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Red Velvet Cake

by Nick Makrides
Published: Last Updated on

This gorgeous Red Velvet Cake is just so moist and it’s perfectly paired with my cream cheese frosting. I get asked all the time what my favourite cupcake or cake flavour is. This is it!

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

6-layer, moist red velvet cake withcream cheese frosting. Slight hint of cocoa flavour.

Serves 20

4.8 from 27 votes
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Prep: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 208kcal



  • 2 1/2 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (320 g) granulated sugar (caster - superfine sugar)
  • 2 tbsp (2 tbsp) unsweetened coca powder
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) fine salt
  • 3 (3) eggs
  • 3/4 cup (190 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tsp (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp (2 tbsp) red liquid food dye


  • 3 batches (3 batches) Cream Cheese Frosting

Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]



  • Please note: To make the 6 layered cake you see pictured; you’ll need to triple the cake recipe only. All other measurements are enough to fill, crumb coat and finish decorating the cake.
  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C / 275°F or a conventional oven to 160°C / 320°F. Spray three 20 cm (8 inch) cake tins with oil spray and line the bottoms with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a hand mixer until combined.
  • Next, add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and red food dye and continue mixing on low speed until everything is well combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds on low speed.
  • Divide the cake mixture between the three tins. I find that using an ice-cream scoop makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly, ensuring that all three cakes will bake at the same rate.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the toothpick is coated with wet batter, continue baking for 10 minutes at a time until fully baked.
  • Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate, so I always bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
  • To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveller or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake. Then trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 6 layers.
  • To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of frosting onto a 10” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
  • Add frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the centre with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  • Add more frosting around the sides and top of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
  • Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Your cake is now crumb coated and ready to be decorated any way you like!


Different cake size Conversions
Cake x.5 (1 layer, 8” cake OR 2 Layer, 6” Cake)
200g (1 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
160g (¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ tsp fine salt
2 eggs
95 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
150 ml (¾ cup) buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp red liquid food dye
1 batch cream cheese frosting
Cake x1 (2 layer, 8” cake OR 6 layer, 6” Cake)
400g (2 ½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
320g (1 ½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ tsp fine salt
3 eggs
190 ml (¾ cup) vegetable oil
300 ml (1 ½ cups) buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp red liquid food dye
1 batch cream cheese frosting
Cake x1.5 (3 layer, 7” Cake)
600g (3 ½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
480g (2 ¼ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp fine salt
5 eggs
285 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
450 ml (2 ¼ cups) buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp red liquid food dye
2 ¼ batches cream cheese frosting
Cake x2 (6 layer, 8” cake)
800g (5 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
640g (3 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 ½ tsp fine salt
6 eggs
380 ml (1 ½ cup) vegetable oil
300 ml (1 ½ cups) buttermilk
4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp red liquid food dye
3 batches cream cheese frosting


Serving: 20g
Calories : 208kcal
Carbonhydrates: 28g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 7g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 0.1g
Trans Fat : 0.1g
Cholesterol: 27mg
Sodium: 142mg
Potassium : 50mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 16g
Vitamin A: 65IU
Vitamin C: 0.1mg
Calcium: 27mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure
Gave this recipe a go?Mention @thescranline or tag #thescranline!

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Anissa April 30, 2021 - 12:14 pm

5 stars
Hello I can use one cake pans 8 inch x 5 inch please ? A French fan

Nick Makrides April 30, 2021 - 9:25 pm

Hi Anissa! You can certainly use that cake pan, but you would still need to bake the cake three times of type making the cake pictures on this page (3 layered, each one cut into two, 6 layered cake)

selina May 12, 2021 - 3:31 pm

hi, how much of the ingredients would i need to make a 20cm pan 6 layer cake? thx

Nick Makrides May 19, 2021 - 8:18 am

Three batches of this recipe. I’d carefully read through the recipe as it is mentioned in there. Happy baking!


Jenny June 4, 2021 - 10:57 pm

Hi Nick! Thank you so much for the recipe and the video. I’m wondering if I could add more cocoa powder (two more spoons?), since I’d really like to be able to taste the chocolate in this cake but without compromising the red color of the cake.

Nick Makrides June 5, 2021 - 5:49 am

Hi Jenny! You certainly can do that. it will make the cake more of a chocolate colour. Can i suggest something else? These cupcakes go really well with chocolate frosting! Or for an added hit of chocolate you could core the centre and fill with chocolate sauce 🙂 Happy Baking! N x

russell June 14, 2021 - 4:15 am

5 stars
hii i would like to ask, is it better to use melted butter instead of the vegetable oil you call for?

Nick Makrides June 15, 2021 - 10:49 am

For this recipe. No. I would recommend sticking tot he oil 🙂 N x

Jennifer July 26, 2021 - 5:23 am

Please tell me what red dye you use!! My caked kee coming out almost brown!😭😭

Nick Makrides July 27, 2021 - 6:25 am

Hi Jennifer. The brand I used is Queen Fine Foods brand. Is the inside brown too? N x

Arzoo July 27, 2021 - 12:49 am

5 stars
Oh my god! This is absolutely delicious. I had to use vegan egg substitute (dietary req) and it was just so good. Made it for my partner’s ‘lockdown’ birthday and he loved it (never compliments in life, ugh). Also made a few cupcakes with the same batter (amazing too). Thank you for this recipe! ❤️

Nick Makrides July 27, 2021 - 6:23 am

How Wonderful! N x

Megan January 8, 2022 - 8:29 am

Hi Nick,
Just woof I can use an oil based gel food colour for this recipe? (Eg colour mill) if yes, would it still be the same amount? Thanks!

Nick Makrides September 10, 2022 - 1:01 am

Hi Megan! Unfortunately, food gel doesn’t work for this recipe. I tried it out last week and I ended up using the entire bottle.

Kausar August 5, 2021 - 3:10 pm

I have a 9inch pan So how many times i have to make the recipe???

Nick Makrides August 9, 2021 - 12:23 pm

Same as the 8-inch one. It’ll just be slightly shorter. N x

Marcia Hart August 14, 2021 - 10:16 pm

5 stars
I loved the video and all the tips! Best cream cheese frosting ever!!!

Nick Makrides August 15, 2021 - 10:33 am

Thanks so much N x

Liz August 27, 2021 - 3:37 pm

Please may I ask what size eggs to use, medium or large? as it just says 3 eggs. Thanks x

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 2:56 am

Hi Liz! For this recipe large eggs will work. N x

Anita September 9, 2021 - 8:32 am

Good day i have 10 inch and what did you use for the red crumbs

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 1:55 am

Hi Anita. if you’re going to make a 3 layered 10-inch cake (which is going to be quite large) you’ll need to double the recipe. Otherwise use the same recipe but make it just a two layered cake (shorter). I used the cake crumbs from the actual cake. It’s left over from when I trimmed the tops of the cakes off. Hope that helps! N x

Neetha September 18, 2021 - 5:32 am

5 stars
Nick, I tried your recipe for my friend’s birthday.. It was awesome and everyone thought it was store bought one.. you explained each step so clearly that it came out really perfect..

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 12:20 am

Thanks Neetha! I’m glad you enjoyed it! N x

Petrina October 2, 2021 - 12:40 pm

Hi Nick, I noticed you said you used the Queens Fine Foods brand for the red colour. Did you use the red food colour or red food colour gel? Thanks! x

Nick Makrides November 1, 2022 - 5:11 am

Hi Petrina! I used the liquid food dye. N x

Tracy November 18, 2021 - 11:24 am

Hi Nick, what measurements to use for a one layer (thick) 9” cake pan?

Nick Makrides November 1, 2022 - 4:46 am

Hi Tracy, this recipe needs to be tripled to make the 6 layered cake. To make a one layer cake you can simply use the measurements listed in the ingredients list. I should note though, I will be updating this recipe in 2023 and it will be a 3 layer cake instead so this recommendation only applies to the current recipe and not the one that will be updated in 2023. N x

Hanna Issimdar November 20, 2021 - 2:57 pm

Hii nick, the best recipe i ever tried. The taste is just awesome and my family thought it was store bought!
However for me i find the recipe a bit on the dry side so shall i add 1 cup of oil instead of 3/4 ? Or simply just put simple syrup on the layers?

Nick Makrides September 16, 2022 - 12:41 am

Hi Hana! Update to this recipe is coming soon. For now though, I’ve updated my red velvet cupcakes recipe if you want to give that a go. It’s softer and more moist. N x

Dimi November 27, 2021 - 3:13 pm

Hi nick
I want to make a four layer cake. Would this recipe be enough for that? And just curious.. can I use red food colouring paste and dilute it with vinegar? Every recipe I have made for red velvet cake in the past always includes vinegar.
Thank you

Nick Makrides September 13, 2022 - 11:37 am

Hi Dimi! You’d need to double the recipe for a 4 layer cake. Unfortunately, food gel doesn’t work for this recipe. N x

Shuang December 27, 2021 - 4:38 pm

Hi,Nick, may I ask how much buttermilk should be used for 6 layer 8” cake? After reading thru, I found the buttermilk is same amount for 3-layer and the 6 layer recipes.

If I double the recipe of 3 layer, it comes to 480 ml (3cups). But in the description of 6 layer 8”, it is mentioned 300ml 1.5 cup buttermilk.
Could you advise? Thanks

Nick Makrides January 4, 2022 - 1:03 pm

Sorry about the mix up! The ingredients listed are for one batch which will make a 2 layered cake not 3 layered. You’ll need to triple the amounts to get the 6 layers 🙂 Have fixed the measurements in the recipe card! N x

Lee January 23, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Your cake looks amazing and I loved how you decorated it! May I ask what brand cake scraper and piping tip you used?

Nick Makrides September 10, 2022 - 12:51 am

Thanks so much! I used a bench scraper. And I used an open star tip 🙂 N x

Sarai January 25, 2022 - 11:38 pm

5 stars
Your explanations are wonderful! I could listen to you all day.. really! You have a very informational and kind voice. Thank you for the amazing tips and being such a caring person ♥

Nick Makrides September 9, 2022 - 11:31 am

Awww, thanks Sarai! N x

Mateja February 18, 2022 - 7:24 am

Hi Nick!
Do you have a tip how to stiffen the frosting? Unfortunately, in Croatia, we do not have a cream cheese that would be thick as yours. The frosting, it is really spreadable, it stiffens up nicely in the fridge, but when I take it out it becomes really soft. I am afraid that the layers will slide, or if I frost and decorate it completely, that it wont hold the shape.

Nick Makrides August 2, 2022 - 10:53 am

Hi Mateja! Sorry to hear you don’t have access to the block style cream cheese. Unfortunately, for this recipe to be stiff enough to pipe, it needs this style of cream cheese.

Ricardo Pires March 26, 2022 - 6:22 pm

Hi Nick, do you think it’s ok to make the cake 1 day before you serve it and take out of the fridge 1 hour or so before so that the frosting dont get too hard? Its ok too refrigerate the cake for that long (24hrs) or do you think it will change the texture of the frosting? Maybe it’s better to frost the cake the same day you are going to eat it?

Nick Makrides April 27, 2022 - 1:26 am

Absolutely! That’s completely fine N x

Michael April 20, 2022 - 12:47 pm

Where’s the cream cheese icing recipe?

Nick Makrides April 26, 2022 - 12:34 pm Reply
Deborah May 8, 2022 - 3:58 pm

Hi Nick!
A little question for you….so to frost this cake (I’d like to do the 6 layers version) do I have to triple the ingredients of the tour cream cheese frosting, as you write “3 batches” of it in the ingredients list???
And again -probably you already answered this question, but ai want to be super sure :))- I will have to triple the ingredients for a 6 layer cake? Like 1200 gr of flour, 960 gr of sugar and so on????
Thanks in advance dear!!!

Nick Makrides May 10, 2022 - 12:04 pm

Yep, that’s right. You’ll need to triple the recipe of the cake and triple the recipe of the frosting. It’s a lot, but it’s a big cake.

Emma Coutinho June 2, 2022 - 12:16 pm

Hi there can I just ask Nick, I want to do this cake tomorrow and just wondering how deep are your layers? I want to make 6inch round 2inch thickx3….I’m not sure how much I will need, a bit confused ,many thanks

Nick Makrides June 3, 2022 - 12:50 am

Hi Emma! The cake tins are about 2 inches in height and the cakes just over 1 inch I’d say. Although I’ve never measured them. Happy baking! N x

Kelly June 3, 2022 - 11:15 am

Hey Nick! Can’t wait to make this for my SIL birthday! How deep are the 8inch tins you use? I’ve found anything from 3.5 to 7.5 and want to make sure I get the correct size.

Also is food coloring or gel better?


Nick Makrides August 1, 2022 - 11:05 am

Hi Kelly! Mine are about 2 inches deep. Happy baking! N x

Lucía June 3, 2022 - 2:31 pm

5 stars
Hi Nick!
Thank you for all the recipes, look delicious! I wanted to make this cake for my niece’s birthday but I have a little doubt about one of the ingredients. I live in Spain and I’m not quite sure I can get buttermilk. I’ve seen quite a few recipes to do it at home, but I’m not very keen on the idea T.T Should I try and do it homemade or replace it with something else? If so, what can I replace it with?

Again, thanks a lot and hope you have a good day!

Nick Makrides August 1, 2022 - 11:05 am

Hi Lucia! Such a good question. My mum asked me the same question the other day. You could try making your own but store bought buttermilk just yields a better result and a cake that’s fluffy and moist. Having said that, if you don’t have access to it, then making your own is the next best option! N x

christina June 15, 2022 - 12:31 am

hi from Australia… Nick i need to make a baby shower cake for my daughter….. she would like 4 layers x 9inch cakes with a white chocolate buttercream frosting… the recipe for the cake is it a double or triple batch???? and do you have a recipe for the frosting please

Nick Makrides August 1, 2022 - 11:02 am

Hi Christina! I would make 4 batches in that case. I would recommend my Cream cheese frosting it’s absolutely divine! N x

Cream Cheese Frosting

chrisitna June 27, 2022 - 11:18 pm

Hello Nick 28th JUNE 2022 nsw
hope you answer my questions:
i have to make a 4 layer x 9″ round cakes for a baby shower
with white chocolate swiss buttercream filling and frosting.
do you have a recipe for the icing?
and why is there no vinegar in the ingredients for the cake????

Nick Makrides August 1, 2022 - 10:48 am

This particular cake doesn’t need it. For the frosting I would highly recommend my cream cheese frosting!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Gadija August 9, 2022 - 1:16 pm

Hello Nick. Can i use this red velvet ingredients and make a chocolate cake instead by omitting the red food colour and add more cocoa and will it be suitable for stacking the same size cake as in the picture. Also can i use the same cream cheese recipe and add cocoa. Btw your recipes are so easy to understand 👍🏻

Nick Makrides August 30, 2022 - 11:18 am

Hi Gadija! I would recommend making my chocolate cake instead! You can absolutely use cream cheese frosting and make it chocolate flavoured using 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 200g melted chocolate, cooled to room temp. Hope that helps! N x

Gadija August 9, 2022 - 1:30 pm

Does this recipe with the 400gr flour fill 3 x 20cm cake pans. Then the three cakes get split in two making the 6 layers. Just want to make sure as the recipe says to divide the batter into three 20cm pans but also says to triple the recipe for that size cake

Nick Makrides August 30, 2022 - 11:17 am

Hi Gadija! This recipe would be enough for on 20cm cake pan. Cut in half once baked, that would give you two layers. You’d need to triple the recipe to get the 6 layer cakes I used to make.

Maz October 31, 2022 - 11:22 am

5 stars
Hi Nick
I have made this cake over and over again using Chefmaster food gel and it comes out very red. Awesome recipe

Nick Makrides November 1, 2022 - 4:43 am

Amazing! N x


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