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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Areli Del Toro
Areli Del Toro

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

Soleil Burke
Soleil Burke

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.


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


Hi. I don’t have any buttermilk. If I use whole milk with a tablespoon of vinegar, would I omit the vinegar in the recipe? Or would it be okay to use the homemade buttermilk with vinegar and the vinegar in the recipe? Also can this be used for cupcakes ?


Is it possible to make the cake without vinegar?


I am diabetic. Do you have suggestion if i can substitute sugar?

Thank you


Hello Shelly,
I made this red velvet cake for my daughter’s birthday. I followed the recipe and the end result was a success. This cake is moist, not oily, and not super sweet. Due to Covid-19 most of our bakeries are closed, so it’s back to homemade for now. Thank you for this recipe!!


I just tried this recipe and it came out pretty ,the best recipe ever ,thank you!!!!


I have always made my grandmother’s recipe for red velvet cake, but it uses butter and the cake is extremely dense. This recipe has the same red velvet flavor, but is very light and moist. I made the original cooked frosting recipe and it turned out beautifully. I will make this version from now on! Thanks for this recipe.


Hi, I’m from the Uk- What kind of vinegar do you due? Is it the same as white wine vinegar? thanks in advance!


Could I make this in a 9×13 if I don’t have the round pans? If so would that change baking time or should I just check with a toothpick one it starts looking done?
Thanks in advance!!


This is absolutely the best red velvet I’ve ever made. I went back and forth between a bunch of different recipes online, and randomly (luckily!!) chose this one. It’s moist, it’s sweet. It’s absolutely perfect .


The cake is moist because it calls for oil and not butter. Most cakes will turn out the same way if oil is use. Butter makes cake hard if put in the refrigerator because is still have cream in it.

Freya Ball
Freya Ball

Really nice recipe, one of the best cakes I’ve made, thank you! Lovely and moist and sweet


Hello there! I want to asked you something,is there a reason that you use only baking soda and not with baking powder?

Ege Abigail
Ege Abigail

I tried the recipe and it was divine, loved it. Thank you so much Shelly

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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