Red Velvet Cake

This recipe is the real deal. Red Velvet should have a subtle chocolate flavor from the cocoa, but mostly be all about an incredible velvety texture… something missing from the ones I’ve tried from many cupcakeries. This comes in part from using superfine (or ultrafine) sugar, taking your time to properly cream the butter and sugar, and the unmatched moisture imparted from the buttermilk. This recipe is from Warren Brown’s United Cakes of America.

Nevan and I made these for Dave for Valentine’s Day.

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Dry Ingredients
2 1/4 cup cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Creaming Ingredients
8 US oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
2 eggs
1 US oz red food dye

Yield: One 9 inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes.

Preheat your oven to 335F. Line the bottoms of two 9X2 inch round cake pans with parchment paper or spray your cupcake pans with non stick and line each cup with cupcake liner.

Measure the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls and whisk each to combine.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Cream together on low speed for five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to the well-creamed butter and sugar. Beat in the dye. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients about a quarter at a time.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for approximately 30 minutes for the cake (seems to take an extra 10 minutes if I use a Bundt pan), or 20-24 minutes for the cupcakes. A wooden toothpick should come out clean and the surface even but not very dry in appearance.

Cool the cakes for about five minutes before inverting them onto a flat surface. Allow them to cool to room temperature before attempting to assemble or frost.


Frosting note: Most people put cream cheese frosting on red velvet, but if you want to go hardcore old school then go for buttercream frosting, which was one of the original frostings used for it. You can actually taste the cake if you use buttercream. This time, however, I made cream cheese frosting because I thought Dave might like it more. I used this simple recipe from

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3 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cake

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