Mum’s red velvet cake

A couple of days ago a friend of mine posted a yummy picture of red velvet cupcakes on Facebook and at that moment it occurred to me that I had never tried making a red velvet cake or cup cakes for that matter. Mostly because my mama has made white velvet cake a staple in our household (closely followed by carrot cake).

So since I was home for a few days I decided to try her red velvet cake recipe. I followed it to the letter since she’s made it before so I know it works. Its more tedious to make than green velvet cake or white velvet cake so make sure you are in the mood to go the extra mile for this one.


  • 3 & 3/4 cups of sifted cake flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tbspns cocoa powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tspns salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tspns baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 tbspns white vinegar
  • 2 & 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cups oil
  • 1 & 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 & 1/2 tspns vanilla essence
  • 2 oz/60ml red food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 9×13 inch baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl combine the sifted flour with the salt and cocoa powder and whisk with a balloon whisk.
  3. In a small bowl dissolve the baking soda in the vinegar and stir well to ensure the soda has dissolved in the vinegar.
  4. In a separate large bowl beat the sugar and oil till combined then add one egg at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg is added.
  5. Add in the flour mixture to the sugar+egg+oil mixture in 4 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Make sure you start and end with the flour. Mix well after each addition of flour or buttermilk.
  6. Beat in the vanilla essence and food coloring.
  7. Stir the baking soda and vanilla mix again and fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  8. Bake cake for 35minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out with moist crumbs attached.

It was only when my cake was half way done that I realized that I did not add enough vinegar, I had misread the recipe and put 2 teaspoons instead of 2 tablespoons. I’m certain that affected the outcome seeing as I ended up with an extremely risen cake. This cake is so temperamental!

The hole in the middle is where I kept poking it…. 🙂

I also only had half the required amount of food coloring (30ml) so the red wasn’t as dark as I’d wanted it to be and I also had streaks of light brown.

The cake also took way longer to bake than 35 minutes! I think it baked for just over an hour, so I had to keep checking it and unfortunately I left it in for a tad bit too long.I think a solution would be to divide the batter into two baking tins next time.The recipe instructs you to take it out when an inserted toothpick comes out with moist crumbs on it and my toothpick came out clean. The cake continues to cook after being taken out of the oven so you don’t want to remove it when it’s completely done because it will begin to dry as it cools.

I am happy however with the flavor, not too sweet and moist. It seems I have to practice a little more to get this right but eventually I shall. I’m not concerned with topping or icing yet but a cream cheese frosting is the classic choice for this type of cake. However it can be eaten plain as well.


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