Red Velvet Cake!

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A delicious & light and moreish Red Velvet Cake smothered in Cream Cheese Frosting – Hello Cake Heaven!

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY TO MY BLOG – Jane’s Patisserie!  Just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone that supports my blog, likes my posts, comments on my posts, and especially to those who bake & share my recipes – I love you all!!

Red Velvet Cake is one of those ‘in things’ that all coffee shops will sell at some point, and the recipe that everyone wants to have and use, but its one of the most inconsistent cakes to make at home that I have come across! After trying out a few recipes from other websites and such I decided that developing my own was best – as some recipes were so unreliable I just didn’t feel comfortable!

I would definitely say the key to the recipe is good quality food colouring – using the little liquid bottles you can buy from the supermarket, will NOT work! You will end up having to use about 5 bottle to make it work, and it’ll just taste manky – I use Sugarflair food colouring for all of my baking, and this is no different! I use the Sugarflair Red Extra food colouring which you can buy, which comes in at about £5/£6 a pot, but it lasts for oodles amounts of time that this doesn’t matter! Also, the key of using the Buttermilk, Bicarbonate, and Vinegar means that the red colouring will be brought out even more, and you will get the classic Velvet Cake texture!

I find the reason that peoples Red Velvet Cakes can fail is because of using lower quality food colouring, not mixing it with the cocoa powder (which is the ingredient that makes the colouring not work sometimes!!) and then not taking their time with the making of the cake. Gradually adding in all of the ingredients in the order specified makes a deliciously moist cake, that comes out super super SUPER bright red!

The cake has a delicious mix of the flavours of Chocolate and Vanilla, which is utter heaven to me!! The Cream Cheese Frosting on top is sweet, delicious, and marries with the cake perfectly – but Cream Cheese Frosting can always be a liiiitle bit runny in comparison to others, thats its nature, however – as long as you don’t over beat it too much – it’ll be dandy and delicious! I love this cake so so so much, so I really hope you guys do too! For the Cream Cheese frosting, you have to make sure that your cream cheese has no extra excess liquid, and try not to over mix the mixture. Also, room temperature butter is important so there is no lumps.

This cake serves 10-12!


Red Velvet Cake
– 125g Butter
– 300g Caster Sugar
– 2 Large Eggs
– 30g Cocoa Powder
– 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract
– 250ml Buttermilk
– 300g Plain Flour
– 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
– 2tsp White Wine Vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting
– 125g Butter, room temperature
– 1x 280g Philadelphia Full-Fat Cream Cheese
– 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract
– 400-600g Icing Sugar


1) To Bake the Red Velvet Cake – Preheat your oven to 170C/150CFan and Line two 8″ cake tins with butter and parchment paper – leave to the side for now.

2) Beat together the Butter and Sugar in a stand mixer till smooth and fluffy like you would a normal cake, and then gradually beat in the egg so that it doesn’t curdle (if it doesn’t curdle, beat in a little flour to bring it back)

3) In a small bowl, mix together the Cocoa Powder, Sugarflair Red Extra food colouring, and Vanilla Extract to a thick dark paste (if it is struggling to become a paste, then add in a little milk to make it runnier and mix better – it needs to be smooth!) – it may take a couple of minutes but this will make it easier to add to the rest of the mixture if you do it this way – and the sponge will be more red!

4) Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined and coloured well – turn the speed down so its slow, and pour in half of the buttermilk. Add in half of the flour and beat again, and then the other half of the buttermilk & beat, and then the other half of the flour & beat (I realise this is faffy, but it works!) Finally – beat in the Bicarbonate of soda, and vinegar. Beat again for a couple of minutes until everything is smooth and incorporated well – separate into the two tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the middle of the cake comes out clean when poked with a skewer!

5) Once the cakes are baked, leave to cool on a wire rack.

6) To make the Cream Cheese Frosting – With a stand mixer/electric whisk, beat the room temperature/softened butter for a couple of minutes so its really smooth. Fold through the the cream cheese so its combined, or beat on a low speed. Stir in the Vanilla extract.

7) Gradually add in the Icing Sugar till its all combined – try not to beat too hard, you’ll want to do this bit by hand. I add usually about 500g, you want to add enough for it to be firm.

8) Even your cakes out by cutting the tops off (if they’re uneven in the first place) layer on 1/2 of the Frosting, smooth it over, and add the other sponge on top – add the other half of the frosting on top and decorate with sponge crumbs if you fancy!

Tips and Ideas

I really really really recommend in investing in good quality Sugarflair Red Extra food colouring for a red velvet cake – I use Sugarflair paste colours which you can buy online, or in cake decorating shops etc – but they don’t have a funny taste to them, you use far less to make them work, and they last so much longer!!

You really do need the butter in the frosting to be softened/at room temperature so that when you combine it with the cream cheese, it doesn’t take too long and it stays smooth. Cold butter will NOT work!

This cake will last in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered!


Find my other Cake recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.



  1. Hi Jane when you say use a third of the frosting then layer it up from the picture it looks like it’s piped so I am confused sorry to sound silly but what do you mean by a third of the frosting?

  2. Hi Jane loving your blog, wanted to ask if making this red velvet cake for cake pops, would cream cheese frosting be okay to mix the cake with in to little balls or cakesicles?

  3. Hi Jane,

    I’ll be making this recipe tomorrow (first time making red velvet). My pans a 6” though, how should I adapt the recipe amounts to accommodate a smaller tin please?



  4. YUMMY!! This recipe is DE-LICIOUS!! It was honestly so easy to follow, thanks to your amazing instructions Jane. I am loving the red velvet now! The colour was perfect, just as you imagine it to be, I used the extra red as recommended.

    A big thank you for sharing Jane

  5. Hi Jane, I love your blog and Instagram page, I always enjoy a read to see what delicious bakes you’ve made.
    Your recipes are amazing and you cover everything step by step with such helpful information, thank you so much for sharing. I’ve always avoided the red velvet as it worries me for some reason, but am going to give it a go this week for my friends birthday – yikes! The plan is to make a two tier, the red velvet being on the bottom with 4 layers of sponge. Using all the usual dowels and everything for support do you foresee any problems with this? It will be covered with buttercream so can be kept in the fridge. Much appreciated

    1. Red velvet has always been a weird one for bakers, I wouldn’t worry!! As long as you have the correct type of food colouring, and weigh everything well, it should be dandy!
      And yes as long as it’s dowelled correctly then it should be absolutely fine!

  6. Hi Jane!
    I want to make this cake tomorrow but as three tiers rather than 2. Would you please advise me with regards to the increased quantities of the ingredients and also how long to bake it for please xx

  7. Made this recipe yesterday, absolutely delicious and turned out beautifully! I’m making this recipe again but will divide into two 11 inch pans. Should I just double the recipe, or add another half of each ingredient? I complicate things too much in my brain haha.

  8. Hi Jane! I was just wondering, if I wanted to double the recipe to make a 4 layered cake what would be the best way to bake them? In two pans and then cut through the middle or bake in four separate tins?

  9. Hi Jane, amazing recipe! Family were huge fans when I made this. Have you ever tried to make red velvet brownies/cookies? I’ve had a look for a recipe online but it’s all cup/American measurements which never seem to work for me! Thanks!!

  10. Hi Jane, I looovee your blog!! Amazing recipes and love how you explain and give tips! Will be baking this tomorrow for a bday cake. Would you recommend using cream cheese for in between the two layers and Swiss meringue for the top and outer layer? I will need to use the Swiss meringue on the outside so not sure if it will match well?xx

    1. If you use the cream cheese frosting you’ll have to store it in the fridge, so if you’d rather avoid that then use the Swiss meringue for all of it, or just a regular buttercream in the middle xx

  11. Sorry to be a pain…can someone just clear up the cream cheese as I can only find the Philadelphia full fat soft cheese (is this what I’m meant to buy) forgive my naivety. Thanks for any help given x

  12. I made this cake for hubby’s birthday today as he loves red velvet cakes. It tasted delicious, however I wish I had listened to you and bought the sugar flair red food colour as the cake wasn’t as red as I had hoped it would be (I used Dr Oetker extra red gel)! Love all your recipes!!

  13. Hi Jane Can I ask where you get your cream cheese from? All the shops in the UK only sell tubs of cream cheese which is whipped and it’s doesn’t have a thick consistency like the blocks of cream cheese have. Thanks

    1. Hi, just to let you know (and anyone else wondering) I went searching after I posted a comment and found a pack of 8 Sugarflair colours (including red) in Hobbycraft @ £15. A bit much for me so bought a Wilton Christmas Red from there instead . Will let you know how the cake turns out later!

    2. Verdict – sponge turned out perfect – moist and velvety. Icing – too sweet for our liking so will have to reduce sugar next time. a winner overall and will definitely make it again! thank you.

  14. Just made your lovely red velvet cake. I stuck to the letter and it came out perfect…..and yes, defiantely use the good quality red colouring, I ordered sugar flair from Amazon and came next day .

  15. I made this cake last week and its the first red velvet cake I’ve made that actually looks red!! It also tasted lovely but I did have some trouble with the cream cheese frosting (it still tasted lovely though!). It seemed quite runny which meant I had to keep the cake in the fridge. I was wondering whether I overdid it a bit when mixing? Any tips gratefully appreciated!!

    1. I agree about the frosting, mine looked more like melted milky bar!
      Next time I’m going to try less butter.

  16. Hi I love this recipe, but I was wondering if buttercream frosting can be used instead of the cream cheese as it’s my friends birthday cake and they love buttercream ? thanks x

  17. Hi Jane, love the blog so much!
    Was just wondering about the white vinegar in this recipe, is it white wine vinegar or can I use distilled malt vinegar?
    Thanks! 🙂

  18. I have made this cake a couple of times now and it always comes up trumps. Everyone loves it. Thank you Jane for sharing the recipe.

  19. Hi Jane! This recipe looks amaaaazing and I’m having a go at making it this week! I’m stuck though – I can’t find white vinegar and have distilled malt vinegar.. Are they they same? If not please help and tell me where I will find white vinegar!! Thank you! Xx

    1. Hiya! I’m not 100% sure I’m I’m honest if they’re the same as I’ve never seen the vinegar you have already – but I know some people have bought white wine vinegar instead by accident but it’s worked? So maybe try that one? 🙂 xx

  20. Happy birthday to the blog! I can’t believe you’ve only been doing this a year, hands down my favourite blog and I’m planning on trying one of your cheesecake recipes this weekend! This is definitely one to remember too 🙂

  21. Happy blogoversary, I do love a good red velvet cake. I have been disappointed with the recipes I have tried in the past. Your cake looks really perfect, next time I make one I will use your recipe. I do use good quality food coloring so I get that classic red color but am so glad you posted such detailed instructions. Thank you and Happy Birthday to your blog.

    1. Aww thank you so much! 🙂 I really would say that getting the paste of cocoa powder, vanilla and colouring is helpful – otherwise the paste food colouring might not disperse and it ends up all icky coloured! And thank you again!! 🙂

  22. Happy 1st Birthday to your fab blog. The cake looks delicious … i’ll be baking it for a friends birthday in a few weeks time.

  23. Happy 1st birthday hope you have many more so glad I came across your blog x
    Can I ask do you use homemade buttermilk or shop bought please Jane? Many thanks xxx

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