Grandma's Red Velvet Cake Recipe

4.5 20 22
Grandma's Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Grandma's Red Velvet Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Publisher Photo

Grandma's Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Read Reviews
4.5 20 22
Publisher Photo
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
MAKES:
14 servings
TOTAL TIME:
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:
14 servings
TOTAL TIME:
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 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
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

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.
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.
For frosting, combine water and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir 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

Nutritional Facts

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

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  • 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
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  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, combine water and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir 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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Reviews forGrandma's Red Velvet Cake

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Robyn User ID: 9427408 284045
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2018

"If I wanted to make a sheet cake instead of a layered cake, how long would I cook it for?"

MY REVIEW
MarineMom_texas User ID: 31788 278767
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2017

"I prepared this delicious cake last night to take to a church event. I followed the recipe with no changes. I do recommend turning the mixer off when adding the food coloring to avoid splattering. I used parchment in the cake pans and the layers came out beautifully. This is a beautiful and delicious cake.

Volunteer Field Editor"

MY REVIEW
Chargett User ID: 7747932 276716
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2017

"if a chemical reaction in the cake mix is supposed to turn the cake red then why the need for red food coloring?"

MY REVIEW
Tracie User ID: 9256186 274793
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2017

"I'm reading all of the reviews before I try the recipe. The comments saying they added more chocolate are making my eyes twitch. Traditional red velvet cake is very mild chocolate flavor. It's not supposed to taste like a chocolate cake.

The 2 tablespoons of cocoa, buttermilk and vinegar in this recipe has me thinking this one is right on track. I'll try it soon."

MY REVIEW
marciaemig User ID: 463514 274564
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2017

"AWESOME!! I've been looking for this recipe forever. This was the original red velvet cake my sister made years and years ago. Somewhere along the like we both misplaced the recipe. There are lots and lots of red velvet cakes out there but no frosting like this one. Other recipes we've seen don't have the cooked thickened frosting!! Makes for such a PRETTY and DELICIOUS cake with a really great texture!!! Thank you for posting this recipe!!"

MY REVIEW
Debra Torres User ID: 4566970 259744
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2017

"This cake looked pretty, but the amount of butter in the frosting was just too much for our family. A whole pack of butter! I think I'll keep looking for a better recipe."

MY REVIEW
Jan User ID: 8993384 258622
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2016

"Followed directions- added 1 more T cocoa and only1 bottle red food coloring. I watched the baking time closely. My cake was moist, pretty as the picture , and everyone loved it for Christmas dessert. Will keep this recipe. There sure was a lot of frosting"

MY REVIEW
GaitherMom User ID: 6038554 113519
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."

MY REVIEW
parksville User ID: 1598935 122134
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!"

MY REVIEW
MW Recipe User ID: 2695913 122133
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."

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