Red velvet cake

Red velvet cake

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(22 ratings)


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Cooking time

Cook: 30 mins Prep 1 hr 10 mins + cooling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 12

A beautiful chocolate sponge with buttercream icing - perfect for a romantic evening

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Sponges can be frozen before assembling
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • few sweets to decorate, we used jelly hearts from a sweet shop (optional)

For the sponges

  • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 500g plain flour
  • 500g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g natural yogurt
  • 400g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp or 2 x 28ml bottle red food colouring (optional- a natural liquid colouring will not work; we used Scarlett Langdale)

For the frosting

  • 200g full-fat soft cheese, at room temperature
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

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  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Make the first batch of sponges by greasing and lining 2 x 20cm round tins. Gently melt half the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix half the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and ¼ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl. Whizz one egg and half the yogurt and beetroot in a food processor or blender until fairly smooth. Put the kettle on.
  2. Tip the beetroot mix into the dry ingredients along with the melted chocolate mixture and 150ml boiling water, then stir to combine. Stir in half the food colouring, if using, and divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 25 mins until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to make 2 more sponges or if you're lucky enough to have 4 x 20cm sandwich tins you can bake in a big batch all at once.
  4. To make the frosting, briefly beat together the soft cheese and butter, then beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Use a little to sandwich the cooled cakes together, then swirl the rest all over the sandwiched cakes and decorate with sweets, if you like. Sit the cake somewhere cool (not the fridge) to set a little before serving.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2012

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Show comments
Reena_p90's picture

Don't make this! Red Online has the Hummingbird Bakery's recipe, which is fantastic.

Luckily I made a quarter of the amount for testing purposes only. This still made eight cupcakes!! Though 7 and a half went in the bin. They were way too wet, even with a fraction of the hot water!! They tasted a little too much like bestroot but the weird thing is when you bite, they taste as though they don't have enough sugar then you swallow and wait and then wham, sweetness! They did have a nice red colour though but that's the best thing they had going for them.
Please don't waste your time, money or effort!

Sairbake's picture

Very disappointed with this recipe. Followed it to the letter but the cakes did not rise. It's expensive too. The sponge is also very dense. Not recommended

dianalaker's picture

I've now made this cake twice and each time it's been an absolute winner, very moist and looks and tastes wonderful! :) I'd definitely give this cake 5 stars.

meldorado's picture

I made this with 2 thirds amount as it seemed to much ingredients bit it was still huge! Very tasty though.. Can't taste the beetroot... Not a vast amount in it really. Disappointed that its not red!! Put paste food colouring in but the chocolate colour overpower it. The icing is lush

taniachat's picture
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Made this for the first time today, used half the ingredients as looked massive! Absolutely delicious! Everyone loved it! Couldnt taste the beetroot at all, just made the cake very moist! Will defo make this again!

jeanieh's picture

I've made this a few times for Valentine's day, and for a couple birthdays as well. Always goes done fanastically. Probably one of the tastiest cakes ever. Very moist and delicious. A firm favourite!

aboogie's picture

YUM... i used 1/2 the amount of beetwoot and it came out perfect....myboyfrend luved it

aboogie's picture

YUM... i used 1/2 the amount of beetwoot and it came out perfect....myboyfrend luved it

eaparker's picture

This cake is INCREDIBLE!!! It does taste slightly of beetroot and yes it is expensive. But I didnt have one negative comment. It didn't come out solid for me either, though it is huge!!! Yummy yummy yummy, have been asked to make it over and over again!

hannah_belle_09's picture

Just made this cake. First off it is not easy on the pocket as there are lots of ingredients! Overall it is quite straightforward to make but it really is a HUGE cake. I think it would be better to halve it and just make two layers. It tastes alright but once you have left it to cool it comes out like a brick! Totally solid - not at all like the fluffy bright red sponge I was hoping for! I would also agree that is has quite an earthy taste due to the beetroot. Will not be making it again as will try and find a beetroot free version to satisfy my red velvet cravings.

ravi2maria's picture

The cake looked fab but the beetroot taste was definitely overpowering. Would have liked the sponge layers to be lighter in consistency as well. Used a layer of fondant over the cream cheese icing.

humbertpico's picture
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I did this cake a few times as it became one of my boyfriend's favorites. The sponges are very moist thanks to the beetroot which also add an interesting taste to the cake, in a good way :) Great way to impress your Valentin!

solconnor's picture
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If you want to make a real red velvet cake google one with buttercream in the recipe. Best cake I ever made. Took 3 goes though as first two came out blue (honest) when using normal food colouring. You need red food colouring PASTE/GEL, it comes out really really red!

love-food123456789's picture
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I'm not fussy but the picture for this is very deceiving. When I made mine it looked fine although a bit tall but it tasted absolutely awful. We followed this recipe exactly but with less beetroot yet the taste was so strong. I would not recommend making this cake at all as you will have to chuck it like me!!! A waste of 4 hours and my money.

georgia-grace's picture

So disappointing spent ages making it and when done it was far too stodgy,moist and the flavour from the beetroot was so overpowering. I'm left with an enormous cake which no one will eat! Do not make this cake.

debrat's picture
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Lovely cake.. I've made diff choc beetroot cakes before and sometimes I can taste the beet and sometimes not, so to be safe I used 50g less beetroot and 3 medium eggs. It got lots of thumbs up. Also I only had 23 cm tins and although they came out fairly thin by the time 4 were piled up it was pretty substantial!!

tasnuvaanwer's picture


Really wanted to make a red velvet cake and this is the only one showing after the search. I am thinking of using white chocolate instead and reduce the amount of beetroot. Any thoughts?


3485_fox's picture

i loved this cake i found that the if you used a strong (high percentage) dark chocolate it covers the taste of the beetroot almost 100%

hanny16's picture
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This tasted amazing, I was so pleased with it. Four layers is a bit much though, I only used three and it was still a monster cake. The beetroot also really needs to be put in a food processor- I tried putting it in chunks in the mixer and then mashing it with a potato masher which was quite messy. Also the sponges needed to be in the oven for about 10 minutes longer than stated. However, good cake and recipe. I will definitely be making it again!

neverley's picture

I've not made this recipe yet, but have found two other recipes that do not use beetroot at all. Look on BBC Food under Red Velvet Cake