Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake by Wood and Spoon blog. This is a cocoa flavored layer cake with a tangy cream cheese frosting. This recipe is fluffy and festive with bright red layers and is perfect for holiday baking or birthday celebrations. Learn more about how to make this dessert on by Kate Wood

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5 from 4 reviews

This red velvet cake is a fluffy three layer cake with a tangy and sweet cream cheese frosting. 


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup (170 gm) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 gm) canola oil
  • 2 cups (400 gm) sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 21/3 cups (320 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11/4 cups (300 g m) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 gm) white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (optional)


For the frosting

  • 11/2 cups (285 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 block/ 8 ounces (225 gm) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Appx. 5 cups/ 1-1/2 pounds (680 gm) of powdered sugar


To prepare the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 3-8” round pans and line the bottoms with pieces of parchment paper cut to fit inside the bottom.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, gently whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, vinegar, and vanilla. Add half of the dry ingredients mixture to the butter and stir on low to combine. Add half of the liquid ingredients and stir just to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then repeat this process. Add the red food coloring and stir to combine. Divide the batter equally among the three pans and bake in the preheated oven until puffed and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.


To prepare the frosting

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed (I use 4 on my stand mixer) for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the cream cheese and beat to incorporate for an additional minute. Add the salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to beat until well combined. Do not overbeat as this can cause the cream cheese to loosen. If needed, add a tablespoon of water or milk at a time to get the frosting the right consistency. Refrigerate as needed to thicken the frosting up.


To assemble the cake

  1. Use a serrated knife to level the cakes. Smooth a small amount of frosting on an 8” cake board or plate and center a single cake layer on top. Smoothly spread a thick layer of frosting on top, extending the buttercream all the way to just eby9ond the edge of the cake.  Stack the second cake layer on top and repeat the entire process once more. Place the final cake layer on top. Spread a thin coat of frosting (crumb coat) all over the cake and allow it to set up in the fridge prior to applying the final coat of frosting. You can skip this step if desired. Finish frosting the cake as desired with the rest of the buttercream.  Cake will keep in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to three days.