Red Velvet Cake by Divascancook

Decorating By BrandisBaked Updated 9 Jan 2014 , 12:26pm by cakefat

BrandisBaked Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 1:52am
post #1 of 35

AOk, someone tell me this cake is fantastic - PLEASE! I have read rave reviews about it, and wanted to try it for myself to see if I want to swap it out with my normal recipe. I like my recipe - but I've always wanted to do something a little more moist.

I have made it twice, and both times it's been a disaster. The first time, I didn't realize that the buttermilk I bought only the day before was already expired by a week when I bought it. The cake crumbled and was gross.

So I remade the cake tonight while my husband was in the kitchen making dinner. Our kitchen is small and I was trying to work around him - and I ended up forgetting to put the cocoa powder in. The cake also didn't turn out the way I think a cake should. I've baked for years and the center of this cakes looks a bit sunken and unbaked even though I baked it as long as the recipe said I should and the toothpicks came out clean. I haven't tried the second cake, but it doesn't matter since without the cocoa I can't tell whether it's a keeper or not.

So, after two fails, do I just scrap it? Is it worth it to try it a THIRD time? Is it that great? Because I'm getting pretty flustered even trying. I've never had this much problem making a cake - I can only ever remember one cake mistake before (forgetting an ingredient) and it didn't even matter because the cake still turned out just fine.

Who here has tried this recipe and what can you tell me?


34 replies
cakefat Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 2:48am
post #2 of 35

I made it twice and both times it was great!  Did you add the coffee to it? It's a must and makes the flavor POP!


I think the 2nd time I just added a tiny bit less oil in that it called for (just a little bit less!) and it still came out amazing.  Both times I used ghirardelli cocoa powder and I also use a natural red coloring instead of the red dye 40 or whatever. 


truthfully I've never liked RVC before this recipe..but this one is a keeper for me.


 Actually someone just stopped me last week and told me how good that cake was- from a party last year- and they were still talking about it. 


ps..this one is SUPER 'moist' too....other RVCs that I've made before were more dry and didn't have the flavor this one does (probably the coffee addition).

AZCouture Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 2:51am
post #3 of 35

AExpired buttermilk is just starting to get good if you ask me. Shoot, I save mine for a couple of weeks for my pancakes and other stuff. In good conscience I won't use it for cakes, but I prefer older buttermilk, it's tangier.

BrandisBaked Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 3:02am
post #4 of 35

AWell, I couldn't figure out why the first cake was so terrible other than the buttermilk. It didn't rise much either time (I know my bs and bp are good) and when though the toothpick came out clean, it still looks under done in the center (but not raw). I just don't know if it's supposed to look like that.

AZCouture Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 3:12am
post #5 of 35

AOh heck, it could very well be the bm.

BrandisBaked Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 3:55am
post #7 of 35

AYes, I watched her video too. I'm at a loss. I got fresh buttermilk for the second batch. I have never had a cake be so gummy.

I think I'm going to try one more time tomorrow, but make cupcakes instead to see how it turns out. I am still hopeful.

cakefat Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 4:22am
post #8 of 35

try a bit less oil in it next time. I think it calls for 1 cup...try somewhere between 3/4 and 1 cup. I thought the first time it was a bit gummy right out of the pan too, so I added less the 2nd time. I think someone else did that too- it was in her comments below.


good luck!


ps- what's your altitude? I saw someone say the recipe was not good for altitudes over 4000 feet. but they give adjustments for high altitudes. could that be it?

BrandisBaked Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 4:37am
post #9 of 35

AI am just under 3,000 ft. so hopefully that's not it. I think I will bake one layer and the rest cupcakes to see how it does. If it doesn't rise or is still gummy, that's it for this recipe.

BrandisBaked Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 3:31pm
post #10 of 35

AWell the cakes are in the oven and already looking so much better. I think the problem was the coffee. I always follow a new recipe exactly as it's written, so I was adding the coffee hot.

I think the heat was activating the leaveners before it ever went into the oven, so I put cold coffee in this time.

I hope that did the trick. I hate recipe fails. Especially one I've had to make THREE TIMES. Ugh.

cakefat Posted 21 Oct 2013 , 11:01pm
post #11 of 35

yes I added in barely warm (if at all)  to room temperature coffee each time I made it. I would make the coffee an hour or so before and just let it sit until I needed it.

810whitechoc Posted 22 Oct 2013 , 10:59am
post #12 of 35

Love this recipe have made it as an 8" round and as cupcakes. As Cakefat said the coffee is essential for flavour, I made it the first time without as I don't like coffee and it was a mistake.  Second time used the coffee, cooled, and it made all the difference, using oil instead of butter makes the cake nice and m......t (the dreaded "m" word)

vonscakes87 Posted 23 Oct 2013 , 7:46pm
post #13 of 35

Acan I find this recipe on here at CC?im still trying to find the perfect one for me.:-(

BrandisBaked Posted 23 Oct 2013 , 7:57pm
post #14 of 35

AI don't know if it's here. I got it on her blog.

vonscakes87 Posted 23 Oct 2013 , 8:19pm
post #15 of 35

Aok thanx

pmarks0 Posted 23 Oct 2013 , 9:12pm
post #16 of 35

Do you taste the coffee in it?  I use Bobby Flay's Red Velvet recipe which I quite like but I'd be willing to try this one.

cakefat Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 2:24am
post #17 of 35

no, you can't taste the coffee in it. It only enhances the cocoa flavor.

pmarks0 Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 2:31am
post #18 of 35

Cool.  I think I'm going to have to try this recipe. :)

BrandisBaked Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 2:34am
post #19 of 35

AI have to say, this recipe wasn't what I was looking for - even though it finally turned out. I will keep on looking. *sigh*

vonscakes87 Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 2:57am
post #20 of 35

Abummer brandisbaked!!!good luck in your research!

AnnieCahill Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 3:25pm
post #21 of 35

Brandi, I use Martha Stewart's red velvet which is similar to Cakeman's.  I decrease the oil by 1/4 cup and people love it.  It's extremely moist and stays that way for several days. 


I've never heard of coffee in a red velvet cake.  Remember, red velvet is supposed to have a hint of chocolate taste, it's not a full-blown chocolate cake dyed red.

BrandisBaked Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 3:47pm
post #22 of 35

AThanks, I'll look up hers. I have tried cakeman's already. :-D

AnnieCahill Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 3:52pm
post #23 of 35

What didn't you like about Cakeman's?  I have only tried his for cupcakes but they were swirled with cheesecake so I didn't get a good "feel" for the cake.  I'm not a huge fan of red velvet just because of the amount of food coloring.  But the Martha Stewart version is very good.

BrandisBaked Posted 24 Oct 2013 , 3:58pm
post #24 of 35

AI liked it, but it wasn't the taste or mouthfeel I wanted. It was about 4 years ago, so I don't remember exactly. I am trying to find a cake similar to my grandmother's (I never got her recipe, unfortunately) so whenever I hear raves about a red velvet cake, I always try it.

jmtownley Posted 24 Nov 2013 , 12:21am
post #25 of 35

I discovered this cake recipe almost by accident. My step-daughter requested a Red Velvet Cake for her birthday. I had never baked a Red Velvet Cake before, so I looked up a couple of recipes online, saw this recipe on Divascancook, and decided to be brave and try it. In my brand new oven, in my brand new kitchen, in my brand new house (yes, I am blessed!). I made this cake, except I did not have any buttermilk, so I added a teaspoon of white vinegar to the milk and held my breath, It turned out awesome! Now, I have 5 children (ages 16 to 30), 3 stepchildren, and at that time, 4 beautiful little granddaughters. Everyone who had it loved it! I have made this many times in the past year. Each of my children, stepchildren, grandchildren, and my husband each pick a meal and dessert they want for their birthdays. Needless to say, this is one of our favorites! By the way, everyone who is around when I bake this cake gets a spoonful of the awesome frosting! I do refrigerate the cake and let it set in there for at least an hour or two, (sometimes overnight) before serving. Hope this helps!

Smckinney07 Posted 24 Nov 2013 , 7:09am
post #26 of 35


I've never had a red velvet that I really cared for but now I am getting many requests for them so I've been looking for a good recipe. I found the one above, it has lots of good reviews but haven't tried it yet.

I'll try both next week.

Galina Cupcakes Posted 16 Dec 2013 , 7:10pm
post #27 of 35

My absolute favourite red velvet cake recipe, i double the cocoa though. Everybody that has tasted it loves it!

delightfulbaker Posted 24 Dec 2013 , 12:39pm
post #28 of 35

I always have trouble with red velvet cakes as well.  So hard to find a good recipe, but I managed to do so.  What is it suppose to really taste like?  The ones I've had are tasteless and some say it should taste a bit like chocolate. 

AnnieCahill Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 1:18pm
post #29 of 35

AIt should have a very light hint of chocolate. It should also be a little tangy from the buttermilk and vinegar.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 2:33pm
post #30 of 35

putting coffee in red velvet would definitely enhance the experience but then to me it's not really a red velvet--


it's like when some friends wanted to make a better german chocolate cake and replaced the german's chocolate with chocolate which in their estimation was superior--well they got a great chocolate cake but it ain't a german's chocolate cake without german's chocolate--it needed to be re-named--


red velvet is too specific a formula to go messing with--like making carrot cake with parsnips or something & not changing the name --


red velvet is a weakly flavored too sweet cake to me--go putting coffee in it and it's too refined--like making a volkswagon out of a scooter  --




i agree it's sweetened flour -- not much  to it --

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