Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Classic red velvet cake topped with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. It's super moist, soft, and of course bright red! The buttermilk and cocoa in the cake pair perfectly with the tanginess of the cream cheese. It's a match made in heaven.
Yield: 8-12
  • ½ c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. - 2 tbsp. red food coloring*
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 c. cake flour
  • 2 tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 c. buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. apple cider or distilled vinegar
  • Cream cheese frosting:
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp. vanilla extract + 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 c. powdered sugar
  • 16 oz. (12 blocks) original cream cheese, room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 3 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of (2) 9" round cake pans with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and food coloring until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With mixing speed on low, add the oil, then the eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds on medium speed or until incorporated.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the cake flour, cocoa powder, and salt. With mixing speed on low gradually alternate adding the dry along with the sour cream and buttermilk, mix just until combined. Pour the baking soda into a small bowl along with the vinegar. Mix together then beat into the batter, about 20 seconds on medium speed.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are firm and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile to prepare the cream cheese frosting, using the paddle attachment cream the butter, vanilla and salt for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball. Add cream cheese and heavy cream, mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes to set up. Allow to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before frosting the cake. Start by frosting the first layer, set the second layer on top and then frost the top of it along with the sides. Sprinkle with desired sprinkles or pipe decorative details.
*I have used both food coloring and baker's emulsion. You will need different amounts depending on which kind you use (liquid and emulsion will be 2 tbsp. and Americolor and Wilton gels will be about 1 tsp.)
-This recipe easily makes 24 standard size cupcakes. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
-I've recently become a huge fan of Wilton's Bake Even Strips. They fit around the outer edge of your pans and ensure that the cakes bake up level or even. If you do chose to use these, you won't have any excess cake to level/use for decorating crumbs.

Recipe source: Life Made Simple
Recipe by Life Made Simple at