Ann Reardon

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

best red velvet cake recipe

Red velvet cake was the best selling cupcake at every store I visited recently in New York City.  But finding the perfect red velvet cake recipe is no easy task as there are so many variations.  Some I tried in NY were simply red-coloured vanilla cake with buttercream (which left me wondering what all the fuss was about) but others had a beautiful, unique flavour with rich cream cheese frosting.

If you’ve been searching for a good red velvet cake recipe then you’ll have read about the Waldorf Astoria recipe which has buttermilk and vinegar.  I tried that recipe too and it just didn’t have that New York taste (you can read my self guided sweet-tooth tour of NYC here).  Finally, after many experiments I discovered that morello sour cherry juice gave the flavour I was after.  Here’s my recipe.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

1 cup minus 2 Tbsp or 150g (5.29 ounces) plain flour 
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup or 164g (5.78 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp gelatine powder
1/4 cup or 60millilitres (2.03 fluid ounces) oil
4 egg yolks or 60g (2.12 ounces)
1/2 cup or 125millilitres (4.23 fluid ounces) concentrated morello cherry juice (made from 1 cup of juice boiled down)
1 Tbsp or 15ml red food colouring
4 egg whites or 128g (4.52 ounces)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Red Velvet Cake Directions

Preheat the oven to 338°F (170°C)
Boil and concentrate the morello cherry juice form 1 cup down to 1/2 cup and set aside to cool.
Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, gelatine, salt and baking powder into a bowl and whisk together.
Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolks, oil, juice and red colouring but do not stir.
Whip the egg whites with the cream of tar tar until soft peaks form.
Using the same beaters mix the egg yolk and flour mixture on low speed until just combined.
Fold in the egg whites into the cake batter in three batches.
Use a soup ladle to fill each cupcake case to 3/4 full
Bake for 11 minutes or until they spring back when lightly touched. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe can be found here

Pipe cream cheese frosting onto the top of each cupcake and enjoy.
Makes about 12 cupcakes.

red velvet cake recipe how to cook that

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ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

276 Comments View Comments

  1. hey ann,
    I know other people have asked you this but I didn’t see an answer yet. Can I use this recipe to bake a layered cake?

    • Hi Sundus yes but it is quite a soft fluffy.

  2. Thanks for a great recipe Ann! I had a go today and they turned out perfectly. I separated half the icing and colored it before putting in the zip lock bag 🙂

    • yummmmm

  3. Hi Ann ,
    Not sure where to leave message for my request so I would try here. Have you heard of sugarveil? They sell equipment and materiel for people to make lace sugar for decorating cakes and cupcakes … Etc. I was wondering if you have a way/recipe to make the lace sugar ? I will not pay hundreds of dollars to buy a kit just for making some pretty sugar ! Lols

    • Hi Andria their product is quite unique in texture. it contains sugar, dried egg whites, maltodextrin, cornstarch and xanthum gum. You could try making it yourself but by the time you buy the ingredients it might be a similar price. You could get just one packet from them and buy cheaper silicon molds on ebay.

  4. Hi Ann my red velvet turned out very sour how can I avoid it next time


    • Hi angel, you can use the sour morello cherry juice without concentrating it if you want a less intense flavor.

  5. For anyone else in the UK – I found frozen, pitted morello cherries in Asda. They worked really well in this recipe. I just defrosted and pureed them, then reduced the puree. They’re unsweetened so you get a really pure fruit flavour.

  6. Hi Ann, I love your red velvet cake recipe! I too have been underwhelmed with other versions, but the morello cherries are an inspired addition. I make wedding cakes and have been looking for a decent red velvet recipe for ages, so big thanks. I wonder though about the stability of your cream cheese frosting. Do you think it would hold up at normal room temperature for a few hours, and probably more important, do you think it would be safe? My guess is it should probably be refrigerated, but you’re the food scientist… I could use buttercream or a white chocolate ganache instead, but I really love it with the cream cheese.

    • Hi Catherine, yes it should be refrigerated, cream cheese is a listeria risk food so shouldn’t be served to people who are elderly or pregnant even if it is refrigerated.

  7. Hi Ann! I just want to know if i could use maraschino cherry juice instead of morello cherry juice?

    Love your videos btw! (:

    • Hi Kyla yes you can it will give a different flavour but you can experiment with any juice you like 😀

  8. Hi Ann,
    Just made these delicious little cakes! I love the softness of this cake and you are right about adding the gelatin. It really gives this springing texture. With the meringue folded in, it’s extremely light! I even further reduced the sugar for both cake batter and frosting. It was perfect and delicious!
    Also, with your tip for cutting the piping tip on a zip lock bag, who needs to buy the piping tips anymore? It pipes out beautiful swirls! LOve it!!
    Thanks so much Ann! XOXO

    • Hi your cupcakes look wonderful how did you do the colored sugar

      • Hi Lucy,
        I love my multi-colored sugar as well. I bought it at Michael’s , a chain craft store in the US. ( not sure where you are, but i am sure you can find it online as well) ^^ This will be my one and only red velvet cake recipe from now on! Delish!! Happy baking~~~

        • Can I color the sugar

          • lol ~~Lucy i am sure you can try, but you need to get the sugar that has bigger crystals. I am sure Ann knows how to do it. ^^

          • Hi Lucy yes you can, put your sugar in a ziplock bag and add some gel colour and rub on the sugar and bag for a while until the colour is evenly spread. You can use liquid colour too but then you have to spread the sugar out on a tray once you are done and let it dry out.

        • Those are the cupcakes

          • Yummmm!

        • thanks Andria 😀

      • Hi lucy you can buy it coloured or make it by putting sugar in a ziploc bag with gel colouring and massaging it until mixed evenly through.

    • They look beautiful Andria great job and I’m glad you liked them 🙂

      • Thanks Ann! We enjoyed them! Will make for work next time !

  9. Haai, can somebody please give me the recipe in grams. I don’t use cups.

    Thanks for the help.

    • Please

    • added for you Shamira

  10. Hi Ann I don’t have cream of tartar what do I do

    Plz answer me

    • Please don’t mind me butt in, but you can substitute cream of tartar with a few drops of lemon juice. It’s to stabalize the meringue 🙂

      • Thanks

    • hi rouqaya you can leave it out and it will still work the texture may not be exactly the same but it will be close.

    • The cream of tarter helps to stabilize the egg whites
      but i think you can still let it out.

  11. Hi Ann I live in UAE and I didn’t find the morello cherries can I skip it or add original cherry juice

    Your videos rock

    • Hi Rouqaya, you can use any juice that you like the flavour of, keeping in mind that the morello cherry one is not sweetened and is quite tart so you’ll get a different flavor to these ones but that’s all good, invent a new cake 😀

  12. Hi Ann, where can we find morello sour cherry juice in Australia ?
    I’ve tried woollies so far, they don’t have. Thanks for ur help.

    • Lesley I buy them at Coles and delicatessens have them as well under the name Tania as well as Morello. Hope that helps.

      • Thanks Lo, sure I will try to find there. Cheers

    • Hi Lesely I bought them at IGA

  13. Hi Anne
    Great website!

    Is 170deg convection or fan forced temp?
    Thanks for your help.

  14. If we cant find the morello sour cherries can we use regular cherries instead?

  15. Made these today! The frosting wasn’t too great but there still awesome!

    • They really tasted like red velvet cupcakes? 😀 where did you find the morello sour cherries?

  16. how many cupcakes does this recipe make?

  17. i cant find the morello juice in my country, can i use normal cheery juice i found at the supermarkets?

    love your videoss<3

  18. the morello cherry juice I can’t find in my country, is there anything else i could use that would give me the same result? or could i make it on my own?

    Love your videos btw 🙂

  19. Made these, awesome! #howtocookthat

  20. Can I use this recipe to make a nine inch layered cake? Good recipe though 🙂

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