How To Make Red Velvet Cake

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What Makes A Red Velvet Cake The Best

How to make Red Velvet Cake – Easy Recipe – I Heart Recipes

Red velvet shouldnt be too sweet, since the cake is often topped with cream cheese frosting. You want a nice balance of flavors.

In more traditional Southern kitchens, you may also find red velvet topped with ermine frosting. This is a cooked frosting made from a roux with flour, sugar, and water.

Its a different style, but I personally prefer cream cheese frosting, especially since I really love my cream cheese frosting!

Ive included that recipe below for you too.

Best Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Easy, moist red velvet cake recipe full of Southern charm with a secret ingredient! Frosted with Cream Cheese frosting!

Watch me make this Easy, Moist Red Velvet Cake from start to finish!

There is something so elegant about a red velvet cake. Maybe its the name or that beautiful, bold red color. Or maybe its the delicate crumb and light chocolatey flavor with a tad bit of tang from the buttermilk.

Whatever it is, Im totally present for all things RED VELVET!!! Red Velvet Pound Cake anyone??

Ive been getting a lot of requests for red velvet cake. Being from the south my recipe options were endless. I swear everybody in my family has their way of making red velvet cake and to them, it is the best!!

Hooooowever, I still knew that the perfect red velvet cake was still out there somewhere.

I have been on the search for the best homemade red velvet cake recipe for a while now actually. I wanted one that was easy, super moist, melt-in-your-mouth soft with that signature light chocolatey buttermilk red velvet flavor.

Ive tried a few recipes that wereOK. Nothing that really blew my heels off though. Until I played around with merging three recipes and out came THE MASTERPIECE!!! Or at least we think so in my house!

The Perfect Easy Red Velvet Cake Recipe

First, theres a few key ingredients:

  • Butter & oil. Butter adds flavor and oil makes the crumb extra moist.
  • Cake flour. It gives the lightest, most delicate cake crumb. If you dont have cake flour you can use a combination of cornstarch & all-purpose flour , but I find cake flour works the best.
  • Buttermilk. It creates a soft, deliciously moist cake thats synonymous with red velvet. It also adds a slight tanginess to the flavor thats key.
  • Finally, vinegar. At the very end, we mix vinegar into the cake batter. Vinegar reacts with the baking soda to help the cake rise. It also helps to bring out the red color of the cake when it reacts with the cocoa powder, and it adds just enough acidity to give the cake its classic red velvet flavor.
  • Make sure your butter, eggs and buttermilk are at room temperature before getting started so you dont have to over mix your cake batter. Over mixing cake batter can cause your cake to get tough and dry instead of moist and tender.

    The amount of red food coloring you use in this recipe is a little up to you. For these photos I used 2 ½ tablespoons for the perfect color. But you can play around with the amount if you prefer a little less or a little more. Gel or liquid food coloring will both work too.

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    What Gives Red Velvet Cake Its Flavor

    The distinct flavors of red velvet cake come from the buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese frosting. Some red velvet cake recipes use only a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, giving virtually no chocolate flavor. This leads some people to think that red velvet cake is simply a white cake dyed red. A true red velvet cake is a distinct chocolate flavor in addition to a slight acidic flavor.

    How To Make Buttermilk

    How to Make Red Velvet Cake (with Pictures)

    For this DIY buttermilk recipe, youll need some milk and an acid. You can use any kind of milk, I typically use whole milk because its what I usually have on hand. For the acid, I usually use fresh lemon juice, but you can also use distilled white vinegar.

    Youll start by adding 1 tablespoon of either fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar into a measuring cup.

    Once youve added the acid, pour in 1 scant cup of milk. In other words, youll pour the milk into the measuring cup until it reaches the 1 cup line. Then, stir the mixture together well and set it aside for about 5 to 10 minutes before using it in your recipe. The mixture should look a little curdled, thats when you know its ready.

    Side note: I use these OXO angled measuring cups and love them! You dont have to worry about getting to eye level with the measuring cup to make sure you have the right amount.

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    Red Velvet Cake Recipe

    This homemade Red Velvet Cake is soft and moist with an irresistible Cream Cheese Frosting. This is the most requested cake recipe on our site.

    This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

    We love making cakes for special occasions and Red Velvet is a classic choice for Valentines Day, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is to make this bakery-quality Red Velvet Cake recipe.

    A Few Final Recipe Tips:

    A food scale is the best way to divide your batter evenly between cake pans. If you dont have a food scale, use a large scoop to divide the batter between the pans. Its not perfect, but it works!

    To keep the cake layers ultra-moist, wrap them in plastic after the resting period and let them cool that way. You can place them wrapped in the cooled cake pans and let them sit overnight at room temperature. If youre in a rush, put them in the refrigerator until theyre chilled. This takes a few hours, but less time than waiting overnight.

    Doing this gives your red velvet cake the most moist and perfect crumb! You dont need to add simple syrup or any other cake hack to add moisture to this recipe. Its so good!

    If youd like more red velvet cake inspo, dont forget to check the cupcakes listed above, my baked red velvet donuts, or vegan red velvet cookies.

    For cakes, be sure to check out the other cake recipes in my Perfect Cake Recipe From Scratch series

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    Why Should You Use This Red Velvet Cake

    There are 3 more specific things about this recipe which might be a bit different to other Red Velvet recipes you have seen, but theres a reason for it.

    1. Cake flour its a must! Its key to achieving that soft silky sponge, just like what you get from posh bakeries. However, if you really cant find it, please see the notes for a substitute 2. Only 2 eggs Ive seen some recipes call for up to 5 eggs. I only use 2. Its enough to hold the cake together just fine any more than 2, and find the cake begins to start tasting eggy and3. Buttermilk For almost every other baking recipe that I make using buttermilk, I say that you can substitute with lemon juice + milk which, when left for 5 minutes, curdles to have the same effect as using buttermilk. Not for this recipe sorry! It is just not the same part of the reason mine was zara zara.

    Oh, and one more rule. There is no substitute for Philadelphia Cream Cheese for the frosting. Ive tried better value store-brand cream cheese before. It is never the same. Promise.

    I bake the layers in 2 separate tins, but if you dont have two tins, you can make one big one and cut the cake in half. And to make the layers nice and neat, I cut the dome top off.

    I like to crumble the off cuts and use it to decorate the cake. I think it looks pretty, dont you? But thats purely optional!

    The Best Food Coloring

    Red Velvet Cake Recipe | How to Make Red Velvet Cake

    We highly recommend using gel food coloring rather than a liquid one. We purchased the 12-color starter kit which is great for any baking project.

    • Gel is more concentrated so you need less of it. This cake calls for just 1/2 teaspoon of super red #120 gel color and you could get away with using 1/4 tsp and still maintain a nice color.
    • Gel is thicker which means its less likely to water down your batter or frosting.

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    Baking Tips For Red Velvet Cake

    • Be sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before getting starting.
    • Make sure to sift the dry ingredients to remove any lumps of cocoa powder. This will also help to keep the cake soft and light.
    • I suggest creaming the butter and sugar together for about 4-5 minutes. Creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy incorporates more air into your cake batter creating a softer, lighter cake.
    • Alternate mixing the dry ingredients in three additions with the buttermilk, this will help to prevent over mixing the cake batter.

    What Does Red Velvet Cake Taste Like

    Red velvet cake tastes like a light chocolate cake with vanilla buttermilk notes. Its a signature flavor that is well-loved in the south. Velvet cakes have a tender crumb and always consist of buttermilk and distilled vinegar. Check out this lemon velvet cake below for a different spin!

    This red velvet cake recipe is SUPERB!!!! And it passes the stick to the back of the fork test like a champ!

    Adding a bit of coffee to the batter isnt traditional for red velvet cakes but it adds another layer of flavor and really hypes up the chocolatey taste to perfection. Not to mention the extra liquid makes this cake do doggone soft so dont skip it!

    Even if you have to run to Mickey Ds or the gas station to get a cup of coffee! I prefer flavored coffee. When I make this cake for people I always use vanilla biscotti or chocolate-flavored coffee. But plain will do just fine too.

    Oh and dont worry, you cant taste the coffee.

    Want cupcakes? Check out these red velvet cupcakes!

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    How To Make Red Velvet Cake From Scratch

    This cake is made using the classic creaming method. That means we beat the butter and sugars together to incorporate air into the batter and create the base. Then we add the remaining dry and liquid ingredients, starting and ending with dry ingredients, until we have a smooth batter.

    With this cake, the time to incorporate air into the batter is during the butter and sugar creaming process! You dont want to beat the batter too much once youve added the flour because that will activate the gluten and make your cake dense.

    You can mix this cake by hand using a hand mixer, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Ive done both and the results are equally delectable.

    When you are creaming the butter and sugar, look for the mixture to turn a pale yellow and look fluffy. Too much and your butter will get too warm to provide adequate structure to your cake. If you dont cream enough, you wont have enough air incorporated into the batter so it wont rise much.

    King Arthur Baking has a whole article about the science behind it here if you want to geek out a little.

    After youve got your butter and sugar combined, youll add your eggs. Add them one at a time and scrape the bowl after each addition to make sure theyre well incorporated. If you add all the eggs at once, youll have to mix a lot, which means you can knock all the air out of your butter mixture.

    How To Make This Red Velvet Cake

    Best Red Velvet Cake

    To make this red velvet cake, youll start by whisking together your dry ingredients: cake flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. I suggest using cake flour because it has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour which creates a softer, lighter cake. When it comes to cake flour, two of my favorite brands are Pillsbury Softasilk and Swans Down.

    Theres also 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder in this cake so the cake isnt super chocolatey, but it has a hint of chocolate that is expected in red velvet cakes. Once youve whisked together the dry ingredients I suggest sifting them as well to remove any lumps of cocoa powder and help keep the cake light.

    Then, mix up the wet ingredients starting with some unsalted butter and granulated sugar. I suggest creaming the butter and sugar together for about 4-5 minutes. Why? Creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy incorporates more air into your cake batter creating a softer, lighter cake.

    Once the butter and sugar are creamed together, youll beat in two eggs until well combined. Then mix in the rest of the wet ingredients: some oil, red food coloring, vanilla extract, and distilled white vinegar. The oil helps to keep the cake incredibly moist, so I use a combination of butter and oil in this cake.

    Then, just level your cakes and frost it however you like. I used the Wilton 1M piping tip for the swirls on top of this cake.

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    This Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe You Will Ever Try

    My mom would always make this velvet red cake cake from scratch on Christmas when I was growing up. I never really thought too much about it, except that it was a special occasion cake. She would go to the trouble of making the cake, cooking the frosting, and carefully frosting it. It was a rustic beauty.

    How Can I Scale This Recipe For Difference Sizes Of Pans

    The distinct flavors of red velvet cake come from the buttermilk, vinegar, cocoa powder, and cream cheese frosting. Some red velvet cake recipes use only a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder, giving virtually no chocolate flavor. This leads some people to think that red velvet cake is simply a white cake dyed red. A true red velvet cake is a distinct chocolate flavor in addition to a slight acidic flavor.

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    Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

    HAPPY RED VELVET CAKE DAY. Why are we yelling? Because we are SO excited for you to make this tender and moist red velvet cake recipe with the dreamiest cream cheese frosting. This homemade red velvet cake is perfectly chocolatey with a velvety crumb that melts in your mouth. Youre going to love it. Plus its sandwiched together with thick layers of cream cheese frosting which you know is a win in my book.

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