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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Alton Brown’s Red Velvet Cake

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

Today I hit the big 50. I was thinking to myself,what kind of birthday cake would I want. My favorite cake is the Red Velvet Cake. So I found Alton Brown’s recipe for it.  I hope you enjoy it.


  1. Nonstick spray

  2. 5 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour

  3. 4 ounces cake flour

  4. 1/2 ounce natural cocoa

  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda

  6. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  7. 1 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature

  8. 1 fluid ounce red liquid food coloring

  9. 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  11. 10 1/2 ounces dark brown sugar

  12. 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

  13. 2 whole eggs, room temperature

  14. Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows


Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Spray 2 (9-inch) round pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom of the pan with a parchment paper round, spray the parchment with nonstick spray, and set aside.

Whisk the flours, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla together in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on medium speed until lightened in color, 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Return the mixer to medium speed and slowly add the eggs and beat until they are fully incorporated.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 installments, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl between each installment. Mix on low speed until smooth, 30 to 45 seconds.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake until the cake springs back when pressed or reaches an internal temperature of 205 degrees F, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, and then remove the cake from the pans and cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. 13 1/2 ounces powdered sugar

  2. 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  3. 3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  5. Pinch kosher salt

Combine the cream cheese and butter on medium speed, just until blended, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches, beating until smooth between each addition. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes before using.


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