I knew that I had to share it with y’all!
So what is red velvet cake, anyways?
Besides tasty, I’m glad you ask. I really didn’t know what the right answer to this question was, so I went and did a little searching.
Red velvet cake didn’t originally use the red food coloring that we use today. It also wasn’t a bright color either. It was a muted reddish brown tone, thanks to a chemical reaction. When the acidity of the buttermilk or vinegar, mixed with baking soda, in combination of cocoa powder that wasn’t alkalized, you get a muted reddish brown color.
At some point red food coloring came to the market, and the red velvet cake started to take on a true red appearance.
Red velvet cake is basically a chocolate cake that’s red?
Not really, but yea, pretty much. The cocoa powder amount used in a red velvet cake isn’t as much as say a traditional chocolate cake. Take our recipe for The Best Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. That recipe calls for 2/3’s cup, where as this recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons.
You get a slight hint of chocolate, when mixed with the vanilla, and other ingredients, you get this beautiful flavor. It’s a flavor that you can’t really find in another cake.
How do I decorate my cake to look like yours?
I’m not a cake decorator by any means. I try really hard to make them pretty.
I can’t make smooth frosting on the sides, and the only pretty top I’ve ever done was on the Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, and y’all, it was by pure accident. Seriously. I was just using the tip of my small offset spatula. So if I can make pretty cake, I know that y’all can too!
For The Very Best Red Velvet Cake I used the crumbs from leveling the cakes to top the cake with. The side was made with the tip of my small offset spatula, like this one.
I just placed the tip on the bottom and pulled it straight up, and pulled it slightly upward towards the center of the cake. It’s very easy to practice this, and if you mess up, just take the frosting back off, and do it again until you get the look you want.
I also find that using a cake turntable, like this one, I can decorate easier.
Looking for more red velvet desserts?
The Very Best Red Velvet Cake
The only red velvet cake recipe you'll ever need is here! This is The Very Best Red Velvet Cake. It's perfectly moist, decadent, and so simple to make.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, I used Hershey's special dark
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- red food coloring as much as you'd like. I used 3/4th's of a bottle that is 1 fluid ounce
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature you want to use regular cream cheese
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 9X2 inch cake pans with parchment paper (I trace the bottom of the pans, and cut them out to fit), and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder together, and set aside.
In a large bowl using a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for at least 2 minutes, until combined. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla, mix until combined.
Mix in the vinegar and food coloring - use as much or as little as you'd like, to reach the desired color you are looking for. I used 3/4th's of a 1 fluid once bottle of red food coloring.
With the mixer on low, pour in one third of the butter milk and one third of the flour mix that you set aside earlier. Do this in this order until the buttermilk and flour are completely combined. Do not overmix. You want to mix until everything is just combined.
Divide the batter among the cake pans, and tap the bottoms on the counter to help settle the batter. I cheat and use a scale to be sure to have an equal amount in each pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and remove them from their pans on to cooling racks, to allow them to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
After the cakes are completely cooled you can make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar, until you've mixed in all 4 cups. Mix in the whipping cream. Beat for a full 4 minutes. If it's too thick, add a teaspoon at a time of more whipping cream. If it's not thick enough, add in 1/4th cup of powdered sugar at a time, until you've reached your desired consistency.
Frost the completely cooled cakes, by leveling the tops, add frosting to the bottom layer, top with the cake, and frost away! See the post for tips on how I achieved this look.