Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Today I thought I’d share my red velvet cake recipe—one I’m finally happy with after I-can’t-even-remember-how-many attempts. It rises well and has a nice density to it without being too dense. And as always, this cake recipe works for both cake and cupcakes.
This pairs traditionally with cream cheese frosting, by the way.
Red Velvet Cake or Cupcakes
Makes 14–15 cupcakes or just over enough batter for one 9″ round cake pan. Remember that you need to double the recipe if you’re making a full-sized cake.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
1/2–2/3 cup buttermilk*
2 tsp vanilla
2–3 tsp red food coloring
* Don’t have this? It’s all good—put 1 TB of lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 cup. Let sit 5 minutes before using.
If you haven’t already, you should check out my basic cake baking method and my list of cake baking tips! Every cake batter recipe I post follows that same method, and my cake baking tips are great to memorize for whenever you’re preparing a cake batter such as this.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Beat together the oil and sugar. Then, beat in the eggs and vinegar.
Now you will gradually be adding the dry mixture and the buttermilk to the oil-sugar-egg mixture. To do this, alternate mixing in some of the dry mixture, followed by some milk, followed by some dry mixture… You get the picture. Do that until you’ve incorporated the dry mixture and the milk completely. Just don’t over-mix here.
Finish by stirring in the vanilla and red food coloring.
Baking time. For cupcakes, fill your liners just over halfway full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. For a cake, fill a greased 9-inch round cake pan about 2/3 full with batter and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Use the toothpick test for perfect doneness.