Red Velvet Cake

A good friend of mine, Kirstie, and I had the privilege of baking a cake for our friend Ben’s 21st recently. He advised us a few weeks earlier that he liked dinosaurs as a child. We were not convinced we could pull off the artistics involved with that so decided upon a simple ‘2’ and ‘1’ but wanted it to look boysy so got creative with blue icing! We had planned on starting in the morning and finishing early afternoon in order to have some spare time before getting ready for the party. We were wrong. Do not underestimate the time involved in baking, and icing a cake of this scale! We ended up recruiting two other friends, Kate and Lara to help with the icing and quality control in the taste testing department of course. Kirstie provided the recipe, and what a beautiful recipe it was. We ended up using 3 x the quantity in the recipe for our two cakes but just use one quantity for a normal cake. Cream cheese icing is a must to ice a red velvet cake. We experimented with petal icing which was great fun. Check out youtube for videos on how to do petal icing if you are unsure (such as this one here), it’s not nearly as hard as it looks! I was under strict instructions from Holly to get a good photo of the cake all cut up at the 21st but lets be honest, an iPhone picture really just isn’t the same as one from a proper camera so you’ll just have to use your imagination on what it looked like (and tasted like until you make it yourself!) Let us know if you make any wonderful creations with this recipe.


For the Cake


  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa
  • 50ml Red Colouring
  • 120g Butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste/Extract
  • 1 cup Buttermilk (1 cup milk + 3 tsp white vinegar)
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Grease and flour two 20cm cake tins (this is if you want to have two layers with icing in the middle so just use one tin if you want a normal 1 layer cake!)
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside
  4. In a small bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa to form a smooth paste. Set aside
  5. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
  6. Beat in vanilla and red cocoa paste
  7. Add flour alternatively with buttermilk in three additions, beginning and ending with flour
  8. Mix the baking soda with the white vinegar, and gently stir into mixture. Be careful not to over-mix
  9. Divide the batter into the two prepared tins. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing

For the icing, here’s a rough guide of what we used. I find I never actually stick to icing recipes as I adjust them to get the right consistency I want depending on how I’m icing it but here’ s a rough guide. You could add a pinch of lemon juice if you like, we didn’t because we weren’t sure how it would taste with the red velvet but go for it if you want to!


  • 340g Butter
  • 285g Cream Cheese
  • 6 cups Icing Sugar
  • 2tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Lemon Juice (optional)
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy
  2. Mix in vanilla extract
  3. Add sugar 1 cup at a time and beat in between each addition until fully mixed

I will leave it to be creative with how you want to ice it, some may not like the idea of blue icing so just plain white icing would look nice. If you want to get creative with the icing, I’d recommend a scratch coat first so you don’t end up with little crumbs of the cake in the white icing. We just used a plain buttercream icing for this but once again this will be explained in any youtube videos on icing. Enjoy!

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