Red Velvet Cake

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

This BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER is the recipe my mom 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!

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, and I was shocked to find that I had never shared her FAMOUS Red Velvet recipe here on my website! Total fail on my part!


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

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!
And here’s a video to show you how!

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…

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!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.

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!And this recipe makes a gorgeous 3 layer cake. 3 layers are just more festive.

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!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. If you like cream cheese frosting, here’s my recipe, just double it for this cake!

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

This cake always bakes up perfectly.

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

Isn’t it stunning in its simplicity?

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

And when you cut it, you’ll going to be so happy. This cake just does that to your heart!

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

It’s outrageously soft, moist, and has the perfect crumb.

The BEST Red Velvet Cake EVER!

I 100% stand behind the fact that this is the best Red Velvet Cake ever!


Red Velvet Cake

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: serves 12


  • 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.

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.

Helpful tip… Out of buttermilk?

Buttermilk Substitution


23 Responses

  1. Teija

    Definitely trying this. I’ve had the same Red Velvet cake recipe for years (It’s VERY similar to yours) but the last couple of times I’ve made it, for some reason it didn’t turn out as good as it used to. So I’ve been on the hunt for a new one. Love to make this at Christmas. The kids used to call it Jesus’s birthday cake 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  2. I Made this cake and it turn out to be really delicious and moist. The consistency of the cake was really nice. My husband saw the cake and he loved the color of the cake. Its my second attempt to make Red velvet cake and it was perfect . Thank You so much for the recipe.

  3. Cpb

    The cake and frosting recipe are similar to what my mother always referred to as “Crimson Christmas Cake” – couldn’t tell you why. The only difference I see in the cake recipe is the order of the ingredients. I will say to those that want to melt butter instead of oil; it isn’t the same! For years when I make this cake, I add cream cheese to the frosting. Yep, same recipe just started adding a block of cream cheese and it turns out great!

  4. Mahnoor

    Is there any substitute for butter milk?
    And please tell me what changes i need to make to bake a single layer cake instead of three layers

  5. Amanda

    My daughter wants a red velvet cake for her birthday. But the design we have settled on is a 1/4 sheet cake. I was wondering if you knew what changes I would need to make; to the ingredients and baking time and temp?

    1. Sarah

      I made do with what I had, I used 2 9 inch round pans instead of 8 inch pans. I’d say to just keep the temp the same but keep an eye on your cake after 20-25 minutes. As for the recipe, make one batch to see if it fits the pan and make as many as you see can fit your pan but keep in mind the cake rises a fair amount. :^)

  6. Laila

    This cake is insanely amazing! I have tried many recipes but always turned out terrible.
    Thanks for sharing the best red velvet recipe ever!!

  7. Diane

    Made this cake for Christmas Day. It was delicious. A friend of mine from many years ago used to use this frosting recipe and it was always delicious. One of your readers mentioned that the frosting looked curdled. It does get to that stage. Turn up the speed of your mixer and keep whipping. It will soon turn silky and delicious. Yes, it’s very sweet. But what’s wrong with that, I say? It was a pretty cake and very good. Thank you!

  8. Sylvia

    I love the texture and sugar content but this was extremely greasy, I was already sceptical about the fat content but I decided to go ahead with it based on the reviews, but it was really greasy. 🙁

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