BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (2024)

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posted by divas can cook on Nov 19, 2009 (updated Sep 22, 2021) 2,183 comments »

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4.60 from 1981 ratings

“Easy, moist red velvet cake recipe full of Southern charm with a secret ingredient! Frosted with Cream Cheese frosting!”

Watch me make this Easy, Moist Red Velvet Cake from start to finish!

There is something so elegant about a red velvet cake. Maybe it’s the name or that beautiful, bold red color. Or maybe it’s the delicate crumb and light chocolatey flavor with a tad bit of tang from the buttermilk.

Whatever it is, I’m totally present for all things RED VELVET!!! Red Velvet Pound Cake anyone??

I’ve been getting a lot of requests for red velvet cake. Being from the south my recipe options were endless. I swear everybody in my family has their way of making red velvet cake and to them, it is the best!!

Hooooowever, I still knew that the perfect red velvet cake was still out there somewhere.

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (1)

I have been on the search for the best homemade red velvet cake recipe for a while now actually. I wanted one that was easy, super moist, melt-in-your-mouth soft with that signature light chocolatey buttermilk red velvet flavor.

I’ve tried a few recipes that were…OK. Nothing that really blew my heels off though. Until I played around with merging three recipes (God I love chemistry when it cooperates) and out came THE MASTERPIECE!!! Or at least we think so in my house!

What is red velvet cake?

Before we talk about what red velvet cake is, it’s important to establish what it’s NOT! Red velvet cake is not just a chocolate cake with red food coloring. Traditional red velvet cake started as a buttermilk chocolate cake that is has a signature reddish hue from the cocoa powder. The modern take on classic red velvet cake uses red food coloring to enhance the natural redness of this cake and turn it into bold red color.

What does red velvet cake taste like?

Red velvet cake tastes like a light chocolate cake with vanilla buttermilk notes. It’s a signature flavor that is well-loved in the south. Velvet cakes have a tender crumb and always consist of buttermilk and distilled vinegar. Check out this lemon velvet cake below for a different spin!

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (2)

This red velvet cake recipe is SUPERB!!!! And it passes the stick to the back of the fork test like a champ!

Adding a bit of coffee to the batter isn’t “traditional” for red velvet cakes but it adds another layer of flavor and really hypes up the chocolatey taste to perfection. Not to mention the extra liquid makes this cake do doggone soft so don’t skip it!

Even if you have to run to Mickey D’s or the gas station to get a cup of coffee! I prefer flavored coffee. When I make this cake for people I always use vanilla biscotti or chocolate-flavored coffee. But plain will do just fine too.

Oh and don’t worry, you can’t taste the coffee.

Want cupcakes? Check out these red velvet cupcakes!

How To Make The BEST Red Velvet Cake

  1. Be sure to generously grease your pans (with shortening) and give them a light dusting of flour. This will ensure that the cake doesn’t stick to the pan.
  2. Use plain prepared coffee. Yep just brew up a cup of coffee. No need to add sugar or cream. I normally use a light or medium roast Alternatively, you can use hot water but…coffee is so much better.

Helpful Red Velvet Cake Supplies

What Cream Cheese Frosting should I use?

Originally I used THIS cream cheese frosting! It’s light, airy, simple, and delicious!

But then I switched to THIS cream cheese frosting and it’s my new favorite!

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (4)

I love a tangy frosting so it’s packed with cream cheese and much thicker in texture. However, if you beat it like crazy it does fluff up quite nicely. If you aren’t a fan of this bold cream cheese-flavored frosting then go with the first recipe.

I hope that you guys enjoy this red velvet cake as much as I do. Lord knows I didn’t want to make this cake AGAIN this week…but I have to give my readers what they demand…..and now I have all this cake…. that I have to eat all by myself…..*sigh* oh well….life is tough like that sometimes. : )

Watch me make this Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe from start to finish!

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (5)

Get the Recipe: The BEST Red Velvet Cake Recipe. Easy. Moist. Homemade

4.60 from 1981 ratings

Easy, moist red velvet cake recipe full of Southern charm with a secret ingredient! Frosted with Cream Cheese frosting

Cook Time: 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

Servings: 2 -layer cake

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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or canola
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 oz. red food coloring, more or less depending on how deep you want the color
  • 1/2 cup plain hot coffee, prepared (don't skip this ingredient)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Real Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe


  • Preheat oven to 325 F.

  • Generously grease and flour (2) 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.

  • Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and red food coloring until combined.

  • Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.

  • Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing after each addition, just until combined. (Batter will be thin)

  • Pour the batter evenly into each pan.

  • Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake as the cake will continue to cook as it cools.

  • Let pans cool on a cooling rack until the pans are warm to the touch.

  • Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.

  • Gently remove the cakes from the pan and let them finish cooling. (The warm cake will be very delicate)

  • Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.



Be sure to not overbake! Check the cake at 30 minutes as some ovens run really hot.
The cakes are really moist and delicate. You may need to refrigerate them to firm them up before stacking and frosting.
To bake cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes, checking at the 18-minute mark.

Author: Divas Can Cook

Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.

Want more red velvet recipes?

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (6)

Red Velvet Cupcakes

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (7)

Red Velvet Pound Cake

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (8)

Red Velvet Cookies

BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe (9)

Red Velvet Brownies

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originally published on Nov 19, 2009 (last updated Sep 22, 2021)

2,183 comments Leave a comment »

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2,183 comments on “BEST Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe”

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  1. M. Tkachuk Reply

    This is my go to recipe.Ive been baking this cake for roughly 5 years.It’s never ever failed me. Best ever recipe

  2. Gwen Reply

    I made this cake in a sheet cake for a Juneteenth celebration. I doubled the recipe for a half sheet cake pan. It turned out delicious. Everyone at the celebration raved about it. I decorated it with the Juneteenth colors.

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