Red Velvet Cake Recipe -
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
69 Photos
Red Velvet Cake
This classic cake is a stunner for the holidays, or any time. See more

Red Velvet Cake

Recipe by  

"A family favorite--great for the Christmas holiday."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 9-inch layer cake Change Servings
  • PREP

    25 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    2 hrs 25 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 9-inch round pans.
  2. Beat shortening and 1 1/2 cups sugar until very light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well.
  3. Make a paste of cocoa and red food coloring; add to creamed mixture. Mix salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and buttermilk together. Add the flour to the batter, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Mix soda and vinegar and gently fold into cake batter. Don't beat or stir the batter after this point.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes completely on wire rack.
  5. To Make Icing: Cook 5 tablespoons flour and milk over low heat till thick, stirring constantly. Let cool completely! While mixture is cooling, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy. Add cooled flour mixture and beat until frosting is a good spreading consistency. Frost cake layers when completely cool.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 19, 2009

Without question, the negative reviews for this recipe can be explained by people not being familiar with the techniques that are used. I subtracted a star because this *is* a more complicated project than a box cake mix, and additional instructions would probably have been helpful. Things that are important to know about this recipe: 1) the vinegar-baking soda mixture is what makes it rise. This is a delicate leavening method because it does not last long. Get the vinegar mixture into the batter quickly and gently and get it in the oven FAST, or you will have a heavy cake. 2) Cakes from scratch have to be timed carefully in the oven because they're not "failproof" like box mixes. Start checking it with a toothpick 10 minutes before the given time and after that every 3 to 5 minutes until the toothpick comes out mostly clean. 3) The flour paste for the frosting must be cooked until it forms a mound that stays in the middle of the pan, and it must be cooled to room temperature but never chilled. The butter and sugar must be beaten for at least 10 minutes before adding the flour paste, to eliminate sugar grit. 4) You must frost a COMPLETELY cool cake; beating warm frosting or frosting a warm cake will produce a runny, oily frosting. Follow these instructions and the recipe *will* turn out. It is a good recipe with no errors.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 04, 2011

This Red Velvet cake was definitely not what I expected. It could be that I have no experience with Red Velvet cake, but with this recipe the cake was much to heavy. The Icing was bland and honestly tasted like flour. Overall the cake was nothing special. However, I am willing to try it again just to make sure it was not my own fault.

Feb 18, 2007

When making this cake, substitute shortening for 1 cup of oil and double the cocoa for a perfect cake. The cake was dry. Icing was creamy and buttery without being too sweet. The icing perfect. My 87 year old mother was here and said it was very close to the original red velvet cake recipe. Be sure to let the milk and flour cool completely before mixing with the sugar mixture for the icing. It also needs to be mixed for about 15 minutes to be perfect.

May 06, 2007

My grandmother used to make red velvet cake, and after she passed, I've made probably 5 different recipes to replicate her cake. This came the absolute closest. It's delicious, and wows the crowds every time I make it for class (I'm in college) and even the teachers are impressed. It CAN BE DRY. So make sure you check it in the oven before it's done. Pull it out right when you think it's not quite ready. Then, LET IT SIT!! It will continue cooking as it cools, just like cookies. Do not cut it or frost it before it's done cooling. You'll thank yourself when you have an amazing, moist, incredible cake. Marriage proposals from this one!

Feb 07, 2004

I bake ALL the time, and this has got to be the BEST cake I have ever baked in my life. It's better than the one my husband buys at the gourmet bakery downtown. The cake is delicious, and the icing is heavenly. I took this cake and two pies to Christmas dinner, and 7 people devoured the entire cake within 2 hours.

Feb 07, 2004

I am puzzled by the negative reviews for this recipe. I have made this cake at least six times, all with good results. I even made it in a 9X13 pan (I had to increase the baking time of course) and made it into a "spaceship" cake for my 5 year old son who loves this cake. I have found that this cake tastes better after refrigeration for some reason. And, I have found it very important to chill the milk and flour combination for the icing - if the butter melts then the icing consistancy becomes runny. The only "modification" I make to this recipe is that I use Dutch Process Cocoa instead of the regular cocoa, it has a stronger flavor. I think this cake is better than any I've had in a restaurant.

Feb 07, 2004

I also have this recipe, which is our all-time family favorite. It is absolutely the best cake I've ever eaten. At family reunions, everyone knows to get their piece of this cake as they go through the dinner line, or there won't be any left at dessert time! One thing I do differently is cutting the layers with a string or very sharp knife, making 4 layers. When you frost in between the layers, and leave the sides unfrosted, it is such a festive looking dessert. This is definately a "must have" recipe.

Sep 25, 2006

This cake turned out so good! I baked it in 2 8 inch heart shaped pans and had just a little bit of batter left. I recommend using paste food color (find at a hobby shop) bc liquid affects the flavor. Also, to those complaining about grainy frosting, mix it a little longer (I use a kitchenaid). The directions are so precise (does anyone else feel they're being scolded when reading this?) but not about how long to whip the frosting in the last step. It takes a little while. Keep beating until the frosting gets smooth. It will. Excellent flavor, loved it!


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 513 kcal
  • 26%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 66.6 g
  • 21%
  • Cholesterol
  • 74 mg
  • 25%
  • Fat
  • 25.7 g
  • 40%
  • Fiber
  • 1.1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 5.8 g
  • 12%
  • Sodium
  • 502 mg
  • 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Mealtime Money-Savers
Mealtime Money-Savers

Browse through over 500 recipes for delicious, budget-friendly meals.

Can What You Can't
Can What You Can't

The old saying goes, "Eat what you can, and can what you can't!" We have the know-how.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Red Velvet Cake I

See how to make a delicious and beautiful layered cake.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

A wheat-free red velvet cake with soft texture and yummy chocolate flavor.

Red Velvet Cake

This classic cake is a stunner for the holidays, or any time.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States