Red Velvet Layer Cake

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
  • 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. Chipo Phiri

    Hello dear, I’m just from trying this recipe and I followed all the instructions as they are but it came out brown like a chocolate cake and it was flat. What could have been the problem?

      1. Lindsay

        Are you sure you used 4 teaspoons of cocoa and not 4 tablespoons? Not sure why else it’d be particularly brown. Maybe the brand or type of food coloring?

  2. Chipo Phiri

    Wow! Thank you very much for the recipe. I’m a beginner in baking and I’m looking forward to receiving more recipes and learn more from you, I will try this one today. Thank you very much.
    I also like your step by step instructions, it’s very helpful.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m probably not the best person to ask since I don’t make wedding cakes. I would assume that any cake should be fine as long as it’s properly doweled.

  3. sandy james

    Hi Lindsay,
    I would like to try your Red Velvet cake recipe for a 1/2 sheet cake (size of pan 18”x13”x2”)
    your recipe scale is x1, x2, or x3 what recipe size would I use for this size pan? this cake looks so good.Thank You

  4. Sherry

    I love your recipes! I would like to make a red, white and blue velvet cake that I saw on a baking show. Can I eliminate the cocoa from the white and blue layers and just put it in the red layer? If so, how much cocoa do you think?

    1. Lindsay

      Glad you enjoy the recipes!

      That would really require some testing to be sure otherwise it’s just guess. I’m sorry.

  5. Nhu

    How come I never can see your video with the same recipe on one page? I just want to know the speed when mixing with the mixer. You barely say it on your written recipes

    1. Lindsay

      If there’s a video for a recipe, it will be right above the recipe itself. Not all recipes have videos. I pretty much always use a medium speed unless I say otherwise. On this recipe, I often just use a whisk because the mixer is not necessary.

  6. Iram

    Hiya, I’ve used your chocolate cake recipe before and it’s literally the best! Wanted to try out red velvet and was wondering could you swap white vinegar for apple cider vinegar?

  7. cheryl cote

    Was wondering if this could be done in two layer 9 inch pans? or does it make difference ratio frosting cake layer?

  8. Jay

    Hi Lindsay,

    This recipe looks delicious! I was wondering if you’ve ever tried making this recipe with gluten free flour? Do you happen to know if it will work the same? I plan on baking a cake for a friend who is gluten free and have read elsewhere that usually 1-to-1 flour works in most recipes,

  9. Ayeesha

    I tried baking this cake today and it turned out great. The cake was very moist although I felt that the cake and the icing were way too sweet. With the icing is there anyway of compromising the sugar amount without ruining the consistency? Otherwise the cake was amazing, thanks for posting!

    1. Lindsay

      Glad you enjoyed it! Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about the frosting. Feel free to read more about it in my post on Cream Cheese Frosting, but the problem is the cream cheese. It’s just soft and to have a good consistency to work with, you’ve got to add powdered sugar. You could reduce it, but it might make it hard to work with.

  10. Emma

    Hi Lindsay, I realized there was an extra vinegar in the recipe. I use the homemade buttermilk (full cream and vinegar) do I still need to add the additional vinegar?

  11. Emma

    Hi Lindsay, I use homemade buttermilk (full cream and vinegar). Would it still be necessary to add the extra vinegar?

  12. Lucy

    Hi Lindsay, I have made this cake twice using this recipe but it ends up flat and raw even after testing with a toothpick to check if it is ready. I have followed the recipe to the letter but i can’t seem to figure out where i go wrong.

  13. Taeya Belle

    Hey, Lindsay! I just made this cake for my family and it was awesome! Thanks so much and I love the scriptures you posted! 🙂

  14. Belma

    I just made this today for my boyfriend & I’s anniversary! We figured since COVID-19 has really limited our food options, we could cook ourselves. I decided to make this for dessert and it was D E L I C I O U S! We had to go back for seconds… and maybe even thirds 😉 thanks for sharing!

  15. Rifa

    Hi, please can you confirm whether this recipe can be doubled so that you have 2″ deep layers? And also can it be covered in fondant?

  16. CC

    Any advice for keeping the cake together as you frost it? I have leveled each layer and the layers move the more I frost it and looks terrible. Amazing flavor tho!

    1. Lindsay

      Could it be that the frosting is a little soft? If things are moving around too much, it’s usually an issue with the consistency of the frosting. Cream cheese frosting can be a little tricky. If it’s a little thin, you could try adding some additional powdered sugar or you could chill it for 15 to 20 minutes and it’ll firm up a little bit but still be workable. I hope that helps!

      1. Axelia Meissner

        Hi Lindsay, when I added the cocoa powder to my batter it made it seem more brown than red. Would it be ok to omit the cocoa powder in the future? Thanks a lot! 

      2. Lindsay

        You can omit it, but it wouldn’t be a true red velvet cake that way. Maybe try adding a little less? Or a little more red color? Naturally adding brown cocoa is going to make it not a true and total red.

  17. Aimen

    Hi Lindsay! Such an amazing recipe. Best red velvet tried so far. I was just wondering if I could bake it as a single cake instead of separate layers. For how long should I bake it? Thanks.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It should be fine as one layer. For a 9×13, I’d try baking it for about 25 minutes.

    1. Lindsay

      The water adds more moisture to the cake. Hot water helps cocoa bloom. It doesn’t have to be hot if you don’t want as rich of a flavor.

      1. Lydia

        I’m so sad this didn’t work for me. The only thing I did differently was double the recipe. I feel like the hot water made it too thin and the cake ended up sooo gummy and flat. Womp womp. 

      2. Lindsay

        I’m sorry to hear that. I have a few recipes that are very thin batters like this one, so the water shouldn’t be an issue. I’m not sure what the problem was though. If you ever decide to try it again, I might just double check your baking soda and baking powder.

  18. Jennifer Pena

    Let me start by saying that I do not care for red velvet cake but made this for my son’s birthday. I could not stop eating it! It is the most delicious red velvet cake I have ever tried! I have always used Cakeman Raven’s recipe, however, his recipe has been replaced! You are my go-to for all sweets! I am going to get rid of my cookbooks and just count on you to show me the way to sweets! Thank you!

  19. Erin

    Hey Lindsay, I just had an inquiry about this cake…from what I have gathered, it seems like one of the primary aspects of red velvet cake is it’s buttery flavor. In the majority of other recipes I’ve seen, there is both butter and oil in the ingredients listed. I was curious as to why you have no butter in your recipe; I’m sure it still tastes awesome, but does it have that buttery flavor that seems to be so important in red velvet cake? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not sure that I’ve ever known red velvet to be known for the buttery flavor, but more the flavor of the buttermilk/vinegar/cocoa combination and cream cheese frosting. I personally don’t miss the butter, but you could certainly try a couple versions and see what you prefer.

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