Best Red Velvet Cake

“It’s just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow.” —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina

Best Red Velvet CakePhoto: Taste of Home
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
14servings 30minutes 20minutes + cooling
Servings Prep Time
14servings 30minutes
Cook Time
20minutes + cooling
Portions: servings
Portions: servings
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in food colouring, vinegar and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool layers 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, combine water and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until thickened and opaque, 2-3 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Beat butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in cornstarch mixture. Gradually add confectioners' sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.
Recipe Notes

Red Velvet Cake Tips

What can you use instead of buttermilk in this red velvet cake recipe?

A craving for red velvet cake doesn’t always coincide with having buttermilk in your refrigerator. Luckily, there are a number of substitutes you can use in place of buttermilk. Our go-to is milk and lemon juice or vinegar. For each cup of buttermilk needed, use 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar or lemon juice, plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, and let stand for 5 minutes before you add to the mixture.

Do you need to sift the dry ingredients when making this red velvet cake recipe?

Plenty of cake recipes ask you to sift the flour. There are good reasons for it: Sifting before you measure the flour aerates it, so you won’t scoop too much. Sifting after you measure lightens the flour, making it easier to mix with the other ingredients (and sometimes you’ll sift flour with the other ingredients to thoroughly combine them). But here’s the good news: You can skip the sift and use a whisk instead. Whisk the flour right in your canister if the recipe calls for sifting before measuring. Otherwise, just pour all the dry ingredients into a bowl and give them a good whisking. This will both aerate the flour and evenly distribute the ingredients.

How can you make cupcakes from this red velvet cake recipe?

To adjust this recipe for cupcakes, keep the baking temperature the same, but reduce your time closer to 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

How do you store red velvet cake?

The best way to store this cake is under a cake dome or in a cake keeper. After you’ve sliced a frosted cake, press plastic wrap onto the exposed sponge, which will keep it from drying out. Be sure to eat your cake within three to four days, or freeze your cake (frosted or unfrosted) for up to three months. —Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 595 calories, 34g fat (21g saturated fat), 115mg cholesterol, 564mg sodium, 71g carbohydrate (52g sugars, 1g fibre), 4g protein.