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A hand lifting slice of frosted red velvet bundt cake from a white cake stand

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cooling time: 90
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American



For the cake:

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder (see Notes, below)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
  • 1 cup (250g) buttermilk (or whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
  • 3/4 cup (185g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 to 1 teaspoon red food coloring (see Notes, below)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (if using paste use 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4oz (1/2 cup or 120g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • About 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. 
  2. Butter or spray a bundt cake pan (10 cup capacity) or tube pan. Flour it or sprinkle with fine dry breadcrumbs. Shake off excess and reserve.
  3. In a small bowl or jar mix cocoa powder with boiling water. Let cool a little and add buttermilk. Mix and reserve. 
  4. In a large bowl, beat softened butter with sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. 
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. 
  6. Add food coloring and vanilla. If using powder color mix it with the vanilla before adding. 
  7. Add flour and salt to the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the cocoa mix in 2 parts. That means you begin and end with dry ingredients. 
  8. In a small bowl mix baking powder with vinegar. It will foam. Immediately add it to the cake batter and mix. 
  9. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean. 
  10. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and carefully remove onto a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.  

For the cream cheese frosting:

  1. In a bowl beat cream cheese with butter until very creamy and no lumps remain. 
  2. Gradually add sugar and vanilla until you have a thick, very creamy consistency, good enough to spread. You might need more sugar. 
  3. Add to the cooled cake. 
  4. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Beat again before using to attain a creamy consistency.


Cocoa powder: if you want a brighter red use 1 tablespoon cocoa, 2 if you want a deeper red like the images.

Red food coloring: There are many brands that come in gels, powders, and liquid. I have tried Wilton with good results. I try to use powder dyes (Red Ponceau is the shade of red I like) that are water-soluble and dissolve it in the vanilla before adding it. If they are good the color tends to be more intense so I need very little. There are good gels from what I read, but I never tried them. Or don't use added color and it will be a nice brownish hue.

Pan sizes: this recipe yields 1 large bundt, about 18 cupcakes, 2 loaf cakes (similar to the apple walnut loaf) or 1 9-inch layer cake (similar to the lemon blueberry cake). Or 1 sheet cake similar to the lemon coconut cake that is perfect for picnics, barbecues, children’s birthdays or a small celebration.