Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe

This moist red velvet cake recipe requires simple ingredients and pairs well with cream cheese frosting. It’s also great for making red velvet layer cakes.

Seriously, I have been working on this MOIST red velvet cake recipe for a few years now.

I must have tried 50 -60 recipes and finally, I can stop experimenting…Thank God!

This cake has the perfect TEXTURE… it’s soft but firm enough to not crumble and fall apart when you slice it.

The FLAVOR is phenomenal with a nice vanilla flavor but hints of chocolate flavor too…the way red velvet cake was supposed to be!

By the way, it really annoys me when someone calls all red colored cakes “red velvet” because that’s not true at all.

This cake is supposed to be red but it should also have some COCOA POWDER to give it a subtle “chocolicious” kick!

Traditionally, this easy red velvet cake is paired with cream cheese frosting but I did something different.

I spread OOEY GOOEY chocolate marshmallow fluff all over this cake and covered it in mini pink marshmallows.

Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe 2

Here are some GREAT features about this moist red velvet cake recipe:

  • It’s super soft but also firm enough for stacking and making layer cakes
  • It’s easy to make, even for beginners and novice bakers
  • It’s also great for decorating with frosting or fondant
  • It can be served on many occasions like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Wedding, Anniversary and even Halloween

Here are a few TIPS for this perfect moist red velvet cake recipe:

  • All ingredients must be at ROOM TEMPERATURE. They mix together more evenly and that yields a better cake.
  • Don’t omit the red food coloring and yes! you will need a lot of food coloring to get this vibrant red shade.
  • Don’t omit the cocoa powder because if you do, you are just making a vanilla cake and not really red velvet.
  • Don’t replace butter with oil in this moist red velvet cake recipe since butter helps with the texture of this cake and also makes it rich.
  • Use full fat sour cream and whole milk. They have a higher fat content and yield the best results.
  • If you have time, I highly recommend baking your cake, letting it cool down, covering it in saran wrap and then freezing it overnight. That really seals in the moisture and makes the cake super SOFT. When you are ready to frost it, let it thaw (covered in saran wrap) on your countertop at room temperature for about an hour.
  • Unfrosted cakes can wrapped tightly in saran wrap and frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Leftover frosted cake can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 3 days.

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Here are some COMMON questions and answers that you may have about this moist red velvet cake recipe:

How to make red velvet cake moist?
Different people swear by different ingredients that result in the moistest cake. Mine is full fat sour cream. Other people like to use buttermilk or greek yogurt and some prefer cream cheese.

How to make red velvet cake in a jar?
You bake the cake first and allow it to cool down. Use a circle cutter (same size as your jar) to cut out circular cake pieces. Place a piece in the jar and frost the top with cream cheese icing. Continue alternating with cake piece and icing until you reach the top of the jar. D

How to store red velvet cake?
An unfrosted cake can be covered tightly in saran wrap and frozen for up to  1 month. Leftover frosted cake be stored in a covered container the fridge for up to 3 days

Which frosting to use for red velvet cake? What filling to use for red velvet cake?
Classic red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and cream cheese filling is the most popular. However, some people like to think outside the box and come up with amazing flavor combinations. I have tried red velvet cakes with chocolate ganache, chocolate frosting and even classic American buttercream frosting.
I have also tried some cool variations: red velvet cake with dark chocolate chips/white chocolate chips, red velvet cake with pecans and other nuts, red velvet cake with cheesecake (this one is INCREDIBLE!)

How to make red velvet cake without buttermilk?
My recipe is made without buttermilk and requires regular whole milk. I use sour cream instead.

How to make red velvet cake without food coloring?
Some people like to use beet juice.

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How to make red velvet cake balls/cake pops?
You bake the cake first. When it cools down, crumble it and mix in some frosting to make a thick dough-like mixture. Scoop out small portions, make little balls, push a popsicle stick into each ball (if making cake pops) and chill in the fridge until the balls become firm. Dip them in melted white chocolate and enjoy.

Red velvet cake ingredients: Should I use oil, butter or shortening? Salted butter or unsalted butter? Plain flour or self-rising flour? Sour cream or buttermilk?
I am a big fan of using unsalted butter in this cake. It really enhances the flavor without being too greasy like shortening. I always use all-purpose flour since I add baking powder and baking soda separately. I have tried both, sour cream and buttermilk and feel that sour cream gave me the best results, hands down!

Red velvet cake mix vs scratch?
Scratch is always best and tastes so fresh but here is no shame in making red velvet cake with cake mix, especially when you are short on time.

Are red velvet and chocolate cake the same?How is red velvet cake different from chocolate cake? Red velvet cake vs vanilla?
No, they are NOT the same. Classic red velvet cake has a strong vanilla flavor but hints of chocolate flavor too. Chocolate cake is pure “chocolicious” bliss and packed with melted chocolate or cocoa powder. Red velvet cake and vanilla cake are different too. Vanilla cake has no cocoa powder but red velvet

Why is my red velvet cake brown?
There could be 3 factors causing this:

  • Not enough red food coloring was used
  • Too much cocoa powder was added to the recipe
  • Cake was over-baked and the top and sides have become brown

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Why use vinegar in red velvet cake? Why use buttermilk in red velvet cake?
Vinegar is usually used to make homemade buttermilk and the main purpose of buttermilk is used to make the cake moist. However, my recipe does not use buttermilk and uses sour cream instead. I firmly believe this gives a better result.

Why red velvet cake is red?
Food coloring is used to make it red. I have tried red velvet cake without food dye/ food coloring… It was a red velvet cake with beets from some fancy bakery and I did not like it at all.

Why red velvet cake is so popular?
The vibrant red color is one of the main reasons it’s so popular. Another reason is the flavor, which is unlike any other cake recipe. It’s a rich vanilla cake with hints of chocolate flavor.

What are red velvet cake ingredients? How to make red velvet cake?
This cake is made with simple ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, milk, vanilla extract and food coloring. You start off by creaming together the butter and sugar and then mixing in the eggs, sour cream, milk, vanilla extract and food coloring. Pour the batter into greased and floured cake pans and then bake!

How does red velvet cake taste like?
It’s soft and moist but also very rich. It has a predominant vanilla flavor with hints of chocolate flavor.

How to decorate red velvet cake?
You can decorate with fondant or buttercream frosting. You can get creative and make a red velvet layer cake. You can decorate with pink marshmallows, like I did. The classic decoration is a layer cake (usually 2 layers) filled and frosted entirely with cream cheese icing and the top is covered in red velvet cake crumbs.

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If you liked this moist red velvet cake recipe, you may like some of of these other romantic desserts too…

Red velvet crinkle cookies

Champagne cupcakes with champagne buttercream frosting

Raspberry mousse cake

Easy cake tower

Mini heart shaped chocolate marshmallow cake

Sugar free red velvet crinkle cookies

Mini love letter cakes

Easy love cake

Candy filled love letters

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Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Decorating time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
This moist red velvet cake recipe requires simple ingredients and pairs well with cream cheese frosting. It's also great for making red velvet layer cakes.
Yield: 9 Slices



  • 1 cup Butter, Unsalted, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar, Granulated
  • 4 Eggs, Large
  • 1 cup Sour cream, Full fat
  • ½ cup Milk, Whole
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp Red food coloring
  • cups All-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Salt

Chocolate marshmallow fluff/cream

  • 2 cups Marshmallow fluff
  • ¾ cup Cream cheese
  • 1- 2 tbsp Cocoa powder


  • Mini marshmallows


  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Add sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, food coloring and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Dump this dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Pour this batter into two greased and floured round cake pans (Dimensions: 9x2).
  • Note: Since I was not planning on making a layer cake, I used an 8x3 round cake pan and filled it about two thirds and baked it for about 50-55 minutes (Yes! It took long!). I also had a little leftover batter for a few cupcakes. However, I highly recommend making this cake in two 9 inch round cake pans for the perfect red velvet layer cake.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • To prepare the chocolate marshmallow fluff/cream, add the marshmallow fluff, cream cheese and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl and whip everything until smooth.
  • Prior to serving, spread chocolate marshmallow fluff/cream all over the cake and stick mini marshmallows. DO NOT spread this chocolate marshmallow fluff until you are ready to serve or else it will drip off the cake.
  • Serve and enjoy!


- Read all my tips above.
- Instead of chocolate marshmallow fluff/cream, you can use my best cream cheese frosting instead. 
- Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 735kcal, Carbohydrates: 101g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 162mg, Sodium: 566mg, Potassium: 278mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 64g, Vitamin A: 1170IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 105mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 735
Author: CakeWhiz

Well, that’s all for today.

Until next time, tata my lovelies!

12 comments on “Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe”

  1. I made the cakes wrapped them in the pans with syran wrap once they cooled..they were super moist and perfect!!! Great recipe!!!! Btw…loved that I didn’t need buttermilk…ty5 stars

  2. This recipe was a triumph. I’m an amateur baker, with little baking experience. I followed your instructions precisely and the cake turned out just like your pictures. Thank you! 5 stars

  3. Hi – If I want to make 2 10-inch cakes (pans are 10×2) – would I double this recipe?

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