Red Velvet Cake

  • Serves

    serves 10-12


Though cream cheese frosting is typically used nowadays on red velvet cake, classic whipped cream frosting makes for a more balanced sweetness. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Ben Mims' story Sweet Southern Dreams.


For the Cake

  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
  • 2 12 cups cake flour, plus more for pans, sifted
  • 2 tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. red food coloring
  • 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 12 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs

For the Frosting

  • 1 12 cups sugar
  • 13 cup flour
  • 1 12 cups milk
  • 1 12 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


Step 1

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 8″ cake pans, and set aside. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Whisk together buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds. Divide batter between prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel any large air bubbles. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks, and let cool.

Step 2

Make the frosting and assemble cake: Whisk together sugar and flour in a 4-qt. saucepan; add milk and whisk until smooth. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, until very thick, about 5 minutes. Remove pudding from heat; cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and 1⁄4 of the pudding on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add half the remaining pudding, beating until smooth, and then add remaining pudding and vanilla. Increase speed to high and beat frosting until white and fluffy, about 3 minutes. To assemble, place one cake on a cake stand, and spread with 1 1⁄2 cups frosting. Place second cake over frosting; cover top and sides with remaining frosting; chill to firm frosting. Serve at room temperature.

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