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Red Velvet Cake

Prep Time:

20 mins.

Cook Time:

25 mins.


one 8-inch layer cake about 6-8 servings

An American favorite since the 1920s, Red Velvet Cake’s creation has been attributed to John A. Adams, owner of the Adams Extract Company and later, New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where it was a popular menu item during the 1950s. Red Velvet differs from Devil’s Food by using cocoa instead of chocolate.



  • 2 1/4 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour®️ (sifted, then measured)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs


  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. WHISK buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in a small bowl to blend. Cream the sugar and butter together in the bowl of a stand or electric mixer, until well blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.
  3. ADD the dry ingredients in 4 additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
  4. DIVIDE batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until the tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 27 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks lined with parchment paper; cool completely.
  5. MAKE the frosting by creaming together the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  6. PLACE 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a platter or cake stand. Spread 1 cup of frosting over top of the cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

*The cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.