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+ servings

Red Velvet Cake

This is my tried and true recipe for red velvet cake that is perfect every time. The cake is soft, buttery, moist, light, and topped with a delicious and tangy cream cheese frosting.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 28 mins
Cook Time 32 mins
chill time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 people
Calories 693 kcal


  • 2 - 8 or 9" cake pans


  • 3 cups cake flour*
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 fl. oz. red food coloring
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 - 8 oz. packages brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 cups powdered sugar


  • On parchment paper, use a pencil to trace the bottom of the cake pans and cut the circles out. Spray the inside of the cake pan with non-stick cooking spray, add the traced circles to the pan with the pencil side down and spray with more non-stick spray.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Add the flour to a medium bowl and then sift in the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • In a large bowl, use a hand-held or stand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined after each. Mix in the vanilla extract, white vinegar, red food coloring, and sour cream until smooth and combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • In 3 additions, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, mixing until just combined after each. After the final addition mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Gently tap the pans on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles and bake for 32 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  • Allow to cool slightly on the counter and then cool completely in the fridge for at least 2 hours before frosting.
  • Make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time and mix until mostly incorporated, then mix until smooth after all of it has been added.
  • Use a large serrated knife to level off the domed part of the cake. Add 2 - 3 coats of frosting to the cake, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes between coatings.
  • Cover the cake and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Unfrosted cake layers can also be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3 months.


*If you don't have cake flour you can make your own: Sift together 2 and ½ cups of all-purpose flour with ¼ cup of cornstarch. 
*If you want to make this a 3-layer cake, divide the batter between 3 - 8 or 9" cake pans and bake for 22 minutes. 


Calories: 693kcalCarbohydrates: 90gProtein: 6.8gFat: 35.9gSaturated Fat: 22.2gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 434mgPotassium: 130mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 70gCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg
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