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How to Make Red Velvet Cake

By TBSP Angela
Updated January 22, 2019
If you want to add some wow to a regular devil's food cake, there is no better option than learning how to make red velvet cake.

So, a red velvet cake is just a fancy version of devil's food cake, right?

If you want to add some wow to a regular devil's food cake, there is no better option than learning how to make red velvet cake.

How to Make Red Velvet Cake

Using your regular sponge cake recipe, use half the amount of eggs you normally would and instead add a cup of buttermilk—this depends on the quantity you are making, so add the buttermilk gradually to make sure you get a cake batter that isn't too runny.

Before you add the buttermilk though, beat together your butter and sugar until you are sure you have a light and pale combo. Now mix in the food coloring and add the rest of your ingredients—buttermilk goes in after everything else. This will put the velvet in your red velvet cake.

Looking for a short-cut? Grab a box of Betty Crocker™ Red Velvet cake mix and get your velvet on in less time.

What Makes a Red Velvet Cake Red?

Boozy Red Velvet Poke Cake

To create that delicious red color, add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder to make red color more intense without using a whole bottle of food coloring; it also adds a more rich but subtle taste.

If you want to make red velvet cake authentic, then you are going to have to take a leap of faith here and realize this is going to take a fair bit of that scarlet food color. The best option, if you can get hold of it, is the more concentrated food paste. Even then, you are going to easily need a good and heavy heaped tablespoon of this paste to get a truly red velvet cake. Yep, this is a lot, but if you wanted a delicate pink cake, you wouldn't be reading this right?

Red Food Coloring Substitutes

If the thought of so much food color is making you blush more scarlet than the cake mix, you could try and substitute some of it with a more natural beetroot food color. It really depends how intense you want to go. It's important to remember though that whatever color your mix is before you put it in the oven, it will certainly come out paler when it's baked.

Red Velvet Cake Frostings

Foolproof Cream Cheese Frosting

Now that we’ve covered how to make red velvet cake, you want to finish it off with the perfect frosting. It has become a classic tradition to the red velvet cake world to add a cream cheese frosting to the top, but you can add a bit of pizzazz and mix in some melted white chocolate too. It really adds to the rich consistency as well as adding creaminess to the taste. Whichever way you choose to finish off your creation, make sure your sponge is totally cold first. In fact, firming it up and cooling it down in the fridge makes frosting much easier to spread, if you have the time.

Red Velvet Cake Recipes

Are you RED-y to get your cake on? Here are a few of our favorite red velvet cake recipes to get you started: