Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a classic cake mostly known as a cake that is popular in the Southern part of the United States.
Red velvet cake is one of those flavors that you either really enjoy, or you don’t care for all that much. We love it so much at my house that I created a Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake out of it! Red velvet cake pairs most perfectly with a good cream cheese frosting. I have a recipe for red velvet bundt cake that is topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and that works too. This red velvet cake is a two layer, round cake with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting surrounding it.
The History of Red Velvet Cake:
Although many folks think that red velvet has its roots in the South, it likely originated in Maryland in the 19th century when “velvet” cakes with a soft crumb emerged. When foods were rationed during WWII, bakers used beet juice to enhance the color of cakes. The first “classic” recipe for red velvet cake comes from New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Over the years, it has become a popular cake in the South, and the red velvet theme has become popular everywhere for other desserts like cheesecake, cupcakes, cookies and muffins too.
Red Velvet Cake ingredients needed:
- all purpose flour
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- baking soda and salt
- unsalted butter
- white sugar
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
- distilled white vinegar
- vegetable or canola oil
- red gel food coloring
How to make Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:
Bake the two round cake layers using the instructions in the recipe. I like to use 9-inch cake pans for this recipe. It’s highly suggested that you buy some red gel food coloring instead of trying to use liquid food coloring. The color is intense, and you can add as many drops as you want to get the exact color red that you want. Go to a craft store like Michaels to buy the gel food color or buy red gel food coloring on Amazon. It’s good to have a set of gel food coloring on hand for other baking projects!
How to make buttermilk:
Combine 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes until it begins to curdle. Then you have homemade buttermilk to use for your red velvet cake!
Make the cream cheese frosting. Use a mixer to combine butter, cream cheese, salt, vanilla and powdered sugar.
Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Spread some frosting on top of that layer. Place the 2nd layer on top of the frosting. Then frost the whole cake.
Isn’t it pretty? I love the flavor of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, and I love that it’s so impressive looking when you cut into it too.
Slices are so moist and tender. This red velvet cake is just dreamy. If you have a cake stand with a cover, place the lid on top and store leftover cake in the refrigerator. Otherwise, wrap it gently with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Enjoy!
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
RED VELVET CAKE:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons red gel food coloring (see TIPS below)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Place a piece of parchment paper that’s been trimmed to fit in the bottom of each cake pan.
MAKE THE RED VELVET CAKE:
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt through a fine mesh sieve, using a spoon to push it through.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it looks sandy. Beat in the eggs, and then the buttermilk, vanilla, distilled white vinegar, and oil.
- Beat in half of the dry ingredients until incorporated, and then beat in the rest. Add gel coloring and beat that in until evenly distributed.
- Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then run a knife along the edge of the pans and turn out the cakes onto cooling racks to cool completely.
PREPARE THE FROSTING:
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and butter. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Add half of the powdered sugar, and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix again. Beat until the frosting is thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if you want it thicker. Thin it out with a little milk if you want it thinner.
- Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter. Top it with frosting and spread to cover. Place the 2nd cake layer on top. Add the rest of the frosting to the top and the sides of the cake. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Keep leftovers stored in fridge.