This is a cake to stop traffic. The layers are an improbable red that can vary from a fluorescent pink to a dark ruddy mahogany. The color, often enhanced by buckets of food coloring, becomes even more eye-catching set against clouds of snowy icing, like a slash of glossy lipstick framed by platinum blond curls. Even the name has a vampy allure: red velvet. These days this Southern favorite is found in just about every bakery, but perhaps for a special occasion (like the very red and white Valentine’s Day) you could try your hand at baking it.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 ½ cups cake flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups canola oil
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
- Nutritional Information
Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.
Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)
655 calories; 39 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 23 grams monounsaturated fat; 10 grams polyunsaturated fat; 71 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 38 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 50 milligrams cholesterol; 568 milligrams sodium
3 cake layers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.
- Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
- Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
- Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
- Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.
1 hour 30 minutes