Spongy and light with a fun red colour and scrumptious cream cheese frosting, red velvet cake is sure to be a hit at your next celebration.
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Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of two 23cm round cake pans with baking paper. Combine the cocoa powder and food colouring in a small bowl to form a thin, smooth paste.
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Add the cocoa mixture and beat until well combined. Add half the flour and half the buttermilk and stir to combine. Add the remaining flour and buttermilk and stir to combine.
Combine the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl. Stir into cake mixture. Divide batter evenly among the lined pans and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 40-45 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 10 mins to cool slightly. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until well combined.
Place a cake on a serving plate. Spoon over half of the cream cheese frosting. Top with remaining cake. Spread the top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Decorate with raspberries and white chocolate curls.
COOK. STORE. SAVE
Use it up: Leftover buttermilk can be used to make Curtis Stone's buttermilk scones with lemon curd.
Store: Place the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Velvet cake is a 19th-century innovation named for its texture, which is light and airy with a delicate crumb that melts in the mouth. Red velvet cake is exactly what the name suggests: a red-hued version of this delicious and impressive cake. How red velvet cake was first invented is a topic of frequent debate. Some say it was developed when bakers used brown sugar (previously called ‘red sugar’) instead of white; others say it’s a reference to the raw cocoa, which turns red when it reacts with vinegar and buttermilk in the batter. Today, most recipes use red food colouring to achieve the characteristic burgundy hue of this stunning layer cake.
To make the best red velvet cake recipe, follow these handy tips:
Weigh all the ingredients precisely using a kitchen scale.
Sift the dry ingredients to remove any lumps.
Use red gel food colouring to get a red coloured cake. Other kinds of food colourings may turn out brown after baking.
Check your self-raising flour has not passed the ‘best before’ date on the packaging.
Make sure all the ingredients come to room temperature before combining, so that they mix evenly.
After it's baked, the cake can be very soft and fragile. Take care when assembling the cake.
Vinegar and buttermilk are hallmarks of a red velvet cake recipe as they help create that fluffy and smooth texture. Along with the cream cheese icing, they also lend a slightly tart flavour to the cake, which is balanced with the sweetness of the vanilla and sugar and subtle earthiness of cocoa. Some describe the flavour as a cross between vanilla and chocolate cake, with an almost cheesecake-like tang thanks to the cream cheese frosting. In short, it’s the best of all flavours!
You can use this recipe to make red velvet cupcakes instead. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole, ⅓-cup (80ml) muffin pan with paper cases and divide batter among cases. Bake for 20-25 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
Brighten the table at bridal or baby showers, parties, afternoon tea or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day celebrations with a beautiful homemade red velvet cake. Looking for other impressive cake recipes? Check out the perfect sponge cake, triple chocolate layer cake and gingerbread cake.