Classic Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Classic Red Velvet Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Next Recipe

Classic Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Read Reviews
3.5 11 16
Publisher Photo
This ruby-red cake with it's lovely cream cheese frosting has become my "signature dessert." I can't go to any family function without it. The cake is very moist with a buttery chocolate taste. —Katie Sloan, Charlotte, North Carolina
Featured In: 19 Red Velvet Recipes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring
  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 5-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 583 calories, 24g fat (11g saturated fat), 77mg cholesterol, 468mg sodium, 87g carbohydrate (61g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the food coloring, vinegar, butter flavoring and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, combine frosting ingredients; beat until smooth and creamy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Classic Red Velvet Cake in Taste of Home April/May 2005, p33

Reviews for Classic Red Velvet Cake

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Please Log In or Join to add a rating and review.
Click stars to rate
Any changes to your rating or review will appear where you originally posted your review
Loading Image
Sort By :
cskrn User ID: 7338987 235525
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2015

"I used this recipe to make red velvet cake balls and they turned out fantastic!"

barb_gordon56 User ID: 3256940 225499
Reviewed Apr. 27, 2015

"So very sad, to rate a recipe because you don't like the ingredients. I didn't think that this site was for healthy recipes only. If you don't like the ingredients used, don't make it and don't rate it."

roslynrosebud User ID: 6335103 56420
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2014

"It was a little dry"

macsam1965 User ID: 4848502 60607
Reviewed May. 20, 2012

"I made this cake to celebrate a friend's birthday on a "game" night we have often. He said the cake was "awesome". My family and other guests also enjoyed the cake tremendously. Thanks so much for a recipe that I will keep and use again and again."

shalet User ID: 3690561 143989
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2011


benenati User ID: 1018870 56419
Reviewed Feb. 14, 2011

"Are you kidding? 1 bottle of red dye? Do you realize food dyes are made from petroleum in addition to acetone and coal tars and have been linked to rashes, asthma, and even tumors? You can get the same red color from beet baby food or boiling grated beets, straining them and using the red water. Red Velvet cake was actually created during WW II and chefs boiled beets to enhance the color of foods because so many products for baking were being rationed. Do not use food coloring, it is very bad for you. So much for your signature cake."

stephjamie2008 User ID: 4483299 137325
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2009

"Not very tasty and very dry"

lavenia17 User ID: 967517 121974
Reviewed May. 1, 2008

"I use one bottle of red food coloring and then fill the bottle with water and mix this with the cocoa. The paste is then added to the creamed mixter. The cake has the rich red color, but is so moist.

Also instead of mixing the vinegar and soda, I fold it into the batter."

phillipsdk User ID: 3076515 143987
Reviewed Apr. 28, 2008

"My red velvet cake calls for using only 1 tsp. of cocoa, made into a paste with the red food coloring. After everything else is mixed, add the vinegar to the baking soda, which will "fizz" then mix in. This comes out much lighter and moist. I also have a Red Velvet Icing that is lighter that my family prefers to the heavier tasting cream cheese. Make a white sauce, boiling 5 tsp. flour with 1 cup of milk & cool. Blend 1/2 cup Crisco, 1/2 cup margarine & gradually blend in 1 cup sugar and pinch of salt. Beat 10 minutes--no less. Add white sauce & 1 tsp vanilla. Fluffy & delicious! Requested for every family dinner."

abbeym06 User ID: 1858720 111815
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2008

"This cake turned out great for me. I didn't use cake flour. I did some research and found that the equivalent of 1 cup cake flour is 1 cup all purpose flour, minus 2 tablespoons. So all together I took away 5 tablespoons from the 2 1/2 cups of flour in the recipe and the cake turned out wonderfully!"

Loading Image