This easy red velvet cake recipe is made from scratch. A bundt cake that is tender and moist with the perfect crumb to each slice!
Do you need an idea for Valentine's Day dessert? This red velvet cake recipe is the perfect choice! It's a simple homemade bundt cake with cream cheese frosting. Prefer a chocolate frosting? Try this red velvet cake pie instead!
Bundt cake recipes can be tricky, but not this one! There are so many reasons you will love this cake recipe!
- The steps to make this red velvet cake recipe are very simple. Nothing tricky!
- This cake is very moist and delicious! It is not dry like some cake recipes can be.
- Decorating this cake is EASY. Just top with your choice of sprinkles.
- The cake is so good on its own, if you want to skip the frosting it's still super tasty!
- It makes the perfect Valentines Day dessert because of the beautiful red coloring.
This red velvet cake recipe uses staple ingredients. The only items you might not have on hand are the red food coloring and the buttermilk. Did you know you can quickly make buttermilk by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of milk? Here's what you need for this recipe:
For the cake:
- Flour - We use all-purpose flour for this recipe, which most people have on hand.
- Sugar - Regular white granulated sugar.
- Cocoa powder - Nothing fancy, just grab what your store carries.
- Baking soda - Every baker should have this in their pantry.
- Salt - Just a little goes a long way to bring out the flavor.
- Vegetable oil - You can sub with canola if that's what you have on hand. The oil keeps this cake moist.
- Buttermilk - If this is the only ingredient you don't have on hand, skip the trip to the store and just add a tablespoon of white vinegar per cup of milk.
- Eggs - Contributes to the structure and richness of the cake.
- Vanilla extract - Don't skip this!
- Red food coloring - It is important you use liquid and NOT gel
- White vinegar - This helps brighten the color.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Unsalted butter
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
Grab decorative sprinkles -- whatever colors you want to decorate for any occasion!
Is Red Velvet Cake Just Red Food Coloring?
Red velvet cake gets its deeper maroon color from the chemical reaction between the vinegar and cocoa powder, however, most recipes call for red food coloring to intensify and brighten the color.
To find the right food color in your grocery store, try searching near the spices. I originally looked in the area where they display cake decorations, candles, gel food color, sprinkles and cupcake liners, etc. You do not want to use gel food coloring -- only liquid food coloring! They are sold in 1 oz sizes (the exact measurement for this recipe) for just around $1.00 each. Again -- look on the shelves where the spices and vanilla extract are sold.
Red Velvet Cake from Scratch
Do not let "from scratch" scare you! This red velvet cake recipe is almost as easy as making a box mix, but SO much more delicious! Follow these tips for success:
- Sift the dry ingredients. This helps turn out a more delicate crumb and avoids dense uneven baking. I typically skip the sifting steps in other recipes, but NOT this one! You can use a mesh strainer to sift your ingredients, or a handheld sifter like the one I have.
- Stir until JUST combined. When you add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients for the cake batter, stir until it is JUST combined. Do not over mix the batter.
With these cake making tips, you should be able to easily bake the perfect red velvet cake for your Valentine!
What Bundt Pan Is Best for Bundt Cake?
You can use any regular sized (9 or 10-inch) bundt pan for this bundt cake recipe. I've had my bundt pan for years and love it. This USA Pan bundt pan comes highly recommended although it is more expensive.
How to Remove Cake From a Bundt Pan
If you are worried about your cake sticking to the bundt pan, try these few tips for a perfect release:
- Use Baker's Joy to grease the pan. I swear by this product and use it whenever I bake anything! It always creates a perfect release with no sticking to the pan.
- Allow the hot cake to rest for 15 minutes in the pan. Run a plastic knife gently around the edges before inverting the cake to release. Slightly shake the pan and tap around the edges to help the sides release.
- To remove the cake from the pan, place an upside down cooling rack right over top the bundt pan then quickly but carefully flip the pan while keeping it flushed to the cooling rack.
More Bundt Pan Recipes
Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cake:
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk* , well shaken
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature**
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 oz bottle red food coloring , liquid NOT gel
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese , at room temperature
- 2 to 4 cups powdered sugar (to your taste)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bundt pan with Baker's Joy or preferred cooking spray; set aside.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, food coloring, and vinegar. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan. Lightly tap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until baked through.
- Remove from oven and allow cake to rest in pan for 15 minutes. Gently run a plastic knife around sides of pan then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium high until smooth. Turn the mixer on low and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Spread frosting over cooled cake. Slice and serve. Store leftover cake in fridge covered with plastic wrap.
- *If you do not have buttermilk on hand, add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to a measuring glass and then pour in regular milk to the 1 cup line. Stir and let set for 5 minutes then use as directed in recipe for buttermilk.
- **To quickly bring eggs to room temperature, place in a bowl of hot water for 30 seconds.
- See notes in post for tips to release bundt cake from pan.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only.