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Red Velvet Cake Recipe

This red velvet cake recipe shows you how to make this mysterious red cake which is contrasted with its white frosting. The redness can range from dark red to bright red or red-brown color.

The red velvet cake recipe is quite popular in the Southern United States but known elsewhere too. The cake is made of buttermilk, butter or shortening, flour, cocoa powder, and of course the red food coloring. Usually, people use cooked flour frosting (shown in this recipe) but cream cheese frosting is also popular.

If this is your first time making a cake, don't worry. As usual, I am here to guide you every step of the way. This red velvet cake recipe takes a little longer to make so ensure you have the time.

Happy baking and enjoy!

By Hai Nguyen

Total time: 2 h

Cake ingredients (two 8" diam cake pans):

1 cup (or 1 stick) vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar)

Frosting ingredients:

2 cups milk
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup (or 1/2 stick) shortening or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sugar
coconut flakes
almond slices


Part 1 (5 min)
Slice the stick of shortening on a cutting board (1). Place it in a large bowl (2) and then melt it in the microwave for 1 min (3). Preheat oven to 350°F.

cooking red velvet cake part 1

Part 2 (20 min)
Add the eggs and sugar in with the melted shortening and mix well (1). In a measuring cup or bowl, mix the red food colouring and the cocoa powder until the cocoa is completely dissolved (2). Add the red colouring mixture to the shortening mixture of the large bowl (3). Add the vanilla, baking soda and salt and mix (4). Add half of the total amount of flour then add the buttermilk (5). Mix well until the chunks are blended in (6). Add the remaining amount of flour (7). The mixture will appear chunky and white (8) but keep mixing until its blended in (9).

cooking red velvet cake part 2

Part 3 (35 min)
Transfer the mixture to two greased or oiled 8 inch diameter cake pans (1). Use the spoon to even spread out the surface of the mix (2). Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

cooking red velvet cake part 3

Part 4 (ongoing with part 3)
While the cake is baking, let's make the frosting. In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk and 6 tablespoons of flour (1). Turn on medium or high heat and cook stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and looks like glue. Take it away from the heat and cool it (2). Once the mixture is slightly warm or at room temperature mix in 1/2 cup (or 1/2 stick) or shortening or butter. It helps to do it in two additions (1/4 then another 1/4 totaling 1/2). Then add the 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract, and sugar. Mix everything together well (3). You might notice that the frosting is liquid. Place the frosting mixture in the fridge to cool further making it more solid.

cooking red velvet cake part 4

Part 5 (60 min)
Once the baking is done, take the two cake pans out and let them cool on coasters (1). This red velvet cake recipe is so far so good? ;-) Take a break for 30 min to let them cool. To plop out the cake, invert and gently tap on the pan. We have to take the rounded top off to make the cake look all even. Hold up the cake on its side (2) and with a knife, gently slice around the whole circle (3), and the top should come off (4). Do the same for the other cake. Place one cake on a plate (first layer) (5). Add some frosting on the top of the first layer (6). Add the second layer but invert it (7). Add frosting to the top (8). Frost the sides, then garnish with some coconut flakes on top and sliced almond on the sides (9).

cooking red velvet cake part 5

You may want to cool the cake in the fridge further (optional). Congratulations on following the instructions on this red velvet cake recipe! Cut out a piece and enjoy.

red velvet cake 3

Close up! As we Canadians like to say "Looks good, eh?".

red velvet cake 2

...and here comes the spoon, and then yum!

red velvet cake 1

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