Recipe | Red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream icing

Yesterday, in celebration of World Baking Day 2015 (who knew?!), I tried to make red velvet cake. For my first ever attempt, the cake turned out great – fluffy and delicious – but sadly, not very red.

Red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream icing and filling

Red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream icing and filling

As you can see from the pictures, the cake has a reddish tinge, but it’s not the deep red I was hoping for. This was entirely my fault. I didn’t read the recipe properly when buying red food dye and so didn’t buy enough – turns out you need A LOT.

Anyway, it still tastes great!

I got the cake recipe from Baking Mad. It’s an easy recipe to follow but, as I say, please note just how much food colouring you need!


  • 120 g / 4.2 oz butter/margarine
  • 300 g / 10.6 oz caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50 g / 1.8 oz cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp red gel food colouring (or more or less, depending on how red you want your cake)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g / 10.6 oz plain flour
  • 240 ml (0.4 pint) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


I used two, 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tins. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan), 356 degrees F or Gas Mark 4.

Cream together the butter and sugar until you have a smooth mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, beating them in until combined. Sieve the cocoa powder into the mix and add the vanilla.

Add the flour and buttermilk to the mixture gradually, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Add your food colouring little by little until you get the desired colour. If you’re mixing by hand, this bit requires some elbow grease to evenly distribute the colour through the mixture.

In a separate cup/bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda to the white wine vinegar. This bit is great. It fizzes up like a firework. If you have any little ones around who you think would find this entertaining, let them add the bicarb to the vinegar! Add this to the main mixture.

Give everything a final stir before dividing the mixture between your tins and putting the cakes in the oven for about 30 minutes. You can check they’re done by inserting a knife into the middle of each cake. If the knife comes out clean, rather than covered in gooey mixture, then your cakes are done.

Red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate shavings

My husband’s comment: “Wow! That cake is TALL!”

Let your cakes cool in the tins. Then you can make the buttercream frosting/icing.

Icing ingredients

  • 250 g / 8.8 oz butter/margarine
  • 500 g / 17.6 oz icing sugar
  • 175 g / 6.2 oz white chocolate

Gently blend the butter and icing sugar together. Melt the white chocolate (I just use the microwave, but you can use bain marie) and leave to cool slightly before adding to the butter and icing sugar. Mix everything together until you have a smooth buttercream.

I put a layer of cream between the two cakes to hold them together then used the rest of the buttercream to cover the cake. Finally, I grated some milk chocolate over the top.

Red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream frosting

Not quite as red as I would have liked, but delicious nonetheless.

Next time I’ll have more red colouring to hand… but not bad for a first attempt!

© Claire Huston / Art and Soul



12 thoughts on “Recipe | Red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream icing

    • I would say yes because in this recipe the wine vinegar is only there as an acid to react with the bicarb (alkali) to form carbon dioxide to help the cakes rise. As neither of these types of vinegar has a very strong flavour, I don’t see how substituting one for the other can harm the recipe.
      In fact, I found another recipe for red velvet cake which uses cider vinegar.
      Sorry, I’ve waffled on a bit there… basically, yes! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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