Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red velvet cake is a favourite in the American South, where it is renowned for its deep red colour, velvety texture and tangy cream cheese frosting. The colour comes from a hefty splash of red food colouring, the subtle chocolate flavour from the addition of cocoa powder and the incredibly moist crumb from the use of vegetable oil (not butter) in the batter.
Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

You’ll Need

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup red food colouring (two 1 oz bottles)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
  • 2 cups assorted berries (optional)
  • Two 9" round metal baking pans, sprayed with non-stick baking spray with flour

Prep and Cook

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula.
  • Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Spread batter evenly in prepared pans, dividing equally.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto rack to cool completely.
  • Place one cake layer, flat side up, on a cake plate or platter. Spread ¾ cup of the frosting evenly over bottom layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat side down. Spread the remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. If desired, arrange berries decoratively on top. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


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