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Red Velvet Cake


Use this recipe to make our Red Velvet Wedding Cake. For batter amounts for pans, see below under ingredients; this recipe can be multiplied. You will need to fill and bake 3 each of the 6-, 9-, 12-, and 15-inch pans; trim to make 1 1/4-inch-high layers. Fill and bake two 4-inch pans; trim to make 1 1/2-inch-high layers.

  • Yield: Makes 5 cups batter

Photography: Dana Gallagher

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2004


  • Unsalted butter, softened, for pans
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • Batter for each 3-inch-deep pan: 4-inch, 1 1/2 cups; 6-inch, 3 1/2 cups; 9-inch, 5 cups; 12-inch, 8 cups; 15-inch, 12 cups


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pans; line with parchment paper. Butter lining; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Set aside. Whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Mix sugar and oil on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until combined. Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition. Mix in food coloring and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Stir together baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Add baking-soda mixture to batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cakengiftsindia
    16 MAY, 2017
    Marvellous cake!!!! I became very happy after taking it, Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.I saw, has also such awesome Cakes. Thanks alot!!!!!!!
  • melaniewichstrom
    9 MAR, 2017
    I made this Red Velvet Cake and baked at 350 for 40 minutes. The cake was only cooked in 60 minutes and the outside was brown with the middle red. Is this correct. Are your red velvet cakes brown on the outside. The problem I had was the person who wanted the wedding cake wanted to see the red layers. Also I doubled the recipe and I could taste the bicarb. I doubled the bicarb. Please tell me what I have done wrong for next time. The cake is dry on the outside. I baked 4 9inch cakes and 4 12inch cakes.
  • Bikerbunny
    27 AUG, 2012
    Thanks for posting all the reviews. It sure helps to make my mind up, whether to make it or not. This one is a make it.
  • Corral_88
    18 AUG, 2012
    I've made this cake at least half a dozen times and it's always a hit! However, I make the following modifications: I use an entire bottle of 1 oz liquid food coloring for intense color, I substitute a teaspoon of cinnamon for the unsweetened cocoa powder ( I personally prefer cinnamon because it enhances the cakes flavor) and I make a simple cream cheese frosting using superfine baker's sugar and two bars softened cream cheese.
  • aroseoftraleey
    26 JUN, 2012
    I modified the recipe as follows: replaced the red food dye with Wilton's Kosher Red Color, 1 ounce jar; used 1 cup oil and 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, Followed the recipe for baking. I iced the cake with vanilla buttercream: 1 lb powdered sugar, 1/4 cup salted butter, 2 t vanilla, 3 - 4 T milk. Was fantastic and a huge hit last Christmas.
  • Rina Wisotzke
    19 JUN, 2012
    This is the cake I am going to make for our wedding. I hope I can be successful and everyone will enjoy....... now to the frosting and the layering of such a large cake.....
  • Sususu
    4 MAR, 2012
    Hi! Can I use fondant to decorate it?
  • Kraftgirl
    22 DEC, 2011
    I recently used the Red Velvet Cake recipe for a birthday cake. I have never understood why people like Red Velvet cake so much. I thought it was just because of the red food coloring which made it look pretty. After using this recipe, I get it! This Red Velvet Cake has a very unique flavor which I think comes from the buttermilk. The cake was moist and delicious. I have shared this recipe with friends. Try it you won't be dissapointed.