Southern Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 to 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: desserts



  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring (McCormick)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces (2-8 ounce packages) full-fat cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or lightly grease two 9- round
    cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and oil together until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add beaten eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Stir in red food coloring.
  5. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and vinegar together.
  6. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
  7. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture while alternating with the buttermilk and vinegar ending with flour mixture. Beat until until just combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans. (Be careful not to over bake) Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  9. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of cream. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 more tablespoon of the cream if needed to thin out. Beat on high speed for 2 more minutes.
  10. Assemble and frost: Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of cake to create a flat surface. Crumble the thin layers and set aside for garnishing. Place 1 cake-layer on your cake stand or  serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with second layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of cake. Sprinkle cake crumbs on top of cake and sprinkle ground pecans on top for garnish. Top with fresh raspberries if desired.


Make ahead/freese tip: Cake can be made ahead 2 or 3 days. Store covered in the refrigerator. Let the frosting sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. Cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.