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Sylvia's Red Velvet Cake

recipe at a glance
Rating: 4/5
6 reviews

ready in: 1-2 hrs
serves/makes:   12

recipe id: 13996

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2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 ounces red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 package (8 ounce size) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 pound box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans


For Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans.

In a medium bowl or on a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in eggs one at a time. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat in food coloring and vinegar, then add vanilla.

Spread the batter evenly in the pans. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

For Frosting: In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter. Beat in confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Stir in pecans. Use frosting to fill and ice cake. Slice and serve on individual plates.

Recipe Source: "Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook," by Sylvia Woods and Family, published by William Morrow, 1999

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617 calories, 30 grams fat, 84 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein per serving.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
This cake was excellent. I rarly make cake from scratch because mine come out dry and flavorless. This cake was moist, full of flavor and I will make it again.I followed the directions excactly so I suggest to anyone to do the same. Thank you for a great recipe.

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
This makes a fantastic cake--I think I made a whole host of new friends at my partner's workplace when she brought a couple pieces in.
I increased the cocoa from 2 tsp. to 2 tbs. per earlier reviews, and only used a 1-ounce bottle of red food coloring. The color was rich and the flavor was out-of-this-world. A fantastic recipe!

Guest at

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
Thank you so much. A friend of mine loves red velvet cake and can't find it anywhere. She is not a baker, and as a surprise I decided to make one for her. Typically, I'm a good pie baker, but it's been years since I made a cake from scratch! Sylvia, your recipe turned out great! It was moist and light, a gorgeous shade of bright red. The only change I made was to add more cocoa. I used two heaping tablespoons. Thanks again. My friend was thrilled.

Guest at

REVIEW: 3 star recipe rating
Cake was light but no distintive flavor.needed more coco.

Guest at

REVIEW: 3 star recipe rating
The cake is not nearly chocolate enough! It was too bland. I would use 2 tablespoons of cocoa rather than 2 teaspoons.

Registered Member at
Member since:
Oct 8, 2004

REVIEW: 5 star recipe rating
This was my first from scratch cake that I have ever made. It was work the extra effort when comparing it to your average box mix. My husband loved it! I was the hero of the day because I made his favorite cake from scratch.

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