A cut open cross-section of red velvet layer cake.
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5 from 6 votes

One-Bowl Red Velvet Layer Cake

Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Cooling Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Making a delicious dessert from scratch is easy with this one-bowl red velvet layer cake! A moist cake with the most gorgeous vibrant color, topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting - this is red velvet simplified and done right! (Note: Total cooking time includes cooling and frosting.)

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces, 170 grams) unsalted butter softened, plus extra for greasing the pans
  • 2 cups (14 ounces, 400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup (320 milliliters) buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 2 2/3 cups (13.3 ounces, 380 grams) all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting the pans
  • 4 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the Frosting:

  • 10 ounces (285 grams) cream cheese chilled
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons (93 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 1/4 cups (369 grams) powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Thoroughly coat the inside of two 8-inch round cake pans with softened butter, then dust lightly with flour, tapping to shake out the excess. Set cake pans aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the 3/4 cup butter, granulated sugar, and salt, mixing by hand until creamed together. Whisk in the oil, followed by the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and food coloring, whisking until mixture is smooth.
  • Sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda on top of the wet ingredients, then whisk gently just until combined.
  • Divide batter evenly between the two pans, and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs, and the sides just start to pull away from the edges of the pan. Allow cakes to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using either a hand mixer or the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed just until incorporated, then add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat 2-3 minutes more. Frost cake as desired.

Notes

  1. Because of the cream cheese frosting, I personally like to store this cake in the fridge if it’s going to be kept overnight or sit out longer than 3-4 hours; it has the nicest texture if you can plan to leave it out at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before serving.
  2. I have not personally tried this recipe using 9-inch cake pans, but I suspect it would work alright, simply yielding thinner layers. If using 9-inch pans, I would recommend beginning to check the cakes for doneness around 18 minutes, as they will mostly cook significantly more quickly.
  3. Cake adapted from One-Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti, which I know I have talked about too often, but it just really is that great of a cookbook; frosting adapted from The Brewer & The Baker, Everyday Annie
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red velvet cake
Author: Monica | Nourish & Fete