Red Velvet Layer Cake

This classic Southern treat is not complete without the rich and tangy flavor of cream cheese frosting. To keep the frosting clean and free of crumbs, spread a thin layer around the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes. This will seal in the loose crumbs so they don’t spread when you smooth on the final layer.


For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for greasing
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light buttermilk
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Flour and butter two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Pour the buttermilk into a measuring cup and stir in the red food coloring and vanilla. Add a third of the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix again. Alternate with another third of the flour and the remaining buttermilk mixture, finishing with the flour. Evenly divide the batter between the two pans. Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat again until smooth.

Using a serrated knife, trim the cake layers so that the tops are flat. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate. Using an off-set spatula, spread about 1/3 of the frosting onto the layer. Stack the other cake layer top-side down and continue to frost, working on the sides and then the top.

Tip: Impress your guests with this stunning layer cake. Cool the cake completely before icing so that the frosting does not melt.

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