Blue Velvet Cake Recipe

Blue Velvet Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Cool: 40 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
564 Calories
23g Fat
85g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 564
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 14g 69%
Cholesterol 92mg 31%
Sodium 395mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 85g 31%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 64g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 101mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you love the delicate texture and bold color of red velvet cake, you will love this fun twist: blue velvet cake. The flavor of blue velvet cake is the same as a red velvet cake—fluffy vanilla cake with a hint of chocolate slathered in tangy cream cheese frosting. It is easy to make a blue velvet cake from scratch with a blend of cocoa powder, vinegar, buttermilk, and bright blue food coloring. This combination of ingredients softens the proteins in the cake flour resulting in a finer, smoother texture than other cakes—thus the term "velvet cake."

To achieve a beautiful blue hue, it is necessary to use a combination of royal blue food coloring as well as a tiny bit of violet food coloring on a toothpick. That extra small hint of violet helps create the proper color without turning the cake turquoise. It is also recommended to use paste food coloring rather than liquid or gel food dye to better achieve the desired color.

A blue velvet cake is perfect for serving at a gender reveal party or baby shower for a little boy, as well as for the 4th of July or a colorful birthday party. With a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, it is easy to hide the blue color of the cake, making it a fun surprise.

"The blue velvet cake was moist, colorful, and delicious. The cream cheese frosting was perfect and the cake was easy to prepare and bake. My cake baked in about 23 minutes in two 9-inch pans. " —Diana Rattray

blue velvet cake with cream cheese frosting/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened, more for the pans

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons royal blue food coloring paste

  • 1 toothpick violet food coloring paste

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Blue Velvet Cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  2. Position two racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat to 350 F. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch round) cake pans. Set aside.

  3. To make cakes, cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

    Butter and sugar in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

    Eggs added to the butter and sugar mixture

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  5. Add the vinegar, royal blue and violet food coloring, and vanilla extract.

    Wet ingredients for blue velvet cake in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  6. In another medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

    Dry ingredients for Blue Velvet Cake in a mixing bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  7. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture in batches, alternating with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.

    Dry ingredients and mix sitting next to the wet ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  8. Pour into equally into the prepared baking pans. Bake, rotating pans between racks half way through cooking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes total.

    Blue Velvet Cakes ready to be baked

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  9. Cool cake layers for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks to cool completely.

    Baked Blue Velvet Cakes on cooling racks

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  10. To make frosting, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until smooth.

    Frosting ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  11. Place first cooled cake layer down on serving platter or cake stand. Frost first layer.

    One layer of cake with frosting on it

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  12. Top with second cake layer. Frost top and sides and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • If your cake doesn't release from the pan easily, set the pan in about 1/4-inch of hot water for a few minutes. Alternatively, soak a kitchen towel in hot water and wrap it around the bottom and sides of the cake pan.
  • To ensure even layers, weigh the batter or measure it in a liquid measuring cup and divide it accordingly.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Leftover blue velvet cake should be tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to three days.
  • The cakes can also be made ahead of time. Wrap them tightly and store at room temperature unfrosted for up to three days.
  • To freeze the cakes, let them cool completely and wrap tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil. Freeze for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge before frosting and serving.