Red Velvet Layer Cake

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Red Velvet Layer Cake is a classic! This version is super moist with just the right amount of tang! Plus, it’s super easy to make! I wanted to devour the whole cake on my own.

Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! Red Velvet Layer Cake

Red Velvet Layer Cake

Are you a sprinkle lover? I sure hope so, because this cake is literally covered in sprinkles! I bought these sprinkles several months ago and have been dying to use them on a cake. I actually think I had to make this cake just so I could use the sprinkles. 🙂

If you haven’t seen her shop yet, Sweetapolita opened an online sprinkle shop last year and it’s full of some of the best sprinkle mixes out there. So many colors, occasions and types of sprinkles. It’s a sprinkle lover’s dream and so is this cake.

After sharing some Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookie Cups with you last week, I have one more red velvet dessert to share for Valentine’s Day. This one is the classic layered cake! And it’s covered in my new favorite sprinkles!

Best Red Velvet Layer CakeHomemade Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Red Velvet Cake is based off of the Moist Vanilla Cupcakes I shared with you a couple weeks ago. I’m a huge fan of how simple the recipe is! It’s so easy to put together and makes a moist cake that’s also wonderfully fluffy. I knew it’d make a great red velvet too.

I swapped a few things around to get the perfect red velvet flavor. First, buttermilk is a must. Red velvet is full of tang and buttermilk is part of the crew of ingredients enlisted to bring the tang. The vinegar also contributes to the tang, in addition to adding to the leavening (rise) of the cake. Two other signature parts of red velvet are a touch of cocoa and it’s red color. Covering the cake is the classic cream cheese frosting. Together they make the perfect pair!

I love this cake! It’s so moist and has such great flavor! The oil in the cake makes it wonderfully moist, yet there isn’t so much oil that the cake feels too oily. It’s just right! If you’re a red velvet fan, you should definitely give it a try! And if you’ve never had red velvet – you should try it. It’s always better homemade – trust me. 🙂

Easy Red Velvet CakeRed Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe

You might also like

Red Velvet Cookie Cups
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Red Velvet Berry Trifle
Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake
Red Velvet Cheesecake Bundt Cake
Red Velvet Cheesecake

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slice of Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Layer Cake

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Red Velvet Layer Cake is a classic! This version is super moist with just the right amount of tang! Plus, it’s super easy to make! I wanted to devour the whole cake on my own.




  • 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


  • 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (172g) butter, room temperature
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch pans with parchment paper in the bottom and spray the sides with non-stick spray.
2. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs, vinegar and red food coloring to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. 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.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
9. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
10. Add the vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
11. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
12. When the cakes are cool, build the cake. Remove the domes from the tops of the cake layers with a large serrated knife.
13. Place the first layer of cake on a cake circle or serving stand, then spread about 1 cup of frosting on top in an even layer.
14. Repeat with the next layer of cake and frosting, then top the cake with the final layer of cake.
15. Frost the outside of the cake. I used my offset spatula to get a nice, even layer. This cream cheese frosting is stickier than some other frostings. Keep aside about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of frosting for the top border.
16. Press the sprinkles onto the sides of the cake.
17. Pipe a border around the top edge of the cake. I used Ateco tip 844, but Wilton 2D or 1M would work as well.
18. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

Keywords: red velvet cake recipe, red velvet cake easy recipe, how to make red velvet cake, homemade red velvet cake, layer cake, layer cake recipe, red velvet recipe, easy cake recipe, best cake recipe



Red Velvet Layer Cake decorated

Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

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Recipe rating

    1. Lindsay

      There are some photos in this post that show I usually add sprinkles to the sides. For how many, I used most of a 7oz bottle, so probably one to 1 1/2 cups.

  1. Vanessa L Rivera

    This cake is too cute! I am so glad you posted this. I planned on testing out a new red velvet cupcake recipe today and this is going to be the one. Would you change the amounts of baking soda or baking powder to create a cupcake? If not, I will let you know how it turns out. 🙂

    You make the most beautiful cakes!! 🙂

      1. Kendra

        Hi. I love your website and have tried this red velvet cake multiple times. Love love the texture and moistness. However, I can’t seem to get consistency in the baking. I have had to throw out a whole cake once fully decorated because when I cut into the cake it was rubbery and not good at all. I can’t figure out what I could be doing wrong. Simple recipe to follow but sometimes I get success and other are a total failure. I have to have consistency and I’m getting frustrated not knowing the cause. Any tips?

      2. Lindsay

        I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having trouble with it. It seems so strange that you would get different results. I’m honestly not sure what we cause that other than an ingredient not being fresh or some thing. But I’m sure you’ve probably tested that.

  2. Lynda

    What a gorgeous cake! Thanks for all the red velvet goodness! It is my very favorite and perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  3. Lorna

    Hi Lyndsay, what a fabulous looking cake and perfect for my daughter’s 6th birthday coming up! I was wondering quantity wise, how much sprinkles you had to use to cover the side of the cake. I’ve been online to Sweetapolita and just wondering if I can get away with the medium bottle (200g) or do I need to buy the large (400g)! Can you let me know the name of the sprinkles you used too – trying to work it out from pictures but I don’t see the identical one on sweetapolita’s website 🙂 Also any tips on putting the sprinkles around the side of the cake?!? Many thanks, Lorna.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, it’d be so fun for a birthday! And there are so many awesome sprinkle choices! These are the ones I used. My bottle is 7 oz (200g) and I used most of it for this cake. There are a couple photos in this post showing how I usually add my sprinkles. I just cup them in my fingers and press them into the cake. The cream cheese frosting is pretty sticky so they stick pretty easily. It helps to set the cake over a cookie sheet or something so that it catches the excess sprinkles as they fall. The round/ball sprinkles are pretty bouncy, so high sides are helpful for catching runaway sprinkles. 🙂

      1. Lorna

        Thanks for your reply Lindsay, went to purchase those sprinkles but unfortunately the postage was a crazy price of €38 to post to Europe so I’ll have to get creative 🙂

    1. Tara S Jones

      I just completed my 2nd version of your recipe and i absolutely love it. I’ve done loads of red velvet cakes over the years but this is the best sponge by far. 
      What I did find tricky was icing the cake. I found when it came to doing the outside layer the sponges started to move and by the end it looked a bits slanted. Do you need to do a crumb base and then refrigerate it half way though? Any tips would be appreciated as this icing is very sticky and you have to work quickly before it became too warm to work with 

      1. Lindsay

        Are you in a warmer climate? That could affect the frosting. I know people also sometimes like to reduce the amount of powdered sugar, which thins out the frosting. Aside from those possibilities for thinner frosting, you can certainly apply a crumb coat and refrigerate it so that it’s a little firmer when you frost the rest of it. You could also refrigerate the frosting for about 20 minutes before using it so that it’s already a little cooler. There’s no doubt that cream cheese frosting can be tricky. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the cake!

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!

Scripture I’m Loving

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