This red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is an impressive dessert that is actually fairly easy to make. It is perfect for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, holidays and everyday occasions. A classic Red Velvet Cake Recipe is a must-have in your dessert arsenal. The super moist and slightly chocolaty cake, covered in a tangy cream cheese frosting, is the perfect way to end a great meal.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder natural or dutch processed
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon liquid red food color
- Melted butter for cake pans
- 1 lb cream cheese room temperature
- 8 oz unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Make the red velvet cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Brush melted butter on two 8” round cake pans. Line the bottom of the cake pan with a piece of round parchment paper and brush the parchment paper with butter as well. Set aside.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt to the flour mixture, and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Set aside.
- Add buttermilk, oil, eggs, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food color to a large bowl. Beat with a whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture, and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
- Divide batter evenly among the two prepared cake pans and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Use a kitchen scale to divide the cake batter if you want to be precise, approximately 675 g of batter per pan. This will also help the cake bake evenly.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 – 15 minutes. When you can touch the cake pans, use a butter knife to loosen the sides, flip the pan over to remove the cake from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper, and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before adding frosting.
Prepare the cream cheese frosting
- In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together until thoroughly mixed and creamy.
- Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
- Add powdered sugar and stir until incorporated, gradually increase the mixer speed and beat until fluffy. Use right away.
Assemble and frost
- Place the first layer of cake on a cake stand or plate, spread 1 cup of frosting on top with an offset spatula. Place the second layer on top of the frosted first layer, and spread another cup of frosting on top using the same offset spatula. Then add the remaining frosting on the side.
- If desired, add just a thin layer of frosting on the side of the cake and pipe the rest on top for decoration as pictured, using a pastry bag fitted with an open star piping tip.
- Refrigerate the frosted cake for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to set.
Tips for perfect red velvet cake
- A kitchen scale can be very useful when you want to divide the cake batter precisely. This red velvet cake recipe will give you approximately 675 grams of batter for each 8” cake pan. This will also help both cakes bake evenly in the oven.
- Brush the cake pans with melted butter as well as line the bottoms with a piece of round parchment paper, cut to fit the cake pan you are using. Then brush the parchment paper with melted butter also. This will ensure easy and clean release of the cake.
- I like McCormick brand liquid red food color, the one you can get at the grocery store. It gives a consistent and vibrant red color to this cake each time I make it.