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Grandma’s Red Velvet Cake


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 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


  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

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


Average Rating:
  • Ernie
    Feb 11, 2019
    I'm nearly 54 yrs. old
  • krysfielder
    Feb 10, 2019
    Really yummy! I used Hershey's special dark cocoa and did throw a little extra in because I love chocolate. I will use the frosting recipe as my go to frosting from now on.
  • Jillybean
    Dec 23, 2018
    After made, is it safe to leave on the counter for 3-4 days or does it need to be refrigerated? Im hopeful it can since there’s no cream cheese and no “sweet” milk. I’m looking forward to making this today!
  • Robyn
    Feb 21, 2018

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

  • MarineMom_texas
    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

  • Chargett
    Dec 31, 1969

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

  • Tracie
    Dec 31, 1969

    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.

  • marciaemig
    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!!

  • Debra Torres
    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.

  • Jan
    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

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