Grandma's Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Grandma's Red Velvet Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Grandma's Red Velvet Cake Recipe

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4.5 13 16
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In our family no one thinks it’s Christmas without the Red Velvet Cake. I baked the first one for Christmas in 1963 when I found the recipe in the newspaper and my Mother kept the tradition going into the ’80s. It’s different than other Red Velvet Cakes I’ve tasted over the years, since this one tastes only mildly chocolate and the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn H. Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:14 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 14 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 bottles (1 ounce each) red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 595 calories, 34g fat (21g saturated fat), 115mg cholesterol, 564mg sodium, 71g carbohydrate (52g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool layers 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For frosting, in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir water into cornstarch until thickened and opaque, 2-3 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Beat butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in cornstarch mixture. Gradually add confectioners' sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Yield: 14 servings.
Originally published as Grandma's Red Velvet Cake in Reminisce February/March 2009, p 50

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Reviewed Oct. 25, 2011

"I made this recipe but I thought it had an underlying egg tast to it. Everyone liked it, and i will use it, but I will still try other recipes."

Reviewed May. 8, 2011

"This cake is exceptionally good and the icing delicious. I used 1 bottle of red food coloring as suggested and increased the baking cocoa to 4 tbsp. Tossed my old red velvet cake recipe and replaced it w/ this one! Really tasty and the presentation is great when garnished w/ a raspberry sauce and a few fresh raspberries. A keeper!"

Reviewed Mar. 8, 2011

"I have never rated a recipe before but I have made this recipe both as a cake and cupcakes 3 times within a one month period. They are my families new favorite. I did make 2 minor changes. I use only 1 bottle of red food coloring and add 1 more tablespoon of baking cocoa. Hope you enjoy as much as we have."

Reviewed Feb. 18, 2011

"I would make the cake but not the frosting. It was runny no matter how much extra 10X sugar I added. It slid right off the cake even after two extra cups. Ended up making a favorite buttercream recipe that I use often that was so much better."

Reviewed Feb. 15, 2011 Edited May. 9, 2016

"Super moist cake with THE best buttercream frosting ever!!"

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