Red velvet cake is a popular type of cake that is known for its distinctive red colour and its moist and tender texture. It is typically layered with cream cheese frosting, which complements the cake’s flavour and adds a creamy and tangy element. The cake gets its red hue from the reaction between the natural cocoa powder and an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk or vinegar, which intensifies the red colour. In the past, the red colour was often enhanced with the use of beetroot or red food colouring.

Red velvet cake has a mild chocolate flavour, though not as strong as a traditional chocolate cake. It has a slightly tangy taste due to the presence of buttermilk or vinegar in the recipe. The addition of a small amount of cocoa powder gives it a hint of cocoa flavour. Cream cheese frosting is the most common choice for red velvet cake, as it complements the flavours of the cake and provides a smooth and creamy texture. The frosting is usually spread between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake. Red velvet cake is a popular dessert in the United States and is often associated with special occasions like birthdays, holidays, and weddings. It has gained widespread popularity for its unique flavour and striking appearance.


To make a red velvet cake, you will need the following ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons red food colouring
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

For the icing:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Here are the steps to make the cake:
  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease two 9-inch round pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Step 2: In a large bowl, beat sugar and shortening together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Step 3: Make a paste of red food colouring and cocoa in a small bowl. Add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Step 4: In another small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, salt, and vanilla. Add flour to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with flour. Mix just until combined.
  • Step 5: In a small cup, stir together vinegar and baking soda. Gently fold into the cake batter and divide evenly between the prepared pans.
  • Step 6: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on the rack.

Here are the steps to make the icing:

  • Step 1: In a small saucepan over low heat, cook milk and flour, stirring constantly, until thickened. Let it cool completely.
  • Step 2: In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the cooled flour mixture and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Step 3: Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread some icing over it. Top with the second cake layer and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake.

Enjoy your red velvet cake!


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