Recipe | Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

If like me you’re not the biggest fan of traditional Christmas fruit cake, why not try this alternative festive inspired red velvet cake? I absolutely love red velvet cake. Mainly for it’s beautiful cream cheese frosting. The sponge itself is light and fluffy, and although its red food colouring adds little more than style, the addition of cocoa powder gives the sponge a richness.

Add a little sprinkle of left over sponge and a dusting of glitter, and you have yourself a very festive looking cake!

Please ignore the baking paper resting under the cake in the photos. This was placed so that I could easily manoeuvre it into a cake tin to take to work, as I actually made this particular cake for a Halloween bake sale in the office. Whilst I was unsure if red velvet cake would be to everyone’s taste, it seemed to go down very well.

Ingredients: (Makes a 23cm double layer cake. Approx 10 slices)
For the cake:

  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1 Dr Oetker red food gel 15ml tube
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 240ml buttermilk
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3tsp white wine vinegar

For the icing:

  • 600g icing sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 250g cream cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to form a paste.
  4. Add the paste to the main mixing bowl and combine.
  5. Gradually add the buttermilk and flour, adding a little of each at a time until mixed thoroughly.
  6. Add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and stir well.
  7. Divide the cake mixture between two tins and bake for 20-25 mins in the oven until cooked. Use a skewer to check if the sponges are cooked by piercing the middle of each. It should come out clean when removed.
  8. To make the cream cheese frosting, firstly beat the butter until it’s light and creamy. Add the icing sugar a little at a time to avoid too much mess. (It’s impossible to avoid all mess with icing sugar. I’m afraid your kitchen will be lightly dusted with the stuff!).
  9. Add the cream cheese and beat together, but be careful not to overdo it as it can go to runny.
  10. Remove the sponges from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes in their cake tins, before removing to a wire rack.
  11. Once completely cooled you may want to level off each of the sponges. Don’t throw this away! Instead, add it to a blender and create a breadcrumb consistency.
  12. Sandwich the cake layers together using the cream cheese frosting, and top with the remaining frosting.
  13. Sprinkle the edges with the left over cake mix and a touch of edible glitter for an extra special festive touch!

Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake