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. Rating: 5

    How long should you bake them as cakes?

  2. Rating: 5

    Hi there,
    Can this recipe be used to make a cake or would different amounts of the ingredients be needed?


  3. Rating: 4

    My question exactly. I can’t use gelatine for religious reasons, so I’m curious what it does. I can’t find agar agar as well, so I need to know.

    • Hey Sadie, in the video Ann says she uses the gelatine as an emulsifier and it helps to mix the water and oil together but you can leave it out if you can’t have gelatine.

      • Rating: 5

        Hey! I can’t find morello cherries, could I use maraschino instead? Thanks! 🙂

  4. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    This is my first time coming across gelatin being used in RV cake recipe. May I know what is the function of it? Thanks Ann, always loved your videos!

    • My question exactly. I can’t use gelatine for religious reasons, so I’m curious what it does. I can’t find agar agar as well, so I need to know.

    • Hey Sha, I mentioned in the comment above you that in the video Ann says she uses the gelatine as an emulsifier and it helps to mix the water and oil together but you can leave it out if you can’t have gelatine. Hope that helps!

  5. Rating: 5

    If I were to use this in a standard layered cake recipe, how would you recommend balancing time and temperature for say 8″ or 9″ cake pans?

  6. Rating: 5

    If I wanted to alter this to a royal blue velvet version, do you recommend I still have the cherry juice?

    • I think it will be difficult to get the blue colour with the cherry juice in it. You could try blueberry juice instead but that isn’t really blue either.

  7. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann I tried your recipe my cake came out too sour. I don’t if I did something wrong. I used concentrated sour cherry juice.

    • Hi Mandala, it sounds like your cherry juice is sour. The morello cherry juice is cherry flavoured but sweet, not really sour.

  8. Can I also make this without concentrated morello cherry juice?

    • Hi Isabella, tcherry juice is a key ingredient for red velvet cake. You could replace it or leave it out but it wouldn’t be proper velvet cake.

  9. hi ann i made these red velvet cupcake for my mum and dads anniversary

  10. Mine always look like this….. (Image attached) how come they done dome like yours? A toothpick inserted comes out clean. And no one can ever taste the cherry juice. Am I not using the right one? It’s Morello cherries…. Is it meant to be a bit sour? Cos it isn’t when I taste the juice. Just taste like cherries.

    • Hi Lauren, Are you using Ann’s recipe and reducing the cherry juice down? You may need to try a different brand of morello cherries that have a better quality juice. Morello cherries are usually a bit sour in flavour. In terms of the quality of cake, the key to getting nice, light fluffy cake is preparing the egg white mixture well and gently folding it into the cake. If you overdo it the cakes are flat. Other things that can make your cakes a bit flat are old or poor quality flour or baking powder.

  11. Hi Ann!
    I was thinking of using this recipe for making a layered cake. Does it stack well? Or is the cake too light and fluffy?

    • Hi Marcus, It can stack but you may need supports depending on how many layers you wish to do.

  12. This is really good I really like how there isn’t much food colouring.

  13. Can I use this recipe for a nakec cake?

    • Hi Kam, Yes you can.

  14. Hi Ann, to make this as a red velvet naked cake, can I double the recipe or will I need new quantities?. I’ve tried the cupcakes and they were a hit. Will I need to do anything else differently?

    • Hi Cora, Just double the quantities and adjust cooking time where needed.

  15. Ann, I want to try this recipe; I found 2 brands of morello cherries and both say they’re packed in light syrup. Will that work? Thanks, Judy

    • Yes it will Judy.

  16. This recipe was amazing. I like this very much. Probably one of the best things I’ve made!

    • Thanks

  17. Hi Ann, how are the kids? I just wanted to ask that can I exclude the cherry juice. Thank you pls reply ASAP. SAY HI TO THR FAM FROM ME

  18. Hi Ann, can I double this recipe to make a bigger batch?

    • Of course you can.


    • Hi Rahsyl, Yes Ann used standard gelatine powder.

  20. Hi Ann, how long do you cook this cake if you make it as a 25cm round cake instead of cupcakes?
    Is there anything I need to do differently?

    • Hi Casandra, Just keep in mind that the bigger the cake the longer it will take to cook.

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