Red Velvet Cake is Perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Any Special Day

My earliest memories of birthday cake were of Red Velvet.  Being a December Baby, it was the natural selection and since my mom baked many of these a Holiday Tea for the teachers at the school where my dad was the superintendent, I always felt lucky to get one of these special cakes too.

This is the original recipe from the Waldorf Astoria, complete with the delicious buttercream icing instead of the cream cheese frosting that so many use these days.  The buttercream really brings forth the delicious flavor of these unique cake.

I make this cake in small rounds (3 inch and 6 inch) so I don’t have a huge cake sitting around calling my name.  I just freeze what I don’t need and then use it when I have a friend visit for coffee or a glass of wine.

NOTE:  Please  read all the instructions before you begin to make this recipe.

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 c butter, room temp

1 1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

2 oz. red food coloring

2 T cocoa powder

1/2 t salt

2 1/4 c cake flour

1 t vanilla

1 c buttermilk

1 T vinegar

1 t baking soda

1 pk. flake coconut

Cream together the butter, sugar, and eggs.

Make a paste with the cocoa and food coloring and add to the creamed butter and sugar.  Place the empty food coloring bottles upside down in the coconut to tint it.

Red Cake 5

Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the creamed butter and sugar in three additions, alternative with the buttermilk (ie:  1/3 of the buttermilk, 1/3 of the flour. 1/3 buttermilk, 1/3 flour, last 1/3 buttermilk, last 1/3 flour), mixing between each addition until just mixed.  Fold the last addition of flour by hand so you don’t develop too much gluten and make your cake tough.

Red Cake 1          Red Cake 3

Add the vanilla and stir the baking soda into the vinegar.  Blend it into the other ingredients.

Divide the batter into three 8 inch cake pans that have been greased and floured.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Be careful not to over bake or the cake will be dry.  Allow to cool completely before removing from the pans.

Red Cake 2


1 c milk

3 T flour

1 c butter, room temp

1 c sugar

1 t vanilla

Cook the milk and flour until very thick (it should hold the shape of stirring).

Red Cake 4

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture so a “skin” doesn’t form.  Allow to cool completely before proceeding.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the milk and flour mixture along with the vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until it looks like whipped cream and you can’t feel the sugar granules in it.

Red Cake 6

Split the cake layers and ice with the frosting then stack the layers.  Continue icing the outside of the cake then sprinkle with the tinted coconut.

Red Cake 8


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