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"Fishy" Red Velvet Cake Recipe

"Fishy" Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Based on an old-fashioned recipe, this unusual birthday cake will steal the show at your party. The vibrant red color is sure to make everyone's eyes open wide. The taste will bring them back for seconds. It's a "reel" fun dessert. -Elizabeth LeBlanc, Bourg, Louisiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + cooling Bake: 15 min. + cooling YIELD:12-16 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring, optional
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring
  • Gummy fish and worms, optional


  • 1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, butter flavoring and food coloring if desired. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Combine buttermilk and vinegar. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture to creamed mixture. beating well after each addition.
  • 2. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 3. For frosting, whisk together milk and flour in a saucepan. Cook, over medium heat stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Cover and cool.
  • 4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and butter flavoring. Gradually add cooled milk mixture and beat 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cake. Decorate with gummy fish and worms if desired. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 524 calories, 30g fat (18g saturated fat), 107mg cholesterol, 404mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (39g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

Reviews for "Fishy" Red Velvet Cake

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2124arizona User ID: 845443 268438
Reviewed Jun. 25, 2017

"This recipe is the best recipe I have for Red Velvet cake. I make it for the holidays and birthdays!!"

Martha Ensminger User ID: 2245457 263236
Reviewed Mar. 8, 2017

"This is the absolute best Red Velvet cake I have made. (I have tried several recipes) The cake is moist and the color is very appealing and really looks like red velvet. The frosting whipped up beautifully. The recipe makes more than I need, so I store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to use later. Example: for filling between the "Twinkie cake". The "trick" to the filling is not to let the flour mixture stiffen as it cools. To prevent this I stir it frequently as it cools to prevent crusting over. It mixes very smoothly into the butter mixture, without lumps."

Jolena User ID: 87898 2433
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2014

"Wow... I just don't know how to put this. The cake was dry and the frosting I had to throw out.... it was just curdled. Maybe I did something wrong but usually have super good luck with every recipe I try from Taste of Home."

mikibunny31 User ID: 7066772 2018
Reviewed May. 10, 2014

"I made this into cupcakes and used half cake flour and half all purpose and added a little more cocoa and it came out good. Did not make frosting, I made my own cream cheese frosting and it made it taste even better."

bobirl User ID: 970142 1895
Reviewed Mar. 26, 2014

"The cake was delicious, but the icing was TOO much. 3 sticks of butter--it was unnecessary."

sydney.haskett User ID: 5084946 2601
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2013

"Also, I used two 9" pans at 325 for 25 mins, not 3."

sydney.haskett User ID: 5084946 2103
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2013

"This cake is moist and delicious. I baked mine in dark pans at 325 for 25 minutes. I was unsure about the frosting calling for granulated sugar. It was very gritty at first, but when mixed with the milk & flour mixture it smoothed out. It was actually a bit runny and did not set up like the picture (of course!) but the flavor was amazing!!"

Vicks6 User ID: 5093215 4118
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2012

"The cake batter was very thick, and my cake came out very dry."

swagner User ID: 2202984 1894
Reviewed May. 25, 2012

"I just made the frosting, and it was WONDERFUL! I usually hate frosting, but this was great!"

odilia325 User ID: 3424607 2359
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2011

"It's delicious. To make it more moist, after I let the cake cool, I poked wholes in each one with a fork. I mixed heavy whipping cream, condensed and evaporated milk, then poured it in each cake. Kind of like a tres leches cake. It was perfect."

chocoloco User ID: 1876593 1576
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2011

"Does this recipe want granulated or confectioners sugar? It says sugar but the frosting came out grainy: ("

PeggySue1217 User ID: 5806991 3173
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2011

"We made these as cupcakes and froze them a week before my wedding...excellant and beautiful...who needs a bakery when you can DIY:)"

RaOwBe User ID: 705805 2017
Reviewed May. 22, 2011

"Absolutly delicious!"

res User ID: 2167357 4115
Reviewed May. 21, 2011

"cake was moist, frosting was excellent"

res User ID: 2167357 606
Reviewed May. 21, 2011

"cake was moist, frosting was excellent"

res User ID: 2167357 2101
Reviewed May. 21, 2011

"cake was moist, frosting was excellent"

j_mahlum01 User ID: 4026812 1574
Reviewed Apr. 29, 2011

"Absolutly delicious!! I made this recipe exactly how it was instructed and it couldn't have turned out any better. Instead of making a traditional cake, I made mine into Cupcakes...BIG HIT!"

verabb User ID: 5911678 1893
Reviewed Apr. 27, 2011

"really like the frosting!!! but the cake is easy to break..a big pity.! cake taste good.!next time i wont put food color in it!"

chellieandkids User ID: 1973287 1266
Reviewed Apr. 8, 2011

"I'm only writing for the frosting. I haven't made the cake yet. But the frosting is to die for! It is now my go-to frosting for anything! LOVE LOVE LOVE. Not grainy. Not too sweet. Fluffy. It's "THE icing on the cake". And... I absolutely hate most frosting if it's not chocolate."

jjam1303 User ID: 3175751 1265
Reviewed Mar. 15, 2011

"This cake went over great. The cake is dense yet fluffy, and the frosting is great. It's sweet but not heavy even though it has so much butter. It's the perfect amount for this three layer cake. I'll be making this for St. Patricks day but using green instead of red. Highly recommend this for anyone to try."

Sunflower4jc User ID: 3403258 3078
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2011

"Tastes wonderful, light, just like my mom made back in the 1960's! Will definitely be making this one again!"

5makanas User ID: 5494322 1223
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2011

"Thank the baking Gods! This is the "real thing". I refuse to eat a RV cake or cupcake that has cream cheese frosting. To think all these new baking shops serve it with cream cheese is shameful & lazy."

luvbaken User ID: 5756849 1261
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2011

"This is the best ever!!! I had tried this recipe when it first appeared in your magazine years ago.Family and friends raved about it. I had lost it when I moved and I am so happy I found it again!!!"

jetluvs2cook User ID: 1675049 2779
Reviewed Feb. 14, 2010

"this recipe was so good! it takes alittle time to make, but worth all the effort!!! Made it today for Valentines Day!!! :)"

ggsue User ID: 3153387 2068
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2008

"I've been looking for this recipes for weeks, it is my favorite Red Velvet recipe. I'm so glad I thought to look for it at taste of home online."

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