The most incredible Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! Fluffy, soft, buttery and moist with the most perfect velvet texture!
Super easy to make Red Velvet Cake is similar to the original recipe that started it all! Made entirely from scratch with a few tips and tricks, this is one cake that takes centre stage! Softer than most cakes with a mouthwatering velvet-like texture in each bite.
What is Red Velvet Cake
Is it chocolate? Is it vanilla? WHAT IS IT! Essentially it’s a chocolate cake made with little cocoa powder. The cocoa reacts with the acidic vinegar and buttermilk, and in turn keeps the cake moist, light, and fluffy. The chocolate taste is fairly mild but the flavours are delicately rich.
How To Make Red Velvet Cake
This red velvet cake has been adapted from The New York Times, with slight adjustments to the ingredients and the addition of oil for an even softer, richer and buttery melt-in-your-mouth cake. We tested a few versions with just butter, some with only oil, and some with half a dozen eggs! Truthfully, the one we are publishing is the best and received high praise from everyone who tried it. Both young and old!
With all of the testing I have a few tips to get you the best results!
- Cake flour — We tried this version with both all purpose/plain flour and cake flour, and the cake flour version resulted in a softer, velvety cake, fooling everyone into thinking we had purchased it from an expensive baker! You can certainly use all purpose though if that’s all you have. You will still get an incredible cake.
- Oil — This addition guarantees a moist sponge. Mix it together with your cocoa powder and red dye so the three incorporate really well into the cake batter. This ensures the cocoa powder is mostly dissolved before being mixed through.
- Buttermilk OR milk with vinegar – We tried one version using buttermilk plus vinegar and one version making our own buttermilk, souring full cream milk with 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar before starting. Both worked INCREDIBLY well!
The batter is then split into two separate 8-inch baking pans to create two layers. We tried it with 9-inch pans and while the texture was good, the layers were a little too thin for our liking. We trimmed the dome on top away so the top layer sits better on the bottom layer. When trimming, you will feel how moist this cake really is! Try to save these pieces to decorate the cake with later! (Good luck not sneaking some pieces to eat! If you start, you won’t be able to stop.)
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Red Velvet Cake
The most incredible Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is fluffy, soft, buttery and moist with the most perfect velvet texture! Super easy to make with a few tips and tricks for the best results! You will go crazy for a second slice!
- 1/2 cup (120g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) caster sugar (or fine white granulated sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 3 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder (plus 1 tablespoon extra for dusting)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (45ml) red food colouring (liquid, not gel)
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon (20ml) white vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups (350g) plain cake flour, sifted ( (or all purpose/plain flour))
- 1 teaspoon baking soda ((bi-carb soda))
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (250ml) buttermilk*
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 14 ounces (400g) cream cheese (not spreadable), (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup (120g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners (or icing) sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice ((optional — adds subtle hint of lemon))
Heat oven to 350°F | 175°C. Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans with butter or nonstick oil spray and lightly dust with 1 tablespoon of the sifted cocoa powder.
Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to combine well.
In a smaller bowl, mix together oil, remaining 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla until smooth. Stir colour mixture and vinegar through the creamed sugar mixture to combine.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk to the wet ingredients; mix well. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk.
Divide batter among the 2 prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack completely.
For Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth lighter in colour (about 3-4 minutes). Beat in icing sugar until frosting is light and fluffy (if frosting is too thin, add more icing sugar and beat again until reaching your desired consistency).
Optional if using: mix in the lemon juice.
Transfer 1 cake onto a serving dish/plate, flat-side down. Trim the top dome off of the cake to create a flat bottom later. Scoop about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of frosting onto cake and spread evenly over the top.
Place second cake layer on top and use remaining frosting to cover top and sides of cake.
Crumble trimmed pieces of cake to decorate.
*To make your own buttermilk, mix 1 cup of full cream milk with 1 teaspoon vinegar before baking. Allow the milk to sour for 5-10 minutes.
Adapted from The New York Times