Homemade Red Velvet Cake

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Bright and vibrant in color, this homemade red velvet cake recipe is rich and moist with a tender crumb. Top with cooked frosting for a simple, lightly sweet flavor!

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A close up of a slice of cake on a plate, with Red velvet cake and Cream cheese

Homemade Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Not much can beat the bright, bold look of red velvet cake. Homemade red velvet cake is easy to make with this no-fail recipe.

Buttermilk Cake

We have several cakes that are made with buttermilk, this one included. Buttermilk adds flavor and keeps the cake tender. The acid in buttermilk breaks down strands of gluten, making the cake have an amazing texture.

If need a substitute for buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the cup the rest of the way with milk. Allow the mixture to sit for several minutes, then stir it. This is an easy buttermilk substitute!

Red Velvet Cake Frosting

Red velvet cakes traditionally get frosted with cream cheese frosting or cooked flour frosting. Both frostings have very different flavor. You can find our cream cheese frosting recipe here. But if you’re looking for something a little less sweet and very different to make, try this cooked flour frosting. It’s an odd way to make frosting, but it ends up soft and silky smooth. Just try to stay out of it! 🙂

A close up of a piece of cake on a plate, with Red velvet cake and Cream

Love Red Velvet? Try these recipes!

Tools To Make Homemade Cake

  • Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make cake batter and whipped cream with a stand mixer.
  • 8” Round Cake Pan: These are my favorite pans!
  • Straight Icing Spatula: The long straight spatula makes it easy to smooth frosting.
how to make red velvet cake
how to make red velvet cake

Homemade Red Velvet Cake

4.74 from 15 votes
Bright and vibrant in color, this homemade red velvet cake recipe is rich and moist with a tender crumb. Top with cooked frosting for a simple, lightly sweet flavor!
Servings 15
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

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For the Frosting:

For the Cake:


For the Frosting:

  • In a saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk over medium-low heat until it thickens. Stir it constantly, lowering the heat to low if needed. The consistency should be very thick, like mashed potatoes. This step took about 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and set the pan in a bowl of ice for 5-10 minutes to quicken the cooling process. The temperature of the mixture should be at room temperature.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • If you have a food processor, process the white sugar for a minute or so so that the granules become finer.
  • While the mixture is cooling, cream together the butter and processed sugar using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Do this for 5 minutes until the sugar is completely creamed and there is no graininess left.
  • Add the cooled flour mixture and beat it until it all combines and looks like whipped cream. This will take about another 3-5 minutes of beating. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl while the mixture is beating together so that everything gets well incorporated. The mixture have the texture of a fluffy whipped cream. Set aside the frosting until you are ready to frost the cake.

For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together the shortening and sugar.
  • Add eggs and mix well.
  • Add the cocoa and red color and mix again.
  • Add the buttermilk, salt and flour. Mix well.
  • Lastly, add the vinegar and baking soda and mix until the batter is smooth.
  • Grease (with shortening) and flour two 8" round baking pans.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
  • Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the cake bounces back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then turn them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Assemble the Cake

  • Once the cakes are cool, place one cake on a cake plate. Spread frosting on top of that layer, then place the other cake on top of the frosted cake. Use the remainder of the frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.


The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces and using all of the frosting, with 1 serving being 1 slice of frosted cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. Also, if you use less frosting, the serving will be less calories.


Calories: 584kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 558mg | Potassium: 105mg | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 584
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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4.74 from 15 votes (14 ratings without comment)
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E COhan
2 years ago

I made this for the first time yesterday with minor changes… I changed the amount of Cocoa to 2 Tablespoons to give it more chocolate flavor, added 3 TBLS of softened butter (to keep it from being too dry) and changed the amount of flour in icing to 10 tablespoons based on another version of this icing. Probably because of the extra cocoa, my cake turned out to be a dark brown red instead of the vibrant red in the pictures. I LOVED how moist the cake turned out compared to my other RV Cake recipe… I think I will… Read more »

4 years ago

Hello! What brand food coloring do you use to get it a bright red? My cakes come out dark red.

Jessica Kepley
5 years ago

Can I make this into a sheet cake instead of a layer cake? Also is there something different I can use in place of shortening in the cake?