Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

This Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake recipe has layers of moist red velvet cake and creamy cheesecake, covered in cream cheese frosting! If you’ve ever had the cheesecake by the same name at The Cheesecake Factory and loved it, this is the perfect recipe to make at home!

Pinterest collage Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

So by now you guys know that I love a good cheesecake. I have SO many on my site, it’s nutty. I’ve got other copycats from the Cheesecake Factory (or at least ones inspired by their cheesecakes), including the Banana Cream Cheesecake (my all-time fave), Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake, Kahlua Coffee Brownie Cheesecake and the Outrageous Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake Cake. Add to that list the other cheesecake cakes I’ve got for you – like this Strawberry Cheesecake Cake and Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake – and there’s a lot to get excited about!

That said, this Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake quickly became a classic for us. So moist, so delicious and perfect for a special occasion or holiday like Valentine’s Day or Christmas. I’ve become a lover of red velvet cake since I started making it myself from scratch, so I personally LOVE the flavor of this cake. And it combines two amazing things – cake and cheesecake. Score!

WHAT IS A RED VELVET CHEESECAKE CAKE?

If the name doesn’t give it away, it’s a cake that’s layered with both cheesecake and cake. In this case, the cake layers are red velvet and the cheesecake is classic vanilla.

IS RED VELVET CAKE JUST A CHOCOLATE CAKE?

As someone who genuinely enjoys red velvet, I do not think that red velvet cake is just chocolate cake. I feel like I see everywhere that it is, but let’s talk about how it isn’t, ok?

First, red velvet cake has always been made with vinegar and buttermilk and the acidity reacts with the cocoa to reveal the red anthocyanin in the cocoa, which would give it it’s red-ish color. These days, food coloring is added to really give it the red color we’re familiar with. These ingredients not only contribute to the color, but also the flavor. Red velvet cake has a lovely tang to it that simply isn’t present in chocolate cake.

Second, and in my opinion this is the even bigger argument, chocolate cake has considerably more cocoa in it. If you look at my Best Moist Chocolate Cake, you’ll see it has three quarters cup of cocoa in it. This cake has 4 teaspoons of cocoa. So if we break that down, that’s 36 teaspoons in a chocolate cake versus 4 in this one. Just because Red Velvet Cake has cocoa in it, it doesn’t mean it tastes like chocolate cake. I’m telling you, if you made a chocolate cake with 4 teaspoons of cocoa and tried to pass it off as chocolate, people would call you on it.

slice of red velvet cheesecake cakeRed Velvet Cheesecake Cake decorated with red drips

WHAT IS THE FLAVOR OF RED VELVET CAKE?

So there we have it. Red velvet cake and chocolate cake are not the same. Yes, there’s a little cocoa, but the flavor is harder to describe than that. It’s tangy, delicious and uniquely “red velvet”. You just have to try it to know and love it. 🙂

HOW DO YOU MAKE A RED VELVET CHEESECAKE CAKE?

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about how to make this delicious cake. Start by making the cheesecake. I use my classic, creamy vanilla cheesecake. One of the great things about this cake is that various parts can be made ahead and the cheesecake layer is definitely one of those things. Cheesecakes hold up well for several days, so making it a day or so ahead would be fine.

As always, I bake it in a water bath. I know it’s a step that many go to great lengths to avoid, but it really does make a creamier cheesecake that doesn’t fall in the middle, brown on the edges or crack.

HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THE CHEESECAKE LAYER IS THE SAME AS THE RED VELVET CAKES?

The key to making the cheesecake for a cheesecake cake is to bake the cheesecake in same pan you’ll use for the cakes. This will ensure that the cheesecake layer is the same size as the cake layers and make it much easier to build and frost it later.

So, even if you’re making a 9 inch cake (which this one is), and you tend to use a 9 inch springform pan for cheesecakes and then 9 inch cake pans for cakes, you’ll want to use the same cake pan for the cheesecake and cake layers this time. Not all 9 inch pans are actually the same size, so line your cake pan with aluminum foil and press it tightly against the sides. Then bake the cheesecake in that pan, let it cool and use the foil to lift it out of the cake pan. You can then put that cheesecake back in the fridge and use the cake pan for the cake layers.

Cheesecake Cake with slice removedoverhead view of cake

THE BEST RED VELVET CHEESECAKE CAKE

Once the cheesecake is made, it’s time for the cake layers. I used my favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe and it really is SO good!

Bake up those layers and let them cool. When you’re ready to build the cake, make the Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s such a classic frosting to pair with red velvet and this one pipes and frosts beautifully.

HOW TO BUILD A RED VELVET CHEESECAKE CAKE

To build the cake, you’ll layer it much like you layer other cakes. Remove the domes from the tops of the cakes, then add the first cake layer to your serving plate. Add a layer of cream cheese frosting, then the cheesecake layer. You’ll add another layer of cream cheese frosting, then the final cake layer.

Frost the outside of the cake as usual, then decorate it to your liking. I decided to use a fun red drip, some sprinkles and some white chocolate chips, but you could also cover the sides entirely in white chocolate chips to keep it simple, but elegant. Totally your call.

However you decorate it though, you really must try it! The cake is wonderfully moist, the cheesecake thick and creamy, the frosting wonderfully tangy. Together they make the perfect Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake. So good you won’t want to share. 🙂

cheesecake cake slice on plateclose up of drip decoration on cake


Read transcript

You might also like these Red Velvet recipes:

Red Velvet Cheesecake
Red Velvet Layer Cake
Red Velvet Cheesecake Bundt Cake
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookie Cups
Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake Recipe | Classic Red Velvet Recipe
Recipe

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 26 minutes
  • Yield: 14-16 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake is made with layers of moist red velvet cake and thick and creamy cheesecake! If you’ve ever had the cheesecake by the same name at The Cheesecake Factory and loved it, this is the perfect recipe to make at home!


Ingredients

VANILLA CHEESECAKE

  • 24 oz (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

RED VELVET CAKE LAYERS

  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp (9g) natural unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 4 tsp red food coloring
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (280g) butter, room temperature
  • 12 cups (1380g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz white chocolate chips

RED GANACHE

  • 6 oz red Wilton candy melts
  • 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

To make the cheesecake:

1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C). Line the entire inside of a 9-inch (23cm) cake pan with aluminum foil. Press it into the pan to get it as flat as you can. You’ll use the aluminum foil to lift the cheesecake out of the pan when it’s baked and cooled.
2. In a large mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour together until combined. Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
5. Pour the cheesecake batter into the lined cake pan.
6. Place the cake pan inside another larger pan. I use a larger cake pan, but you can use a roasting pan or any other larger baking pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 1 hour.
7. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes. Do not open the door or you’ll release the heat.
8. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 30 minutes. This cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly to prevent cracks.
9. Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours.

To make the cake layers:

10. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line the bottoms of two 9-inch (23cm) cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
11. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
12. Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs, vinegar and red food coloring to a medium sized bowl and combine.
13. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
14. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
15. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 23-26 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
16. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

To make the frosting:

17. When you’re ready to build the cake, make the frosting. Add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
18. Slowly add about half of the powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth.
19. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
20. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until well combined and smooth.

To build the cake:

21. Use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the red velvet cakes.
22. Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly on top of the cake layer.
23. Use the aluminum foil to lift the cheesecake out of the cake pan, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on top of the cake.
24. Spread another cup of frosting evenly on top of the cheesecake, then add the second layer of cake on top. If the sides of the cake don’t line up, use a serrated knife to trim off the excess cake or cheesecake.
25. Frost the outside of the cake. Check out my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if you’d like.

To decorate the cake:

26. Press white chocolate chips into the bottom of the cake, around the bottom edge. Refrigerate cake for about 20 minutes.
27. To make the red ganache, place the red candy melts in a small bowl
28. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour over the candy melts. Allow it to sit for about a minute, the whisk to melt. If it isn’t completely melted (and it probably won’t be), heat it for another 20-30 seconds, the whisk until smooth.
29. Allow the ganache to cool until it thickens up a good bit, but is still pourable, then transfer to a squeeze bottle.
30. Drizzle the ganache around the edge of the cake.
31. Heat the remaining ganache (you can leave it in the bottle) for about 10 seconds to soften it up again, then pour it onto the top of the cake and quickly spread to the edges.
32. Allow the ganache to cool and firm, then pipe swirls of the frosting around the top edge of the cake. I used the Ateco 844 icing tip. Add sprinkles, if desired.
33. Store the cake (in an airtight container, if possible) in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cake is best for 2-3 days.

Keywords: red velvet cheesecake cake, red velvet cake, red velvet cheesecake, red velvet recipes, how to make red velvet cake, best red velvet cake recipe, cheesecake factory copycat recipe, how to make cheesecake factory desserts at home

Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake on white stand

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Recipe rating

176 Comments
  1. Muna

    Hey Lindsay, know I’m a bit late to the party. I’ll like to try this recipe but we don’t have sour cream in my country. What can i substitute for it please?

    1. Lindsay

      You should be able to use heavy cream, but it’s possible you might want to reduce it a bit. I haven’t tried it myself to be able to say for sure.

  2. Wendy

    I made this cake for the first time this evening. I used 8 in pans and now know that 9 in works better. The cheesecake layer is super thick and the top two layers try and slide off the bottom. The icing is thick enough, so not sure. I have put it in the freezer to see if it helps. But my husband loves the frosting and the cake is beautiful. I will definitely make this again.

  3. Tess

    This is a wonderful recipe and the cake was a hit for a Christmas food gift. I made it without the genache at the time but would like to try it with the genache on my second try. QUESTION on the genache: Do you apply it freshly after frosting the cake or do you chill the cake first or freeze it? Thank you so much, Lindsay!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! You could do it either way, but I typically add ganache to a room temperature cake. If you add it to the chilled cake, just keep in mind that the ganache will cool down more quickly as it drips on a cold cake.

  4. Hannah Kimsey

    Followed the recipe to a tee. It’s delicious! I will maybe add a cup or just a half cup less sugar to the frosting next time though. Tip: don’t transport it in 92° heat after only getting to refrigerate for 20 minutes. 🙂 

  5. Lucy

    Hi Lindsay, My cake did not rise at all.. It also came out under baked even after inserting a skewer and it coming out clean. Please help.

  6. Erica

    I have made so many of your recipes and love them. Have you tried either beet root powder (instead of the food coloring) or raw cacao (instead of the cocoa powder)? Any suggestions if it requires tweaking of amounts?  Thank you!

  7. Merlita

    I have been trying to bake red velvet cake a few times but never succeeded. I cam e across your recipe and finally made a good one and love it!

  8. Cassandra Humphrey

    Thank you, i made this recipe and it was wonderful! The only issue i had is when i transferred the cheesecake for some reason the bottom of it started to crack, so then i had an awful time icing it. Do you have any tips on how to transfer it to the tiers without breaking it?

    1. Lindsay

      The cheesecake should be firm enough to move around, but you could try using a cake lifter. Or, you could actually turn the bottom cake layer with the frosting over onto the cheesecake and then turn them both back over so that they are upright. Does that make sense?

    1. Lindsay

      You’re going to end up with taller layers if you use a smaller pan. In some cases that may work fine, but I’m not sure it’s really ideal for this cake. It may be ok for the cake layers, but you may want to reduce the amount of cheesecake filling so that it doesn’t overflow your pan. You’ll also need to increase the baking times for everything by a little bit.

  9. Kayla

    Do I cover the cheesecake while it chills in the fridge?  Or do I leave it uncovered for a while then cover overnight?  I assume it goes straight into fridge after the 30 minutes of cooking with oven door open.

    1. Lindsay

      You can leave it uncovered. If you cover it, you’ll end up with a good bit of condensation on top of the cheesecake.

  10. Lunedt

    I’ve made this recipe 3 times now and it’s a huge hit! I’m thinking of trying to make it into “cupcakes”, for individual servings. Any advice? 

    Thanks!

  11. yvonne

    Hi Lindsay,
    Can I use a 9-inch springform pan w. the cheesecake layer?
    Then just use 9-inch for the actually red velvet cake?
    Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      The recipe already uses 9 inch pans, so that shouldn’t be a problem. However, unless your springform pan has a super tight seal on it, the cake batter may not stay in very well while it’s baking, which is why I tend to recommend using actual cake pans for the cake batter part.

  12. Ginny

    Am attempting this cake in a 6 inch… I did the red velvet cake using the Wilton easy layer pan so I have 4 approx 1 inch layers of cake. My thoughts are to add the cheese cake in between and layer the first and third layer with cream cheese frosting. Should I still add cream cheese between the cake and the cheesecake? I want it to taste more cheesecake.. thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas?

    1. Lindsay

      I think I’m following what you’re saying. I would put a thin layer of frosting between the cake and cheesecake layers just to help it all stick together.

    1. Lindsay

      It is correct. It’s fairly standard for American style buttercreams to have quite a bit of powdered sugar so that they aren’t too thin. Particularly with cream cheese frosting it’s necessary. You could try reducing it but you may have trouble with your frosting being too thin.

  13. Hvlee920

    Can I make the cheesecake 2 days ahead of time and can it be stored in the refrigerator until used? I would like to make this for Christmas, but also get a head start. 

  14. rudolph j loehndorf

    can you substitute cake flour for all purpose flour . will cake flour also work with this recipe thank you for the answer.

  15. Julia

    I have made this cake many times but several times the red velvet layers had holes and tunnels. Do you know what might have caused this?

  16. Andrea

    If I wanted to make this a Valentine’s Day cake and use pink dye in addition to the red would the batter with the pink in it turn out pink or an off red?

    1. Lindsay

      Your best bet with adding pink is going to be adding it to the cheesecake. I would suggest pink gel icing color. If you try to add it to the cake, it will be a weird color because of the cocoa in the red velvet cake.

      1. Andrea

        Or if I divided the cake batter and left out the cocoa in one layer? That cocoa less pink layer would essentially just be a vanilla cake wouldn’t it? Would that layer taste different then the red layer? I’ve had red velvet cake before and it’s it’s good and all but honestly I can’t taste any difference between it and another cake.

      2. Lindsay

        The cocoa reacts with the vinegar and buttermilk in the cake to help give it its rise and texture. I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same results if you leave the cocoa out. If you would like to use just a vanilla cake and color it, you certainly can. I would recommend this vanilla cake baked into 9 inch cake pans. https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/moist-vanilla-layer-cake/

  17. jats

    Hi. Can I use this recipe and measurements with three 6’ inch round cake pans?
    how long the baking time would be?

    1. Lindsay

      This recipe is for a 9 inch cake. You’d need to reduce it for 6 inch cakes, but I don’t bake 6 inch cakes, so I’m not able to advise you.

  18. Nathan

    Hi, I am currently making this cake, I just got to step 9. And I just had a quick question, I need to let the cheese cake sit for 5-6 hours to firm completely? Is it best to let it sit in the fridge for 5-6 hours, or at room temp? Also if I am on a time crunch, would it hurt the cheese cake if I put it in the freezer? And if it wouldn’t hurt it, would it still be 5-6 hours? 

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you do need to let the cheesecake chill completely in the fridge. You may be able to get by with a little less time, like maybe four hours, but it does need to be completely chilled or you’ll have trouble working with it. I’m not sure that I would put it in the freezer right away. You don’t want it cool too quickly or it might crack.

  19. Mary

    I just finished making this cake.  It is beautiful, hope it is as good as looks.  Can’t wait to eat at a Fourth of July dinner.  I have never had much luck with cheesecake, but this recipe is awesome.  Thank you for the cheesecake recipe.

  20. jona

    Hi! Super excited to try this for my son’s birthday. I am actually thinking of decorating it thomas theme.. wondering if i can colour the cream cheese with blue food colouring? If possible, would gel or liquid food colouring be a good option? Thank you so much. 

      1. Jona

        Thank you for the prompt reply Lindsay! Cant wait to make it this week!!! Im a big fan of your recipes! 

      2. Lindsay

        Thank you Shawn! Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipes!

        Low-fat buttermilk should be fine in the cake layers. Full fat tends to be better because it’s going to add more moisture but it should work fine to use low fat.

  21. D Marts

    Hi Lindsay! I just made this cake for my sister-in-law and everyone in our family loved it. I just observed that cheesecake was trying to escape the layers. At some point, my cake had a beer belly. Do you think my Cheesecake wasn’t chilled enough? Or was it something else? I followed the recipe to the single gram. Cheesecake was chilling for 6 hours before layering.

    1. Lindsay

      Hmm, hard to say without being there to see it. It’s possible it wasn’t chilled enough or maybe not cooked long enough. It should be quite firm.

      1. D Marts

        Thanks Lindsay! Will try it again coz it was really good… the whole family has been craving for it since 😏

  22. Clair

    I made this for a family member for their birthday and it was amazing! Everything turned out right and it was gorgeous! The family member said it tasted delicious!

  23. eric urbansky

    Thank you LIndsay. I thought my first comment did not go through, so i sent out a second one. Sorry for making you respond twice. I will attempt to give this cake a Easter decoration for this weekend. I cannot wait to taste this cake. I have never really had a red velvet cake before.

  24. Eric Urbansky

    Hey Lindsay, this cake looks amazing and I cannot wait to make it. I have two questions for you. When i am making the red velvet cake mixture, does the hot water need to boiling? Also i was wondering do you have an idea on how tall this cake is? I am just wondering because I am traveling with it and need a cake carrier, and what to make sure the dimensions are correct.

    1. Lindsay

      Not necessarily boiling, just hot. As for height, it’s fairly tall (and heavy). I’d say probably around 5 inches – give or take.

  25. Joni Parker

    Made this cake for a baby shower Mom-to-be faves are red velvet & cheesecake) – used pink candy melts for the drips (it’s a girl) … it was a huge hit and tasted fabulous. I will be visiting often for more recipes!!

  26. Greyz

    Recipe was great, but my cream cheese frosting was runny. I tried to save it but couldn’t. Maybe you have a trick on making cream cheese frosting better that you can share? Would love to hear it. I’m better with buttercream. 😞

  27. Karen Schleeweis

    I want to make this cake for my suns bday but he doesn’t really like cream cheese icing. Looking into Italian meringue icing fro top and sides (not buttercream…) would this work inside the cake too to keep the layers together?
    Also, Can i bake the cake layers ahead and freeze? It’s only 3-4 days ahead, but still that would help.

    thanks!
    Karen

  28. eric

    Hey Lindsay , this cake looks amazing and I can’t wait to make it. For the red velvet mixture, when folding in the hot water, does it have to be boiling?

  29. Julia

    I actually attempted to make this cake over the weekend and something went wrong it turned out flat. How long do you suppose to mix it?

    1. Lindsay

      It’s really difficult to say without being there to see what was done. Did the layers collapse, or are they just flat? They may be fine. If they collapsed, I’d check the baking soda and powder to make sure they’re ok and that you added the correct amount.

      1. Stephane

        I believe it has to do with the type of oven used. I noticed since I have a gas oven I had to bake the cane a lot longer than the recipe suggested. That could be why it fell. 

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12