Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is traditional for this beautiful cake, but vanilla frosting is another option.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 45 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • Cake
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. red gel food coloring
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Frosting
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • Dash salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour 3 (8") layer cake pans or 2 (9") layer cake pans.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • In a small bowl, combine cocoa, food coloring, and water; blend well. Beat cocoa mixture into creamed mixture.
  • Combine flour and salt in a small bowl; gradually beat it into creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Combine vinegar and soda in a cup and beat into batter.
  • Spoon batter evenly into prepared layer cake pans. Bake for 22–30 minutes until cake bounces back when lightly touched. Cool cake in pans on wire racks.
  • While cake cools, combine all frosting ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  • Remove cakes from the pans. Spread frosting over the top of each layer. Stack the cake layers and frost the sides, spreading the frosting evenly over the entire cake.