Stupid-Easy Recipe for Red Velvet Layer Cake (#1 Top-Rated)


This is a classic sweet and decadent red velvet cake recipe made with buttermilk and a hint of cocoa, and topped with a soft and buttery cream cheese frosting. But unlike some red velvet cakes, this one is tinted with plant-based red food coloring as an alternative to traditional food dyes, so the color is brownish-red. The cake was created for Juneteenth, and follows the red foods theme that symbolizes bloodshed and resilience of enslaved people. To make it you’ll need two 8-inch round cake pans and parchment paper, plus a pastry bag and #22 or #21 star tip if you want to pipe a frosting border.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy-to-make recipe for Red Velvet Layer Cake.

1. Info for Red Velvet Layer Cake

  • Cook Time: 2 Hr 15 Min
  • Total Time: 2 Hr 15 Min
  • Servings: 12
  • Calories: 727.37 kcal

2. Ingredients for Red Velvet Layer Cake

  • vegetable oil
  • flour
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • buttermilk
  • red food coloring
  • vanilla extract
  • white distilled vinegar
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • cream cheese
  • confectioners’ sugar

3. Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with oil. Line bottoms of pans with parchment rounds and grease top side of paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Combine buttermilk, food coloring, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and the vinegar in a bowl or large measuring cup; set aside.
  4. Make batter: In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat ½ cup butter and the granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.
  5. Add eggs 1 at a time and beat until combined, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  6. Decrease the mixer to low speed, then add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients and blend until smooth; do not overmix. Pour half the batter into each prepared cake pan.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, 28-32 minutes. Set pans on a rack and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the insides of cake pans and carefully tip cakes out onto cooling racks. Remove parchment paper and let cakes cool completely, about 1 hour.
  8. Make frosting: In a clean large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat remaining 1 cup butter with cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  9. Add powdered sugar and mix with increasing speed until smooth. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat on high until well combined. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  10. If you’d like flat cake layers, cut off the domed portion of each layer with a long serrated knife so both sides are flat.
  11. To assemble cake, place a spoonful of frosting on the center of your serving plate (this helps keep the cake in place). Set a cake layer on top with the flat side down (or domed side down if you did not trim it). Spread frosting on top of cake about ¼ inch thick. Place the second cake on top (domed side up if you did not trim it). Spread frosting over top and sides of the cake. If you’d like to add a border, place a #22 or #21 tip in a piping bag and fill with frosting. Place the piping tip just above the top of the cake, squeeze the bag slowly until frosting flows out, and then lift the tip up to pipe stars or other shapes. Repeat to create a border at the base of the cake.

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