Red Velvet Cake or Cupcakes

This is a repost of this recipe but let’s be honest; you can never read a red velvet cake recipe too many times.

This recipe is an original from my family, in Georgia, so you know it’s good!

I want you to pay attention to the recipe and see that there is buttermilk and vinegar in it. It’s kind of unusual to have two acids is a sweet recipe but the vinegar serves an important roll. It helps with keeping the red in the cake and not on your teeth and it helps with the moistness. Buttermilk is also a major player in keeping the cake moist.

I have this theory that the cocoa powder takes away the moisture because it is not mixed with any liquid and goes in with the dry ingredients. I could be totally wrong. When you are baking the cake it really takes patience and the knowledge of your own oven to get the doneness and moisture right. In my oven I bake for about 30 minutes and like to have just a few crumbs but not batter on my tester. Remember your cake will continue to bake in a hot pan. Your oven may vary so the first few times will be getting to know how it works in your home.

This time I made this recipe as cupcakes. I posted them on my Instagram for Fourth of July. It works equally well as a cake and the frosting is out of this world!

Do me a favor and head over to instagram and follow me @whiskinthesouthern I am trying to get a book deal and publisher like the followers. Let’s do this! And of course I want to hear your thoughts and experiences with the recipe so send me comments and photos!


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Red Velvet Cake

There are some things that it is easy to take great pride in. My Red Velvet cake is the best! I recently was at the Farmers Market and overheard someone inquiring about how to do red velvet with beets. Here is my recipe and in the side notes I've included the substitutions to do it with beets. I hope you enjoy it!
Course: Endings
Cuisine: American



  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening For beets, add 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups White Granulated Sugar For beets, 2 cups
  • 2 jumbo Eggs For beets, 3
  • 2 1-oz. bottles Red Food Coloring For beets, 1 cup, uncooked beet puree
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract For beets, 1 Tbs.
  • 2 1/2 cups Sifted Cake Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt For beets, 1 tsp.
  • 2 tsp. Cocoa Powder For beets, 3 Tbs.
  • 1 cup Buttermilk For beets, 3/4 cup
  • 1 Tbs. White VInegar For beets, plus 2 Tbs. Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda For beets, 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar and 2 tsp. Baking Soda

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8-oz. pkg. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 16-oz. box Confectioners' Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract



  • Preheat oven to 350°
    Prepare 2 or 3 round cake pans with butter, flour and parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand up mixer, fitted with whisk, beat shortening, until fluffy.
    Gradually add sugar, then eggs, one at a time, Slow speed and stir in food colorng and vanilla.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cocoa powder.
    In another bowl combine buttermilk, vinegar and baking soda. don't be alarmed, it will bubble up.
  • Alternating with buttermilk mixture, add flour mixture to shortening. Start and finish with dry ingredients. Do not over work. Use a spatual to fold in last bits of dry. This is where red velvet cake gets tough.
  • Pour into prepred cake pans and bake for 25-35 minutes. You want your tester to have just a few crumbs.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat cream cheese and butter together until flufft and combined.
    Stir in vanilla.
    Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until well combined.
    Frosting spreads easier when still soft. Frost cake immediately and refrigerate to set-up before serving.


Ok, stay with me here, this might get complicated. Using the ingredient changes noted, prepare cake with beets, as follows.
Combine beet puree, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice and vanilla in a food processor, until smooth.
Beat shortening and butter together, until fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time.
Sift dry ingredients together.
Alternating with beet mixture, fold flour into butter mixture, until just combined. Do not overwork.
Pour into prepared pans, as above, and bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes, until tester comes out with just a few crumbs.
Follow remaining instructions above.

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