This is one of my very most popular cake flavors. I’ve never had a bride taste it and not order it. One said her southern grandmother has been making her RV for her birthday every year all her life; when she tasted this, she said, “Oh! Grandma is SO fired.” Enjoy!

Chef Stef’s southern red velvet cake


  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 ts baking soda
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 ts cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temp
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 TB (1 oz) red food coloring
  • 1 ts white vinegar
  • 1 ts vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil and flour (or line bottom with parchment) two 8″ round pans. (although I usually do 1.5 x the recipe for two 8″ actually).
  2. Sift all dry ingredients together into stand mixer bowl. In another bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. Using paddle attachment and low speed, blend the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Divide between cake pans and bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean. I never use recipe times, but the original said 30 minutes for 9″ pans.


donkeemom Says... 2009-10-13 12:49:54

Thanks for sharing this recipe, it is awesome! I had a customer who wanted red velvet cake, I tried this recipe and it was a big hit (you made me look really good). Thanks Again, Linda

ToniLee Says... 2009-10-21 19:03:58

Ive only had a few different peoples red velvet and each always seems extremly dry. This turned out perfect!!! It was a perfect blend of everything and was super moist! THanks for the recipe!

lutie Says... 2009-11-13 21:17:54

...just pulled out my 4 nine inch cakes from the oven (I doubled the recipe)...they were all perfect and lovely! Thanks for the great directions (I followed them to a "t"). The batter was a great color (at first, I did not think I would have enough cocoa in it, but it was the correct amount), and the cakes were flat with little to no "dome" on each. I baked the cakes @ 300 degrees for the first 20 minutes and then moved it up to 330 degrees to finish them...thank you, thank you, thank you.

Jewels117 Says... 2009-11-22 13:55:14

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I never cared for Red Velvet cake and could never understand what all of the hoopla was about because every cake I tried was either dry or, basically, tasted like devils food cake dyed red. I absolutely love this recipe and it's become one of my favorites!

LoriMc Says... 2009-12-12 16:43:13

This is my favorite red velvet recipe also. I found it in a Hershey's cookbook years ago and still love it!

lutie Says... 2010-01-02 10:44:08

Made this for a 25th anniversary for a business in my community, which had an Open House...hundreds came and this was the favorite of the three types of cake (WASC and Butter Pecan were the other two) I had made...people who said they "hated" RV came back for seconds. Thank you so much great recipe!

ae1191 Says... 2010-01-07 19:07:56

I tried this receipe and it came out super oily. The cake was greasy. Any suggestions as to what I may have done wrong?

cakesrock Says... 2010-01-12 06:54:43

LOVED it- goes great with white chocolate cream cheese icing. I had tried another one everyone was raving about but this recipe was the winner! 10/10 from me!

Lisaa1996 Says... 2010-01-27 15:27:26

I have never made a red velvet cake before but a customer asked for one. I had two recipes...this one and other one I found on here. I had my family taste test for me and your recipe won hands down! My daughter has made this her new favorite cake flavor :). Thank you so much for making my introduction into the world of red velvet , an overwelming success!!!!

amber1121 Says... 2010-02-01 12:12:46

I'm so excited to try this recipe! I will be making it this week for my last Wilton cake class.

sweets_2sweet Says... 2010-02-06 21:03:24

I never had red velvet before and I tried your recipe. It's ok but not the cat's meow for me... Nice recipe though

flamingochic Says... 2010-02-15 11:18:11

Just tried this recipe last night and not very impressed with it. Did not seem to have enough cocoa powder in it. I have looked at other RV recipes and most call for 2T. Also, it seemed to be a bit oily. I had my husband try it and he said it tasted a lot like corn bread. It did have a bright red color though.

Tana30052 Says... 2010-04-24 14:06:38

I tried this recipe for a cake I was making for my son & daughter-in-law's baby shower. Had to discard it and use another recipe. The cakes were extremely oily - they actually sunk in the middle and were gooey. My intincts told me there was too much oil in the recipe. Are you sure it is supposed to be 1 1/2 cups of oil? Most similar recipes call for 1/2 cup oil or butter.

iwantcookies Says... 2010-05-01 04:26:30

Beautiful recipe! Came out perfect, nice and moist, not oily. I tried a RV recipe from a celebrity cake decorator, and it was extremely oily. I was a bit disheartened with the whole RV thing, until i tried this cake. LUV IT!

Roxybc Says... 2010-05-03 16:20:59

Just in case your trying to decide between making this recipe or Cake Man Raven's or Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes they are all EXACTLY the SAME! Yes, that's right this recipe is identical to the other 2, so I have no idea where the original recipe came from, but no matter where it did, it's a good one! Maybe a tad too oily, but you could either reduce the oil by a tablespoon or two, or add another teaspoon of cocoa.

Tana30052 Says... 2010-05-19 15:58:53

I looked at the Paula Deen recipe. It calls for 1/2 cup vegetable oil - unless I am totally mis-reading Chef Stef's recipe, it calls for 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil.

momtofourmonkeys Says... 2010-06-20 15:13:37

I tried this for a taste test this weekend. Made two different recipes last weekend and froze them. Took them out, thawed, frosted, and had family members pick the best for me. This cake won hands down before they even tasted it! It was oily upon thawing. My hands had oil on them as I leveled and filled but that wasn't an issue after icing. The appearance, texture, taste... all fabulous!

divinecc Says... 2010-06-22 09:57:18

Hi, I am really excited to use this recipe although I just want to make sure that it is dense enough to hold up to alot of weight (fondant/tiers)? Alot of oil based recipes I have used do not hold up as well as butter....thanks ;0)

flngirl95 Says... 2010-07-21 15:05:13

Have you ever tried this with apple cider vinegar?

V-dizzy Says... 2010-08-18 14:44:14

the paula deen recipe does have 1 1/2 cups of oil as well...they are all the same i go about to try it!

mrsmac888 Says... 2010-08-30 17:46:21

So, what is the best icing to use for a red velvet cake?

lwdeaton Says... 2010-09-09 12:39:29

Paula has 2 different RV recipes. One in her cookbook and one in her Christmas magazine. Each is slightly different.

NewToTheBizz Says... 2010-09-27 14:57:38

I too want to fondant this cake. Will it be dense enough? If not, what substitutions or additions might help? TIA

emjay83 Says... 2010-10-15 21:51:13

I also found this recipe to be rather oily -- soaked through the cupcake wrappers and left sort of a slick feeling in the mouth. Might try making it again with less oil, and adding a bit more cocoa, as I felt the flavor wasn't quite what it could be. It did bake up nicely and was quite fluffy and moist.

amberwebster Says... 2011-01-17 05:08:33

I have just tried your recipe for the first time. I have never tasted this before. can you tell me what this is going to taste like. Thanks

CMASSEE Says... 2011-02-12 21:40:12

i want to use RV to sculpt is this cake dense enough to keep and hold the weight.???? i also dont see anyone answering these questions, is the chef going to???

judcreations Says... 2011-02-14 22:55:09

I tried this receipe yesterday, came out very well and tasty, I used one tablespoon of Baking poweder though as I got confused in what TS stands for, but the cake came out well so guess I stick to that in the future. Thanks

melave Says... 2011-03-12 15:02:51

love love love this recipe! has never failed me and i get rave reviews everytime i make it. thankyou for sharing it

I haven't carved it but have ganached and covered in fondant and it comes out great!

natr1977 Says... 2011-03-12 22:04:48

I just wondered if I am using wiltons food coloring gels/paste how much would I use? Thanks made the cake and the color was a little off.

BakingJeannie Says... 2011-06-01 08:32:39

I use a similar recipe but cake flour instead of AP flour; 2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder. Very rich and tender.

Laurelj Says... 2011-06-13 12:40:06

These are very good for red velvet. I did bump up the cocoa powder to about 1 1/2 - 2 T and the trick is to make sure that you do NOT over bake these or the tops get crusty and the cupcakes a bit dry.

cathyrose Says... 2011-09-30 08:47:03

i can not wait to make this cake... what great reviews.. however is there is cream cheese frosting receipe that goes with it i would love to have it as well. please

Crazboutcakes Says... 2012-01-30 17:26:57

By reading all of these wonderful things about thus cake,,, I'm in =) will lwt you know what I think.

idreamincupcakes Says... 2012-02-11 14:34:51

Tried this today ... well, the scraps to even it that is :) and my little scrap eaters and I loved it. Very moist land tender ike Red Velvet should be.

Pearl645 Says... 2012-06-14 16:26:16

I've made this recipe over a dozen times successfully for my clients. It is a very moist and light cake. Perfect taste. I have noted that it is a VERY oily cake. My God. That is the downfall with this recipe. How to balance moisture and oil content. I did over 100 boxes of cupcakes and the cupcake inserts in each box soaked up all the excess oil from the red velvet cupcakes and messed up the presentation of the box inside.Also, the oil soaked through to the box underneath so my cupcake boxes had blotches of oil marks. Other than that I love the recipe but I need a solution to this greasy cake and cupcake but yet still need a moist cake.

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