Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

Originally adapted from 02/14/2007 NY Times. If you have an aversion to artificial food coloring, you can either omit it or substitute 1/4 c. beet juice and add an extra 2 Tbsp. flour. I had no food coloring, so substituted 1 c. red sugar sprinkles for 1 c. of the sugar with great success. Frost with a cream cheese icing of your choice; mine is 1 pkg. neufchatel cheese + 1/2 c. butter +4-5 c. powdered sugar + 1 tsp. vanilla and a little milk to achieve the desired consistency.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350F; grease three 9” round cake pans with butter and line bottoms with parchment. (If you’ve only got 2 pans, that’s okay).
  2. Sift flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl.
  3. Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer until fluffy. Add oil and beat until incorporated. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, add red food coloring or beet juice, if using, very slowly. (Take care, it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk or yogurt & milk in 2 batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
  4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat just until batter is smooth.
  5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40-45 minute if using three pans, 50 minute for two pans. Let cool in pans 20 min., then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.
Most Helpful

This was the perfect recipe as I needed a larger cake. The mix of ingredients was perfect and made a beautiful and delicious cake. Will use this recipe again.

autoshowcase October 09, 2012

Have made this recipe a few times and I just love the cake texture. I have added chili pepper and cinnamon which jazzed up the red

Secrete November 10, 2009

Absolutely disgusting! I'm a professional baker, and although the recipe seemed a bit off, usually has decent recipes, so I gave it a whirl. The taste is awful, absolutely awful, and the texture is horrible. In this kind of situation, normally I would say that I probably forgot something important or missed a step or even two, to make a cake so god-awful, but with this recipe I truly took my time, and followed each step carefully. After seeing, and tasting the results, I re-checked to make sure that I hadn't gone awry somewhere, but no! This recipe is just absolutely horrific! Don't try it, stay away, stay away!!

Kaitlin F. October 30, 2015