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

Classic Red Velvet Cake Recipe

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3.5 11 16
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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
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

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Reviewed Oct. 24, 2015

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

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."

Reviewed Jun. 29, 2014

"It was a little dry"

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."

Reviewed Aug. 12, 2011


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