Recipe For Classic Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Icing


The red velvet cake recipe that you’ve been looking for!  This classic dessert cake is the perfect finish to your Christmas dessert menu.

A red velvet cake decorated on a clear plate stand with plaid plates beside it.

I love serving special holiday recipes that create a sense of nostalgia and tradition with my decor and with my food at Christmas. This recipe for classic red velvet cake checks both of those boxes!  Whether you’re making a dessert for a special holiday gathering, Valentine’s Day or just to enjoy whenever the urge strikes, this is a classic recipe that you’ll return to time after time.

Recipe for classic red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and pecans on the top and side of the cake.

For me, it’s a recipe that I prepare annually, for our holiday family Christmas party.  It’s one of the things “required” to be on the menu, if you know what I mean.  Other dishes can come and go, but the red velvet cake must be there!

Up close look at the red velvet cake on the cake stand on the table.

The pecans are totally optional, but our family loves these southern morsels of goodness!  I usually add a ring of them around the top of the cake for an embellishment and because, well…pecans.  WinkWink

A ring of pecans adorn the top of the cake.

I was surprised by the location of a couple of the pecans when I cut this slice.  I guess they were a part of the cream cheese icing between the layers and I just happened to cut where they were located.

A slice of the cake is on the table revealing a bright red centre.



Classic Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

This classic recipe is a holiday and special occasion favorite! Delicious and special - it's a recipe that you'll return to time after time.



  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup two 1-ounce bottles red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 large eggs


  • 1/3 pound 1 1/3 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
  • 10 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups chopped pecans optional



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix together all ingredients with an electric mixer. No sifting of dry ingredients is necessary.
  • Spray three 9-inch round cake pans well with nonstick spray.
  • Pour batter equally into the three pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully remove layers from the pans and leave on the racks to cool completely.


  • Combine butter, cream cheese and confectioner's sugar in a bowl.
  • Beat until fluffy, then fold in 1 1/2 cups of the pecans.
  • Frost the cake when completely cooled.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.


Do not substitute margarine for the butter.
Do not use low fat cream cheese.
Pecans are optional.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a Nutritionist. I rely on information from third parties to provide all nutritional information, which can vary depending upon brands of products used.
Tried this recipe?Mention @worthingcourtblog or tag #worthingcourtblog!


One of the best things about this cake, besides the delicious flavor, is that it’s basically a measure, dump and mix recipe.  No sifting of the dry ingredients is required and no flouring of cakes pans either!  A very easy red velvet cake recipe! Enjoy, my friends!

The red velvet cake is on the table with decorated open shelves behind it.

Worthing Court Blog

Classic Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Icing poster.

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  1. I love red velvet cake ! Your cake looks divine, Susy! My mom made it every Christmas! She didn’t make cream cheese frosting, though. She made the classic frosting. Here is the recipe if anyone would like to try it. 5 tablespoons of flour. 1 cup of milk 1 teaspoon of vanilla 1 cup of butter one cup of granulated sugar ( not powdered sugar). Instructions: In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat stirring constantly until thickens. You want it to be VERY THICK! Cool to room temperature. It must be cool before the next step. Stir in vanilla. While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the day lights out of it. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vinilla mixture , and beat the living day lights out of it! If it looks separated , you haven’t beaten it enough. Keep beating until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. This frosting is to die for! It’s real good on chocolate cake too! You’ll love it so much, you won’t ever go back! Merry Christmas!

    1. Charlotte Moore says:

      This is almost the same frosting I use on red velvet. I never acquired a taste for cream cheese. This frosting is also good on carrot came and chocolate cake.

  2. My aunt Audrey is in charge of making the red velvet cake for each and every holiday we have. One year she decided to try something different and the entire family was crushed! She has never done that again. Thank goodness!

    Thank you so much for the recipe. Merry Christmas!

  3. I will pin this recipe and try it. The cake looks delicious

  4. Mary Chris says:

    looks delicious . I bet you have a lot of requests for seconds.

  5. Oh yum!!! I love red velvet cake!!!!! Will have to try this recipe!!

  6. Carol Elkins says:

    I make a Red Velvet Cake every Christmas! Yum!

  7. Perfect! I need to make a birthday cake today. I am going to make this recipe. Thanks.

  8. Rosa Garrett says:

    Do you use salted or un-salted butter for the frosting? or does it matter?

    1. Hi Rosa. I’ve always used regular salted butter in the frosting.

  9. Heather Linz says:

    Wow! beautiful!

  10. Oh my goodness, Suzy, this looks so delicious! Thanks so much for sharing at this week’s Project Inspire{d}. Have a Happy New Year!

  11. Looks wonderful! Enjoy your blog!

  12. Dawn Turner says:

    A southern girl who loves me some red velvet cake! This looks and sounds delish! Thank you!

  13. Red Velvet cake looks so yummy! Will definitely be trying that!

  14. My son, Daniel would love this for his birthday! Looks even too pretty to eat!

  15. Oh, my! Suzy… this looks amazing!!! Pinning for later!

  16. Charlotte Moore says:

    Using self rising flour it still needs baking soda??? It looks very moist.

    1. Hi Charlotte. Just to confirm – yes, the recipe does use self-rising flour. And yes, it is very moist! 😀

  17. Kelly Middleton says:

    Looks delicious!

  18. Thanks for the recipe! My niece and I are the red velvet connoisseurs of our families (and, yes, I had to look up how to spell that French word!) 😀 I’ll have to give it a try for the next family gathering!

  19. Mmmm! What a pretty and delicious looking cake! I’ve never made red velvet from scratch, but now I want to!

  20. How yummy! Thank you for bringing it along to Fiesta Friday!
    Happy New Year!

  21. Your Classic RedVelvet Cake looks delicious and what a lovely presentation. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Wishing you a fantastic 2017!
    Miz Helen

  22. Congratulations!
    Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday! Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope you enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen

  23. Linda Johnson says:

    This will work well for Valentine’s Day too. Thanks for sharing!

  24. This recipe sounds amazing and one that I would love to make for an upcoming birthday coming up and I love the walnuts on top.

  25. Patti LeBlanc says:

    Oh my! I already am a lover of red velvet cake! The pecans take this one over the top!!

  26. This is on my to do list for the weekend!

  27. Candy Walsh says:

    I haven’t had Red Velvet Cake in years, it was my father-in-laws favorite and he passed away a little over 5 years ago and we just haven’t hide it since. It looks delicious tho!

  28. Cannot wait to try this cake, it looks so yummy!! My daughter loves red velvet cake. Thinking of making this cake for her birthday. Thanks for sharing!

  29. This sounds yummy…
    I am not able to have red food coloring so will omit…
    do you think I can replace the coloring with water or
    omit it all together…

    1. Hi Edy. I don’t know for sure, but I think you could since food coloring doesn’t add to the flavor of the cake – at least to me it doesn’t. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a total of 2 oz. of water (each bottle of food coloring is 1 oz) to replace it. I googled about replacing the red food coloring with other items and there were quite a few suggestions for what you could use and still give the cake its distinctive red color. Please let me know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try!

  30. Love it!!!!! Red Velvet Cake YEAR-ROUND!!!!!!!!

    1. Lois Kefer says:

      I’ve been making this for years with the original recipe from the Waldorf Astoria hotel restaurant in NYC. I hope everyone one will try the original frosting so kindly given above by Nancie. If you haven’t tried it, I hope you will. As the recipe moved south it picked up the cream cheese frosting and then began being claimed as a Southern classic. Check out the cake’s fascinating history from New York to Canada to Texas here:

  31. This is the best ever! It must partially be a few drops of red food coloring doesn’t do the trick, it takes more to have a truly red cake. And my fav frosting is cream cheese, oh boy, I’m going to have to make this soon!

  32. Stephanie Gill says:

    My layers didn’t rise a hole lot. Is that normal?

    1. Hi Stephanie. They should rise as much as cake layers normally rise. Have you checked the expiration dates on your flour and baking soda? 😀

  33. Latosha Williams says:

    Hi your cake look amazing. Can I use cake flour instead of self rising

    1. Hi Latasha. Using cake flour should be fine as long as it’s a self-rising variety.

  34. 5 stars
    This is exactly what I need for my wedding anniversary next week. Thank you for your recipe!

    1. I hope you love the cake as much as we do. Happy anniversary!

  35. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this delightfully easy, mouthwateringly delicious recipe. Have baked this cake several times since I first tried it a few weeks back and it’s been a huge success each time!

    1. It’s the best red velvet cake I’ve ever had. Thank you for letting me know!

  36. 5 stars
    very delicious cake!!! Everyone loved it, altho I thought it was a bit too sweet!! The frosting was amazing! will definitely make it again! Made it for my Birthday!