I have been trying and trying to find a recipe that lived up to my expectations. One that is moist, yet dense and can stand up to being made into beautiful works of art. I also wanted the recipe to be my own. So, I borrowed from this recipe and that recipe and modified ingredient amounts and this is what I came up with. It makes 2 9inch square cakes perfectly. You should let the cake cool for atleast 30 minutes in the pan before you remove it. I always have problems with my cakes crowning but this one did not.(did I mention that I live in a studio and bake in a small toaster oven? So for this cake to come out this good is amazing!)


  • 1box of DH butter recipe yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter half melted with the chocolate chips and the other half softened and beat in with the sour cream.
  • 3/4 c of dark chocolate chips
  • 3 whole eggs and 1 egg white
  • 1 c cake flour ( I use Swan’s down)
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 box Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 c 2% milk with 1 tsp of lemon juice added ( let sit for 10 minutes or just use buttermilk if you happen to have it on hand)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 oz of red food coloring
  • 2/3 c water
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
***Start by sifting together the cake mix, flour, 1/2 box of pudding mix, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.
***Take half your stick of softened butter and put it into the microwave with the chocolate chips. Microwave in 30 second intervals mixing with a spatula in between, util butter and chocolate are melted.
***In your mixing bowl add your softened butter, sour cream, melted butter and chocolate mixture and mix on low speed for about 1 minute or until well incorporated. Next add your eggs one by one and mix well after each incorporation.  Add the vanilla and the red food coloring mixing well.
***Start adding your dry ingredients a little at a time alternating with your milk and water mixing well after each incorporation. If you find that your batter is thick when all of the dry ingredients are added ( which can happen from climate to climate due to humidity) just add a little more water at a time until the cake reaches the right consistency. Once this is all mixed well, beat on med-high for about 2 minutes.
***In a separate container, put your baking soda and your vinegar mix well. Add this to the bowl of batter and mix in well for about 30 seconds.
***If you feel like you need to mix any more, do it by hand with a spatula, scraping the sides and making sure everything is incorporated.
***Spray your pan with Baker’s secret spray or use the butter/Crisco and flour method. Fill your pans no more than half full and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. (Again, mine is in a toaster oven, your oven may bake them faster) Do not open the oven door until at least 20 minutes have passed and then you can peek and judge your cooking time from there. Cake is done when a wooden skewer poked in the center comes out clean.
**Again, leave the cake in the pans on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes before you move them to a cooling rack.

***I fill my cake with the Whipped White Chocolate Ganache (the recipe is on here…just remember to let the cooled chocolate and cream mixture rest ATLEAST over night and you MAY have to do what I did and add a box of sugar free Jello White Chocolate Pudding mix to get it to firm up…it is an AWESOME filling!! The BEST I have ever tasted! And I am super picky with this stuff!!) Anyway,  and then I ice it with my own concoction of a Cream Cheese and White Chocolate Buttercream (when I make it this time, I will keep up with the proportions of all of the ingredients and share that with you as well,  as right now I just do it by “feel” and adjust things as I go along to get the finished product that I am happy with.) I am trying to get better about writing these things down!!   I hope you enjoy it!!   Cheers!!!


JustGettinStarted Says... 2010-08-15 17:18:21

Sounds great! I'm doing a wedding cake next month with red velvet, so I may give this a try. There is a lot of discussion about what RV is supposed to taste like...can you taste the chocolate in yours?

Dizzymaiden Says... 2010-08-17 12:10:42

I am going to be on the lookout for your cream cheese and white chocolate bc!

LittleFox09 Says... 2010-08-18 19:54:00

Im excited to try this recipe but now Im even more excited to try your cream cheese and white chocolate bc! YUM!

Chasey Says... 2010-08-19 10:01:27

Chocolate chips and chocolate pudding? Sacrilege! ;) I have no doubt this is a yummy recipe with those ingredients....but Steel Magnolias can't call this a Red Velvet cake! =) JustGettinStarted, I would make a few recipes of RV (including this one, of course!) for your bride to try. If she's southern, she doesn't expect to taste chocolate!

crysi Says... 2010-08-20 06:57:10

This sounds pretty good, does the cake actually turn red with this method .I know that with some chocolates the cake wont turn red so i usually use the red food coloring method . Think I'm going to make this today... :). I have some ghirardelli bittersweet chips in the fridge , wondering if the recipe will work with those .

GrandmaG Says... 2010-08-24 07:03:22

I made this first as given and then I changed it a little bit. I liked this recipe but omitted the 2 TBS chocolate for a less chocolate taste and instead of butter used 2 TBS canola oil. I did use the buttermilk. I also preferred the Betty Crocker yellow mix to the DH that I used for the first go around.

Foxicakes Says... 2010-09-02 21:28:14

There is definitely a debate about being able to taste the chocolate in a RV cake. As for being "southern" I am not exactly a Steel Magnolia, but I am a Cajun woman from the deep bayous of Louisiana, and quite frankly, I would put my cooking and baking up against a Magnolia any day of the week... Personally, when the issue of whether you should be able to taste the chocolate in an RV cake comes up, I err on the side of "YES" you Should be able to "taste" it. Otherwise, WHY ADD IT??? And, besides that, I, personally, happen to prefer it. As for the pudding, it is for texture and to help make the cake denser for carving. The butter in my original recipe was used because the cake mix that I used was a "butter recipe" yellow cake. If you are using a different brand of yellow cake mix that calls for oil, by all means, change it. As far as the red showing up, yes, it does show up, however, it IS a dark red. Therefore, you MAY want to change to vanilla pudding and do as GrandmaG did and omit the cocoa. Whatever your preference, you won't hurt my feelings. I just couldn't STAND ANY of the RV recipes that I found on CC (and I tried MOST of them!! We were eating RV for WEEKS!!!) before I decided to do a little concocting of my own. As for my White Chocolate Cream Cheese Butter cream, I will post that shortly. I am making it this coming week for a cake order (Pink Velvet cake with whipped white choc ganache filling and the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Butter cream icing. All covered with a 50/50 mixture of White chocolate choco-pan fondant and fondarific butter cream fondant....YUMMYYYYY!!)

cakeastic Says... 2010-09-07 04:54:11

Where exactly is the dense part in this cake. Its just like a cake made from a cake mix- light and fluffy (which i dont like). And not to mention that its pretty flavour less. What a waste of ingredients

TrixieTreats Says... 2010-09-08 10:04:53

Cakeastic, the pudding added to the mix along with the extra egg, and the variation of the other ingredients changes the taste and texture of the final cake. When making a mix based cake, anytime you change the ingredients and proportions, you will end up with a different cake overall than a mix made per the instructions on the box. You are essentially just using the boxed mix for pre-measured dry ingredients.

Foxicakes Says... 2010-09-14 22:10:42

@ Cakeastic...the "dense" part comes from the pudding, the extra egg, the sour cream and the chocolate chips that, once the melted, incorporated throughout the batter and re-cooled, firms back up after being heated and mixed in with other ingredients, all add their own bit of dense properties. However, if you have a better RV recipe that is not "flavorless", by all means, please feel free to share it!! I am certainly no "expert" and I am always open to suggestions on improving a recipe or trying a different one. So again, I'd love to know what your favorite RV recipe is. Especially, since RV is my family's second favorite cake... Thanks!!

tediver Says... 2010-09-19 19:45:23

I just made this recipe yesterday for a shower and everyone loved it.

Sherena Says... 2010-09-22 04:00:49

I'm trying it tonight for my own birthday cake, thanks fellow southern belle! I swear it's nearly impossible to find that RV cake we grew up with!! Also, why so serious?? Some comments make me ask myself are we talking about cake here???

angstad Says... 2010-09-22 19:14:07

I used Wilton gels instead of food coloring, and wasnt' quite sure how much to put in. I used maybe 4oz or 5oz and it isn't quite red enough. I also used white chocolate pudding mix instead of plain chocolate to make the color a bit brighter. Other than that it was great! Thank you for the recipe! Could you post your White chocolate cream cheese icing recipe??

angstad Says... 2010-09-22 19:14:28

or send me the recipe?? Thanks again!!

pandabehrs Says... 2010-09-26 16:21:10

Is this a dense cake? I'm worried to try cause all the RV recipes I've tried so far are light and fluffy and I want a dense RV. Thanks :)

shelbell2482 Says... 2010-09-30 06:08:23

I live in the uk and have never made a red velvet cake before. Would love to try this one but the measurements for the ingredients make no sense to me? How much is a stick of butter?? What qualifies as a cup? The problems is, weights and measurements for 'a cup' must differ for different types of ingredients eg: A 'cup' of sugar will have a considerable difference as to a 'cup' of butter. I tend to use oz or grams to measure out my ingredients. I am baffled, can anyone help me out?

fairydustsll Says... 2010-10-01 10:00:39

shelbell2482, 8 oz is equal to a "cup" & a stick of butter is equal to a 1/2 cup, or 4oz. Your best bet would be to look up a website for measurment conversions. I've had to to use a site like that before when I was using a recipe that had metric measurments. This is the one I use. I hope that helps! www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/tools.measures/Measures.cfm

JuliaAnna Says... 2010-11-03 12:20:20

I made this for halloween cupcakes using a whoopie pie cream filling for the frosting. I substituted white cake for the yellow and followed the rest of the recipe exactly. My only disappointment was that they seemed to rise quite nicely. When they were done (I even tested them while still in the oven), I took them out. Within a minute, I had flat tops on all of them. I decorated them with the white whoopie pie filling and made little cats, ghosts, bats & pumpkins out of gum paste to put on top of each with black and orange sanding sugar. The were adorable and very delicious. I took them to the Vets club on Halloween morning and 3 dozen were gone by noon.

Renaejrk Says... 2010-11-12 10:54:54

shelbell2482 - a cup is 8 ounces and a stick of butter is 8 tablespoons or 1/4 cup. You can check conversion charts to help too :)

mylin35 Says... 2010-11-16 10:27:19

the box of jello pugging: the small one or the bigger one???? (excuse my englise I speak french lol)

Christineh168 Says... 2010-11-22 20:29:13

I made this one today just for trial baking to get ready for a big event this week and it turned out perfect and oh so yummy. Instead of using 2 tsp of baking soda i just use 1 tsp so it won't be too airy and fluffy and that way it will be dense enough to withstand my MMF. And i also used 4 Tbsp of buttermilk powder mix with 1 cup of water. I could definitely taste the chocolate flavor, I use the Ghirardelli cocoa bittersweet choco chips. The only disappointment with this recipe is i couldn't stop eating it :-)

tat80 Says... 2010-12-06 09:28:22

Had some big problems with this recipe. It worked well for layered cake, but crumbled when I tried to ice it. I let it cool overnight, so I know cooling wasn't the issue. I tried 4 different icings (I made the recipe into 4 different small cakes) and ALL of them pulled away from the cake as soon as I started spreading, making the icing crumbly and turn pink. I mistakenly assumed that I could make a 3D cake, which fell apart immediately. This recipe is good for cupcakes, but besides that I will not be using it again. Thanks anyway!

cmorie86 Says... 2010-12-17 17:39:30

Thanks for sharing! My new red velvet staple. :-)

allard7 Says... 2010-12-30 17:06:48

Im trying this cake today. I too wonder, what happened to the RV cakes our grandmas used to make? Or, did the cakes seem better because grandma made them?

LocaHijabi Says... 2011-02-02 08:28:11

The amount I got from the cake was a lot. It didn't bake properly for the time given and so I had to bake 15 to 20 mins longer. Did I do something wrong? The cake was AMAZING though.. and super moist.. i was wondering if I could use fondant over this and make a 2 tier cake? I need to bake for my son's birthday party and would really appreciate some feedback.

mykangaroo Says... 2011-02-11 09:07:36

it seems that this is a great cake to try. I would like to know if using fondant for this cake is a good idea since many people say it very moist and crumbles quickly. what is your suggestion. the person I 'm dong a a baby shower cake wants it to be RV with fondant. educate me please. My Kangaroo Cake Girl.

tat80 Says... 2011-02-11 09:40:53

Mykangaroo- If you want to use Fondant on Red Velvet I would suggest using Paula Dean's recipe from foodnetwork.com. I tried it yesterday and the density is perfect for fondant. I had several problems with this recipe posted here and don't think it would hold up well with fondant. Paula Dean's recipe is here. www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/red-velvet-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/index.html Obviously you can make this in a cake pan instead of cupcakes. I changed the baking time to 30 minutes.

ShayJazz Says... 2011-02-25 11:32:42

The cake sank in the center :( any suggestions as to why?

Cake_Lady4sure Says... 2011-04-01 08:55:32

ShayJazz: ok... first of all I bake all my cakes at 325 not the usual 350. takes a bit longer but the cake comes out better and usually more moist. it sank in the middle because of a couple reasons. Either you filled your pan too full. and when it bakes it rises to a mound above the pan. and that mound takes longer to bake. OR you didn't let it bake long enough. Rule of thumb is to only fill your pans to 3/4 full. no more. or maybe even a bit less. because of the rise in the cake. So if it does rise like that... tap it lightly and if it still wiggles it is not ready to take out. if it starts to crack a bit on top that means it is close to being done. but tap it if it is solid then it is done.

domestic_diva Says... 2011-06-15 16:28:49

I transformed this into PINK velvet cake and it was to die for!!!! I omitted the cocoa powder, used pink food coloring (americolor electric pink), used white chocolate chips and used "cheesecake" flavored pudding mix.

Foxicakes Says... 2011-07-06 22:41:07

@"diva" that sounds SUPER yummy! Will have to try it However, I use cakemommytx's white velvet cake recipe and add pink food coloring and that is my pink velvet cake, which is awesome with whipped white chocolate ganache filling and white chocolate cream cheese buttercream frosting!!

Just an update:: I tried this exact recipe with a DH Red Velvet cake mix and changed the pudding mix to vanilla and it came out even better than this one (IMHO) !! I do find that this cake will sink in the center if you over-beat it or if the weather is a little humid. But, then, RV cakes are famous for being quite temperamental... So, if you have that issue, you may want to just try to mix all of the wet ingredients together and then instead of alternating the dry with the liquid, just add all of the dry ingredients at once and then beat it until moist and blended completely,which should only take a minute or so at medium speed. Also, I am in a "real" kitchen now, with a real oven and I found that the cake takes about 40 to 50 minutes to bake in a 325 degree oven that has been properly preheated.

On a separate note, I just want to say a very warm "Thank YOU" for all of the positive comments!! It's is nice to hear when others like something that I have worked really hard at perfecting.(at least in my own mind...) To those of you that do not like the recipe or that have issues, I am sorry. Unfortunately though, I learned a long time ago that I can't please everyone. Therefore, I don't even attempt it at this stage in my life. If, however, you still feel it necessary to let everyone know that you didn't like the recipe for whatever the reason, please feel free...we live in America (atleast I do) and it is our God given right to speak our minds. Even about cake recipes!

Aya1 Says... 2011-07-11 21:09:33

Cannot wait to try...and THANKS for posting :) So it seems you will ALWAYS find people that have ISSUES that are much deeper and more DENSE than Cake :) It seems to me that anyone offering a recipe is trying to be helpful and give the gift of knowledge that might help someone....People who offer their experiemce in correcting for situational problems...humidity, elevation, different complexities of cake decorating/design...awesome....THOSe who have a need to be SNARKY and mean in comments about a recipe given in GOODWILL....might do better to surf a Dr. Phill website to seek out help for the need to make themselves feel better by bringing people they don't even know down :(

fdelarosa Says... 2011-08-26 20:04:30

Where exactly do you use the 3/4c sugar? It's in the ingredients list but I don't see it in the instructions. Thanks

fanofcake Says... 2012-02-01 11:48:16

This is the BEST recipe I have tried for red velvet from a mix. It is heavenly! Moist and dense and worked great for stacking. Not sure what the one person saying cake mix cakes are so terrible was talking about. Apparently, they hadn't tried this cake! Thanks for sharing! :)

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