red velvet cake

Classic Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

red velvet cake

This week includes the sweetest day of the year…… Valentine’s Day!  

Around here, special days include special food and Valentine’s Day means Red Velvet Cake.  My oldest daughter has claimed it as her “signature” dessert and rightfully so, she does it very well.  

I acquired this recipe shortly after my husband and I were married.  A dear older lady he worked with was famous for her baked-from-scratch cakes.  People would pay $20 for them.  That may not sound like much now but 23 years ago in rural Georgia, that was a lot for a cake.  But, everyone knew…. they were worth it!

My husband, knowing it’s the ultimate compliment to any southern cook, asked for the recipe (and because he wanted more cake).  Of course, she gave it to him…. because that’s what southern cooks do…. share their recipes. We’ve been making it ever since.

It’s a super moist cake with that signature “red velvet” flavor. and the perfect cream cheese icing.  It’s probably the best Red Velvet Cake I’ve ever had… but I might not be totally objective.  

Here’s the Recipe:

Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour (White Lily is the best)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 3 (8 or 9 inch round) cake pans

Icing:

  • 1 stick margarine – softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese – softened
  • 1 box (16 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped pecans (add to icing or use as garnish)

red velvet cake

Grease and flour baking pans.  If they tend to stick, line the bottom with parchment paper to fit

*I lined pans then sprayed with non-stick spray specifically for baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

red velvet cake

Start cake by sifting together flour, soda and salt in a medium bowl – set aside

red velvet cake

Next, mix food coloring, cocoa and vinegar in separate small bowl – set aside

red velvet cake

In a large mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar with electric mixer

Add eggs and beat well

red velvet cake

Add in cocoa mixture and beat again

red velvet cake

Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beating well after each addition

Finally, add vanilla and beat until combined

red velvet cake

Divide mixture evenly between prepared cake pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

Remove from oven and cool on wire racks 10 minutes before taking out of pans

Cool completely before icing

Make Icing:

red velvet cake

Cream margarine and cream cheese with electric mixer

Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth

Stir in vanilla and nuts (if using)

Assembly:

red velvet cake

Place a layer of cooled cake on plate or cake stand

Cover with icing

Repeat with remaining layers

Cover sides and top completely

red velvet cake

We usually add the nuts as a garnish instead of incorporating into icing

red velvet cake

Helpful hints for baking:

Allow eggs, cream cheese and margarine to come to room temp before using

Open oven door as little as possible, use the light and window instead

Don’t run in the house while baking a cake, it will make the cake fall…..at least that’s what my always grandma said! 

red velvet cake

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Dessert?

Classic Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Classic Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr
Cake
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 2 cups oil
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring
  5. 2 tsp cocoa powder
  6. 1 tsp vinegar
  7. 2 1/2 cups plain flour (White Lily is the best)
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 1 cup buttermilk
  11. 1 tsp vanilla
  12. 3 (8 or 9 inch) cake pans
Icing
  1. 1 stick margarine – softened
  2. 8 oz cream cheese – softened
  3. 1 box (16 oz) powdered sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. Optional: 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Grease and flour baking pans. If they tend to stick, line the bottom with parchment paper to fit
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Start cake by sifting together flour, soda and salt in a medium bowl- set aside
  4. Next, mix food coloring, cocoa and vinegar in separate small bowl – set aside
  5. In a large mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar with electric mixer
  6. Add eggs and beat well
  7. Add in cocoa mixture and beat again
  8. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beating well after each addition
  9. Finally, add vanilla and beat until combined
  10. Divide mixture evenly between prepared cake pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  11. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks 10 minutes before taking out of pans
  12. Cool completely before icing
Make Icing
  1. Cream margarin and cream cheese with electric mixer
  2. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth
  3. Stir in vanilla and nuts (if using)
Assembly
  1. Place a layer of cooled cake on plate or cake stand
  2. Cover with icing
  3. Repeat with remaining layers
  4. Cover sides and top completely
Helpful hints for baking
  1. Allow eggs, cream cheese and margarine to come to room temp before using
  2. Open oven door as little as possible, use the light and window instead
  3. Don’t run in the house while baking a cake, it will make the cake fall….. at least that’s what my grandma said!
  4. Total time includes time for cake to cool
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