Go Back
+ servings
slice of red velvet cake on white plate with fork

Southern Red Velvet Cake

This southern red velvet cake recipe consists of light and moist 'chocolate' cake with a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 644kcal
Author Ryan Beck



  • 2 ¾ cups cake flour (330 grams)
  • 3 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature with yolks and whites separates
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoon red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt



  • Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare two 9" round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and then butter the pans. Toss a tablespoon of flour in the pans and turn to coat the entire pan, tossing the extra flour out. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar, butter and oil until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until mixed. Add the vanilla and white vinegar and beat until combined. You can also use a hand mixer to do this.
  • In a measuring cup, carefully whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and ending with the flour until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the 4 egg whites on high speed until fluffy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  • Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are set and no longer wiggly. Inserting a toothpick should come out mostly clean with some moist crumbs, but no wet batter. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edges of the pan. Invert on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and butter together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt and beat until fluffy, about another 3 minutes. 

To Assemble Cake

  • Level the tops of each cake with a knife or cake leveler and keep the crumbs to top the cake. Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or plate, top with an even layer of frosting. Place the second layer on top, then use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. Top with crumbs. Refrigerate cake for at least 30-60 minutes before slicing. 


  • Do not skip the buttermilk as it helps create the moistness you expect from red velvet cake. If you don't have it, make your own. See instructions above.
  • All refrigerated items should be at room temperature, which helps the batter mix easily and evenly.
  • You know cake is done when you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to completely cool before adding the frosting, otherwise it will melt.
  • If you don't have 9 inch cake pans, you can make this red velvet cake recipe in a 9x13 cake pan or 12x17 sheet pan. It should take about 40-45 min or 20-25 minutes, respectively.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 50g