The Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe

The BEST Red Velvet Cake recipe that slices up perfectly!

The Best Red Velvet Cake recipe is now here! This red velvet cake recipe is the one my mom always used. I have tried a LOT of Red Velvet recipes, and this is by far the best one out there. It’s soft, moist and tender, with the perfect red velvet flavor!

The Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe you will ever try! It’s soft, fluffy, and moist!

I used to think that “basic” recipes were a little boring. I started my website posting a lot of twists on classic recipes. And while I am still all about that, I have realized that I was oh so wrong…basic isn’t boring…it’s CLASSIC. And when you can bake the classics with ease, the twists and modifications come extra easy.

I truly thought I had posted this recipe before. It seems so obvious. But a few months ago when I shared my mom’s Heritage Frosting recipe on my Frosting Friday series, I realized that I didn’t have a cake to spread that frosting on! Heritage Frosting (aka Cooked Flour Frosting) always went on my mom’s Red Velvet Cake, and I was shocked to find that I had shared how to make her FAMOUS Red Velvet Cake recipe here on my website! Total fail on my part!

So today I am going to remedy this Red Velvet Cake situation. And you are going to thank me. It’s THAT good.

How To Make Red Velvet Cake

Simple tips on how to make Red Velvet Cake

First things first, I wanted to share this recipe as my mom wrote it, so I used old school McCormick food coloring. The kind you find right in the supermarket…

Yes, there are red food coloring gels that you can use far less of and still achieve a gorgeous red color. And I have made this recipe using those gels. BUT my mom’s recipe uses, not only one but TWO of the (1 ounce) red food coloring bottles.

So to make the recipe super accessible, with easy to find ingredients, I used McCormick, BUT I only use one bottle of food coloring. It is 100% enough color. I have no idea why my mom used two bottles. Of course, I know there is controversy surrounding using any artificial food coloring in food to begin with, so I tried to cut back where I could.

And this recipe makes a gorgeous 3 layer cake. 3 layers are just more festive.

Frosting a Red Velvet Cake

What Kind of Frosting is Best For Red Velvet Cake?

I know so many of you prefer your red velvet with cream cheese frosting, but I’m ALL about the Heritage Frosting on this cake, that I linked to above! BUT you can also use:

  • Cream cheese frosting, which is a classic on Red Velvet Cake!
  • Buttercream Frosting, because it’s an easy option for those who don’t want to go to the trouble of Heritage Frosting or don’t like Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Chocolate Frosting! It might seem crazy, but chocolate and red velvet go together perfectly!

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

When you cut this red velvet cake, you’ll going to be so happy. This cake just does that to your heart! It’s outrageously soft, moist, and has the perfect crumb.

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

This is DEFINITELY the BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!!

Looking for more Red Velvet Recipes? 


Red Velvet Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category Category: Cake
  • Method Method: Baking
  • Cuisine Cuisine: Dessert


The Best Red Velvet Cake recipe you will ever make! A family favorite!


  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 oz. red food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 3, 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray. Cut parchment rounds to fit in the bottom of the pans. Place the parchment rounds in the pans and coat again with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the oil, eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated.
  3. Next add the cocoa powder, salt and baking soda, mixing on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until no lumps remain in the cocoa powder.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in the flour and red food coloring. Mix until smooth, 30 seconds – 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Divide the batter equally into the 3 prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Frost as desired.


I use my recipe for Heritage Frosting on this cake. Please note, if you use my recipe you will need to increase the recipe by 1/2.

You can also use my Buttercream Frosting

Also, if you are not using liquid food coloring, the amount that you will need will change. If you use a gel coloring add until the desired shade of red is reached. I use McCormick’s brand coloring in this cake, as this is what my mom used in her recipe.

Keywords:: red velvet cake, frosting, cake, red velvet, recipe, cream cheese frosting, heritage frosting, springform pan

Want To Save This Recipe?

Helpful tip… Out of buttermilk? Here’s a buttermilk substitution!

Buttermilk Substitution


Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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Heather Orford
Heather Orford
July 17, 2020 9:12 am

Hi, I have made this cake and it is wonderful! However I need to make it bigger, into 9.5 or 10 inch pans. But I don’t want the sponges to be thinner. How much more of each ingredients would I need to top it up? Or how should I work it out?

Many Thanks,

July 17, 2020 9:05 am

is it a must you use cocoa powder

July 3, 2020 7:54 am

Hello Shelly, so I made a red velvet cake with your recipe and it came out awesome. But it didn’t come out as moist as I had hoped. How can I make my cake really moist?

July 1, 2020 5:49 am

Mam please tell your cup size

June 13, 2020 1:36 am

I use exactly the same recipe you mentioned. I would like to know if it is normal that the cake become hard once completely cool

June 12, 2020 2:40 pm

I have made this recipe 3 times now and it is SO good! Everyone loves it. I double the amount of cocoa powder because we like a little more chocolate flavor and it is perfection. Thank you for the recipe!

Allison Davis
Allison Davis
June 7, 2020 11:12 pm

I will be trying this recipe this week. However, I have been unable to find 8 inch round pans. Would it be okay to use 9 inch pans?

June 6, 2020 10:59 am

I observed baking powder is not included on the ingredient list. May I know why.

June 3, 2020 6:50 pm

Very fantastic recipe! Shelly, How can i reduce this recipe for making cupcakes ?

June 3, 2020 4:30 pm

this recipe was very helpful. um I think maybe you should put the instructions up with the ingridients. I did it wrong because the instructions are down below. but that is mainly my fault. and I am doing this recipe again.

May 31, 2020 3:22 am

I made this recipe. Much easier than I expected and it was the first time I’ve made a cake without a box mix successfully. Will be keeping it in my recipe box. Big hit with family. I did make this in a pan larger than 9×13 as I didn’t have round pans and it was perfect.

June 3, 2020 4:31 pm
Reply to  Shelly

yes. it was amazing

May 29, 2020 8:23 am

Hi, I want to try out this recipe! Would you recommend using the eggs and buttermilk at room temp or keeping them cold? I make chocolate cakes and use those ingredients at room temp, so I just want to be prepared before I start. Thanks in advance, can’t wait to try it out!

May 29, 2020 9:09 am
Reply to  Shelly

I’ll probably do it then, since that’s what I’m used to. Thanks for the response! 🙂

Areli Del Toro
Areli Del Toro
May 23, 2020 9:44 pm

Hi! How would you suggest to adjust the recipe for a 6 inch cake??

Soleil Burke
Soleil Burke
May 15, 2020 5:38 pm

I just made the cake, but it did not turn out anything like the pictures. It’s not red, and it’s more brown. It’s tastes okay but not like red velvet… I have no clue what I did wrong.

June 12, 2020 2:53 am
Reply to  Soleil Burke

It probably could be that the red color is not enough

May 12, 2020 9:21 pm

Would I be able to make this using just 2 round pans?? I only have two of the same round!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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