Red Velvet Cake

Rich, tender, and deeply red, our Red Velvet Cake comes equipped with the luxurious crumb and tangy taste you’ve grown accustomed to. We opted for the more traditional Ermine Icing, a frosting with a cooked roux base and an infinitely smooth finish. For more showstopping layer cakes, pick up a copy of our November/December 2019 issue!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Red Velvet Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
  • 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (43 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle (30 grams) liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • Ermine Icing (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Divide batter among prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Trim each layer flat; reserve trimmings for garnish. Spread Ermine Icing between layers and on top of cake. Spread a thin layer of Ermine Icing on sides of cake; using a bench scraper, smooth icing, leaving sides of cake exposed. Crumble reserved cake trimmings on top of cake. Store in an airtight container.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Ermine Icing
Makes about 3 cups
  • 5 tablespoons (40 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (240 grams) cold whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  1. In a small saucepan, cook flour and milk over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and pudding-like and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F (77°C), 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla and salt. Pour into a small bowl; cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool, about 1 hour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, slowly add sugar, and beat until smooth and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Slowly add cooled flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat until light and fluffy. (It should look like whipped cream.) Use immediately.


Previous articleSimple Salted Peppermint Bark
Next articleGerman Chocolate Cake


  1. This is my favorite frosting!

    In the Midwest we called this “mock cream” frosting. I first had it on German Chocolate cake – the perfect match IMO (who needs that sticky sweet coconut frosting!?). Then I had it on Red Velvet – then I tired it on Carrot Cake – again the perfect match! Cake must be kept refrigerated once frosted because of the milk. And refrigeration keeps the frosting a bit firm so it doesn’t slip off the cake if your kitchen is warm (remember this is full of butter). This also goes by the names of boiled frosting and/or flour frosting and was the “original’ frosting for Red Velvet cake (so I am told). Also I think it is a depression era recipe that became very popular in the mid 1950s. You can add cocoa (about a 1/4 cup to make chocolate icing). Some old recipes call for 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter – but really isn’t all butter better? This icing can be piped – but chill it in the piping bag first so it will hold its shape better and your decorations will be more defined.

    For the person that said her frosting was a disaster – it looks like a disaster when making it – you have to “beat it to death” when combining the roux with the butter and sugar. It will come together – just let your mixer run (and don’t give up).

  2. I made this for my birthday 2 days ago. It’ s pretty loved by everyone in our house. Personally though I don’t care about the cake so much. I fine it crumbly. I’ve a better recipe. The frosting is another story. I love it! I’ll keep using it. It’s wonderful & delicious! Btw, instead of using granulated sugar to sweeten the frosting, I substituted with condensed milk. Used about half a cup.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.