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The Red Velvet Cake


Such a beautiful classic, this red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is one of those showstopping bakes that is sure to please. I’ve had this red velvet cake recipe for years and have actually never made another one ever since perfecting it. It’s the softest cake I have ever made, super moist, extra velvety, incredibly fluffy and just delicious!

My version of this beauty is made with a mixture of melted butter and oil, buttermilk and sour cream. People often have a sort of misconception for red velvet, not knowing what it is exactly and my explanation for it is ‘a cocoa kissed vanilla cake with a slight tang’. That is the flavour and texture wise, it’s the silkiest, smoothest, creamiest cake that is stick-to-your-fork moist and just glides across your tongue.

The slight tang comes from the addition of buttermilk as well as white vinegar that is mixed with baking soda to create a reaction making bubbles that makes the cake rise. The sourness blends with the remaining ingredients of the cake and along with the addition of a little cocoa, creates a perfectly balanced flavour as well as that iconic velvety crumb texture.

Since red velvet is known to be super moist, many recipes contain alot of oil in them which you would think makes the cake really moist but I find that it not only makes them a bit hard, they also end up having a kind of fried oil flavour which isn’t so pleasant. To remedy that, I used a mixture of oil and melted butter because, butter, you need that flavour right especially in this cake, as well as subbing the rest of the oil that I reduced with sour cream. Sour cream makes the cakes so light and moist, I love it!

The buttermilk is the most crucial ingredient in red velvet cakes. I know that it can be hard to find in some places but in all honesty it is the one ingredient I don’t recommend substituting. I HAVE added a substitute though for those who can’t get it but whenever I make this cake with the substitute and then I make it with actual buttermilk, I swear it’s not even the same cake! The texture and flavour is just incredible so please if you have buttermilk where you live then go get some. Even if it means buying a whole carton, just use the rest for chocolate cupcakes or buttermilk chicken or even buttermilk onion rings. Yum!

Not sure what is going on with the colours of these photos, they were all taken at the same time but the sun must have been playing games!

I leveled the cakes slightly to crumble up some of the crumbs for decoration, I do like that look but really red velvet is just as fabulous without anything at all.

Speaking of decorations, I filled and frosted this cake with a thick and luscious, extra silky cream cheese frosting, it goes so well with the cake and we are making a classic after all. If you would like to make a different type of frosting, I suggest making a cooked milk (Ermine) frosting which is actually what red velvet cakes were originally frosted with when they were created.

I love this cake so much and it is definitely a family favourite that is sure to become yours too! <3

Remember to tag me with all your dutch baker bakes @dutchbakerblog on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter <3

This recipe is pretty much the same as my red velvet cupcakes, recipe here.

The Red Velvet Cake

Recipe rating: N/A
Recipe by Linda @thedutchbaker

8 – 10


Makes 1 layered 8 or 9 inch cake or 1 9×13 inch cake.

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  • 2 1/2 cups (310gms) all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch/cornflour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups (300gms) sugar

  • 1/2 cup (100gms) melted butter

  • 1/2 cup (125mls) oil

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons liquid red food colouring*

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup (125gms) sour cream**

  • 1 cup (250mls) buttermilk***

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoon white vinegar

  • For the frosting
  • 200 gms softened butter (I use salted)

  • 1 1/2 cup (330gm/12oz) cream cheese

  • 3 to 4 cups (350 – 500gms) powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 – 4 tablespoons cream, any kind


  • Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and flour cake pans. Whisk together flour, cocoa, cornstarch/cornflour and salt.
    In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter and oil until combined. Mixture will be gritty.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla whisking to combine. Mix in the food colouring and whisk well. Whisk in the sour cream then add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk/sour milk, starting and ending with the flour mix.
  • In a small cup, add together the baking soda and vinegar while stirring (it will foam), add this mixture to the batter and whisk smooth. Batter will be slightly thin.
  • Divide batter evenly between cake pans. Bake for about 25 – 28 minutes or until cooked through and a knife or toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes then store in an airtight container to cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting
  • Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy and creamy, 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking after each addition. Add in vanilla to taste and mix until smooth. Add in enough cream until desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled cake and decorate with cake crumbs, if desired.


  • *If you have gel food colouring instead of liquid, then add in a drop at a time until the desired colour of red is reached.
  • **Yoghurt can be used instead of sour cream but the texture of the cake may vary slightly.
  • ***If you don’t have buttermilk then make sour milk by measuring 1 cup milk into a cup. Remove 1 tablespoons of it and replace with 1 tablespoons white vinegar. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter, it will thicken slightly.
  • Recipe by the dutch baker.

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