Skip to Content

Classic Red Velvet Cake

  • Save Recipe
  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 2 hr 0 min
  • Servings 12
  • Save
  • Print
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Email
Ready to Make?
  • Save
  • Shop
  • Share
  • Keep Screen On
The “red” makes sense, but what about the “velvet” in Red Velvet Cake’s iconic name? Food historians say it was a common description during the Victorian era when the term described cakes that had an especially soft and “velvety” crumb. From the color to the crumb, this homemade Red Velvet Cake is a dessert classic. If you prefer cupcakes over cakes, our Classic Red Velvet Cake recipe works perfectly for that – check out our "Expert Tips" section for guidance.
Updated May 4, 2021
  • Save
  • Shop
  • Share
  • Keep Screen On



  • 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 bottle (1 oz) red food color
  • 2 eggs


  • 1/2 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms and sides of 3 (8- or 9-inch) round pans with shortening; lightly flour.
  • 2
    In large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
  • 3
    Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 4
    In medium saucepan, mix 1/2 cup flour and 1 1/2 cups milk with whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture is very thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar and the butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture by tablespoonfuls; beat on high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Fill and frost cake, using 1 cup frosting between layers. Store covered in refrigerator.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    If you’re a cake or cookie decorator, rummage through your collection of paste or gel colors. Replace the liquid food color with just a small amount of paste or gel colors to tint the batter; these food colors are more concentrated and intense, so you don’t need as much to achieve the deep red chocolate look that defines Red Velvet Cake.
  • tip 2
    The acidity of buttermilk here isn’t needed to just help activate the leavening like it does in other baked goods. But it’s part of infusing a subtle tang and tenderness to the crumb of the cake, whose flavor is more a cross between a mild chocolate and vanilla base.
  • tip 3
    Be sure to measure ingredients accurately in this Classic Red Velvet Cake recipe. Using the right measuring equipment for the ingredient being measured can make a difference in how a recipe turns out.
  • tip 4
    Bake up a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes instead of a whole cake. Here's how: Place a paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Heat oven and make cake batter as directed in recipe. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Frost.
  • tip 5
    When making Red Velvet Cake from scratch, some bakers make a rich cream cheese frosting instead of red velvet cake frosting to fill and frost their cake.


800 Calories, 52g Total Fat, 5g Protein, 76g Total Carbohydrate, 52g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 3 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 10 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • This velvet cake recipe is a striking dessert that will wow everyone with its showstopping looks and delicious flavor. If you’ve been wanting to know how to make red velvet cake from scratch, this recipe takes you through the easy steps to a moist, light and fluffy cake. If you’d like to brush up on basics before you begin, bakers of all levels—whether you’re learning to make the perfect cake or already a baking pro—can count on these step-by-step instructions on how to make red velvet cake. Once you see how simple it is to make such a dramatic and beautiful cake from scratch, you can find more traditional favorite recipes, intriguing variations and fresh new takes in this collection of Betty’s Best Red Velvet Cake Recipes.
© 2024 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved