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

Makeover Red Velvet Cake Recipe

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I’ve had this recipe for over 45 years and it has become our family’s favorite cake, but I would love to see it get a light makeover. —Betty Selchow, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
Healthy Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 241 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 50 mg cholesterol, 315 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.


  1. Line two 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; coat paper with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the applesauce, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 14-18 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. For frosting, in a small saucepan, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Cool to room temperature. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in flour mixture and vanilla. Spread between layers and over top of cake. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Makeover Red Velvet Cake in Healthy Cooking December/January 2013, p23

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Reviewed Jan. 7, 2015

"I haven't tried this yet but I think I will try pureed beets instead of food coloring and applesauce. I'm a little scared of the amount of food coloring."

Reviewed Jul. 28, 2013

"I like the taste but not the texture. Overall, it is a good cake. Won 2nd place at my county fair!"

Reviewed Jul. 13, 2013

"My family and I love red velvet cake. I really liked this "made over" version. It is moist and delicious with less fat and calories."

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