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Classic Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Classic Red Velvet Cake Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Classic Red Velvet Cake

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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


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."

Reviewed Nov. 2, 2009

"Not very tasty and very dry"

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."

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."

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!"

Reviewed Dec. 19, 2007

"I made this cake and it did not have much of a taste. It was also real dry. I noticed the batter was real thick.. I used self rising and omitted the salt and soda. I wonder if it would of not been so dry if I had used cooking oil instead of shortening."

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