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Red Velvet Cake. The best red velvet cake recipe ever. Moist and tender red velvet cake with sweet cream cheese frosting. The perfect red velvet cake recipe.

I have been a quest to figure out how to make the Perfect Red Velvet Cake. I have to admit that I have made A LOT of red velvet cakes in the process. All of the recipes were good but I was looking for an out-of-this-world recipe. I am picky about my cakes and am determined to create a recipe that will be the only red velvet cake I make in my future.

THIS is the reason I can’t fit into my jeans.

There’s always January 1st…

Red Velvet Cake. The best red velvet cake recipe ever. Moist and tender red velvet cake with sweet cream cheese frosting. The perfect red velvet cake recipe.

I have always been a red velvet cake fan but there are some that are just better than others. I was looking for a deep, rich flavor and a tender, moist crumb with a sweet creamy cream cheese frosting.  This Red Velvet Cake recipe is by far the BEST red velvet cake I have ever tried. Now it is time to share it with you!

Red Velvet Cake. The best red velvet cake recipe ever. Moist and tender red velvet cake with sweet cream cheese frosting. The perfect red velvet cake recipe.

Since Christmas is one week away (I can’t even believe it how quickly it snuck up on us), this is such a beautiful cake to serve on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. The red and white colors are so vibrant and perfectly represent the season.

I am sharing my tips, tricks, and baking advice with you below so you can make the best red velvet cake ever. When making cakes, there is a rhyme and reason to even the order of adding the ingredients. After much testing, this creates the best tasting red velvet cake.

Red Velvet Cake. The best red velvet cake recipe ever. Moist and tender red velvet cake with sweet cream cheese frosting. The perfect red velvet cake recipe.

Tips and tricks for making perfect Red Velvet Cake:

  1.  Use a combination of sweet cream Butter and Oil.  This is when you get the best of both worlds. Both butter and oil will provide a moist texture to the cake but butter brings the flavor where oil elevates the texture.  I have tried using just one of them and found that the best cake is when both butter and oil are used together.
  2. Use Buttermilk.  Buttermilk is one of my favorite ingredients to use in baked goods. It is such a game changer and makes such a difference in the texture of the cake. It is worth it to buy buttermilk (you can use the remaining in my buttermilk pancakes or ricotta pancakes).
  3. Use Cake Flour. Cake flour has less gluten than all-purpose flour which creates a more tender crumb.  You can find cake flour in all grocery stores. I buy it in bulk in grocery stores that sell items in bins (Winco, Sprouts, etc).
  4. Use a combination of Butter and Cream Cheese in Frosting.  A smooth, creamy, and sweet cream cheese frosting is unlike anything else. I love to use a mix of butter and cream cheese as butter brings some richness and the cream cheese adds a subtle tang. Adding powdered sugar is the finishing touch!
  5. I love to use the USA 8-inch cake pans because the cake comes out beautifully from the pans. You can also find a link to 9-inch pans below. I also use an angled spatula to frost my cakes.

Red Velvet Cake. The best red velvet cake recipe ever. Moist and tender red velvet cake with sweet cream cheese frosting. The perfect red velvet cake recipe.

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4.90 from 28 votes

Red Velvet Cake

By: Melissa Stadler, Modern Honey
The perfect red velvet cake recipe with sweet cream cheese frosting
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16


  • 3 cups Cake Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter cut into cubes
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons Red Food Coloring may do less depending on preference
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract

  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 - 8- ounce pkgs. Cream Cheese room temperature and softened
  • 12 Tablespoons Butter 3/4 cup, softened
  • 4 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean or 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Beat the butter into the flour mixture, one cube at a time. Continue to beat until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil, red food coloring, and vanilla.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and beat the batter until thoroughly mixed.
  • Take a spatula and scrape the sides of the bowl.
  • Spread into two greased 8 or 9-inch cake pans and smooth tops with a spatula.
  • Bake for 16-22 minutes, depending on the depth of pans. If the cake layers are thin, they will cook for less time than the thicker layers.
  • Let cakes cool. Run a knife around edge of cake pan and flip over. Frost with cream cheese frosting.
  • To make frosting:
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. If using a Kitchenaid mixer, use the whisk attachment.
  • Add powdered sugar and mix until creamy.
  • If using a vanilla bean, split vanilla bean in half and use the tip of the knife to scrape the vanilla bean paste from each side of the vanilla bean pod.
  • If using vanilla extract, add to frosting and stir until combined.
  • Spread on cooled red velvet cake. Cover tightly.


Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Servings: 16
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments

Here are some of my favorite classic cakes on Modern Honey:

Love at First Sight Chocolate Cake — a moist, rich chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting. A 5-star rated cake!

Yellow Birthday Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting — this cake recipe has a secret ingredient to make the cake light and fluffy with a killer chocolate frosting.

Here are my favorite cake pans to use for this red velvet cake recipe — USA 9-inch Cake Pans. I couldn’t frost a cake without my angled spatula. It is such a huge help and smooths out the frosting.

Red Velvet Cake. The best red velvet cake recipe ever. Moist and tender red velvet cake with sweet cream cheese frosting. The perfect red velvet cake recipe.

Happy Baking, my friends! xo

Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This IS the best red velvet recipe!! I made it into cupcakes, baked at 350 for 18 minutes. This made about 27 cupcakes. I did lower the vanilla from 1 TBL to 2 TSP, and I used two 1 ounce bottles of red food coloring because I wanted a deep dark red color, it was the perfect amount. I used unsalted butter and therefore used 1 tsp salt instead of 1/4 tsp. I felt like the frosting could have used a little more powdered sugar, but this depends on your taste (I have a big sweet tooth!) next time I’ll use 6 cups powdered sugar for the frosting. The use of butter and oil is brilliant, you get the buttery richness and a perfectly moist cake. This will be my go to recipe for red velvet for sure. The cupcakes tasted even better the next day! Wish there was a way to attach pics! Thank you for this amazing recipe 🙂

  2. 4 stars
    I did love the recipe and that you use butter and oil for moistness. My concern was that in using 8” pans it took a very long time to cook in the middle and I was concerned that the edges may be getting too cooked. Can you comment how this may happen. My oven was pre-heated appropriately. Oven tends to cook a little bit quicker. Is there something I could have done incorrectly? Also in baking recipes they normally call for unsalted butter. Since u didn’t specify I assumed to use unsalted and didn’t read the reviews to increase the amounts of salt. I actually haven’t tasted the cake yet so hope it is still fine. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    Hands down one of my favorite red velvet cakes I have ever had. I used pastry flour instead of cake flour and a bundt pan to save some time for a party with my family. They all said it was the best they have had as well. Perfecting this recipe paid off for sure, and the icing I added a couple teaspoons of milk… sooo good!

  4. Hi, Thanks for this recipe! The cake came out perfect! I made it for Thanksgiving and made another one for Christmas. As an experienced baker, I’ve been looking for the perfect red velvet cake recipe for a long time and I’m so glad I found this one. It’s such a beautiful cake and tastes wonderful!

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Melissa . I stopped making red velvet cakes years ago because I was doing something wrong . My layers were always flat and the edges were pretty hard . I have been searching for the perfect rvc cake. I’m going to try this one for Christmas . Like you, I love baking my cakes from scratch. One thing though , I’ve never used cake flour before . My stand mixer stopped working on me thanksgiving in the middle of making my cream cheese icing, so I’ll have to use my hand mixer. All the questions I was gonna ask have been answered except one: some recipes say butter some say margarine. Sometimes it’ll say butter and I assume it’s pure butter whereas some people consider margarine as butter and vice versa . Question, in some cases does it really matter if you use margarine instead of pure butter. In my frosting I just use plain ole margarine , but if a cake says butter I mostly use pure butter. Do you have a recipe for a key lime cake? Also, are those cake crumbs on top? Neat!!