Red Velvet Cake The Only Recipe You’ll Ever Need

This red velvet cake recipe will become your go-to recipe, and I promise you that. I have tried many red velvet cake recipes before, most of them were dry, others don’t have much flavor, but today you will get to bake the best red velvet cake ever.

red velvet cake slice served on a plate.

PIN TO MAKE LATER

What is the red velvet cake?

It is a butter cake kissed by cocoa and turned red! I’m joking. It is butter cake, mixed with unsweetened cocoa powder and red food coloring is added to give it a great vibrant color.

A long time ago, beetroot juice was used to make this cake, but that required a longer time. You have to juice the beetroot, then the juice had to be boiled and reduced to half, and then it is added to the cake batter.

A slice is taken from a red velvet cake.

I was never fond of cakes sprayed or submerged in simple syrup, and the red velvet cakes I had were mostly dredged in it. Now, I’m not saying that those cakes tasted awful, but to me, the sweetness in the cake and the frosting should be enough. Adding more sugar to any cake takes away its flavor.

a whole red velvet cake and a slice on the side.

My husband bought a red velvet cake from the bakery, and it was, you guessed it, full of simple syrup. Then we tried another bakery, and this time, the flavor of the red velvet cake was amazing, but the texture was a little dry. Being the foodie I am, I had to go to the kitchen and try to come up with a red velvet cake recipe that is moist and tastes delicious.

How to Make Red Velvet Cake?

There is buttermilk in almost all the red velvet cake recipes I found, but I gave it a thought and decided to omit buttermilk and introduce an ingredient that will keep the cake moist for longer, so I used sour cream.

Close up image of red velvet cake slice.

The original recipe had butter. Although butter enhances the flavor of the cake it doesn’t help in keeping it moist; I’ve added another fat to this recipe, a fat that will keep my cake moist even when in the fridge. Now I have the flavor of the butter and another flavorless fat that will contribute in the red velvet cake moistness, a cooking oil.

dry ingredients to be sifted.

flour and cocoa sifted.

milk and sour cream in a bowl.

red velvet, milk and sour cream

butter and oil mixed

sugar added to butter and oil mix.

eggs are added to sugar and butter mixture.

vanilla is added.

food coloring is added to batter.

Dry flour mix added to batter.

red velvet cake ready to be baked.

White vinegar couldn’t find its way to this recipe! The vinegar and baking soda work together to give height to the cake. Instead, I added baking powder and cornstarch. Baking powder is a leavening agent and when you add cornstarch to all-purpose flour, the cake becomes lighter.

butter and vanilla.

confectioners sugar added.

cream cheese is added to the butter sugar mixture.

cream cheese frosting is ready

After adding all these ingredients together, you will get a delicious, moist, buttery, and good looking red velvet cake.

To me, this is the best red velvet cake recipe, but I’d like for you to give it a try and let me know how you found it.

How to ruin a Red Velvet Cake!

Side shot of red velvet cake

Over mixing the batter. You will get a tough flat cake.

Over baking. The flavor of chocolate and butter will change to something you don’t want to taste, and the cake will come out dry.

Not using the proper measurements. Use measuring spoons and cups for this recipe, do not eyeball the ingredients.

Not using good quality chocolate or using bitter chocolate.

If the oven temperature is not correct. Some ovens get hot, so you need to make sure that the temperature mentioned in the recipe is exactly the temperature of your oven.

Not preheating the oven.

Not greasing the pan or using parchment paper. This cake is delicate, and if you don’t grease and flour your pan properly, the red velvet cake will stick.

More Cake Recipes For You

Coconut Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

Coconut Cake recipe made from scratch with silky smooth buttercream frosting. My all-time favorite coconut cake recipe. Tender, delicious, moist coconut delight. Make it and let me know how you liked it. www.munatycooking.com | @munatycooking #coconutcake

Golden Yellow Cake Recipe

Golden Yellow cake. Moist and delicious yellow cake made from scratch. You’ll never want to make yellow cake mix again! This recipe is for the best yellow cake recipe I ever tried and the yellow color is not artificial. www.munatycooking.com | @munatycooking

Let’s bake this beauty!

Red velvet cake feature image.

Red Velvet Cake

This a mist and delicious red velvet cake, you don't have to use simple syrup. You can taste the butter and a hint of chocolate.
4.5 from 12 votes
Print Rate
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red velvet cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 250kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 2 ½ cup + 2 tablespoon all purpose-flour
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon softened butter

FOR THE FROSTING

  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup cream cheese

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and line two 8” baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Mix milk with sour cream and food coloring, Keep aside.
  • Sift twice the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. Keep aside.
  • In a bowl, Beat the butter with oil until well combined. Add the sugar and beat until creamy, now add the eggs and vanilla, beat well for two minutes.
  • Add the milk and sour cream mixture to the previous mixture and beat for a minute. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix gently for few seconds (not more than 7 seconds.)
  • Pour the batter in the previously prepared pans and bake for 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. (When you test if the cake is done baking, the toothpick might come out red, that’s normal. If the toothpick doesn’t have a batter on it the cake is done.)
  • Cool the cake in the pan while on a wire rack for 9 minutes. Remove cake from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.

FOR THE FROSTING

  • Beat the butter until light and creamy.
  • Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Beat for 3 minutes on medium high.
  • Now add the cream cheese and beat for 3 minutes on medium high, then beat for one minute on high.
  • The frosting is creamy, but it will be easy to use it for frosting your cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?Follow me on Instagram @munatycooking or tag #munatycooking!

close up of red velvet cake slice.

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Red velvet cake recipe. A moist cake with butter flavor and you can taste a hint of chocolate too. No need for simple syrup here, this cake stays moist for more than three days.

76 Comments

  • Jaclyn Anne

    15/08/2018 at 10:31 am

    Wowzers, this red velvet cake looks AMAZING! We love red velvet in this house, but whenever I attempt a from-scratch red velvet cake is just doesn’t come out right. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Reply
  • Chrissy

    15/08/2018 at 10:37 am

    This cake is so gorgeous! My hubby is a huge red velvet cake fan so I can’t wait to test this out over the weekend!

    Reply
    • Punam

      11/04/2019 at 1:56 am

      The recipe looks really great. But can you please give an eggless version of the red velvet cake as I don’t eat egg.

      Reply
      • munatycooking

        11/04/2019 at 4:32 am

        Hi Punam, I do not have an eggless version of this cake recipe, but every now and then I do try my hand on new eggless cakes. If you are a subscriber you will receive an email the moment I post one!

        Reply
    • munatycooking

      15/08/2018 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you, Linh! Many are good at cooking but not fond of baking, I really didn’t want anyone to miss enjoying this cake 🙂

      Reply
  • Jeanette

    15/08/2018 at 1:02 pm

    I love Red velvet cake! Is probably one of my favorite cakes to make. It’s got such a deep red color and it has such a smooth flavor. I will definitely try this one.

    Reply
  • Annaliese

    15/08/2018 at 1:51 pm

    Honestly in the past I’ve never liked red velvet cake when I’ve tried it. But your recipe looks both simple and delicious- maybe I don’t like it since I’ve never made it myself!!

    xoxo A

    Reply
  • Jaye Shields

    15/08/2018 at 4:11 pm

    This looks amazing. I got a recipe from a famous baker once for red velvet cake, but I list it! The secret she said was partly the red food coloring, because low quality adds a terrible after taste.

    Reply
    • munatycooking

      15/08/2018 at 4:48 pm

      True, some cheap quality red food coloring has a chemical-like aftertaste. I should have mentioned that in the post, but thanks for bringing this up 🙂

      Reply
    • munatycooking

      15/08/2018 at 6:06 pm

      Hey Sarah, I watched a video on Youtube on how red velvet cake was made using beetroot juice, it was interesting. However, the process was really long!

      Reply
  • Jeni Hawkins

    15/08/2018 at 8:00 pm

    I love that you put tips in there on what NOT to do! I tend to overmix, and now I see why my cakes are always so flat! I’ll be using your recipe and tips for SURE!

    Reply
  • Reesa Lewandowski

    15/08/2018 at 9:25 pm

    red velvet is my FAVORITE type of cake! This looks absolutely perfect! Just need a big glass of cold milk!

    Reply
  • Heather

    16/08/2018 at 1:47 am

    I’ve never made a red velvet cake before, so I appreciate the beginner’s guide and recipe for making it from scratch! It looks so decadent!

    Reply
  • David @ Spiced

    16/08/2018 at 7:26 am

    This is one gorgeous looking cake! I grew up eating Red Velvet Cake (it’s a staple in the southern part of the US), and this one looks better than any version I’ve ever seen. Seriously! And great idea to use sour cream to keep the cake moist. Butter is nice for flavor, but I agree that the texture is better with sour cream and oil. Thanks for sharing this one!!

    Reply
  • Jeff the Chef

    16/08/2018 at 9:53 pm

    It’s very tricky to make a moist butter cake. Simple syrup is the answer of many, many professional bakers. But I’m on your side on that; don’t care much for it except in certain circumstances where it’s adding a specific flavor to the cake. Adding sour cream is a great idea! Technically, it’s no longer just a butter cake, but it’s a fantastic combo. Your cake looks really delicious.

    Reply
    • munatycooking

      17/08/2018 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you, Jeff! I guess for professional bakers, and because they are baking ten to fifteen cakes in one go and can’t control how each cake in a batch will take to be bake, they tend to have few dry ones, hence use simple syrup!

      Reply
  • Samar

    20/08/2018 at 5:47 am

    I put it in a pre heated oven for 27 mins and it was still runny. Then I put it in for an extra 10 mins and it’s still raw. I’ve still got it I there waiting for it to bake. What did I do wrong?

    Reply
    • munatycooking

      20/08/2018 at 6:52 am

      Hi Samar! If your oven doesn’t prompt you that it has reached the temperature desired, then you have to give it 10 minutes to preheat. Another thing I can think of is, your oven doesn’t spread heat evenly. The last thing I can think of is that you have poured the batter in one deep pan instead of two baking pans, which is fine but it takes a longer time to bake around 45 minutes. Whatever the case may be, always check your cake by inserting a toothpick or a skewer in the middle of the cake and never pull the cake out of the oven until that skewer comes out clean! Hope this helped.

      Reply
  • Julie

    28/08/2018 at 6:02 pm

    I’ve enjoyed Red Velvet cake lots of times but never tried making it myself, it always seems like a lot of ingredients and faff. This looks very do able though. I’m pinning, so I can give it a try.

    Reply
  • Amy Pletcher

    14/10/2018 at 10:34 pm

    I plan on making your red velvet cake recipe for my daughter’s 13th birthday. She requested red velvet this year!! Yours looks wonderful but I need to serve a lot so I was planning on a half-sheet pan. Do I need to add more ingredients for a larger cake? I also need to make it a couple days before and store in refrigerator so she doesn’t find out 😉 it is a surprise! Thanks

    Reply
    • munatycooking

      15/10/2018 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Amy, You can double the ingredients to make a long sheet cake. Storing the cake in the fridge makes it dry so I guess it’s best to make the cake in the evening, wrap it in plastic wrap after it is completely cool, and leave it in a cool place. This way the cake will maintain its texture.

      Reply
  • Amber

    08/11/2018 at 12:42 am

    Hello there! So I made this red velvet cake for my husband for his birthday, and just let me tell you how moist and fluffy and full of flavor it was. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with all of us! I do just want to add a little note if maybe you can fix the steps of your recipe! In the ingredients you have vanilla, but if your like me and you are following each step very closely and making sure to do it right because you need to to make the cake come out just right. I noticed that in your steps you do not mention anything about vanilla. So my cake had no vanilla in it! It was good but if I had that vanilla in there omg how much better it would of been. As well as your frosting you do not mention the vanilla. Thank you again! I will be making this again!

    Reply
    • munatycooking

      09/11/2018 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Amber, Thanks for trying my recipe and thanks for your feedback. I do use Grammarly and at times it deletes repeated words. I usually catch its hiccups but not this time. I made the changes 🙂

      Reply
  • Amber

    06/01/2019 at 2:24 pm

    Last year I made my husband a chocolate cake for his birthday but I made the mistake of leaving them in the pans too long and it was a big flop (though I did turn it into chocolate cherry cake bombs so it all worked out!) I’ve had success with red velvet before, but never tried your recipe. Today is my husband’s birthday again so here’s to hoping this year is a success!!

    Reply
  • Amber

    06/01/2019 at 8:11 pm

    Looked perfect when it came out. Came out of the pans beautifully. But it was very dry😣 I’m so bummed! I guess it’s my fault since I used a recipe once that was super moist. I guess I should have stayed with that one!

    Reply
    • munatycooking

      08/01/2019 at 1:46 am

      Hi Amber, Thanks for your feedback. You might have left the cake longer in the oven or left it longer in the pan after taking it out of the oven. The cake continues to cook even after taking out of the oven, hence it turns dry. Also not using the right measurements could contribute to a dry cake if the flour measured is more than what’s in the recipe. Hope you can give this recipe a second try.

      Reply
  • Tracy Olender

    16/02/2019 at 9:01 pm

    I’m about to make this with my daughter but want to make it in a 13×9 pan. Should I just add time to the baking??

    Reply
  • Lauren

    19/03/2019 at 12:15 pm

    Well the batter tasted delicious, but I have had the cakes in the oven for almost an hour. One I had taken out after 45 min and it was literally still liquid inside. Not sure how you could manage to cook that much batter in 27 minutes. Didn’t really plan on making a cake that would take over an hour to cook. There’s no problem with my oven…not sure if anyone else has successfully cooked this is 27 minutes?

    Reply
    • munatycooking

      20/03/2019 at 3:06 am

      Hi Lauren, I’m glad that you have considered my recipe. I can think of one thing that might have gone wrong, maybe you have placed the cake batter in the oven before it’s reached the desired temperature. Preheating the oven 15 minutes before placing the cake batter is a must for the cake to bake evenly.
      The amount of batter used in this recipe can’t take longer than a maximum of 30 minutes otherwise the cake comes out dry.
      I have been making this cake for years and never changed a single thing in the recipe including the baking time.

      Reply
  • Manasi

    15/06/2019 at 8:28 am

    Hi Muna,
    Could you please let me know the brand/ exact food colouring you used? I’ve tried this cake a few years ago but the high amount of food colour (Dr Oetker) used ruined the taste completely. My family has refused to let me make any post that! I would love to try out your recipe but not without some suggestions for safe food colour brands 😀
    Thanks

    Reply

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