Red Velvet Cake is one of my all time favorite things. And, cakes are one of my favorite things to bake. But, until this weekend, I had never made a Red Velvet Cake. The reason is… it was just too emotional.

From the moment I was introduced to Red Velvet Cake and started talking about it, I realized it was one of those foods that is always under debate. What makes a true Red Velvet Cake? Who has the BEST recipe? If it isn’t the traditional Southern recipe, is it even Red Velvet Cake? I have seen many different recipes and it was too overwhelming to decide which to try.

The other emotional barricade to making my own Red Velvet Cake was that I just love it too much. I have a problem. When I love a certain food too much and I look forward to eating it and the recipe or flavor is disappointing, I get upset. I cry. No kidding. There are a few good stories here but I will not digress.

Inspired by this beautiful dessert, the need to bring something to a Super Bowl party and the impending Valentine’s Day holiday, I decided to saddle up this weekend, brace myself and bake my first Red Velvet Cake.

I started by searching the web and continued to find some serious debate here. I have to admit that when I saw a credible source write “Red Velvet Cake is nothing more than white or yellow cake with food coloring” I felt angry. Not just perturbed. Angry. What about the touch of cocoa, the buttermilk… vinegar?! Anyway, I like oil cakes over butter cakes usually so I started with a recipe, increased a few things… decreased a few things, added my favorite Cream Cheese Frosting and made a layer cake as well as a few cupcakes.

The result was really quite good, especially when I popped the first warm cupcake in my mouth which was oozing with warm, melting cream cheese frosting. It was not amazingly GREAT. But, I didn’t cry.

So, there are a few courses of action for the readers that I will propose:

1. If you don’t care that much about this cake, move on.
2. If you love Red Velvet Cake but don’t like to bake, mail order one from here. You will not be disappointed.
3. If you have this Red Velvet Cake thing figured out, send me your recipe!
4. If you are a baker, try this recipe and please send your honest criticism or praise.

Red Velvet Cake with Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temp
2 large eggs
2 T red food coloring
1 t white distilled vinegar
1 t vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 – 9 inch cake pans or make cupcakes. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, slat and cocoa. In another bowl whisk oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla together until combined. Mix wet and dry ingredients together in a stand mixer with paddle attachment just until combined. Fill pans and bake about 30 minutes for cakes, 18-20 minutes for cupcakes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting
(this makes a lot of frosting – use half for cupcakes)
1 lb. cream cheese
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Add powdered sugar little by little. Mix in vanilla and then fold in nuts by hand. Put frosting in refrigerator until stiff enough to frost the cakes.

Related Posts with Thumbnails PRINT RECIPE

21 Responses to “Red Velvet Cake & High Flying Emotion”

  1. Luisa Says:

    That is a lovely, lovely photo!

  2. Claire Says:

    It’s sad that the cake didn’t turn out great because the photo is lovely! I’ll try the recipe this weekend and let you know my results.

  3. Maggie Says:

    I love red velvet cake too, and I can’t decide whether I love the taste or the way it looks more. I don’t know how yours tastes, but it looks BEAUTIFUL and very Valentines-y!

  4. Jodi Says:

    Funny coincidence…since reading O Magazine this month with a picture of a beautiful red velvet cake with what appeared to be cream cheese frosting, this cake has been on my mind. I have been searching for a recipe…dreaming about it…wondering what it tastes like. I must be honest, I’ve never had it before. It just looks so darn beautiful, and I seem to be drawn to red right now. I will give your recipe a try and let you know.

  5. Molly Says:

    I have to chime in too – that’s one gorgeous photograph! And as for the cake recipe, it looks like there’s a great one here: A little hard to read, maybe, but worth a shot!

  6. Casey Says:

    Oooo I love red velvet cake. Yours looks super moist. Love the photo too, looks amazing!

  7. Whipped » Blog Archive » Breakfast for Dinner Says:

    [...] A week or so ago, I found some additional buttermilk in my refrigerator, leftover from the Red Velvet Cake I baked the week before. In the same way that I will see any movie starring Bill Murray because I am pretty sure I will love it, I will try any new recipe that includes buttermilk. My Dutch mother-in-law drinks it straight and I admit that my love affair has not gone that far. But, I have yet to find a recipe with buttermilk that I do not like. One of my favorites is the buttermilk pancake recipe that a friend gave me a couple of years ago. It is so easy and so delicious, I have not used a pancake mix since then. [...]

  8. Stolk Says:

    Had my first taste of red velvet cake (in cupcake form!) this weekend at a neighbor’s house. The neighbors introduced me to Saint Cupcake, a bakery with two locations in my fantastic city of Portland. Check out and your mouth will water. The red velvet was the most beautiful color, like that perfect shade of lipstick I’m always searching for, and it had a huge dollop of cream cheese frosting on it with a few springy lime green sprinkles. I’m not sure if it was the cake or the packaging, but it was the most fantastic thing I’ve eaten in a long time.

  9. Whipped » Blog Archive » Overnight Oatmeal Muffins Says:

    [...] If you have been reading for awhile, you know that I love EVERYTHING with buttermilk whether pancakes, cakes or muffins. When I first read this recipe, I knew that oats and buttermilk soaking overnight were a foundation for success. And, not only is this recipe moist and flavorful, it is quite healthy, made with all whole wheat flour and almost no fat. [...]

  10. The Soap Opera On A Cake Stand: Red Velvet Cake with Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting Says:

    [...] Recipe: Red Velvet Cake with Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting [...]

  11. Taylor Says:

    I tried your red velvet recipe today and just wanted to say that the frosting was fantastic and the recipe made the cakes so moist and fluffy. very very delicious. thank you.

  12. Billy’s Bakery, New York City Says:

    [...] p.s. Speaking of Red Velvet Cake, it may be time to bake one up with Valentine’s Day on its way. (Seems like a good time to eat red cake.) I think I will revisit this Red Velvet Cake recipe, which i haven’t made since last year. Tags: billys bakery, magnolia bakery, new york bakery, red velvet cake [...]

  13. Nervous Girlfriend Says:

    My boyfriends favorite dessert in the world is a good Red Velvet Cake, but he has stopped ordering it because he has been continually disappointed by what people are serving as Red Velvet Cake. His birthday is coming up in a couple of days and I really wish to bake him a cake, I’m just in such a dilemma! If I have ever had a Red Velvet Cake I don’t remember anything distinctive about it, and since my bf doesn’t order it anywhere I don’t even have an idea of what to compare it to. He loves key lime pie and sour cream donuts. I can only guess that the buttermilk and vinegar gives the cake a bit of a “bite” that he likes. Does the above recipe fit those characteristics? Have you found a recipe that you like better?

  14. Marcy Says:

    Hello, after making (and loving) your chocolate cake recipe with beets, I’m curious if you’ve ever tried making Red Velvet Cake with beets for the color instead of food coloring? I’ll be making a red velvet cake for a friend’s birthday this weekend and am planning to use beets but probably won’t have time to experiment with it first so am hoping to glean some advice.

    Love your blog!

  15. KimV Says:

    I emailed you my recipe! Love Love Love your blog… subscribed to your feed!

  16. Lisa B Says:

    Red Velvet Cake

    For cake
    1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter or shortening, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup red food coloring
    2 teaspoons cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 1/2 cups plus 5 tablespoons Swans Down Cake Flour
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    For frosting
    1 cup milk
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter or 1 stick unsalted butter and 8 ounces cream cheese
    1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Make cake: In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter or shortening and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl whisk together food coloring and cocoa powder and add with salt to butter mixture, beating until blended. In another small bowl stir together buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour to butter mixture in batches alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until batter is blended well. In another small bowl stir together vinegar and baking soda and gently stir into batter, do not beat.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottoms of two 9- by 2-inch buttered cake pans with parchment paper. Butter paper and flour pans, knocking out excess.
    3. Divide batter between pans and smooth tops. Bake layers in middle of oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes before turning out onto racks. Remove paper from cakes and cool completely.
    4. Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate and spread evenly with about 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer and spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake.
    5. Make frosting: In a small saucepan stir together milk and flour and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until thick. Cool milk mixture. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until blended well. Add cool milk mixture and beat until spreadable.

  17. eye candy « blonde+blue Says:

    [...] via Whipped the Blog [...]

  18. R. Says:

    I LOVE red velvet cake. The recipe I used is from my great aunt (it was her “secret” recipe, so I highly guard and treasure it). One thing I’ve run across in most red velvet cake recipes (incl. my great aunt’s) is that you should add the soda to the vinegar last thing. For instance, cream the butter and sugar, add eggs, food coloring, cocoa and vanilla, add flour, salt and buttermilk alternately, THEN mix together your soda and vinegar and add it to the batter and mix, transfer to pans and bake.

    I can’t properly explain what exactly the soda-vinegar component really does or why you have to do it that way, but I ALWAYS do that last and my cake turns out absolutely wonderful. Here’s a link to my Valentine’s Day red velvet cake:

  19. Kimberley Says:

    I LOVE red velvet cake/cupcakes!!! I have been trying to master this confection and I have searched far and wide for a good recipe. I find the last comment to be the most interesting… “Mix the vinegar and b/soda together and add them to the mixture…” I am very grateful for this tidbit, thank you!

  20. When Two Things You Love Unite Says:

    [...] we should review what makes a red velvet cake different than other cake.  Start by reviewing this post for my thoughts or this one for a second amazing red velvet recipe. Most importantly, it is NOT [...]

  21. Says:

    Oooohhh, this will have to definitely break my diet. I just love red velvet cake and I really have to try this recipe out!

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