“Fishy” Red Velvet Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + cooling Bake: 15 min. + cooling


12-16 servings

Updated: Sep. 24, 2022
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


  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

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