Red Velvet Cake Recipe


This Red Velvet Cake recipe makes a classic, Southern dessert that has always been so special in my family. 

Growing up, my mother always made me a this special red velvet cake topped with heritage frosting on my birthday. Sometimes, she’d also make them for Christmas, but I knew them as “my” birthday cake. No one else in our family had this cake as “their” cake. I felt like it was especially mine.

But then Little Buddy came along and decided it would be “his” birthday cake when celebrating his birthday with my family. When we celebrate his birthday with my husband’s family, he always wants my mother-in-law’s caramel cake. The boy knows how to make special requests that everyone loves making sure happen!

And of course, Mama made her red velvet cake for him for his birthday this year.

I love looking at this picture. It just makes me wonder what he wished.

Knowing him, he probably wished to get the biggest slice of this cake!


Thanks Nana for making his birthday cake.

We love ya. And we love your cake.

Here’s how she makes her Red Velvet Cake recipe.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
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This Red Velvet Cake recipe makes a classic, Southern dessert. Get this red velvet cake recipe that will quickly become a favorite.
Serves: 12
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans and set aside.
  2. Cream together vegetable shortening, sugar and eggs. Make a paste of food coloring and cocoa powder and add to the mixture. Add salt and flour with buttermilk and vanilla. Alternately add soda and vinegar; just blend, don’t beat hard.
  3. Evenly distribute into cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool cake thoroughly before frosting.
from Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers, Desserts Edition, 1963


This cake will be a favorite on your holiday dessert buffet, next birthday celebration, or family dinner.

Robyn xo


  1. 1


    I always make a red velvet cake for my mom and my brother on their birthdays. My great grandmother made them all the time when I was little for my mom and once I was old enough I always helped and now that she has passed I am the red velvet cake baker! :)

  2. 3

    Liz @ Blog is the New Black says

    How did you get it to be such a rich, gorgeous red color?! Mine always comes out more brown than red! Looks DELISH!

  3. 6


    Red Velvet Cake is so special. I bake it for Mom’s birthday when I am able to be with her. And she will be staying with us in a few weeks, over her birthday – this cake is already on the menu! It’s a wonderful kick-off to all the beautiful holiday baking.

  4. 10


    I have never made a red velvet cake in my life. It looks really yum though. I must admit that I kind of hate the taste of red dye. I recently read somewhere that you can dye the cake with beet juice. I think I could try this with some beet juice coloring instead of red dye. I bet it wouldn’t be all that hard. I may have to try it. Of course the gluten free part will probably prove harder than the coloring! But the cake is gorgeous. Did you have the surprise? I hope little buddy had a great time celebrating his big day!

  5. 12


    This cake is GORGEOUS!! As are your pictures of it.

    Passed down recipes are truly the best kind. Thanks so much for sharing one that is close to your heart. Happy Birthday to your Little Buddy!!

    Happy Monday!! :)

  6. 18

    Ana says

    Hi Robyn!

    I did a mix between a blue velvet cake and your recipe for the best white cake ever. It came out PERFECT! It was a gift for my boyfriend! I wish I could send you a picture. I made a sweet cream cheese frosting with grated white chocolate. The filling was blue pastry cream with blueberries. I knew something funny would happen after everyone ate the cake… surprise in the bathroom! Everyone had a blue experience haha! Anyway, I wanted to thank you for all your recipes, I love your cakes and breads, are perfectly moist and addictive. Hugs from Peru!

  7. 19

    temi says

    please Robyn some of your recipes require Crisco which is hard to find here. Can I use butter instead or do you have any other recommendation? please reply

  8. 20

    laura says

    just made this……….lovely with the heritage frosting…i am tempted to eat it before everyone else…. cant wait for their comments.
    thanks for these tasty recipes

  9. 21

    Saema says

    Hi Robyn,

    I tried this recipe today, the cakes are still cooling and the frosting is nearly ready but I too note the cakes were not red but brown in colour, what colouring did you use ?

    Kind Regards
    Saema x


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