This is a delicious red velvet cake recipe that was taught to me by my grandmother. Made with a light and buttery frosting instead of the usual cream cheese. It's a little time consuming but totally worth the effort!

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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
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Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 10 inch round pans.

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  • Cream 1/2 cup of shortening, 1 1/2 cups of white sugar, eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of butter flavored extract in a large bowl. Make a paste of cocoa and food coloring in a small bowl and add to shortening mixture. Pour in 2 1/2 cups flour alternately with the buttermilk, mixing until just incorporated. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt, baking soda, and vinegar in a small bowl, and while fizzing fold into the batter; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour the batter into prepared pan.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

  • To make frosting: Cook 3 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and milk in a skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Let cool completely. Cream butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup shortening in a separate bowl. Stir in 2 teaspoons each of vanilla extract and butter flavored extract. Then add flour mixture to bowl and cream together. Frost cooled cake.

Nutrition Facts

390.3 calories; 4.2 g protein; 49.4 g carbohydrates; 40.3 mg cholesterol; 369.1 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (43)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2010
This is an excellent red velvet cake. The only thing I did different is I used about 1-1.5 oz. of food coloring because I like my red velvet cake really red. This cake has a nice light chocolate flavor and great texture. A little chewy without being too dense. For those of you who complained the cake was dry you may being using too much flour. Make sure you are not scooping the flour into the cup but spooning it in and leveling the cup. Keep the flour light by sifting. This also makes it easier to incorporate into the batter without overmixing and thus creating higher gluten levels = overly dense cakes that dry out. If you live in a dry climate add an extra egg yolk and a T. of oil to keep your cake moist. This is a southern cake and it is very humid in the south. They don't worry about anything drying out:) Also you must really whip the butter/sugar/eggs till they are really fluffy and airy. I add eggs one at a time and then just let it keep going. As for the frosting I must admit I did use all butter and it is excellent. I just kept whipping it until it was not longer gritty. The butter was very soft so this didn't take too long. I also found it to be very thick. I didn't want to use milk to thin it because I wasn't sure if it would make the whole thing colapse. I used 2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream and that make it spreadable. This is an excellent recipe if you have the patience to make it. This is not a 123 cake so please don't try to rush it. Read More
(92)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
05/26/2009
Maybe I did something wrong but this didnt really taste like what I was expecting. It was a bit off and kind of dry. I just wasn't into it. Maybe it was because I didn't have any butter extract. I tried to use butter flavor shortening to make up for it whenever I could but that didn't do much. Actually I think that's what made the frosting taste kinda gross. Shortening in frosting?? Is that normal? Read More
(17)
46 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 26
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2010
This is an excellent red velvet cake. The only thing I did different is I used about 1-1.5 oz. of food coloring because I like my red velvet cake really red. This cake has a nice light chocolate flavor and great texture. A little chewy without being too dense. For those of you who complained the cake was dry you may being using too much flour. Make sure you are not scooping the flour into the cup but spooning it in and leveling the cup. Keep the flour light by sifting. This also makes it easier to incorporate into the batter without overmixing and thus creating higher gluten levels = overly dense cakes that dry out. If you live in a dry climate add an extra egg yolk and a T. of oil to keep your cake moist. This is a southern cake and it is very humid in the south. They don't worry about anything drying out:) Also you must really whip the butter/sugar/eggs till they are really fluffy and airy. I add eggs one at a time and then just let it keep going. As for the frosting I must admit I did use all butter and it is excellent. I just kept whipping it until it was not longer gritty. The butter was very soft so this didn't take too long. I also found it to be very thick. I didn't want to use milk to thin it because I wasn't sure if it would make the whole thing colapse. I used 2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream and that make it spreadable. This is an excellent recipe if you have the patience to make it. This is not a 123 cake so please don't try to rush it. Read More
(92)
Rating: 5 stars
04/14/2009
This is a beautiful and delicious cake. MAKE SURE you let the flour,salt, milk mixture for the frosting COOl COMPLETELY!!! before you add the remaining butter etc. or it will curdle. Done right this frosting makes the cake. Read More
(85)
Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2010
Wonderful recipe. The frosting absolutely makes this cake!! If you don't have butter flavored extract, don't make a special trip to buy it because I didn't think it added anything to the cake. I also used paste food coloring (comes in little jars, made by Wilton, buy at a hobby shop) because liquid can affect the taste. Make sure you only mix the cake ingredients until just mixed together, overmixing will dry it out! Beat your frosting for a while, it needs to be whipped very well to get the right consistency. Finally, I always make my own buttermilk by adding a teaspoon or so of white vinegar to my milk, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Read More
(70)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/08/2009
I have been making this recipe for many years and it great. The version I have varies in that the flour mixture for the frosting cools to just barely lukewarm instead of cooling completely. It's tricky but it helps avoid small pasty lumps. Read More
(23)
Rating: 3 stars
05/26/2009
Maybe I did something wrong but this didnt really taste like what I was expecting. It was a bit off and kind of dry. I just wasn't into it. Maybe it was because I didn't have any butter extract. I tried to use butter flavor shortening to make up for it whenever I could but that didn't do much. Actually I think that's what made the frosting taste kinda gross. Shortening in frosting?? Is that normal? Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2009
So much better than the cream cheese icings that other recipes on here use!! The icing on this cake is what makes the cake! The icing is tricky but if you simply let the mixture completely cool as stated it turns out great! Read More
(17)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/20/2010
This was an exceptional cake. I am learning to use fondant and you need a dense cake to hold up... at least I do to the fondant application. You also want a great tasting cake. This one fits both the requirements. I dirty iced with a buttercream then used a home-made marshmallow fondant and it was spectacular! The buttercream and fondant seal in the moistness of the cake and it stay wonderful for some time. I made this one into a Sheet cake for a grooms cake. You will need to double the recipe if you want a single layer sheet cake from a 12"x16"x3" pan. To use a 9"x13"x2" pan calculate for 24 servings or 1.5 times the amount for the ingredients listed. I used a Wilton cake leveler (not the exact name for it) to make the top nice and level for top layer to sit on. I like thick layers so the 24 serving recipe is a single 12"x16"x2"-2.5" layer. Wilton Cake release (no-stick spray) is a must. Many Walmart's now carry a great line of Wilton cake products! Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2010
Southern? This recipe comes the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2010
The frosting makes the cake. It was the same cake my mother made for me every year on my birthday. I took a short cut and used the Red Velvet cake mix and no one knew delish Read More
(7)