Red Velvet Cake Shrinks! Help

Decorating By Kaycakes Bakery Updated 17 Mar 2014 , 7:43pm by Cakluvr40

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Kaycakes Bakery Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 6:43pm
post #1 of 5

Hey fellow bakers! I am new to Cake Central so I don't really know how things work around here yet... but I really need help with my red velvet cake recipe. If you all would be so kind to tell me what I am doing wrong that would be very helpful :) Ok so here's the issue... while in the oven the cupcakes/cakes rise perfectly... but as soon as I take them out they shrink down while cooling! Sometimes the texture even turns to a pound cake texture instead of the light and airy cake we all aim for. All of my other cakes are light and airy except my red velvet... I'm wondering if either my red dye or distilled vinegar are the culprits. 


Here is the recipe I use:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup salted butter 
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • A few dabs of red gel paste ("AmeriColor soft gel paste - Food Coloring")
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda, set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer on medium speed, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time stirring after each addition. (Now stand back and change out of any nice shirt you have on and) Add red food coloring and vanilla extract and mix until combine. In a small mixing bowl (or in the measuring cup you used to measure milk), combine milk and 1 tsp vinegar. Add milk mixture and flour mixture to cupcake mixture, alternating in two separate batches, mixing until combine after each addition.


Any input would be so appreciated!!! 



4 replies
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Pastrybaglady Posted 11 Mar 2014 , 8:54pm
post #2 of 5

I just made a red velvet sheet cake over the weekend after reading a lot of threads about RV recipes on CC.  One thing I learned is that when baking soda and vinegar are the main leavening ingredients it's really important to add them together at the end, fold them into the batter and get the batter into the pan and into the oven as quickly as possible.  I also used two nails and the baking strips.  My cake did have a certain amount of settling but did not shrink very noticeably.  I don't know if red velvet is supposed to be light and fluffy or if it's supposed to be more dense and moist.  The mom who bought my cake sent me an e-mail saying everyone was raving about the cake and how moist it was.  There's lots of interesting reading about red velvet if you do a search.  Good luck!

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Kaycakes Bakery Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 1:24am
post #3 of 5

Thanks a lot for your input @Pastrybaglady Sometimes I let my cake batter sit out for a while... so maybe that's the issue. Thanks again!

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Pastrybaglady Posted 12 Mar 2014 , 1:42am
post #4 of 5

ASince I had just made one and learned so much here, thought I'd share! I usually let the cake batter sit and meditate for a while as well, but red velvet is just a different kind of thing. Happy caking :)

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Cakluvr40 Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 7:43pm
post #5 of 5

Hi OP! I think I may have a few tips,


Sometimes, when coating your baking pans, it helps to use a mixture of shortening, butter, and vanilla extract. Mix all of these items together (with a ratio of 1:3: 0.086) in a mixing bowl and then THOROUGHLY coat them all of the way through. This should help with any sticky situations that may arise!

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