Red Velvet Cake

a slice of red velvet cake

Getty Images / from_my_point_of_view

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
685 Calories
46g Fat
65g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 685
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 446mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 65g 24%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 39g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 100mg 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.)

Red velvet cake is as striking visually as it is delicious. There's just something about that deep, red cake against the cream cheese frosting.

Mixing the baking soda with the vinegar is an interesting technique that you don't see very often in cakes, but its purpose is to generate extra rising power. And you really need to make sure your baking soda is fresh.

In fact, our number-one tip for anyone baking a cake: Use fresh baking soda! If it's been more than six months since you bought the baking soda in your pantry, you should replace it. And if you don't know how long it's been, replace it anyway. Baking soda loses its potency quickly, and your cake won't rise properly if it's too old. (The same is true of baking powder, but this red velvet cake doesn't use any.)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 250 grams (2 1/2 cups) cake flour

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup red food coloring

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • Cream cheese frosting, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

  2. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans. It can help to line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit the pan.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, and salt until blended.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, red food coloring, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until fluffy.

  5. Now add some of the dry ingredients to the egg-sugar mixture while the machine is running. When it's fully incorporated, add some of the buttermilk. Continue alternating adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk until it's all incorporated and the batter is smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl as you go.

  6. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and baking soda, and when it foams, mix it into your batter. You're going to want to move quickly, though. Mix it in just until it's combined, about ten seconds. Then pour the batter into your prepared pans and transfer them to the oven.

  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a crumb or two attached. You can start testing after 28 minutes because it's better to check too soon than to overbake.

  8. Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack, then loosen the edges by running a knife along the sides, turn the cakes out onto the racks and cool for at least another hour, and then refrigerate (wrapped in plastic) for at least an hour before frosting with this cream cheese frosting.