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slice of 3 layered cake

Red Velvet Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

3 layered cake that is light in texture, tangy, with a hint of cocoa and frosted with cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 18 people



  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil vegetable, canola, or grapeseed
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1oz bottle red food coloring 
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 tbl warm water
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting- enough to frost and fill 3 layer 8” cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 12 oz cream cheese 1 1/2 package- room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbl vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2-5 cups sifted confectioners sugar



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line 3 8” cake pans with parchment rounds, spray with oil and lightly dust with flour. Set aside
  • In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar and beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add oil and mix to combine.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg. Add the red food coloring and beat until combined.
  • With the mixer on medium-low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and buttermilk; beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Be careful to not over mix the batter. Stop the mixer when a few ribbons of flour are visible.
  • Combine the warm water, baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Bubbles will begin to form- add to the batter and mix for 10-20 seconds on medium-low speed.
  • Evenly distribute the cake batter into each prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. Check cakes by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs- cakes are done! *Each oven varies and baking times may differ by 5-10 minutes. Check cake for doneness at 28 minutes.
  • Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes in the pan before turning the cake pan upside down to release the cake to completely cool.
  • Prepare the frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for 2-4 minutes or until well combined. Add pinch of salt
  • Sift confectioners sugar and add 1 cup at a time. Beat on medium speed until combined before adding additional confectioners sugar. Add vanilla. Beat until smooth and spreadable. Test frosting for sweetness at 4 1/2 cups of sugar before adding additional confectioners sugar.


  • If any of the cake layers are domed on top, use a serrated knife to cut off the top to even the cake layers before stacking.
  • Using an 8" or 10" cake board, add a small amount of frosting to act as glue for the first cake layer to stick to the board. Add one layer of cake.
  • Using a giant cookie/ice cream scooper, add 3 heaping scoops of frosting, about 3/4 cup- 1 cup. Evenly spread across the cake. Add the second layer of cake and repeat process. For the final cake layer, turn topside down.
  • Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake. This is the crumb coat and does not need to look perfect. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will set the frosting and lock in the crumbs so they do not show up on the final frosting.
  • Once the cake has chilled, add another layer of cream cheese frosting.
Keyword cake recipe, cream cheese frosting, easy cake, red velvet, red velvet cake recipe, valentines day cake, valentines day dessert