Red velvet cake

Red velvet cake

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(32 ratings)

Cook: 30 mins Prep 1 hr 10 mins + cooling

More effort

Serves 12
A beautiful chocolate sponge with buttercream icing - perfect for a romantic evening

Nutrition and extra info

  • Sponges can be frozen before assembling

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal656
  • fat37g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs75g
  • sugars61g
  • fibre1g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.8g
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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



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-lit

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 500g plain flour
  • 500g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 200g natural yogurt
  • 400g cooked beetroot in natural juices (not vinegar)



    A favourite in 1970's British salads (served cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a…

  • 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



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Jun, 2015
I agree with below comments - too much beetroot and especially way too much butter in frosting recipe. It ruined my frosting, coming out as a yellow mush. Tastes decent, but not the best recipe, for sure...
22nd Jun, 2015
I made this for the first time tonight,followed the recipe closely was absolutely amazing!!!! Moist,chocolatey lovelyness. Not a hint of beetroot taste, just smooth deliciousness. 5 stars! Thanks for a fab recipe.
Sarah Mac
25th Sep, 2015
What do you think about the other comments on here? I'm looking for a red velvet cake recipe and unsure which to go for now I kinda thought it had beetroot in as the norm but recipes vary quite a lot. I wanted to make this for my mums birthday.
14th Jun, 2015
Very disappointed ! As it has so much ingredients , it costs a LOT of money which ended up to be a waste anyway . It has way to much beetroot in it which makes it taste awful . There is also too much water and food colouring . I would never ever use this recipe again OR recommend this to anyone I like !!!! I ended up throwing the whole cake away .. Even the dogs rejected it !
12th Jun, 2015
I've made this cake twice and agree with the comment below, it didn't rise and come out far too much like a brownie. It also tastes too much of beetroot and doesn't taste sweet enough but then you're hit with it. I'm not on the hunt for another red velvet recipe as this one just sadly doesn't work even after the second attempt using half the water suggested.
29th May, 2015
A bit of a disaster I followed the recipe to the T and unfortunately it fell apart. The butter icing was too watery and the cake which was for an 18th is heading for the to buy one! My first cake disaster.
15th Apr, 2015
The best Red Velvet recipe i've come across is the Hummingbird one. works every time.
10th Feb, 2015
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!
26th Oct, 2014
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
27th Sep, 2014
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.


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