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This recipe is the BEST for Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! Moist and tender red velvet cake with a hint of cocoa powder is crowned with a decadent cream cheese frosting! Such an easy, crowd-pleasing, show-stopping dessert!
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5 from 1 vote

Red Velvet Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Red Velvet Layer Cake is so supremely moist, tender and flavorful - with the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness thanks to a hint of cocoa in every bite! The cream cheese frosting ties everything together!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Cakes/Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Dessert
Servings: 8 -10
Author: Hayley Parker, The Domestic Rebel


  • cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk sour milk is scant 1 cup milk plus 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce (One bottle) red food coloring
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • cups granulated sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
  • 8 ounces (One 8-ounce package) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk or heavy cream if needed


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9" round cake pans with cooking spray. Add in a parchment paper round and spray the pans again liberally. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the cake ingredients on low speed for about 30 seconds or until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and continue beating on medium-low speed for an additional 2 minutes or until completely smooth. Pour evenly among the cake pans and smooth out the top.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
  • For the frosting: In a clean bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until creamy and smooth, 2 minutes. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition, until frosting becomes light and fluffy, streaming in the milk/heavy cream if needed if frosting becomes too thick or pasty.
  • To make the cake: Remove one of the cake layers from the pan and place on a cake stand or plate. Spread 1/3 of the frosting onto one of the cake layers, spreading out to the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer. Spread the frosting onto the cake. Decorate as desired. Store leftovers covered in the fridge.