Home » Old Fashioned Desserts » Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake

Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake

A sweet and delicious classic, this super moist cake is topped with the best ever cream cheese frosting. Perfect for a birthday or special occasion.

A rich and decadent classic, this cake is perfect fot the most special of occasions.

slices cake showing layers of icing.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s a classic: The Red Velvet Cake has been a beloved dessert for generations, and for good reason! Its unique combination of flavors and striking appearance make it a memorable treat.
  • It’s indulgent: The cream cheese frosting adds an irresistible tangy sweetness that complements the chocolate notes in the cake perfectly.
  • It’s surprisingly easy to make: Despite its gourmet look, this cake is surprisingly straightforward. No advanced baking skills are required!
  • It’s versatile: Perfect for birthdays, holidays, or just because—it’s a cake that fits every occasion.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on white counter.

You’ll need the following for this classic dessert:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Cocoa powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • Buttermilk
  • Large eggs
  • Red food coloring
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries for garnish


Step One: make the ccake batter

mixing bowl showing stage of cake batter.

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Get those cake pans ready by greasing and flouring

Time for the dry ingredients. Sift together your flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a big bowl.

Now let’s get those wet ingredients mixed. In another bowl, mix together your oil, buttermilk, eggs, that vibrant red food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. An electric mixer is your friend here.

Gradually add your sifted dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until you have a smooth, beautifully red batter.

Step Two: evenly pour into pans

prepared cake pan empty and filled with cake batter.

Pour that batter evenly into your prepped cake pans.

Tip: for perfectly even layers, weigh your batter. Zero out your scale when you put the cake pan on it and pour until it’s even.

Step three

baked cake cooling in pan and on wire rack

Bake until a toothpick poked into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let the cakes chill on a cooling rack before you take them out of the pans.

Step Four: make cream cheese frosting

mixing bowl showing stages of cream cheese frosting.

While waiting, whip up your cream cheese frosting. Beat together your softened cream cheese and butter until it’s nice and smooth, then add in vanilla extract and powdered sugar gradually. Keep beating until you get that light, fluffy texture.

Step Five: assemble

process shots of icing cake layers and adding strawberries and pecans.

Place a layer on your cake stand, frost the top, and then repeat. Your final layer gets frosting on top and all around the sides.

Time for the finishing touch: sprinkle chopped pecans and fresh berries over your cake for that extra wow factor.

Don’t forget the best part: cutting yourself a generous slice and digging in!

🥫 Storage instructions

Your cake can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Just make sure it’s covered well to prevent it from drying out.

If you want to freeze the cake, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and then foil. It can last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Just thaw it in the fridge before serving.

It will freeze best unfrosted, in individual layer. But if you have leftovers and want to enjoy them later, it’s frine to wrap pieces up and freeze them frosted.

🔍 FAQs

Can I omit the food coloring?

Absolutely! The food coloring just gives the cake its traditional red hue. Without it, your cake will still taste fantastic.

What if I don’t have buttermilk?

No problem! You can easily make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and letting it sit for about 10 minutes.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Make sure your buttermilk and eggs are at room temperature before mixing. This ensures a smoother batter and a more evenly baked cake.
  • When mixing the batter, don’t overdo it. Overmixing can lead to a denser cake.
  • Test the cake for doneness a few minutes before the suggested baking time. Every oven is different, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!

📘 more classic cake Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • A piping hot cup of coffee or tea
  • A glass of cold milk
plated slice of red velvet cake with fork eating bite.

📖 Here’s the recipe

finished red velvet layer cake with strawberries on top.
5 from 1 vote

Old-Fashioned Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Print Recipe
A sweet and delicious classic, this super moist cake is topped with the best ever cream cheese frosting. Perfect for a birthday or special occasion.
Prep Time:45 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Cooling time:2 hours
Total Time:3 hours 15 minutes
Click here for a FREE autumn cookbook (25+ Recipes!)


  • 3 9 inch cake pans


For the Cake

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar

For Garnish

  • pecans
  • strawberries


Make the Cake

  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
  • Make the batter. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  • Bake and cool. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
  • Add sugar to preference. Gradually add the powdered sugar, continually beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. Depending on how stiff/ sweet you like your frosting, you make add the full amount of sugar or not.


  • Place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Spread a layer of frosting on the top. Repeat with the next layer, and then top with the last layer of cake.
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish with chopped pecans and fresh berries as desired.
  • Slice and serve!


This recipe uses food coloring to achieve its classic red hue, but you may omit it if you wish. The flavor will remain delightful.


Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 439mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 1053IU | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: red velvet cake
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 653kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?If you loved it, please leave a review!

1 thought on “Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake”

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating