Cake Man Raven Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Red Velvet went from a Southern classic to NYC famous thanks to Cake Man Raven and his fabulous Red Velvet Cake recipe. This Southern red velvet is supremely moist and a beautiful, vibrant red color with a rich cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans.

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Supremely moist and delicious Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

 

  • 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

Ingredients for the 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

Supremely moist and delicious Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. 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.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet just until a batter forms.
  5. Lightly grease 2 8-inch round baking tins. Lay a strip of parchment paper down to help remove the baked cakes more easily.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. 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.
  8. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and garnish with pecans.

Supremely moist and delicious Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting.

Supremely moist and delicious Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting.

Supremely moist and delicious Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting.

Cake Man Raven's Red Velvet Cake

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 600Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 385mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 1gSugar: 48gProtein: 5g
 

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 Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Cake Man Raven?

Raven Patrick De'Sean Dennis III (Cake Man Raven) is a baker and owner of the Cake Man Raven bakery (formerly) in Brooklyn. In 2008 his red velvet cake was made famous nationwide when Bobbly Flay selected Cake Man Raven and his notorious Red Velvet Cake as his challenger on Throwdown! with Bobby Flay.

In 2012, Cake Man Raven closed his bakery doors for good.

What is the difference between red velvet cake and regular cake?

Red velvet cake is made with a small amount of cocoa powder, vinegar, and buttermilk– and, of course, no small amount of vibrant red food coloring. These ingredients, while small in measurements, do make a big difference in the taste and texture of the cake– making it vastly different than a yellow cake or a chocolate cake. Red velvet cakes are known for being especially moist with a tangy flavor and generally pairs well with cream cheese frosting.

Why do you put vinegar in red velvet cake?

In addition to acidic ingredients like buttermilk, vinegar is used to increase the acidity of the batter to ensure the baking soda is completely activated and creating a nice, fluffy rise in the cake.

Can you use regular milk instead of buttermilk in red velvet cake?

NO! Regardless of what any other article may say on the matter, and no matter what fantastic buttermilk substitution idea you find online– promise me you'll only use REAL BUTTERMILK in this recipe. It makes a 100000000% difference, guaranteed.

Why did my red velvet cake not turn red?

There are two likely culprits to blame in this scenario. The first is the cocoa. Did you use too much? A good red velvet only needs a scant amount of cocoa powder. As you can see, this recipe only uses one little teaspoon. Remember, this is not a chocolate cake with red food coloring. Red Velvet has its own, unique flavor. And that flavor is created by using only a tiny bit of cocoa powder.

The second thing you should double check in the event your red velvet cake is not-so-red would be the amount of food coloring used. Many people try to cut corners here, because red food coloring is famous for altering the taste of a dessert or coloring your mouth. Fortunately, neither of those concerns matter here. The cake will taste great and will not turn your mouth extra red if you use a FULL 1-OUNCE of red food coloring in this recipe.