Southern Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Rating ****

Makes one 9-inch layer cake

This cake is a deep, velvety red on the inside, framed by white cream cheese frosting. It’s luscious and gorgeous.


  • For the Cake:
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 4 cups):
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by greasing them with cooking spray and then lining the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, vanilla, food coloring and vinegar. Stir well.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix for 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/2 of the yogurt mixture. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and all the remaining yogurt mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the remaining flour mixture until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Then turn each cake out onto a clean plate, remove the parchment paper, and then turn it back over onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

To assemble, place a cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese frosting over the top. Place the second layer on top, and spread the remaining frosting over the entire cake.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until soft and creamy, 5 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla, and mix for 30 seconds on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar. Scrape down the bowl, and then beat the mixture for 1 more minute. If the consistency is too soft for frosting the cake, add more confectioners’ sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.

RecID 11910

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