A recipe for Original Red Velvet Cake is found in many Southern cooks’ recipe boxes

A recipe for Original Red Velvet Cake is found in many Southern cooks’ recipe boxes.

This homemade red velvet cake recipe is often handed down from generation to generation.

A vivid red cake with a snowy white cooked frosting, this traditional red velvet cake is a two layered cake. If you want an even more elegant cake, cut each layer in half cross-wise to make a four layered cake.

This original red velvet cake recipe uses shortening, cocoa, buttermilk, vinegar and red food coloring that gives this cake its distinctive wonderful flavor and appearance. A classic among southern desserts, red velvet cake is a welcomed dessert at any table.

When making this original red velvet cake, be sure to wear an apron to protect your clothes and you might even want to wear disposable gloves when working with the red food coloring if you want to avoid red hands.

Original Red Velvet Cake Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 (1 ounce each) bottles red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Red Velvet Cake Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

In a small bowl or cup, mix vinegar and baking soda. Set aside./p>

In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, cream together sugar, shortening, and eggs until light.

In a small bowl or cup, combine cocoa and red food coloring to make a paste. Add the paste to shortening mixture and with mixer on low speed, beat until well combined.

In a small bowl, combine salt and flour.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine buttermilk and vanilla.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to the shortening mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Add vinegar and baking soda mixture to the batter. Mix just until blended.

Divide batter between the prepared pans. Tap each pan gently on the counter to level batter and release any air bubbles.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Remove from oven and cool cakes in pans on baking rack. When the pans are cool enough to handle, run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen cakes. Remove cakes from pans and cool cakes completely.

Prepare red velvet cake frosting. Put the milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thick (about 2 minutes). Put into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.

In a medium bowl, cream the sugar, butter and vanilla together. Add the cold milk mixture, a few tablespoons at a time. Beat on high speed, until light and fluffy.

When cakes are completely cool, place one layer of cake on serving plate and frost top. Put second cake on top and frost top and all sides of cake.

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