Red Velvet Cake by Cook's Illustrated

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

There's a lot of recipes for this cake on here - but from what I found this one is a little differant and while it has a lot of steps - the end results is so elegant and lovely I want to post. I got this out of the Cook's Illustrated Holiday Baking Magazine and it graced the cover. By definition, Red Velvet Cake contains buttermilk, vinegar or a combination for both flavor and color. They noted that the more acid added, the brighter the cake looked and the more tender it's texture so tey included both buttermilk and white viniger. It does make a special NOTE: This recipe must be prepared with natural cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa will not rise or yield the proper color.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. CAKE:.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Grease and flour two 9-inch pans.
  4. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
  5. Whisk buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and eggs in large measuring cup.
  6. Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until smooth paste forms.
  7. With stand mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary.
  8. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  9. Add half of buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
  10. Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally remaining flour mixture.
  11. Scrape down bowl, add cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated about 30 seconds.
  12. Using rubber spatula give batter final stir.
  13. Scrape into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  14. Cook cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
  15. FROSTING:.
  16. With stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  17. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  18. Beat in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  19. When cakes are cooled, spread about 2 cups frosting on 1 cake layer.
  20. Top with second cake layer and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  21. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.


Most Helpful

I agonized over which Red Velvet Cake recipe to make for my daughter's birthday, and finally settled on this one. What a great find! It is delicious. Thank you.

tednjoc February 26, 2013

i love this recipe. it's a sure winner every time i make it.

rochelle1021 February 13, 2012

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