Red Velvet Cake

It seems that there’s a red velvet cake revival every two years. In fact, I did a post on red velvet cupcakes exactly two years ago on the 28th of March. But I’m telling you, that revival has been going on for decades. Just as you think people have forgotten red velvet cake, they tend to get back on the wagon.So here I am, on the red velvet wagon, again. Why? Because this cake seriously is a thing of beauty. It’s not only a normal cake with a load of red food colouring – it’s a fluffy, moist, velvety creation like no other. You just need to look at it to understand that this is the royal Duchess of cakes.
This recipe is slightly different to the cupcake recipe and makes two layers that you can sandwich together (I slice them each in half horizontally to create four thin layers).I prefer to use a vanilla buttercream icing that is whipped like cream, I prefer the colour and texture of this to a cream cheese icing or a mascarpone icing.This is the perfect “high tea” cake, and a must for Easter celebrations.

Red velvet cake:

  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 2 XL eggs
  • 30 ml red food colouring
  • 15 ml milk
  • 30 ml cocoa powder
  • 280 g cake flour
  • 2.5 ml salt
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 15 ml white vinegar
  • 5 ml vanilla essence

Buttercream frosting:

  • 250 g butter, very soft
  • seeds of one vanilla pod
  • 500 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk


  • Step 1

    Grease and line 2 x 20 cm round cake tins, and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Step 2

    Using electric beaters, cream butter and sugar. Now add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Step 3

    Add the food colouring and milk, then beat well.
  • Step 4

    Sift the cocoa powder, cake flour and salt together. Add half the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk. Mix well, now add the remaining half of the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, and mix well.
  • Step 5

    Dissolve the bicarb into the vinegar, then add it to the mixture along with the vanilla. Fold it in with a spatula, then pour into the greased pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Step 6

    Remove from oven, then leave in the pans for 5 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Buttercream frosting:

    Whisk/beat butter and vanilla seeds until very light in colour and fluffy, for around 3 – 5 minutes. Add icing sugar a little at a time, and beat/whisk at low-speed until it starts to come together, then on high-speed until light and creamy. Add milk and whisk further to create an ultra-light whipped buttercream. Spread on each layer and on top of cake.