Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet is like a red chocolate sponge. It looks striking when you cut a slice with the different layers of white and red. There are lots of ways to decorate a red velvet cake depending on your theme.

Red Velvet Cake

Makes either 2 x 23cm cakes or 3 x 15cm cakes. Picture shows 2 x 23cm cakes layered.


  • 2 Tbsp liquid red food colouring
  • 1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch cocoa, sifted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp white vinegar

To ice:


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line your chosen baking tins with baking paper.

Combine the red food colouring, vanilla and buttermilk in a jug and set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar with a handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing through after each addition until just incorporated.

Add a third of the dry ingredients and combine well, then add a third of the buttermilk mixture and beat until well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the dry and wet ingredients have been added.

Measure the baking soda and vinegar into a small jug (it will foam up) and pour into the batter, combining well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is well mixed and combined.

Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and smooth the tops with a knife so they are level.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

When cooked, remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

To ice the cake:

Make 2 batches of cream cheese icing.

Remove the baking paper from the bottom of the cakes and place one cake onto your cake board or plate. Spread a few large dollops of icing over the top of the cake using a palette knife or spatula, going right out to the edges. Repeat again with the second layer of cake, this time extending out to the edge and down the sides of the cake, using enough icing to cover the whole cake. When the cake is covered completely with a layer of icing roughly 5mm thick, smooth the sides and top with your palette knife.


Split the remainder icing into three lots and leave one plain and add red food colouring into the other two. Add a little more to one of them to make it a bit darker. Be careful however as it can darken really quickly I suggest just a few drops at a time.

To pipe roses put the white batch of cream cheese icing into a piping bag with a star tip. To make a rose hold your piping bag on a 90°C angle. Start 4cm up from the bottom and swirl to the outside until you reach the bottom. Repeat around the whole bottom then empty piping bag and add the next colour. Repeat for all colours. Sprinkle with shiny white balls.

This cake will keep for 2–3 days in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

Recipe from Karla Goodwin’s Bluebells Cakery Cookbook

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