Classic Southern Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet cake is a classic southern tradition. It becomes center stage for Christmas desserts. This cake is not always for Christmas. It has been used for Valentin’s Day and weddings. This can be made anytime and homemade is the best – not from a box!

This first time I made this – chocolate cake infused with rich red color and topped with cream cheese frosting – was about 9 years ago at Christmas. My youngest daughter was about 8 years old then. She decided then that every birthday I must make this for her. She was not a big fan of a decorated cake; she went for taste.

I have over the years played around with the ingredients. Here is a link to the original recipe I used. It was from a cookbook that I have in my recipe collections – Paula Deen The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. The pages have been written all over it by now with all my adjustments. I did make a promise to my daughter that I would not share any adjustments I made. This is “Her Cake”. She is so funny with this but I can share the original recipe. One other thing I did that is optional is that I added a buttermilk glaze after cooking. I can share this too since it is not part of the “actual” cake.

I did not use the original frosting recipe. I just could not change the fact that red velvet cake needs a Cream Cheese Frosting and I did not use the pecans. My daughter has a tree nut allergy so we just did not use them. I figured a trip to the hospital was just not worth it.

I decided to make little 3 inch cakes. The little cakes were not as easy to frost as I thought it would be but it will become easier the more I do them.

red cake1

Red Velvet Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar.
  3. Mix cocoa and food coloring.
  4. Add butter and egg mixture, mix well.
  5. Sift together flour and salt.
  6. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  7. Blend in vanilla.
  8. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar.
  9. Add to the mixture.
  10. Pour int o prepared 3 9-inch pans.
  11. Bake 20-25 minutes or until test is done.

I use was paper inside pan. This will help with releasing cake from pan. I have added a buttermilk glaze and I cannot remember where I found this from. I figured one day I would try it. This is not needed,  it’s just one of those extra toppings.

Last 15 minutes of cooking time start the glaze.

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  •  1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly until golden “caramel color”
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in vanilla and do not overcook.

Once the cake is done. Take out of oven and do not take out of pans. Poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick. Slowly drizzle the glaze over the cake layers. I will take a spoon and spread gently. Pouring too much and too quickly will cause the glaze to settle on top of cake instead of cake soaking up the glaze. Let set 10 minutes in pan. Take cakes out of pans and wrap them with plastic wrap. I usually turn the cakes out onto a piece I have on counter. Freeze  on a flat surface about an hour. If not really cold; the cake could break apart while frosting because of the glaze.

Take cake layers out of freezer and unwrap. Frost with cream cheese frosting

Freezing the cake is helpful when cutting them for mini cakes. I used a 3 inch cookie cutter. This cake makes a lot and I have several mini cake layers in the freezer now. I figured this would be a great keep and take out when we would want some. I did wrap each one in plastic wrap. Then they all went into a freezer container.





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