This red velvet layer cake is perfect for the 4th! It has that bright red crumb with its signature velvety smooth texture. Paired with a luscious cream cheese frosting, this cake is easily addicting to eat. Pipe it with red, white, and blue stars to make it festive for the weekend celebrations! No matter how you decorate it though, this cake is hands down one of the best cakes I have ever eaten. In the past, I was not a big red velvet fan, but after several recipe tests, I found the secret to a beautifully moist, flavorful red velvet cake. Read on to discover what makes this cake so special!
Ingredients you'll need to make this red velvet cake:
- All-Purpose Flour: You'll need about two cups of unbleached all-purpose flour.
- Cocoa Powder: Just a few tablespoons give this cake the perfect subtle chocolate flavor.
- Baking Soda: Be sure your baking soda is fresh by testing a small amount in vinegar.
- Salt: Add a little bit of salt to enhance the flavors in the cake.
- Unsalted Butter: You'll need one stick for the cake and three sticks for the frosting.
- Granulated Sugar: The sugar will be mixed in with the butter, but do not over beat it!
- Vegetable Oil: Using both oil and butter gives this cake a super moist texture without losing out on the butter taste.
- Eggs: Bring your eggs to room temperature quickly by placing them a bowl of warm water.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is key to a good red velvet cake recipe. It adds moisture and lovely tangy taste that makes red velvet so unique.
- Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt: Instead of a full cup of buttermilk, you'll need a half cup with a half cup of yogurt. Yogurt adds even more moisture and still give the cake that tangy taste. You can use a full cup of buttermilk if you would like, but I feel that the addition of yogurt really takes this cake over the top.
- Vanilla Extract: Always need a good amount of quality vanilla to make an outstanding cake!
- Distilled White Vinegar: Vinegar helps to activate the baking soda to ensure the cake rises well.
- Red and Blue Food Gel: Food gel is much more powerful than food coloring. I like Americolor food gel!
- Cream Cheese: You'll need 3 blocks of cream cheese for the frosting. It mixes better when it is cold, so need to bring it to room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar: Add the powdered sugar slowly when making the frosting to avoid making a huge mess. Add more or less depending on the level of sweetness you like.
Other Fourth of July Bakes:
A few tips on how to make this red velvet cake:
- You can make the cake layers the night before and decorate it the next day. Just wait until the cakes are completely cool, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
- To ensure completely flat cake layers use cake strips on the outside of your pans. I like the ones by Wilton! Cake strips ensure that the cake bakes evenly, rather than the outside of the cake baking faster than the center, which makes the cake rise more in the center. If you bake cakes often, these are a very good investment! You can also make DIY ones by wrapping wet paper towels with aluminum foil and wrapping them around the cake pans.
- Before piping the red, white, and blue stars, chill the frosting in the fridge or freezer so they hold their shape better.
Happy baking! xPrint
This red velvet layer cake is perfect for the 4th! It has that bright red crumb with its signature velvety smooth texture. Paired with a luscious cream cheese frosting, this cake is easily addicting to eat. Pipe it with red, white, and blue stars to make it festive for the weekend celebrations!
For the Cake:
- 240g all-purpose flour
- 14g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 113g unsalted butter (1 stick) (room temp)
- 264g granulated sugar
- 100g vegetable oil
- 2 eggs (room temp)
- 113g buttermilk (room temp)
- 113g plain whole milk greek yogurt (room temp)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp red food gel
For the Frosting:
- 24 oz cream cheese (cold)
- 340g unsalted butter (3 sticks) (room temp)
- 750g powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- red and blue food gel
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 6 inch cake pans and line each of them with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large glass measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and yogurt and warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds or so to bring to room temp. Stir in the vanilla, vinegar, and red food gel. Set aside.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until fully combined. Pour in the vegetable oil and eggs and beat until completely combined. Scrape down the bowl to ensure everything is evenly incorporated.
- Next, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in thirds as the stand mixer mixes on low speed. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure everything is evenly incorporated.
- Pour batter into the three cake pans, using a kitchen scale to distribute the batter evenly.
- Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the cakes spring back when you touch them and the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.
- Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar in, beating on low speed until fully combined. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
- Secure the first layer of cake on the cake stand with a small amount of frosting on the bottom. Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to measure out the frosting for each layer. I used a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop and put 3 scoops of frosting on each layer. Cover the whole cake in a thin layer of frosting for the crumb coat. Place in the fridge to firm up for one hour.
- If making red, white, and blue stars, take out 150g of frosting per color and place in three separate bowls. Color one red, one blue, and leave the last one white. Transfer each of them to piping bags with star piping tips of various sizes. Place in the freezer for a few minutes until ready to use.
- After one hour, frost the cake with a thicker layer of frosting, making it as smooth as possible. Then, pipe red, white, and blue stars all over the cake as desired.
- Keep the cake in the fridge until ready to serve.