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Red Velvet Cake

Yield 16 servings
This cake has half the fat of its traditional namesake. Our Test Kitchens staff was divided on what kind of frosting is best on it. One side had memories of a Cream Cheese Frosting, while the other insisted that Cooked Buttercream Frosting makes it a true Red Velvet Cake. What follows is the buttercream version, but you can substitute the Cream Cheese Frosting (from our Carrot Cake) if you prefer.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Cooked Buttercream Frosting

Nutrition Information

  • calories 322
  • caloriesfromfat 24 %
  • fat 8.7 g
  • satfat 3.3 g
  • monofat 1.4 g
  • polyfat 0.3 g
  • protein 4.9 g
  • carbohydrate 57.9 g
  • fiber 0.6 g
  • cholesterol 30 mg
  • iron 1.3 mg
  • sodium 310 mg
  • calcium 44 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray, and dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

  3. Beat the sugar and shortening at medium speed of a mixer 5 minutes or until well-blended. Add egg white and egg; beat well. Combine cocoa and food coloring in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add to sugar mixture; mix well.

  4. Lightly spoon 2 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine with salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add vanilla; mix well. Combine vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl; add to batter, mixing well.

  5. Pour batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

  6. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/3 cup Cooked Buttercream Frosting, and top with another cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.