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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

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

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews

Char027's Review

September 18, 2011
I first made this cake when it was in the magazine in '98. I don't make it often but it's popular with friends & family. Funny thing is they don't know it's reduced fat! 3 tips for this recipe:. 1) Don't use a nonstick pan. The cake burns too easily. 2) Add vanilla when you add the eggs. It's the time you usually add vanilla to recipes & it makes the process go more smoothly. 3) Do not use a wisk to mix the cocoa & food coloring. If you do, it will stick together in a lump in the wisk & you'll spend lots of time getting it into your batter. Instead, stir it with a case knife. You can then easily scrap the thick mixture off the knife into the batter. Even so, there will be residue in the bowl.So after you put the cocoa mixture in the batter, keep the bowl you mixed it in. Pour the buttermilk into the bowl & stir with the same knife. This will loosen any residue from the bowl. Then add buttermilk to the batter per the recipe. That way, the cocoa/color residue will make it into the batter

Dominique90's Review

September 24, 2014
Followed this recipe step by step and came out a flop. Cake sank in the middle, and I had to leave it in the oven for what seemed like forever. Double checked the temp twice. Maybe it's me, I really don't know. Still super tasty, and moist, but I prob wouldn't use this recipe again.

FarmerD's Review

August 22, 2013
Very, very good. Love the butter cream frosting, though must admit it is QUITE sweet- I'd like to figure out how to adjust to make it less so (I may try doubling flour mixture, so I can halve the powdered sugar). Excellent moist cake, with beautiful color. Tried this recipe in lieu of my standard Waldorf Astoria cake. It turned out just as beautifully- though I'm not yet sure this recipe has much less in the way of calories/fat. I should, by the way, cop to using the entire second egg, rather than just the white. Otherwise followed recipe to the T.