Classic Red Velvet Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12
Calories 800kcal

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 bottle (1 oz) red food color
  • 2 eggs

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms and sides of 3 (8- or 9-inch) round pans with shortening; lightly flour.
  • In large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
  • Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • In medium saucepan, mix 1/2 cup flour and 1 1/2 cups milk with whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture is very thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. In large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar and the butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture by tablespoonfuls; beat on high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Fill and frost cake, using 1 cup frosting between layers. Store covered in refrigerator.

Notes

Notes:
  • If you’re a cake or cookie decorator, rummage through your collection of paste or gel colors. Use just a small amount to tint the batter to replace the bottle of liquid red food color; those food colorings are more concentrated and intense, so you don’t need as much to achieve the deep red chocolate look that defines Red Velvet.
  • The acidity of buttermilk here isn’t needed to just help activate the leavening, like it does in other baked goods. But it’s part of infusing a subtle tang and tenderness to the crumb of the cake, whose flavor is more a cross between a mild chocolate and vanilla base.
  • Be sure to measure ingredients accurately, using the right measuring equipment for the ingredient being measured can make a difference in how a recipe turns out.
  • Bake up a batch of Red Velvet Cupcakes instead of a whole cake. Here's how: Place a paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Heat oven and make cake batter as directed in recipe. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Frost.
  • Some bakers make a rich cream cheese frosting instead of red velvet cake frosting to fill and frost their Red Velvet cake.
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