Make Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake is a unique cake with a blood-red interior. According to one legend, red velvet cake was first created by a chef at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. One guest wrote to the chef, requesting the recipe. She received both the recipe and an unexpected $100 charge for the secret recipe. Irate, she decided to pass out copies of the special recipe to everyone she met. Whether this story is true or not, red velvet cake is a delicious dessert, sure to please any crowd. Here's how to make red velvet cake:

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Red food coloring (approx. 1-2 ounces)
  • Electric mixer
  • Whisk
  • Two 9" round cake pans, or one larger rectangular pan
  • Three bowls

For frosting:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Saucepan


  1. Mix the batter. First combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder. In a second bowl, cream the sugar and eggs. In a third bowl, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients. Use plenty of food coloring; you want the cake to take on a dark red color, not a light pink tone. Then combine all three bowls, beating until the mixture is combined.
  2. Fill the pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside of the pans, and then coat with flour or cocoa powder. Fill the pans evenly with cake batter.
  3. Bake the cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When done, a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake layer should come out clean.
  4. Make the frosting. Though you can use any white or cream cheese frosting, this butter-based frosting is traditionally used to ice red velvet cakes. First, combine the milk and flour in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Now, cream together the sugar, vanilla, and butter, beating until it becomes fluffy. Now beat the milk mixture into the butter mixture gradually, and continue beating until the frosting becomes fluffy and is easy to spread.
  5. Frost the cake. Stack the cake layers on top of each other, if you wish. First, frost the cake with a very thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate until the icing sets. Now, add a second layer of frosting. This will help ensure that no crumbs are visible in the frosting. Frost generously.

Red velvet cake is a delicious dessert that is often surprising when you first cut through the icing. Consider adding raspberry filling between the cake layers. This red velvet cake recipe can also be used to make cupcakes. For Valentine's Day, use red velvet cake in a heart-shaped pan.


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