Cake Man Raven’s Red Velvet Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting
From a Southern classic to NYC famous thanks to Cake Man Raven, this is a supremely moist and vibrant Red Velvet cake with a rich cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans.
This is one of the first recipes I made when I was just starting to discover my inner foodie.
I mean, I always knew I loved food. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized it was okay to love food. I used to think it was some sort of faux pas to be as obsessed with your next meal as I was. That was until I discovered Food Network and the delicious world of Food Blogs and websites.
It was like the mothership was finally calling me home. I found my place in the universe.
Beside the butter. ????
Anyway. This recipe was on an episode of Throw Down with Bobby Flay (I think?), and it’s Cake Man Raven’s famous Southern Red Velvet cake.
He was famous in NYC for his super moist red velvet recipe and his cake’s bright, vibrant red color.
And if you know me, I’m a sucker for a “famous” recipe. This one drew me in right away!
This is a seriously luscious cake. Just look at that crumb!
Two ingredients heavily contribute to making this cake so moist: the oil and the buttermilk.
Buttermilk tenderizes the gluten and makes the cake extra soft. The all-oil-no-butter approach ensures that this cake is the moistest of them all– and stays that way days and days after baking it! Using all oil also helps these cakes to bake nice and even (there’s less “puffing up” going on since you can’t aerate oil the same way you can butter or shortening) so you don’t have to cut off any domes to stack the cakes nicely on top of each other.
And the cream cheese frosting? Out of this world! The creamy and sweet tanginess of the frosting is a perfect compliment to the rich, velvety cake.
I could eat cream cheese frosting all day long. I mean, you can eat it with chocolate cake, on pancakes, sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies, as a dip for graham cracker dunkers. It’s basically the Mary Poppins magic bag of frostings. It makes everything better.
I feel the same way about pecans, but my husband totally disagrees. He thinks I “ruin everything” by adding pecans. Be that as it may…. every Red Velvet Cake needs pecans. And not walnuts or almonds. Pecans.
As the Cake Man says, “we’re not making a carrot cake. This is Red Velvet. This is Southern!”
I’m so glad I finally got around to posting this cake after all these years. I think it is such a fun recipe, and I love the shout out to my Southern, cake-loving roots.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon fine salt 1 teaspoon cocoa powder 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature 2 large eggs, at room temperature 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce) 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Crushed pecans, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
Using an electric mixer, whisk together the buttermilk and oil. Mix in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet just until a batter forms.
Lightly grease 2 8-inch round baking tins. Lay a strip of parchment paper down to help remove the baked cakes more easily.
Divide the batter evenly between the two. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Make the frosting: whisk together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and garnish with pecans.