red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting

by Amy on 16 December 2010

one of my foodie friends, sheri, emailed + asked if i had a good red velvet cake recipe. i had actually never made a red velvet cake before + figured this was a good excuse to try! i looked through a bunch of recipes + settled on bobby flay’s version. for the frosting, i decided to use the same cream cheese frosting (from martha stewart) that  i used in my pumpkin whoopie pies, as everyone raved so much about it.

if you’ve never tried red velvet cake, its flavor is basically a mild chocolate one, so the color + the frosting is where it really shines. people have different opinions on the color, + it can vary anywhere from bright red to red-brown. for me, the bright red color isn’t as appealing, so i made mine reddish-brown. you can definitely punch it up + make it redder by adding more food coloring.

the verdict? six of us sampled this cake a few nights ago + everyone was very pleased with the flavors of both the cake + the frosting. i will say that this makes *a lot* of fairly rich cake – you could probably serve over a dozen people  with this recipe. if you’re looking for another great dessert idea, this would make a wonderfully festive addition to your holiday meals!

red velvet cake

adapted from bobby flay


3 3/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
frosting (recipe below)


preheat the oven to 350 degrees. butter + flour two (9-inch) cake pans + line each pan with a round of parchment paper.

whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl

cream the butter, sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light + fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl + beat until incorporated. beat in the vanilla, vinegar + food coloring.

add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans + bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. let cool completely before frosting. slice each cake into 2 layers + frost.

cream cheese frosting

adapted from martha stewart


6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


make the filling: sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. add cream cheese + beat until well combined. add confectioners’ sugar + vanilla, beat just until smooth.

print this recipe print this recipe
EmailTwitterFacebookStumbleUponGoogle BookmarksShare

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bruce barone December 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

A favorite!!!!!!!

2 amy December 16, 2010 at 9:22 am

which recipe do you use? since this is the first one i’ve ever made, i’d love to try a few different recipes for comparison if you have one to share! =) i’m also thinking of converting the recipe into whoopie pies, since those are so easy to put together + such a crowd pleaser.

3 Dayna December 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

Amy–I have never made Red Velvet Cake, so I added it to my list of new recipes to try this year. I am going to use the recipe I found on Bakerella’s website…I’m hoping it’ll turn out good. If not, I’ll probably use the recipe you posted today. I will say that i am opting to make it very, very red…i think the kiddos will like it :-)

4 amy December 16, 2010 at 10:24 am

bakerella’s looks tasty + i have had success with some of her recipes, so i say give it a try! one thing i do like about hers is that it only has two layers – the four layers of this one meant that i needed to make *a lot* of frosting for the cake, + personally, i prefer a two-layer. if i do this recipe again, I think i’d drop down to two layers of cake with a thicker layer of frosting. let me know how bakerella’s turns out- i can’t wait to hear! (+ yes, the kids surely will love the super-red coloring of the cake!)

5 Sheri O'Neill December 16, 2010 at 10:35 am

Thank you so much for trying out the recipe and making it. I can’t wait to bake it this weekend! I love the idea of red velvet whoopie pies :)

6 amy December 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

yes! i just think whoopie pies are so much easier to bake + frost than a 4 layer cake! plus, if it’s for a party, then you don’t have to worry about slicing it – everyone can just grab one + go!

if you’re going to convert this to whoopie pies, you might want to halve the frosting recipe (but not the cake recipe). that would make you about two dozen whoopie pies. although i would have extra cream cheese, etc. on hand in case you run out of frosting a few pies short! =)

7 Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) December 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Red velvet is my BILs favorite cake…I’ve promised to make him one for his b’day for years, but never have. Maybe this year!! Come by my blog when you get a chance…having another giveaway, and think you’d love it!!

8 amy December 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm

you would be the best sister-in-law in the world if you made him a fancy red velvet cake. like i said to some of the previous commenters, i think these would convert wonderfully to red velvet whoopie pies or even cupcakes – i’d just adjust down the amount of frosting (+ the cooking time) because you wouldn’t need quite as much. =) i’ll pop over to your blog now – this just might be my lucky giveaway win!

9 julie December 18, 2010 at 8:53 am

thanks to amy for red velvet inspiration! and for the record–red velvet whoopie pies are delightful. (i’m going to my first holiday cookie share this evening, and i wanted to bring something special.)

the frosting analysis was spot-on–half of the amount used for the four-layer cake is perfect. just like the pumpkin whoopie pies, they took 15 minutes to bake in the oven, then just a few minutes to cool before assembly.

10 amy December 18, 2010 at 9:04 pm

this is so fabulous, julie! i can’t wait to hear how they go over at your holiday cookie swap. i’m glad you confirmed the amount of frosting needed. i guessed about half would do it, + it’s good to know that’s spot on. have an awesome time at your party + eat some cookies for me!

{ 1 trackback }

leave a comment

Previous post:

Next post: