The scratch bakers are going to cringe, but I tried a number of Red Velvet variations and never liked the results. This baked beautifully and was moist and full of flavor. I topped it with a ton of cream cheese icing.


  • 1 Ducan Hines Red Velvet cake mix
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 1 C Buttermilk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp Red Food Coloring


  1. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside. Combine liquid ingredients and eggs in a seperate bowl beat until smooth then add to dry ingredients by thirds. Pour into prepared pan and bake until done. I generally bake at 325 but had other things in the oven first and forgot to turn it down from 350. This recipe is patterned after a WASC cake and makes the equivalent amount of cake.



Jeff_Arnett Says... 2011-03-04 15:46:14

Just oil or butter in the recipe?

cuacua Says... 2011-03-04 16:17:20

I was wondering the same, no oil or butter in the recipe?

GeorgiaC Says... 2011-03-04 17:40:37

If you look at a WASC recipe, they don't have oil or butter either

martinez73 Says... 2011-03-04 18:37:39

maybe not because of the sour cream and buttermilk. I was wondering the same.

cmeventcoordinator Says... 2011-03-04 19:06:32

Interesting, I'll have to try it the next time I have a red velvet to do. I usually start with boxes too, and doctor them up :) Seems that when I go to tastings, people are liking mine better than others that they have tried (both box makers and scratch makers). Not sure what I am doing differently :)

PattiCakesPattiCakes Says... 2011-03-04 20:40:26

how much batter does this make?

Cayke Says... 2011-03-05 04:28:06

Add 1/3 cup of oil I just made strawberry version of this I found in cc - perfect!

kmhopkins Says... 2011-03-06 12:07:47

Just made this cake. I did use 1/3 c. oil. It turned out just perfect.baked at 325, 6 x2 for 35 minutes. 8x3 for 50 minutes.

shirley1956 Says... 2011-03-06 12:18:18

I cannot get the red velvet cake mix here.Just wondering if you can use a devils food cake mix and still use the same ingredients

cakedout Says... 2011-03-08 11:58:49

Shirley: I would say yes, you can easily start with a Devil's Food Cake. You will need to add more Red Food Coloring (1 or 2 T?), and can omit the cocoa powder.

colababy Says... 2011-03-08 12:21:39

I would have to try this one. You know I was used to making cakes from scratch, then I started making cakes with the box mix and now sometime when I make a scratchh cake it don't turn out right. I think it's the new stove.

jenncowin Says... 2011-03-08 15:58:59

I have an order for a Red Velvet this week, so I'm going to try this one.

KodiSnip Says... 2011-03-10 19:02:07

I tried it. I added 1/3 cup oil. baked at 350. Really good! I really like this recipe! it's somewhere in between a scratch RV (which is dry) and a box. My cakes came out really moist and tasty. This is now my go to RV recipe. Thanks beancountingbaker! :D

CakesbyGeorge Says... 2011-03-13 10:45:08

If you use a Devil's Food mix you will end up with a doctored chocolate cake colored red. Red Velvet is not a chocolate cake. It would be better to use a German Chocolate mix.

whisperingmadcow Says... 2011-03-13 14:00:21

I tried this recipe and it didn't work for me at all! First let me say that I live in Colorado so baking cakes is always a struggle for me. When I make modified cake mixes I always start by doing what is on the back of the box for high altitude and then doing the mods after. So ducan hines says add 1/4 cup flour to the mix. I also added 1/3 cup of oil like everyone suggested. My cake was super dense, super dry and just not really a cake at all. So its back to the drawing board for this high altitude baker.

samia-nadeem Says... 2011-03-13 20:05:36

Thankyou so much for this recipe!!!

JaLa90016 Says... 2011-03-14 17:20:52

I have used the exact recipe and it comes out great everytime!!

jenncowin Says... 2011-03-15 09:18:27

I baked this one last week, added the 1/3 c of oil and it turned out great, baked beautifully! Customer e-mailed and said that the cake was amazing! THank you for sharing your recipe!

CakeRN Says... 2011-03-16 18:39:32

I tried this recipe and took it to work. I have never had a Red Velvet cake before and so I was unable to judge if this was a good cake recipe. I asked my co workers for HONEST feedback and everyone loved it. One of the docs tried it and she said " now I assume that was made from scratch"...and I said " mix with added things. To me Red Velvet is rather tasteless but everyone else loved it so it's a keeper.

CakeRN Says... 2011-03-16 18:41:11

oh and now I just need a Really good Cream Cheese icing from somebody. Anyone? PM me if you have one...thanks.

jlobannon Says... 2011-03-19 23:30:29

Would this cake hold up well for a stacked cake such as a wedding cake?

AntBee Says... 2011-03-21 13:51:22

I have many boxes of DH RVC cake mix and everytime I bake the cake it shrinks away from the pan and drops to have the size. I bake in shiny 8 -9 inch cake pans. Does anyone know if this recipe can be made in a TUBE PAN, and if so how does it turn out?

Thanks to all! :)

auntiecake Says... 2011-03-23 19:22:39

M y recipe similar to this calls for a Marble cake mix and 1 bottle of red food coloring and yes it does have buttermilk also.

lorieleann Says... 2011-03-24 14:41:38

i use the Red Velvet DH sometimes, but I don't find a need for an extra TBS of red food color, and it still has a lovely red hue. Nothing neon, but still quite red.

butterkraft Says... 2011-03-26 09:37:43

hi 'll appreciate it if i get a scratch recipe, 'm in nigeria and i cant lay my hands on the DH red velvet mix. pls help. thanks

macdacruz Says... 2011-03-28 07:42:03

Hi there, I'm in South Africa and also cannot get hands on DH red velvet mix. I need a scratch recipe as I have a wedding cake with it and I never made one before. Thanks

ninita0315 Says... 2011-03-29 06:40:48

For some reason, I cannot find buttermilk at the Walmart near me :/ Where else could I find it... help plz.

kimboann Says... 2011-03-29 07:43:29

Any grocery store will carry buttermilk. I'm trying this recipe today. I've always made from scratch Red Velvet but am looking for a time-saver. Hope this is it.

psbartlett Says... 2011-03-30 19:13:23

Is the flour all purpose or self rising?

ConniM1 Says... 2011-04-03 07:34:21

Shirley I agree with Cakedout. Originally the Red Velvet Cake does have Chocolate but when they added the Baking Powder the reaction turned it a dark Red. So yes you can start out with a Chocolate Cake {I think it would work better than a Devils Food} and your Red should blend better.

dianesrn Says... 2011-04-11 16:32:43

I have always made Red Velvet cakes from scratch. My mother-in-law's recipe. I thought this might be comparable, but to me it is not. This cake also came out somewhat dry, and it does not have the great aftertaste it is supposed to have. Plus I feel smothering this wonderful cake in cream cheese frosting does it a disservice. How do you taste the subtle cake flavor with all that sweet sweet frosting. My Mother-in-law also gave me the frosting recipe that me and my whole family love, it does not overpower the cake. This frosting recipe would probably not hold up for wedding cakes, but for eating at home, it is wonderful! Whether you make the cake from this recipe or from scratch, there is just as much work, but I feel the scratch recipe tastes much better than the doctored recipe. it is back to scratch for me!

LindaWolff Says... 2011-04-12 11:25:36

Well, I had an opportunity to try this recipe out for my grandson's birthday cake, is AWESOME! I've been baking cakes for the last 40 years, and had always used my tried and true Waldorf Astoria Red cake recipe with the cooked flour/milk icing recipe. One of my family's absolutely favorite cakes. Well...let me tell you! with this re-mix recipe, I have a whole family that are now converts! Thank you for the recipe! (Oh, by the way, the only thing I did different by accident, was add 1/2 cup oil, but it just made for a very moist but firm cake. This is awesome!)

Greenbutterfly Says... 2011-04-26 10:34:02

this is right on time...I have a Red Velvet cake to do for mother's day weekend! perfect, thanks for sharing!

KarolynAndrea Says... 2011-04-27 17:54:17

This recipe is excellent! I added 1/3 cup of oil to it like the others said. Best RV recipe on here!

la122475 Says... 2011-05-10 12:10:21

Made this last week to test for a rehearsal cake I have to make this weekend. 1) The perfect amount of batter to fill a 12" round cake 3" deep cake pan 2) Great texture..not crumbly At all. 3) I used cake strips baked @325 and it cooked for 65 minutes. 4) I did not like the flavor of the cake when it came out of the oven. It tasted totally different the next day. Much more like red velvet. So make this cake 1 day ahead of time. 5) As per the other reviews, I added some veggie oil..1/3 cup 6) the cocoa flavor was not there. So next time I make the cake I will add up to 1/4 cup of cocoa. I know RV is not supposed to be a "chocolate" cake..but there needs to be a bit more chocolate in this recipe. Overall a WONDERFUL recipe if you have not found your favorite from scratch recipe!!

zapmom Says... 2011-05-12 12:22:07

I need a red velvet recipe to use the wilton dress pan. Is this recipe dense enough to withstand the weight of fondant? I usually make a pound cake in either chocolate or vanilla but my client wants red velvet. Thanks!

Tussing Says... 2011-05-18 11:11:43

Yeah - finally a RV cake that isn't dry. Ok, I tried 3 others on different websites with no luck (yes even the famous ones). I am making wedding cakes on Friday and the bride picked RV. This cake is absolutely awesome! I did use a heaping tbs of chocolate and did use the 1/3 c of oil as others suggested. I baked in a 9 x 13 cake pan on 325* for about 50 minutes.....Great recipe. I do intend to frost with cream cheese frosting inside and out. Thank you for the great recipe.

BooBooPatch Says... 2011-05-21 07:05:15

I love this recipe! I did add the oil and it turned out perfect. Great texture and taste that I have never been able to get out of any other RV recipe. I made cupcakes, makes about 36 plump ones. Thanks

Cakeview Says... 2011-05-30 13:59:38

Loved the recipe! Did not add coloring. Added 1/3 cup oil to recipe and made 100 really beautiful cupcakes with cream cheese buttercream. Delicious!

Cakeview Says... 2011-05-30 14:01:34

OOps I ment to say I doubled the recipe to make 100 cupcakes!! ;)

peggyslee Says... 2011-06-05 19:23:58

I omitted the red food color but still got a nice red. The good news about this recipe: the cake had a beautiful crumb and was very moist. The bad news about this recipe: if I'm being honest, I thought it was quite bland until it was iced. Once the cream cheese icing was on it, it tasted great.

spunkimo Says... 2011-07-13 21:24:21

I added 1/3c oil as others suggested and got just under 6 cups of batter per recipe. Then I used the Wilton Baking Chart to figure out how many times the recipe I would need based on my pan sizes. For me, each batch filled one 10" round pan (2" high) plus enough leftover for 2-3 cupcakes. Baked at 325* for over an hour (This batter is very dense). I really liked the flavor and crumb of this cake overall - Thanks!

Aya1 Says... 2011-07-13 21:51:00

Trying this as we speak.CANNOT wait :) My kitchen smells AMAZING...Thanks for posting...always nice to have people willing to share :)

boot72 Says... 2011-08-05 12:45:33

I've maded this twice and i donot like rv cake but i love this one so so moist will be doing this again thanks i now love rv cake

wagners02 Says... 2011-08-13 23:40:20

See I made this today for fundraiser and made me a small one to taste and never tasted RV to me it doesnt really have a flavor like vanilla or chocolate is that how its suppossed to be I really didnt like flavor is RV a developed taste

crystalscakesaz Says... 2011-08-25 19:30:49

I used this recipe and added the 1/3 c. oil. It turned out absolutely wonderful!!! It was full of flavor and was the best RV cake I've had!

j_insua Says... 2011-08-30 20:50:47

I just made this and it tastes DELICIOUS! I also added 1/3 cup of oil as suggested. Definitely my go to RV!! :) :)

shannonlolly Says... 2011-08-30 21:06:35

Is this gel food coloring or liquid drops of red?

j_insua Says... 2011-09-06 19:33:51

Shannon- I put the liquid red food coloring. :)

jojo5203 Says... 2011-10-05 05:47:11

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe! This is the 3rd one I tried and it'a a keeper. I too added veg oil, but just 1/4 cup. It came out moist and light, unlike the others. I used about a tsp of Wilton "No Taste Red" for the coloring and it came out perfect. Thanks so much for sharing!

shalaylo Says... 2011-10-25 17:47:57


LeeBD Says... 2012-02-02 06:17:01

I am not a big fan of Red Velvet cake. I just never understood people's attraction to RV. I am all for moist, flavorful cakes and I could never find a RV recipe to fit the bill. For that reason I never offered RV to my customers. But a customer recently asked me to make 3 flavors of cupcakes for a Bridal Shower and one of the flavors was Red Velvet. So my search for a GOOD recipe began again. I tried this recipe yesterday. Made a couple of tweaks...1/3 cp oil, 1/2 sm bx of choc. pudding and only 2tsp of red coloring. Made some cupcakes and a small cake to test how each would rise, bake and taste. All rose nicely, no flat tops. It came out moist and I guess just the right amount of flavor for RV. I think pairing with cream cheese frosting helps to bring out more of the flavor. This will now be my go to RV recipe...thanks for posting! Oh and BTW I did not have buttermilk on hand, so for anyone who doesn't have or can't find 1 TBS white vinegar in a 1cp measuring cup, add enough milk to make 1 cp...let sit 5 mins and you've got a buttermilk substitute(you can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar) : )

SweetDelites Says... 2012-02-06 03:41:32

Thanks LeeBD, I don't have buttermilk on hand right now and it's 6 am, not going to the store. But I'm trying out this recipe right now. I like scratch RV, so I hope this is just as good.

iver Says... 2012-09-19 08:42:29

Do you use plain or self-rising flour?

SugarQueenie Says... 2012-10-07 18:57:04

I made an account just to comment on this recipe. What a lifesaver it has been. My waldorf astoria recipe always dries out, while this one stayed moist and delicious. I used cake flour and added the 1/3 cup of oil.

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