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Red Velvet Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 servings
For the cake
3 cups cake flour, scooped & leveled
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 Tablespoons red liquid food coloring (or 1 Tablespoon gel food coloring)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
For the frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons cream or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
For the cake
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 9-inch or 8-inch cake pans with circles of parchment paper in the bottoms and spray the sides with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt together. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until light and creamy. Add the oil and mix again, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Add eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, beating on medium-high speed between each addition until combined. Add vinegar and food coloring, using as much food coloring as needed to get the desired color.
Turn mixer to low speed and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk in 2-3 additions, mixing just until combined between each addition and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
Transfer batter to the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes (for 9-inch pans) or 38-43 minutes (for 8-inch pans) until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Remove from oven and cool completely.
For the frosting
Using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and cream or milk and mix on low speed until incorporated, then increase speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add vanilla and salt and beat again.
Level the cakes (if needed) so the tops are flat. Save scraps to crumble and use for decorating. Frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle the top of the cake with the reserved crumbs. Slice and serve.
Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 363mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 73g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.6mg
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Cake Flour Substitute: If you don't have cake flour, use 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour with ⅓ cup cornstarch instead.
Buttermilk Substitute: If you don't have buttermilk, you can make an easy substitute by pouring 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the rest of the way with milk and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle. Or you could whisk ¾ cup plain yogurt with ¼ cup of milk instead.
Storage: Red velvet cake should be stored in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese frosting. It will stay good for about 5 days. We think it is best when it has 1-2 hours to sit out of the fridge to come up to room temperature before serving.
Freezing: You can freeze the assembled cake or individual slices. It’s best to freeze them for 1-2 hours until the frosting on the outside is solid before wrapping in a couple of layers of plastic wrap to protect it. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge before serving.
Make-Ahead: You can make this red velvet cake in advance by baking the cake layers and freezing them for 2-3 months before thawing and assembling with freshly made frosting.
Cake Pans: This recipe can be made with either two 8-inch or 9-inch baking pans to create two layers. I like using my 8-inch pans for nice, thick layers like you see in these photos. The baking time is 30-35 minutes for 9-inch pans and 38-43 minutes for 8-inch pans.
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