Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake
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Bake: 150 min
Yield: one 8-inch cake about 6-8 servings
An American favorite since the 1920s, Red Velvet Cake's creation has been attributed to John A. Adams, owner of the Adams Extract Company and later, New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where it was a popular menu item during the 1950s. Red Velvet differs from Devil's Food by using cocoa instead of chocolate.


  • 2 1/4 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour®️ (sifted, then measured)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs


  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. WHISK buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla in a small bowl to blend. Cream the sugar and butter together in the bowl of a stand or electric mixer, until well blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.
  3. ADD the dry ingredients in 4 additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 3 additions.
  4. DIVIDE batter between prepared pans. Bake cakes until the tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 27 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks lined with parchment paper; cool completely.
  5. MAKE the frosting by creaming together the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  6. PLACE 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a platter or cake stand. Spread 1 cup of frosting over top of the cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

*The cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

  • Nancy Lang says:

    Just baked this cake with this recipe and it fell horribly. Don’t know why! The batter was extremely thick before I added more buttermilk so I could get it out of the bowl into a Bundt pan

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Nancy, We are so sorry to hear that you had this experience with the Red Velvet Cake recipe. Your information has been forwarded to our Consumer Relations Department. Someone will be reaching out. Happy Baking!

  • Kristy Rodriguez says:

    Is this the recipe that was printed on your flour boxes years ago?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Kristy, The recipe on is slightly different. Here is the historic Red Velvet recipe. Happy Baking!

      Makes 1 (3-layer) 9-inch cake

      2 ½ cups sifted Swans Down® Cake Flour
      1 ½ cups sugar
      3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
      1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 ½ cups vegetable oil
      1 cup whole buttermilk
      2 large eggs
      1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      1 teaspoon vinegar
      Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
      Garnish: white chocolate curls

      Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Beat in oil, buttermilk, and eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour ¾ cup of cake batter into each cake pan,
      turning to distribute batter evenly.

      Bake 20 minutes. Let cool in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting evenly between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with white chocolate curls, if desired.

  • Wenona Johnson says:

    Can I use this in 11×15 pan ?
    Thank you

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Wenona, You can use an 11 x 15 but it would make a very thin Jelly Roll type of layer. You would need to adjust the bake time to approx. 12 – 15 minutes or when an inserted cake tester comes out clean. It will bake much quicker. Happy Baking!

  • Rosanelle Woods says:

    I want to make red velvet cupcakes using the red velvet cake recipe. What should I do different? Thank you.

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Rosanelle, You would not have to do anything different to the recipe except adjust your bake time. The Red Velvet Cake recipe will make 24 to 30 standard size cupcakes, or about 48 to 60 mini depending if you fill them 1/2 full or 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let us know how they turn out. Happy Baking!

  • Esther Younce says:

    I want to make this tomorrow in my bundt pan, how long should I bake it at.

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Ester, This recipe should convert nicely to a Bundt pan. Be sure to only fill the pan 2/3 of the way and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 – 35 minutes. Happy Baking!

  • Ashley B. says:

    I love the recipe but I was just wondering can I use a 12 cup bundt pan?

  • Lawana Croskey says:

    I love your flour and this recipe. I have made the cake many times. It is one of my most requested cakes. Do you know about how many mini cupcakes it will make?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Lawana, Great question! A 2 layer 8″ cake would convert to approximately 24 to 30 standard or 48 to 60 mini cupcakes depending if you fill them 1/2 full or 2/3 full. Happy Baking!

  • Natalie Tosney says:

    Hi, from the uk and we measure/weigh rather than use cups – what would the weight be for the flour please. Thank you

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Natalie!
      1 cup Swans Down Cake Flour is 1 standard, 8 fluid ounce measuring cup or = 3.5 ounces sifted cake flour (weight) or 100 grams.
      Or = 4.5 ounces unsifted cake flour (weight) or 130 grams.
      If you have additional inquiry’s please contact our Consumer Affairs Department at 1-504-272-2939. Happy baking!

  • Paula says:

    I find myself a little confused about the measurement of the sifted cake flour, If the recipe stated 3 cups before the sifting how much do I measure for the recipe after the sifting if the 3 cups was listed for the recipe?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Paula, We apologize if the wording is confusing. The paraphrase after the ingredient is to reiterate that you need to sift the flour first, then measure out the 2 1/4 cups. Please reach out to our Customer Affairs department if this is still confusing. They will be happy to walk you thorough the recipe. Happy Baking!

  • Amy says:

    Will this also work for mini bundts? If so, what would be the difference in baking time?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Amy, These would make the cutest little mini Bundt cakes. We’d recommend to grease and flour the Bundt pans well, fill each mold 2/3 way and test at 20 minutes. A tester inserted into the center should come out clean when done. We’d LOVE to see how they turn out. Happy baking!

  • Pat Phillips says:

    Can I use regular AP flour instead of cake flour?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Pat, We suggest you remove 2 tablespoons per cup when want to use all purpose flour and recipe is formulated for cake flour. Please know that you may see a difference in texture. We also recommend one to contact the all purpose flour manufacturer to confirm with them what their recommendation is. Happy baking!

  • Melissa says:

    Can this cake be baked in a 9 x 13” pan?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Melissa, Yes you can definitely bake the Red Velvet cake in a 9 x 13 pan. You may need to adjust the bake time a bit longer. Test at the 27 minutes, and adjust if needed. Happy baking!

  • Susan says:

    I’d love to have a German Chocolate cake recipe.

  • Eva Lewis says:

    This cake flour is the best I been using it for years love it .

  • Lisa says:

    My grandmother has used swansdown for as long as I can remember. My mom has as well and I would love to, however it is very difficult to find in California (San Bernardino County) What’s the best way to get this in my area?

  • Fannie says:

    I like three layer cakes. What is the recipe to make a three layer Red Velvet Cake using Swans Down flour?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Fannie, You can adjust the ingredient measurements by adding 1/2 more of each ingredient to make a 3 layer Red Velvet Cake. For instance, this recipe calls for “2 1/4 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour®️ (sifted, then measured)”. Adjust this measurement to 3 cups pls 6 tablespoons. Happy baking!

  • Dyrieathea Smith says:

    I love Swan Down flower I enjoying cooking with swan

  • Linda says:

    Swans Down, love this recipe and the flour, my grandmother used it and now I do, I will search until I find Swans Down or no baking will be done. Is there a recipe book?

  • Antoinette Harris says:

    I absolutely love this brand of cake flour. How can I do commercials for this brand?

  • P J Keenum says:

    Please make your pictures of the finished recipe so we can copy them. I like to copy recipes with photos for my file.
    Thanks, PJ

  • linda ervin says:

    i have allways used swans cake flour making my cakes love it would noy use any other kind

  • Emma J. Bentley says:


  • Ariela Marie says:

    Can I use a 9 inch cake pan???

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Ariela, You can definitely use 9 inch cake panes for this recipe. Just watch your bake time as it may bake a bit quicker than it would with the 8 inch ones. Happy baking!

  • Tammy says:

    How can I become a spokesperson that use your product for baking goods. We love your product and use it to bake our goods! Could you send us your product to help us with our nonprofit organization. This would help us with serving children, youth and families that are disproportionate individuals.

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Tammy, Thank you for reaching out to Swans Down Cake Flour. We will forward your information to our Consumer Affairs department. Someone will be in touch.

  • deanna matthews says:

    hmmmm….in step 6 it says to add raspberries and blueberries, but no mention is made of those items in the ingredient list. i’ve never had a RVCake with fruit.??? is this a typo or an alternate option?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Deanna, We love to hear from our consumers! The addition of fruit was a typo and the recipe has been updated. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  • danielle james says:

    can I make cupcakes with the same measurement?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Danielle, You can use cake batter per the recipe for cupcakes. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Lower baking time to 15 – 20 minutes and enjoy!

  • jean moshiri says:

    Love the product…..never had a failure!!!!

  • Vickie Rabon says:

    Would love more recipes and a cook book

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