Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you love to bake, you have the privilege to create the most unique gift when it comes to birthday, party and holiday celebrations. And everyone will remember this special gift.

What if you love to bake, but are not really good at it? Try to make this red velvet cake. I can’t see what will go wrong with this simple recipe even for someone who hasn’t ever baked before. No special frosting technique is required. You can simply sprinkle some cake crumbs on top as garnish. Or just like me, get some flowers from the yard.

My secret ingredient for this moist, flavourful, classic red velvet cake is that tiny cup of freshly brewed espresso. It helps lift up the signature red velvet cake taste, and creates the melt-in-your-mouth texture.

I made a 5-inch mini cake. You can double the recipe for an 8-inch cake. If you are still looking for ideas for mother’s day, I highly recommend this. You will be your mother’s favourite child.

Ingredients (5-inch 3-layer cake):
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon red food coloring paste
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup freshly brewed hot espresso
1 package 8-ounce cream cheese, soften
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease three 5-inch cake pan, and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar and egg until well combined.
Mix in buttermilk, vanilla extract and food colouring paste, followed by vinegar and espresso.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just blended.
Pour the cake batter evenly between cake pans, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
To prepare cream cheese frosting, place cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
To assemble the cake, simply sandwich cake layers with the cream cheese frosting.
Or fit a pastry bag with a big star tip and fill with the frosting. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the outer edge of the cake. Starting at the inner edge of the border, continue piping a spiral of buttercream inward. Smooth the inside frosting with an offset spatula, leaving the edges untouched. Repeat to frost the remaining cake layers. Garnish with fresh flowers.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave cake in room temperature for at least an hour before serving.


  1. hallo, thank you for the recipe. what happens when you don’t bake the cake right away?,say having mixed the cake batter at 7:00am but i bake at 9:00am but the cake batter is at room temperature

  2. This is the most beautiful cake ever! Would love to make, but it’s hard as here uk we don’t use the cup measurement.would you consider converting the measurements for us have some gorgeous things and are very generous to share the recipes, would love to buy but can’t, would to bake everything,but its very long trying to convert,Fingers crossed you can help

    1. Hi Abir, if you go for an 5-inch cake. I would suggest you to divide the batter in at least two pans, and add around 5 to 10 minutes for the baking time.

  3. Hi Fanny, I am wanting to bake this in a 9 inch cake pan, will the amounts of the ingredients change? If so, will you give me the right amount of ingredients to use. Thank you.

    1. Hi Audrye, you can easily double up the ingredients portion to make a bigger cake. Same as the frosting. Hope you enjoy the recipe. :)

  4. If i wanted to bake this in two 5 inch pans instead of three how would I adjust the baking time and temp?? Thanks!

    1. Hi Shehr, it might take another 5 minutes longer. But anyhow, check it after 25 minutes, then 5 minutes intervals. :)

  5. hi, I was wondering if this will still be amazing if I optioned to not use vinegar? Also, can I use regular food coloring as opposed to the paste? I’m actually unsure as to what the paste looks like (bottle wise). If yes, what would the measurements be for the regular liquid coloring?

  6. Hi, just wondering do use multiple pans to bake the cake, or 1 thick pans and slice that 1 cake into 3?

    1. Hi Cynthia, I have 3 mini cake pans so I use them for baking. My experience told me you could use 2 cake pans and slice the cake into 4 layers, so you will have a 4-layer cake.

  7. Thanks for sharing. This is my favorite cake I love it so much but i have been looking for the recipe for a while now….

  8. Great cake. My wife and I made this yesterday. It brought back a lot of fond memories for me. Thanks, too, for the 5″ sizing. I bought pans just for this recipe and am delighted. Thanks also for introducing me to food color paste. Again, I bought some just for this recipe. What a brilliant red color! Finally, I dug out a recipe for Mystery Icing. It is a little more trouble to make, but is a classic for Red Velvet. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Dan. I am so happy to hear that both you and your wife liked the cake and it brought you good memories. Good food always gets along with families, friends, loves, joys……Enjoy!

  9. so for the frosting, are you saying EITHER spread cream cheese frosting between the layers and on top OR pipe butter cream between the layer and on top, or did you use both types of frosting and methods?

    looks delish, just wanna make sure I do it right!


    1. Thanks, Jenny. Yes, you can either simply spread the frosting between cake layers and on top of the cake OR pipe the frosting to make it look pretties. Either way, I’m sure everyone will be happy.

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