Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake is as festive as it gets. The bright red color and chocolate and vanilla flavors abound in holiday deliciousness. Cream cheese icing and sprinkles add to the mix. My grandma always makes a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing at Christmas. With my food allergy, I haven’t had a piece in years! This recipe finally brings me back to the holiday tradition of eating a piece of red velvet cake after opening presents with the family. It’s totally worth the effort to have this beautiful cake this holiday.


In the spirit of the season, I followed tradition and included buttermilk and vinegar in my list of ingredients. Many people say that buttermilk has a tangy-ness that you can taste in the cake. I don’t really taste it, but no big deal. It’s still freaking delicious. This is definitely the flavor for when you want chocolate, but the thought of a giant chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate candies and chocolate everything is too much after all of the other holiday treats. This cake has a healthy dose of chocolate and vanilla for that melt-in-your-mouth red velvet flavor.



It’s gluten-free, so it’s not fool-proof. I found that this cake didn’t quite attain the moisture and fine crumb that I want. It ended up with a very sticky film on top. But if you’re making a layer cake and you’re going to level off the top anyways, who cares. It held up beautifully in three perfect layers. I slathered cream cheese between the layers and gave it a crumb coat. When I say crumb coat, I really mean the crumb part. Even though this cake holds it shape nicely, it sure comes apart easily - especially where I shaved the top off to level it. Be sure to portion your icing for the crumb coat into a bowl and set aside the icing for the outer layer separately. It will get messy. Spread icing all over the cake and don’t worry about the crumbs getting mixed in as you go. Once you have a second layer of icing on the cake, you can’t even tell. Chill the cake with the crumb coat for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before attempting the next coat of icing. Don’t skimp on this step for perfectly pristine white icing.



I like to decorate my cakes with a little pizzazz. This one got a small ruffle edge and chocolate drizzle on the top. I love piping icing into flowers and patterns, but this one was low-tech. I used a spoon to get the ruffle effect. I started with the tip of the spoon up against the cake, with just enough pressure to displace the icing, not remove it, creating a groove in the side of the cake. Then, I slowly spun my cake around on its stand, gradually moving the spoon up the cake as it spun. Et viola! Ruffle accomplished! To decorate the top, I melted some chocolate and got out my trusty spoon again. I dipped the spoon in the chocolate and let it drop off the spoon, waving it back and forth over the cake to create a splatter. You don’t have to fling chocolate everywhere to make this effect. When the chocolate in nice and runny, it splatters nicely with just a little flick of the spoon. Lastly, the cake was not complete without some red sugar sprinkles. This gives everyone a hint as to what’s inside!


Happy holidays! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do. Holiday baking holds a special place in my heart (and in my calendar!). The time and effort is always worth it for the fun had making and sharing this beautiful red velvet cake with family and friends.




Yields: 3 9-in cakes

Red Velvet Cake


  • 3 ¾ cups gluten-free flour:
    • 78g white rice flour
    • 159g brown rice flour
    • 159g tapioca flour
    • 78g corn starch
    • 15g potato flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp red gel food coloring
  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 6 eggs + 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp vinegar
  • Cream Cheese Icing (see recipe below)


  1. Add all flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. With your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until combined and continue beating until light and fluffy.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and red food coloring.
  5. Add cocoa mixture to the butter mixture and mix to combine.
  6. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  7. Gradually add flour mixture to the batter in three parts, mixing between each one.
  8. Add buttermilk and vinegar, and mix until the batter is smooth and consistent.
  9. Let batter rest while your oven preheats to 350 F.
  10. Grease three cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Fill the pans evenly with batter.
  11. Bake approximately 35 minutes or until firm.
  12. Let cakes cool completely at room temperature.
  13. Frost cakes with Cream Cheese Icing.

Cream Cheese Icing


½ cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla


  1. With your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix butter and cream cheese on medium speed until combined.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time with the mixer on low speed, mixing well between each cup.
  3. Add vanilla and mix to combine.