Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add food coloring and vanilla, beating until blended.
Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Spoon batter into 4 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
Bake all pans at the same time, with 2 pans on top rack and 2 pans on bottom rack, at 350° for 10 minutes; rotate pans, and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
Spread about 1 cup Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting between cake layers; spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake.
This cake is the best red velvet cake recipe ever. I shared it with my aunt and she made it for Christmas also. She was so pleased she shared it as far as Georgia to Florida. Such a pleasant twist using coconut flavored frosting.
This cake was beautiful when I saw it in Southern Living and I decided to make it for Christmas dinner. I was so disappointed with the results. The cake was very crumbly and dry. The icing was very stiff and hard to spread on the cake which was already crumbly. There ended up being crumbles of red cake in the white icing. When the cake was cut, it was not the pretty piece you see in the picture. The red cake was all over the white icing between the layers. It was very difficult to cut as well. Being such a large, tall cake, I tried to cut small pieces to serve. It was just a total mess and I was glad I just had family there to eat it. It tasted okay, even though I didn't finish my slice and sent the rest of the cake with my son to take to work. I would never try this cake again.