Red Velvet Cake Recipe


I was never a big fan of the Red Velvet Cake until I happened upon this recipe.

I’m not quite sure where along my pastry path I acquired it, but it has been with me for several years and it does not disappoint!

The first reaction you may have is to the amount of oil in the recipe, but in combination with the ratio of other ingredients, it really is not that startling.

Many have asked if they can use melted butter in place of the oil……and sure you can….but please read What is Cake before you make that decision.

This recipe is so easy and so moist and as a bonus- it does not require a mixer!

I call it my “One Bowl Mix!” (Ok 2 bowls)

Once you have baked and cooled this cake you can go ahead and build it up “The classic Way”  (well the classic way I prepared it when I owned my bakery!)

I use both the cream cheese icing and the buttercream recipes for the filling and icing, and I came up with a new decor for the finished Red Velvet Layer Cake

Feel free to ice it up anyway you like!

I can’t wait to see what you think and how you decorate your finished cake!

5 from 1 reviews
Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Prepare 2- 8" cake pans with Pan Grease
Preheat your oven to 350° F

For those of you who cannot get buttermilk, just add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar (or lemon juice) to 1 cup of milk and let it stand at room temp for about 15 minutes or so. It will get nice and thick like buttermilk.
Yield: 2- 8" layers (or 18 standard Cupcakes)
  • All Purpose Flour 2½ cups (324g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1½ cups (300g)
  • Baking Soda 1 teaspoon (5g)
  • Salt 1 teaspoon (6g)
  • Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 2 Tablespoons (24g)
  • Vegetable Oil ¾ cup (175ml)
  • Buttermilk 1 cup (237ml)
  • Eggs Large 2 (100g)
  • Red Food Color 1 Tablespoon (or the whole McCormick .5fl oz Squeeze Bottle)
  • White Vinegar 1 teaspoon
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
  1. Into a large bowl sift together the Flour, Baking Soda, Salt and Cocoa Powder
  2. In another bowl, add the red food color and the vinegar to the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.
  3. Add all of the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together by hand until all is combined and smooth about 15 strokes.
  4. Divide the batter amongst your prepared pans and bake immediately in a preheated 350°F oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or Until It Is Done.
Use the cake right away to build your own combination layer cake, or wrap well and freeze for up to 1 month.

Check out What is Cake as I mentioned in the video for more info about cake recipes


  1. temi says

    Hi gretchen,
    they do not sell butter milk or whole milk here in Nigeria: it is either powdered milk,evaporated milk or condensed milk. i have heard of making butter milk by adding vinegar and tried it. however the cake cake out moist but very salty, i think it was too much vinegar right. Should i remove the original vinegar listed in the recipe. (sorry my post is long)

  2. Shanice Phelps says

    Hi Gretchen, I was wondering if using vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract will make a difference in this cake recipe..& is there any recipes that using vanilla paste will enhance the flavor of the cake?

    • Gretchen says

      I prefer to use Vanilla Paste when you will actually SEE the specks of vanilla (lol thats just my weird opinion) I feel like why waste those lovely specks on a cake like choco or red when you wont even see it! I used it in my Yellow Cake and LOVED IT!

  3. Rona James says

    Hi Gretchen. I made your red velvet cake for my sister in laws wedding and they loved it. Now, I was asked to make a 13 by 9 birthday cake. How much should I increase the recipe? Thanks.

  4. says

    Hi Gretchen,

    Great to have you back on the interweb!

    I made this for a staffroom birthday at my wife’s work and it was a total hit! Thanks for the recipe as this is the first red velvet I’ve ever made. By the sounds of things I’ve found my recipe for the next one, and the next one and the one after that!

    I would love to link back to it from my blog it that’s all right?

    • Gretchen says

      Hey Great! Thanks for the feedback Im so glad you found a winner! Sure thing to link in your blog!

  5. Keila says

    Hi Gretchen, would you recommend this cake be done in a four inch high pan? If so, what would be the ideal baking time? I prefer to bake in those pans when I’m doing wedding cakes as I get perfectly straight sides vs baking in two or three different layer pans. I tried another recipe which produced a very thin batter but my end result was a under cooked collapsed cake because I turned down the temp a bit too low. Would like to try your cake again but I want to be done right.

    • Gretchen says

      sure you can use a taller pan- the bake time will be significantly longer though- so beware of overbaking (sides and tops) at a higher temp, I would turn temp down to about 300° the last 25 minutes to be sure I dont dry out my cake

  6. Habsa says

    What size pans do you use, i have two 24cm pans, is it enough for the batter :) PS. I love you videos, im from Denmark.

  7. Adaeze says

    Hi Gretchen. Love the recipe, simple and easy. But when I made it it came out salty the first time. The second time I didn’t add the salt but it was still salty. What am I doing wrong?

  8. Sweet Mae's Bakery says

    You are an inspiration, thank you for sharing your talents with us. You are amazing, thank you.

  9. Licia says

    Hi Gretchen, could I cover the red velvet cake with fondant? Or will the fondant be too heavy for the cake.

  10. Karen says

    Love your recipes Gretchen!! Thank you for all of them! Question…… How many cups does this batter make? I need to fill a 16×16 cake pan. Will it be enough if I triple the recipe or should I quadruple? Thanks for your help!!

  11. Jennifer says

    Hi Gretchen, I absolutely love all of your recipes and have never had a negative comment with anything of yours that I make, you are a genius. This red velvet with your cream cheese icing is the most popular too. My friend even asked me to make this as her wedding cake, and it was all gone by the end of the night! Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing with us!!!

  12. funny14life says

    Hey Gretchen, can I substitute cake flour for all purpose in this recipe for an even lighter cupcake? The cake flour would still be the same amount right?

    • Gretchen says

      You can do it (I prefer the AP here because this is a very heavy liquid recipe, AP absorbs a bit better than cake flour) but you can do it yes same amount

  13. Kateena Innis says

    Hi Gretchen! I was wondering if I could use blue food coloring instead of red to make a blue velvet recipe. I’m wondering if the blue color would be as vibrant as the red. Thanks!

      • Mona says

        I tried making blue velvet but it turned forest green, I am going to stick with red next time. They didn’t look as amazing as they tasted!

        • Gretchen says

          awe no :( Im sorry that happened! Glad they were tasty though! (I prefer to just add coloring to white cake for something like blues or pinks)

  14. Fatty Mama says

    Gretchen, YOU ARE THE BEST ! I baked this cake several times and all my friends LOVE it. Thank you !

  15. Mike says

    This is my go-to red velvet recipe now. This cake is ridiculously easy to make and is the best I’ve ever made. You don’t need any other recipe, especially all of those online that try to remedy their dry recipes with huge amounts of oil. This one’s perfect!


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