Everything on and in this cake is from scratch. This recipe is at least 5 generations old in my family. This/my family's recipe for Red Velvet is a four bowl, four layer receipe.
One should never take shortcuts when making a red velvet. Baking veterans can spot the "imitation" cakes a mile a way. Remember, your cake is a refleciton of you.
Besides, as I always say...FROSTING IS NOT THE ENEMY!!!