"Fishy" Red Velvet Cake Recipe
"Fishy" Red Velvet Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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"Fishy" Red Velvet Cake Recipe

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4.5 24 22
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Based on an old-fashioned recipe, this unusual birthday cake will steal the show at your party. The vibrant red color is sure to make everyone's eyes open wide. The taste will bring them back for seconds. It's a "reel" fun dessert. -Elizabeth LeBlanc, Bourg, Louisiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + cooling Bake: 15 min. + cooling
MAKES:12-16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + cooling Bake: 15 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12-16 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring, optional
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring
  • Gummy fish and worms, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 524 calories, 30g fat (18g saturated fat), 107mg cholesterol, 404mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (39g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, butter flavoring and food coloring if desired. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Combine buttermilk and vinegar. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture to creamed mixture. beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, whisk together milk and flour in a saucepan. Cook, over medium heat stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Cover and cool.
  4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and butter flavoring. Gradually add cooled milk mixture and beat 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cake. Decorate with gummy fish and worms if desired. Yield: 12-16 servings.
Originally published as "Fishy" Red Velvet Cake in Taste of Home August/September 1995, p33

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Martha Ensminger User ID: 2245457 263236
Reviewed Mar. 8, 2017

"This is the absolute best Red Velvet cake I have made. (I have tried several recipes) The cake is moist and the color is very appealing and really looks like red velvet. The frosting whipped up beautifully. The recipe makes more than I need, so I store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to use later. Example: for filling between the "Twinkie cake". The "trick" to the filling is not to let the flour mixture stiffen as it cools. To prevent this I stir it frequently as it cools to prevent crusting over. It mixes very smoothly into the butter mixture, without lumps."

Jolena User ID: 87898 2433
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2014

"Wow... I just don't know how to put this. The cake was dry and the frosting I had to throw out.... it was just curdled. Maybe I did something wrong but usually have super good luck with every recipe I try from Taste of Home."

mikibunny31 User ID: 7066772 2018
Reviewed May. 10, 2014

"I made this into cupcakes and used half cake flour and half all purpose and added a little more cocoa and it came out good. Did not make frosting, I made my own cream cheese frosting and it made it taste even better."

bobirl User ID: 970142 1895
Reviewed Mar. 26, 2014

"The cake was delicious, but the icing was TOO much. 3 sticks of butter--it was unnecessary."

sydney.haskett User ID: 5084946 2601
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2013

"Also, I used two 9" pans at 325 for 25 mins, not 3."

sydney.haskett User ID: 5084946 2103
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2013

"This cake is moist and delicious. I baked mine in dark pans at 325 for 25 minutes. I was unsure about the frosting calling for granulated sugar. It was very gritty at first, but when mixed with the milk & flour mixture it smoothed out. It was actually a bit runny and did not set up like the picture (of course!) but the flavor was amazing!!"

Vicks6 User ID: 5093215 4118
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2012

"The cake batter was very thick, and my cake came out very dry."

swagner User ID: 2202984 1894
Reviewed May. 25, 2012

"I just made the frosting, and it was WONDERFUL! I usually hate frosting, but this was great!"

odilia325 User ID: 3424607 2359
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2011

"It's delicious. To make it more moist, after I let the cake cool, I poked wholes in each one with a fork. I mixed heavy whipping cream, condensed and evaporated milk, then poured it in each cake. Kind of like a tres leches cake. It was perfect."

chocoloco User ID: 1876593 1576
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2011

"Does this recipe want granulated or confectioners sugar? It says sugar but the frosting came out grainy: ("

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