For as long as I can remember, my grandma made her mouth-watering red velvet cake every single Christmas, and 1-2 other special occasions throughout the year. It was something the entire family looked forward to because every bite was quite literally a taste of heaven. As the extended family continued to grow, more and more people were blessed with this amazing dessert during the holidays.
But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end I guess. Several years ago, grandma stopped baking the cake. With our rapidly growing family, it would take at least two cakes for everyone to be able to enjoy a slice. We all knew the amount of effort she put in to bake only one red velvet cake, and it was not feasible for her to do two. It was time for grandma to spend more time enjoying the family and the holidays, rather than worry about bringing this heavenly dessert on top of everything else she contributed to Christmas dinners. The iconic red velvet cake was set to be retired with my grandma unless someone else wanted to take the mantle.
A couple of years ago, I reached out to my grandma to ask her if she would teach me how to make it. Since I was a child, I’ve often gone over to her house to cook with her and learn new recipes. To this day, my recipe books are filled with recipes my grandmother taught me in her kitchen.
Lo and behold, it was finally time to add the red velvet cake into my arsenal! My grandma was thrilled for another opportunity to teach me one of her recipes, and I was thrilled to be learning how to make the greatest dessert I had ever tasted. This mouth-watering red velvet cake is one that I hope to continue to pass down for many generations to come!
Before I jump into the recipe, I must warn you: this cake is a labor of love. If you are a baker at heart, then you know exactly what I mean. This isn’t one of those “quick and easy” cake recipes. While it IS simple, it is also time consuming. But the reactions on people’s faces while they eat this red velvet cake makes every second worth it.
Now, enough of the chit chat! With my grandma’s permission, let’s jump right into the recipe!
Thank you so much for reading, and please let me know in the comments how your cake turned out!! My grandma will be thrilled to see her red velvet cake recipe bringing joy to tables all over!
The Best Red Velvet Cake Made From Scratch
- Hand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups & spoons
- 2 x 9" cake pans
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups oil
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 2 tsp cocoa
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk** (see substitute option below)
- 1.25 cup red food coloring (2 oz)
- 1 cube margarine or butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup chopped pecans (approx.)
Preheat and prepare:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour two 9” cake pans
Mix the cake batter:
- Blend 2 eggs and 2 cups oil with a hand mixer
- In a separate bowl, mix the following ingredients:– 2 ½ cups flour– 1 ½ cups sugar– 2 tsp cocoa– 1 tsp each of soda and salt
- Add the dry mixture to the eggs and oil, then mix with the hand mixer. The mixture will look slightly lumpy.
- Once ingredients are fully mixed, add the following ingredients and mix again until combined: – 1 tsp vinegar– 1 tsp vanilla– 1 cup buttermilk OR 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar
- Add half the red food coloring and mix SLOWLY to avoid splattering the food coloring. Once that’s combined, add the rest of the food coloring and mix slowly until well blended.
- Pour half the batter into each pan. (Try to make them as even as possible – I use a measuring cup to make it even.)
Bake and cool:
- Bake for 30 minutes – do not overcook! Cakes are finished when a toothpick is inserted into the middle and comes out almost clean.
- Put cake pans directly on a cooling rack. Go around the edges with a knife.
- Let them sit in the pans for about 5-10 mins, then carefully remove the cakes by flipping the pans over onto the cooking racks and gently lifting the pan up
While cakes are cooling, make the frosting:
- Using a spoon or rubber spatula, mix all frosting ingredients together (except for pecans). DO NOT use the hand mixer to mix the frosting. It will take a little while to get all the ingredients mixed together and for the consistency to be right, but just keep folding it over onto itself using a spoon.
- Once the frosting ingredients are fully combined, add in the chopped pecans. Mix together until well combined.
- Spread onto the cooled cake.