Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Single slice on a serving plate with two second slices in the background.

The ultimate red velvet cake! It's a decadent, flavorful, gorgeously red and tender cake topped with a sweet, rich cream cheese frosting. It's perfectly melt-in-your-mouth fluffy and amazingly moist. A dessert that's sure to impress!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Velvet Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 16
Calories: 706 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (354g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 3 Tbsp (19g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 oz liquid red food coloring
  • 1 1/3 cups (315ml) buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar

Frosting

  • 16 oz cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, nearly at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (720g) powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. For the Red Velvet Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 (9-inch) round cake pans then line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper and butter parchment, set aside.

  2. Add flour, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Sift in cocoa powder then whisk mixture 20 seconds, set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together sugar and butter until pale and fluffy (this will take several minutes whipping on high speed). Mix in vegetable oil. Scrape down bowl.

  4. Blend in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Mix in egg yolks then red food coloring. Scrape down bowl.

  5. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out buttermilk then whisk in vanilla extract and vinegar. Working in three separate, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. 
  6. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and gently fold batter just to ensure it's evenly incorporated. 

  7. Divide mixture evenly among three prepared baking pans. Spread into an even layer and bake in preheated oven 26 - 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. 
  8. Cool in cake pan 10 minutes then run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Store cake in an airtight container in refrigerator.
  9. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Mix cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer until smooth and fluffy (or alternately use stand mixer).
  10. Mix in vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy*. Spread over cooled cake.

Recipe Notes

  • At this point I like to freeze frosting for about 5 minutes then mix again for a more stable consistency.