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Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake

  • Author: cooks with soul


  • 3 cups cake flour *must be non-rising (see Notes if using all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (if any other brand/type of salt, use half that amount)
  • 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated, divided, and softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup liquid red food coloring or 1 to 2 teaspoons gel food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Whisk cake flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, use handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to beat softened butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable oil, 4 egg yolks, vanilla extract, and distilled white vinegar. Increase speed and beat on high for an additional 2 minutes; scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry flour mixture in 1/2 cup increments, alternating with 1/4 cup increments of the room temperature buttermilk. Stir in red food coloring until just combined. 
  6. In a separate mixing bowl, whip remaining 4 egg whites on high speed until fluffy peaks form.
  7. Gently fold whipped egg whites into cake batter and stir with rubber spatula to fully incorporate.
  8. Then, divide the batter evenly between prepared cake pans; tap each pan on the countertop a few times to release any air bubbles and even it out.
  9. Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of both cakes comes out clean.
  10. Transfer pans to a wire rack to let cool. Then, run a small knife around the inside edge of the pans to loosen the cake sides. Invert the cakes onto the racks, lifting the pan off, then turning the cake layer right-side up. Set aside to continue cooling.
  11. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  12. Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting: Combine softened cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth.
  13. Decrease mixer speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar. Continue mixing until well incorporated. Then, increase mixer speed to high and add vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Mix on high speed until frosting is well combined and creamy.
  14. Taste and adjust by adding more powdered sugar if necessary. If frosting is too sweet, add another pinch of salt.
  15. Once prepared, use the cream cheese frosting to generously frost your old fashioned red velvet cake.


If using all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, use 2 1/2 cups and add 1/3 cup corn starch. Sift thoroughly.