Simply Scratch

In this Classic Red Velvet Cake I combined a few recipes Ive tried over the years to create the best, the ULTIMATE red velvet cake. For my Red Velvet Cupcakes click

Did you notice how I hit you with a few healthy recipes before I clobbered you with this doozy? Its the only way I can make up for what you are about to see.

Growing up our birthdays were always a big deal, still are actually. When my sisters and I were kids we got to pick out what we wanted to have for our birthday dinner and we even picked the flavor of cake too! My problem was, as a kid I never liked cake. It was a frosting thing. So I always picked chocolate chip cookie bars or cheesecake instead. But anyways its a tradition Ive passed on with my own girls. My oldest, is just like her dad and requests chocolate-chocolate chip cake with butter-cream frosting which is totally fine and totally delicious.

But my youngest is like me sorry to tell ya girly, but its true she doesnt love-love cake. Its a frosting thing for her too. If she does eat it, then its cream cheese frosting and that-tis-it. So thats why the past two years running, shes requestedthisfor her birthday cake. But this year was different. For her 8th birthday she specifically requested a red velvet cake.

What 8 year old dreams of red velvet cake for their 8th birthday? A foodie in the making, thats who. Im so proud!

Since Ive only ate red velvet cakes and never-ever-in-my-life made one, I had to do some research. I did some collaborating and a lil fine tweaking and made what I decided was the best red velvet cake Ive ever had in my life. Ive been hesitant for so long because there is just so-so-SO much red food die, I couldnt bring myself to make one. But I believe everything in moderation and plus when a pair of soft hazel eyes got all kitten-like asking me if I would make it specially forherbirthday I caved. Okay all she had to say is red velv-. and I was in like flynn.

Start by cracking two large eggs into a large measuring makes for easy pouring, and give them a quick beating.

Add in the buttermilk and vinegar

And *gasp*two1 ounce bottles of red food coloring. As in uno and dos.

As I poured the second bottle I wondered if anyone has ever stroked-out from a red velvet cake. I mean TWO bottles!?!! Thats just insane!

So this is grape seed oil and it works just splendid in cakes, and is WAY better for you. Hey-now I have to find some kind of balance with the TWO bottles of red dye! And plus it just makes me feel better.

Stir. And watch out for red droplets that will stain anything and EVERYTHING! Believe me, I speak from experience goodbye favorite funky-floral kitchen towel, you will be missed.

Set that off to the side and start working on the dry ingredients.

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder.

Give it a quick whisk to fluff and get ready for the RED.

Add the RED wet ingredients into the dry and fit your mixer with a whisk attachment.

Turn her on medium and mix until everything is completely blended.

Seriously! I want a lipstick AND a pair of shoes in that color and a clutch. And maybe nail polish too!?

I greased, floured and lined my 9 inch cake pans.

I like to use a measuring cup to divvy up cake batter. It keeps everything even.

And tap the cake pans so any trapped air bubbles may escape. Now just bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes. Depending on your oven you may need to rotate the pans for even baking.

Have the cakes cool for 10 minutes before removing them from pans.

Once removed let them cool completely. Now I made the cake part of this recipe a day in advanced. I wrapped the cakes, individually, and popped them in the fridge until the next day for frosting. But you dont have to do that.

Cream cheese frosting, I love the stuff Im not a huge fan of overly sweet frosting and this one is perfect!For a step-by-step check out my post here.

Now comes the fun part. Place one layer on your cake stand. Dollop a generous amount of frosting and spread it out evenly so some of it starts to fall off the sides of the cake. Place the next layer on top.

Place a larger amount of frosting on top and smooth it out over top and along the sides.

I took my spatula and scraped it so it would trap in any crumbs and then I popped this into the fridge for one hour so the frosting could harden up a bit aka a crumb coat.

After the hour was up I plopped the remainder of my cream cheese frosting over top and smeared it over top of the crumb coat.

I dont like to throw the M-word out there, but this seriously is the muh-muh-moistest cake Ive ever had the pleasure to eat. And Im not even a huge cake fan so this is huge!

But what was even better than this Classic Red Velvet Cake? Was when my daughter told me thank you Mom and how lucky she felt to have a mom who likes to bake. Gah! I know Im totally choked up right now.

So now this weekend you should totally make this Classic Red Velvet Cake. Take pictures and share them with the world (or with me on facebook)! Im tellin ya this is as easy as cake-makin gets. The cake is perfect, the ratio of cream cheese frosting to cake is spot on so why not?

Ps Red velvet is the new chocolate.

If you are wondering if this Classic Red Velvet Cake recipe can be made into cupcakes, the answer is YES! Heres a post with the details on how to make theBEST Red Velvet Cupcakes(baking temp, time etc.) and white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

My cookbookSimply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easyis now available!CLICK HEREfor details and THANK YOU in advance!

An extremely easy, extremely decadent and extremely RED cake!

Prep Time:25 minutes for cake : 10 minutes for frosting

1-1/2 cups grapeseed oil or a light flavorless oil

2 (8 ounces each) packages of cream cheese softened and at room temperature

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line, spray and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Set those aside.

Lightly beat the eggs with a whisk and then add in the oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring. Whisk together until combined.

In the bowl of your mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix on medium until combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl once or twice.

Use a measuring cup to divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Tap a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester is inserted and comes out clean. Depending on your oven, you might want to rotate the pans for even baking.

Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing them to a wire rack.

Once the cake cools its time to frost.

Pull the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge and place on your counter 1 hour before making frosting.

Place the softened cream cheese into the bowl of your stand mixer. Blend on medium speed until creamed.

Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides before adding in the butter and vanilla. Blend on low speed until combined with the cream cheese.

Gradually add the 4 cups of confectioners sugar (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time) mixing well after each addition.

Once combined,scrape down the sides and switch over to the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed for 10 to 15 seconds.

This recipe yields enough frosting for a 9-inch two-layer cake, 1 9×13 cake or roughly 2 dozen cupcakes.

Note: For more of a whipped frosting beat (with the whisk attachment in) for 10 seconds longer.

For some of my cakes I like to do a crumb-coat or a thin frosting to seal in the crumbs. So for this recipe I made a double batch of frosting. First putting a generous amount in between the layers, then a thin coating on the outside. I refrigerated the cake before applying the final frosting layer. This step is totally optional, but if you do decide to crumb coat… add an additional hour to the prep time. You might have a little frosting leftover but Im sure you can get creative on how to use it up 😉

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Ive never made a from-scratch red velvet cake I need to try it! Right after Im done turning orange from all the pumpkin stuff Ive been making, I can get my red on. 🙂

Your red velvet turned out perfect! Love the colour!

simplyscratchreplied: October 12th, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

This a gorgeous cake! (Smallest slice ever in the last picture, btw!). Your daughter is so lucky to have you! Sounds like she knows it! 😉

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank YOU!

GORGEOUS. Love the cake stand too! Pretty!

simplyscratchreplied: October 12th, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

Thank you Dana! That stand was passed down to me from my husbands grandmother I cherish it 🙂

(sorry to yell, just got a little excited 😉

My sister just made red velvet cupcakes as a test run before Halloween when she goes crazy for baking and entertaining. I, on the other hand, go the distance for Christmas but this cake would look festive on either holiday table.

Looks great! Ill direct my sister your way.

simplyscratchreplied: October 12th, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

Thank you Murissa! I agree red velvet should be enjoyed all year long!

Saw you on Huffington Post & thought Id stop by Great Recipe 🙂

simplyscratchreplied: October 12th, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

Red velvet IS all about the frosting. Im a cake-lover, but the only reason I know of to eat red velvet cake is to shovel the amazing cream cheese frosting into ones mouth! Cant WAIT till my little one can request her annual birthday cake!! Thats the best part about being a mom, right???

Your red velvet cake is beautiful! I do know how you feel about adding TWO bottles of red food coloring to any standard batch of cake batter. Ive made red velvet cake with half as much, and got a very satisfactory shade of red (I would use 2 tablespoons coloring plus 2 tablespoons water or more buttermilk). I buy the food coloring from Smart and Final in a 16 ounce bottle, it is much more affordable than buying 1-ounce bottles. Red Velvet Cake is always perfect for the holidays 🙂

LOVE this Laurie! The color is magnificent!

I was definitely a cake girl growing up (still am) but I never liked frosting. It was always too sweet and sugary for my taste. But with this gorgeous cake and amazing cream cheese frosting I can definitely get on board!

OMG. YUM!! That cake looks amazing. Ill certainly be trying it!

holy red! that is the most luscious looking red velvet ive ever seen! i seriously love how vibrant the red is even if it is 2 bottles of red food coloring its for good reason!!

Oh ma gawd. This looks amazing! Love how bright the red is.I totally need someone to have a birthday so I can make this!

Wow! What a great post; I love your step by step photos and this recipe looks great. So happy to have found your blog!

I love, love, love the color. When my son requested red velvet for his bday last year, I was so disappointed with my version as the color wasnt as vivid as I wanted. I will try your version next year for his 20th bday, gahh thats a big number for me to absorb!

Look at that gorgeous color! What a great cake for a birthday I am sure your daughter loved it!

I made this at 10:30pm last night. Because thats how exciting my Friday nights are lol! I only have one cake pan so I cut the recipe in half and it worked beautifully. Red velvet is normally not my thing but this is a keeper! I think its the frostingdelicious. Thank you!

WOW! This is so delicious! And the photos make it even more desirable!

At 8 years old, I dont even think I knew what red velvet cake was!!!! Yes, a true foodie in the making is right Laurie! Your cake looks perfect a real classic! The color is PERFECT. Literally, such a gorgeous deep red scarlet. You make one beautiful cake Laurie!

Looks relish! We do not use any artificial colors or flavors in my house, so I may be making this in an uncolored versionsame recipe just minus the dye. Alsoi think you meant for the imgredients to list 2 packages of cream cheese, not cream cheese frosting packages. right?

simplyscratchreplied: October 23rd, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

Lesliereplied: January 29th, 2017 @ 6:32 am

I am thinking of doing the same. I hope your velvet cake turned out well! Did you use water or any other ingredient to replace the liquid from the dye???

Know what I got out of this (beside an awesome recipe)? That your daughter totally knows exactly how to get what she wants. 😛 The lucky I have a mom who likes to bake line is a classic.

Could you use anything other than Grapeseed Oil?

So I am obsessed with red velvet (so good!) and Ive been looking for a from-scratch recipe! Thanks so much!

I made this cake last month and you dont lie when you call it a doozy. It just symbolizes every fattening thing you can do to yourself, lol! Everyone enjoyed this cake and it really was quite simple to make. I made a plain ol chocolate layer cake for tonight. Maybe if I am good, I can make that beautiful red velvet cake again , next month?

Oh and by the way, it was my first time to ever have red velevet cake and it was a glorious experience, ty.

I found this recipe last night and tried it today. The last time I made red velvet cake is tasted kinda bitter, and was too dense. Not, moist and dense but Wow, I just pulled a muscle lifting this cake! It wasnt good. So, I tried this recipe except I made a couple of changes as I bake Gluten Free now. It was sooooo good! thank you for this recipe and the mixing of all the wet to add to the dry was a new way for me to do it, but it mixed so easily and turned out beautifully! I will be blogging my GF version today or tomorrow and will give you credit for the original Gluten-full version.

simplyscratchreplied: September 17th, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

I came across your blog by chance after searching for a Red Velvet Cake recipe to try for the first time. All the ingredients made it taste delicious, but I think for me and my oven, Ill probably have to adjust the temperature and cooking time slightly as 25-30 minutes at gas mark 4 (350 degrees) cooked the outside but not the inside. I think my oven is just a bit too powerful lol. Whats more, I left it for 15 minutes to cool before removing it from the tin tins were non-stick AND I coated them but bits of the centre got left behind. Fortunately, because of the moistness of this cake thank you so much for that lol I managed to save these bits (and I got to nick a taste before the coating). That cream cheese frosting is very rich and I only used 6 cups of sugar instead of 8 because I ran out. Final verdict. Lovely cake. Very straight forward recipe. Ill just have to keep at until it looks as flawless as yours does. =D

I am a first time baker and I wanted to try the RVC (my aspirations are very high as you can see! :D) I came across your blog and decided that this is the RVC that I wanna try. I made it yesterday and it turned out yummm to say the least! Especially for a first timer! The cake itself was moist and the cream cheese frost was just sweet enough. I did use only 6 cups of sugar as I ran out but it turned out fine. Everyone loved it and I was more than happy to hear the praises! Thank you for your detailed instructions, pictures and your blog! Cheers!

Hi Laurie! I have so much success with your recipes and cant WAIT to bake this for Grandmas 90th birthday!

QUESTION: How would you adjust (any ingredients? baking time?) to make cupcakes (for 30 ppl) as opposed to this glorious cake?

simplyscratchreplied: August 13th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

Hi Valerie! 90th! Thats fabulous my grandma celebrated the same birthday last year! Happy Birthday to her! Id just make the recipe as you would for a full cake, but just divide among a lined muffin pans. As far as baking time. Im not quite sure as Ive never made this recipe into cupcakes. Bake at the same temp, bt I would check at 10 minutes, rotate the pan and then check on them every 5 minutes. My guess would be around 18-20 minutes but please dont quote me. Please let me know how they turn out! 🙂

i didnot see you adding vinegar in it? May i please know when to add it??

simplyscratchreplied: August 20th, 2013 @ 10:57 am

Yes Hira! You add it to the wet ingredients with the buttermilk and vanilla etc. 🙂

Hello . Im a big fan of red velvet and yours looks just amazing will abseloutly try it!!! I was just wondering if the amount for your receipe is already doubled or not (is it 2 cream cheese stick or 4 so on?) Thanks again for sharing 🙂

simplyscratchreplied: September 17th, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

Thank you Melanie! I would double the recipe provide if you want to do the crumb coat. I know it seems like a lot of cream cheese, but you will have a prettier cake if you do the crumb coat technique. 🙂

Okay tried the recipe and the middle of my cake didnt rise what am I doing wrong?!?

simplyscratchreplied: October 11th, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

Hi Natasha, Im sorry to hear about your cake. Im not a professional baker, but check the expiration date on your baking soda. If its past its prime it wont be as effective. Or it could be that its slightly under cooked and just needs more time in the oven? Keep me posted!

Hey is there anything I can substitute for the grape seed oil? I just dont have any (and dont think I can get any easily- ive never heard of it!) Will it change the final that much if I just use regular canola oil or something different?

simplyscratchreplied: October 16th, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

You can definitely use canola! Its a personal preference why I dont but go for it girl!

Ive got mine in the oven right now. I had to make a few adjustments (I made buttermilk using 1 cup of milk + 1 tbsp. of vinegar; theres no food coloring because I have every color BUT red and I dont think my husband would eat a blue or purple cake; and Im baking it in a 13×9 pan because Im tired of the hassle of two cake pans, heh), but Im optimistic that itll be delicious (if the taste of the batter was any indication). I cant wait to see how it turns out!

I decided to give this a try as my first cake attempt. It turned out AMAZING! The flavor was just right, and so moist! I use your recipes all the time. Thanks a million.

simplyscratchreplied: December 23rd, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

Thank YOU Jolie! Im so glad you loved it!

I tried this cake and it is divine. However now I want to use it for an intricate pan (like the intricate train pan from Nordic Ware). Is this recipe suitable for that? The cake has to be tight and a bit dense.

Laurie McNamarareplied: April 24th, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

Hi Anuja! I think it would be fine. Its hard to say because I havent tried it in an intricate pan so if it works out well for you please come back and let me know! Happy Baking!

Did you use regular buttermilk or cultured buttermilk ? If I cant find the buttermilk that you used in this recipe in the US, can I also use lemon juice and whole milk to create it? Would that be fine ? Thank you !!

Laurie McNamarareplied: April 24th, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

Hi Maria! I did use cultured buttermilk from the store. I always suggest sticking as close to the recipe as possible, but if you are having a hard time finding buttermilk at your grocery store then of course try it with the lemon juice and milk method. Good luck and enjoy!

I followed this recipe to the letter, and let me just say it is AMAZING!!

So decadent and moist. Unlike any other Red Velvet Ive ever come across. Everyone at work is in love, Im their new hero for baking this!!!

You HAVE to bake this people!! Just HAVE TO!!

Laurie McNamarareplied: July 14th, 2014 @ 8:25 am

AHHH! Im so glad! Thanks for coming back and leaving a review! SO appreciated and now Im craving this cake! 😉

Hi Laurie, Have you tried this recipe in cupcakes as well?

Laurie McNamarareplied: July 14th, 2014 @ 8:25 am

Hi Jolie! I have not, but since Im now craving this cake I should try it out! I think if you adjust the baking time it should work! 🙂

The cake looks stunning! Im making this for a birthday party but the recipe is for 12+ only. I will be serving about 20 guests. Itd be great if you could just help me out with the amount of ingredients for 20.

Laurie McNamarareplied: July 20th, 2014 @ 8:55 am

Thank you Lamisa! The easiest way would be just to double the ingredients and make two cakes. Enjoy!

just came across your blog. i love baking for my girls and i dont like the taste of the boxed variety so i try everyting from scratch. i would like to know if i substitute the buttermilk with greek yougurt. thanks alot.

I have been looking for red velvet cake recipe. I like to thank you for sharing. I will be making it very soon. Thanks again.

Laurie, I could not wait to make this cake! The recipe was very exact so excited, my cake came out great.

I did not have the grapeseed oil, so instead, I used canola oil. Still amazing results. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to making cupcakes next.

Omg that recipe is the best thing ever

Laurie McNamarareplied: May 25th, 2015 @ 9:16 am

I came across your page when I did a Google search of red velvet cake recipes. I knew I wanted to make it for my birthday and, I must say, this cake is AMAZING! I used canola oil instead of grapeseed oil since I couldnt find any in the store. This cake is, by far, the most moist, decadent cake I have ever tasted and my husband absolutely loved it too. He even requested that I make this cake again for his birthday in November!

I made this using one cup of melted unsalted butter, and it was very nice and moist. I whipped all moist ingredients with the sugar until it all came together, then added the other dry ingredients. Mixed for about one minute. Beautiful texture. Thank you for this recipe.

Laurie McNamarareplied: May 25th, 2015 @ 8:49 am

You are SO welcome Sabine! Glad you enjoyed it!

Ive made this recipe numerous times and have never received any negative feedback! I use white chocolate ganache instead of cream cheese frosting and its delicious!

Would it change anything if I add chocolate chips in the batter?

Can this recipe be used to make cupcakes?

Laurie McNamarareplied: December 16th, 2015 @ 1:24 pm

Hi Sabrina! I dont see why not, however I havent personally tested it so I cant say for certain. If you decide to give it a try, please let me know how it works out for you! Enjoy!

I made this-followed the directions and everything-the only difference was I chose to make it as cupcakes instead of a cake. When the timer went off, I opened the oven and every single cupcake had fallen in the middle. I cant figure out what went wrong! Help!

Laurie McNamarareplied: January 14th, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

Hi Rene! Im sorry this didnt work out for you, but unfortunately its hard for me to say without being in the kitchen with you. I also havent tested this recipe as cupcakes so my only guess is that they needed more time baking? Or the consistency of the batter was off?

Made this for my kids . Came out very moist and WOW good.Very easy , will make again . Thank you. Isis Hernandez..

I have made this cake several times. Made no changes. It is very good and my family loves it. They say its on point. Thank you for this recipe.

Laurie McNamarareplied: March 12th, 2016 @ 4:38 pm

Im so glad! Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment!

So Im just a young gay guy really inspired by your work. Ive already made your peach cobbler, New York style cheesecake and am now trying this. Im a freshman baker, putting it generously. How do you stop your cake halves from doming? Yours seem to look so flat. Do you have a post on that already?

I made this cake for my husbands birthday and it was amazing! I saw a question in the comments about making the buttermilk using the milk and lemon method. I did this and the cake turned out great. It was SO GOOD. Best red velvet cake Ive ever had.

Laurie McNamarareplied: July 22nd, 2016 @ 10:07 am

Im so happy to hear that! Thanks for leaving a review and the tip about the buttermilk!

Can you use this recipe to make as a pound cake and would the cooking time remain the same.

Laurie McNamarareplied: December 17th, 2016 @ 7:20 pm

Hi Valerie! I wouldnt think it would be the same. Maybe try Google searching for a red velvet pound cake recipe to ensure you get the proper texture and also correct baking temperature and time.

I have been making a red velvet cake for years very similar to this one! I havent found another recipe close to being as good as mine. but yours must be because the ingredients and amounts are very close. There are subtle differences, however i feel compelled to try yours cause thats how I operate. Also, your mixing directions are way different, however I have made other Cakes that use this approach and love them. I have always used two 1 oz bottles of the red food coloring dont think twice about it. My cream cheese frosting uses 1 block of cream cheese, but if I am making your cake recipe, I am all in! I will let you know as I am making one within the week!

Laurie McNamarareplied: October 17th, 2017 @ 8:07 am

I cant wait to hear your thoughts, Karen! Enjoy and happy baking!!

PS: I forgot to mention I often make cupcakes from my red velvet cake recipe which is almost identical to yours and I fill the cupcake only half full using a large cookie scoop. No more than 2/3 full as the batter rises a lot. Filling 1/2 results in an even with the top of the muffin cup cupcake. I bake for about 20 minutes. My yield is 33 cupcakes. By the way, they freeze very well and yes, I frost them first. it works!

I made this cake which is very close to my signature recipe. It tastes awesome and really there is no discernible difference in anything. The only difference is your had 1/2 C more sugar. so not sure if I could note a slightly dryer texture, but still amazingly moist. Your vinegar and vanilla amounts were different than min