Old Fashioned Red Velvet Cake

For my birthday, I decided to make my own birthday cake which doubles as a Valentine’s cake. This year I chose a classic Red Velvet Cake and Cream Cheese Icing from the Bake from Scratch Vol.1 book on page 45.


1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup whole buttermilk

1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food coloring

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Butter and flour three (8-inch) round cake pans

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar

4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.

5. Add sour cream, food coloring and vanilla, beating to combine.

6. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

7. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating between the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until combined after each addition.

8. Divide batter among prepared pans (smoothing tops if necessary).

  • In order to ensure that I got the same amount of cake batter in each, I used my largest (2-inch) cookie scoop and an extra bowl (since I only had two cake pans). I scooped one into each until I reached the end and divided the remaining batter into the three containers. The batter in the glass bowl would bake after one of the cake pans had cooled and I re-sprayed and floured the pan.

9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

10. Let cool in pans or 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  • I HIGHLY recommend leveling off your layers before icing, you can use a long bread knife or one of these cake levelers, I will link mine below. I love the one I have because you can move the wire up and down depending on how much you would like to cut off a cake. I used the little cheese knife to help me take off the top once I sliced it since it was still pretty warm (I am not the most patient baker haha). Another, more important, reason I always level off the tops of layered cakes is because it is an immediate bakers treat and isn’t that what we are all here for?

11. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

12. Garnish with cake crumbs if desired. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.


My birthday was February 16 and I decided I was going to bake myself a birthday cake! What better than a red velvet cake? It could double as a Valentine’s cake and it has chocolate in it, plus cream cheese icing is SO good. I created a two-layer cake instead of a three-layer, the third layer I used as its own little red velvet cake to give to my family (we ate it warm out of the oven of course!) What I would have done differently if I had made a three-layer cake is level off all three layers, spread the frosting between each layer and before I frosted the top and sides I would have inserted paper straws to help hold the cake together (since I am not the best cake stacker in the world). I did not follow either of the cooling instructions (definitely didn’t put it in the fridge), the icing was basically falling off the cake because it was still slightly warm and I forgot to garnish with cake crumbs because I absolutely could not wait to eat it. Oops! If I were going to present this to someone I would have followed the directions correctly but since it was just for me and my family, it was definitely worth it because there is nothing better than warm cake.

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