Deep red chocolate cake topped with tangy cream cheese frosting.

Serves 8.


For the cake

  • 120g butter (unsalted)
  • 300g white caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 240ml buttermilk
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 100g butter (unsalted)
  • 600g icing sugar
  • 250g cream cheese (full fat)

Top tip: It is really important to use the right red food colouring when making a red velvet cake; either Sugarflair Red Extra paste or Dr Oetker Natural red. Standard red food colouring may turn the cake brown when you bake it.


1. Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4. Line and grease 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.

2. In a large mixing bowl, using either a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, sieve the cocoa powder into the mixture and add the vanilla extract.

3. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Slowly add half the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, followed by half the buttermilk. Mix together, then add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk. Mix until blended.

4. Add two tablespoons of the red food colouring to the mixture, making sure it is mixed in well.

5. In a small bowl combine the white wine vinegar and the bicarbonate of soda, then add to the chocolaty mixture, stirring until combined.

6. Divide the mixture between the two lined sandwich tins and place carefully into the oven for approximately 30 minutes. A good way of checking if your sponge is ready is to insert a sharp knife or toothpick into the centre of the cake and it should come out clean. Leave to cool completely before decorating.

7. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the soft cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then place the rest all over the sandwiched cakes, sprinkle with grated chocolate, if you please. Sit the cake somewhere cool (not the fridge) to set a little before serving.

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