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Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Three layers of Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting will wow your guests! 

This Best Red Velvet Cake recipe is tender, moist with 3 layers separated by the dreamiest frosting! Perfect for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or anytime you’re craving red velvet.

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting | Triple layered decadence

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Another birthday has come and gone. Katie is pretty predictable when it comes to her birthday cake. It has always been one of three selections: Red Velvet, Tres Leches or Cheesecake. This was a red velvet year…and a three layer cake is a must for a 25th birthday celebration.

The subtle chocolate flavor from a bit of cocoa powder in the typical red velvet cake is enough for my girl…and the addition of white chocolate to the frosting provides the “chocolate” that both of us prefer. This is how the Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese was born.

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting | Triple layered decadence

The BEST Red Velvet Cake Recipe

This is the ultimate red velvet cake recipe…I’ve made numerous cakes and cupcakes and have had oodles of recipe requests. In fact, here in Indianapolis, this recipe actually saved a basement from devastating flood damage. You may wonder, “How can that be???” Well, my jet-setting friends are often out of the country (or at least the state) on lecture tours. They’re the couple we ran into in Venice. I think the hubby needs to look into this talk circuit thing…but I digress.

Anyhow, their daughter just adores red velvet cupcakes, and my friend often has a stash in her basement freezer. So Julie popped over to her parents’ house, hoping to find a frozen treat waiting for her. Well, she found more than that. The hot water heater had sprung a leak and major damage was averted due to this discovery. See, red velvet cake can be very useful, as well as extremely tasty. Everyone needs a stash…you won’t regret it.

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting | Triple layered decadence

How to Make a Red Velvet Cake

There are 4 crucial ingredients to make an official red velvet cake: cocoa, some sort of red food coloring, vinegar and buttermilk. As my husband, a true chocoholic, will attest, a red velvet cake is not a chocolate cake. There is some cocoa powder in a red velvet cake, but nowhere as much cocoa or chocolate as in a chocolate cake. Rich and moist with a fine texture, it traditionally is iced with cream cheese frosting.

To make a perfect red velvet cake, take note of these tips:

  • PRO-Tip: Have all your ingredients at room temperature. Set out your eggs and buttermilk 1-2 hours before baking to get the chill off.
  • Atypically, the cream cheese frosting recipe doesn’t call for room temperature cream cheese.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time. This gives the batter time to thicken and emulsify.
  • PRO-Tip: Alternate adding wet and dry ingredients. Adding all the wet ingredients at once could saturate the creamed sugar and butter mixture which could lead to separation.
  • Adding all the dry ingredients at once could create a very thick batter which would need to be beaten longer. Excessive beating can result in a tough cake.
  • If you want perfectly even cake layers, you can weigh your cake pans and divvy up the batter so that all pans weigh the same. Alternatively, you can use toothpicks to compare the depth of the batter of each pan or just eyeball pan.
  • When the cake is almost finished baking, you will smell the delicious, sweet aroma of baked cake. Peek through the oven door to see if it’s time to test the cake for doneness.
  • To test your cake, use a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. When a cake is done, the toothpick will come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. There will be no batter on the toothpick.
  • I also like to use my forefinger to tap near the center of the cake. If the cake springs back up, it’s done baking. If an indentation is left, add a few more minutes to the baking time, then repeat.
  • Cool your baked cakes on cooling racks for 10-20 minutes before inverting out of the pans. Remove the parchment and allow to cool completely on the racks before icing.
  • If you frost while the cakes are warm, the frosting will melt into the cake. 
  • If you’d prefer to save the cakes to frost later, wrap well in plastic and freeze. Defrost the layers in the refrigerator before frosting.


The birthday girl in Seattle

More Red Velvet Recipes You’ll Love:

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting | Triple layered decade

Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

The PERFECT Red Velvet Cake adapted from The Confetti Cookbook

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield 16 servings



  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ounces red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar


  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, melted gently in microwave and cooled slightly
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease three 9-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottoms with parchment. Grease the top of the parchment. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa and salt together in bowl.
  3. Beat oil and sugar in an electric mixer on medium till well blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Lower mixer speed to low, and carefully add the red food coloring. Add vanilla, then alternate flour with buttermilk, starting with half the flour, then half the buttermilk, the rest of the flour, then ending with buttermilk. Scrape down the bowl, then mix just briefly till combined.
  4. Place baking soda and vinegar in a dish and stir to combine. Add to batter with mixer running. Beat for just 10 seconds.
  5. Divide batter between the 3 pans. Bake 40-45 minutes or till cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for about 10-20 minutes, then remove from pan and peel off parchment. Cool completely before icing.
  6. For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla just till blended. Mix in white chocolate. Add powdered sugar slowly (2 cups at a time) and beat till frosting is smooth and at your desired consistency.
  7. Frost and garnish as desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 904Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 577mgCarbohydrates: 105gFiber: 1gSugar: 79gProtein: 7g


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61 comments on “Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Beautiful cake! What did you use to decorate the top of the cake? PS: Happy Birthday, Katie!

  2. aah look Amazing dear Lizzy and really I dont inderstand dear how you make all the things you make lol
    Always Im hurry and sometimes late! In SRC arenΒ΄t happy with me, because with the change of hour here and Sundays go to my Mom I post in the morning, sigh! anyway I will try to make more early!!
    Happy birthday to your daugther, she is lovely and in age is like my Esperanza:)

  3. Happy 25th Birthday to your beautiful Katie!
    White chocolate is always an acceptable substitute for boiled frosting! πŸ˜‰ What are the candies you used to decorate the top?

    • Melody, they were malted milk balls I purchased at Macy’s in Chicago last Christmas…there was a mixture of red and green πŸ™‚

      • oh! I was hoping they weren’t those cinnamon fireballs my husband loves… πŸ˜‰ Malted balls sound ever so much better with Red Velvet! And they look gorgeous on that creamy white frosting.

  4. Beautiful cake Liz. Makes me want a slice but I’m sure there are no leftovers πŸ™‚ Happy (belated)Birthday to your daughter!

  5. Beautiful cake, those layers are perfect. Happy birthday to your daughter!

  6. Oh man, I love me some red velvet cake, but even more impressed that your red velvet averted a disaster! Though no wonder- this one looks incredible.

  7. Haha, red velvet to the rescue! That’s quite a story. And this is quite a cake…perfect to celebrate your beautiful daughter πŸ™‚

  8. The cake that saved a house…I love that story! What a gorgeous cake to celebrate a birthday with, too.

  9. You enabler!!! Now you know I’ll have to have a stash of goodies in the freezer… just to make sure there are no house problems:@) Happy belated B-Day to your daughter, the cake is beautiful Liz!

  10. Lizzy,
    Happy Birthday Katie. This cake is pure perfection, and I’m sure that it tastes as good as it looks. I want you to make my next birthday cake:)

  11. Happy Birthday to Katie! I love the deep red color of your cake and the way you decorated it. I made one and took it to our son’s house last week and I was a wee bit too late with my camera.

  12. I was motivated enough by the combo of Red Velvet and a white chocolate frosting to make this cake. But, the story of saving a basement from flooding makes the matter a bit more urgent =)

    P.s. Your daughter looks like you.

    P.s. 2. If your husband does do the international talk circuit, I’d love to be your guide in Tokyo!

  13. Happy Birthday to your daughter!! Your cakes are beautiful. Where can I find your recipe for tres leeches cake? Thanks!

  14. That would be a fun job to have!:) LOVE this cake. Kate is lucky to have these luscious desserts for her birthday from her super sweet mom!

  15. What a gorgeous cake! So perfect for a special birthday. πŸ™‚

  16. Such a pretty cake – love the gorgeous layers. Red velvet is a great choice, perfect for any birthday celebration:) Happy 25th birthday to Katie, hope it was super special πŸ™‚

  17. Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter!! My little one celebrated her birthday yesterday too. Wow… I can’t imagine when she’s 25…but the last 7 years have just flown by… Aghhh!

    You are one awesome cake maker. I mean it looks perfect. πŸ™‚

  18. It’s lovely to see a picture of your daughter. Twenty-five already! I bet you’re finding that hard to believe. What a stunning birthday cake. I bet she was thrilled with it. xx

  19. A pretty cake for a very pretty birthday girl. So, did she eat it all? πŸ™‚

  20. The three layers is totally the way to go for a birthday celebration. Happy 25th!!!!

  21. Happy Birthday, Katie! The cake turned out gorgeous and I agree with you – everyone needs a stash!

  22. Happy Birthday, Katie!!! This cake is amazing, Liz! And gorgeous!!

  23. Happy Birthday Katie… I love a red velvet cake too. (Nov 7th is not that far away). Thanks for sharing it with us on foodie friday.

  24. Katie is gorgeous (like momma like daughter!) as is your red velvet cake. I always tell the Husband that dessert is more than just a conduit for sugar and butter – it prevents property damage too! What CAN’T dessert do?! I’ve only made one red velvet recipe (from Smitten Kitchen…I think…) so I’m definitely going to try yours. For scientific comparison purposes only πŸ˜‰

  25. Happy birthday to Katie! You’re right, 25 deserved an amazing cake like that. Wow, it’s almost as gorgeous as your daughter!

  26. Lizzy , your Katie’s a lucky young woman πŸ˜‰ Belated Happy Birthday , Katie ! Any leftover ?

  27. If I were Oprah or somebody like that, I’d hire you to be my baker!!!

    this looks amazing and lush and delectable!

    I must try the cream cheese frosting!!!

  28. We adore Red Velvet Cake too, Liz. It was my daughter’s cake of choice for her wedding cake also! I’ve got to make your version since it’s looks so super rich, dense, and full of flavor! Happy Birthday to your daughter too; such a cutie!


  29. red velvet cake…. very popular in Asia now.

  30. Red Velvet cake is always a winner but I love the addition of white chocolate to the frosting! I wish I was turning 25 again!

  31. Your layers look so perfect. That is a spectacular cake!

  32. Your cake is so pretty!! xx

  33. Beautiful cake!! Bet the birthday girl was not dissapointed

  34. Hi, I will like to try this recipe. But the problem is I dont have a big oven or in fact mine is a microwave over which can only put in 1 baking tray at a time. I will like to check if I separate the batter into 3 tray and bake it one at a time, will that affect the texture of the cake? TIA

  35. Can I use white chocolate chips?

  36. my family would go nuts if I made a cake this professionally done! beautiful Liz!

  37. You make the most perfect looking cakes I’ve ever seen. Full stop.

  38. Definitely something I need! Love it, dear! xoxo

  39. I just want to know how in the world you get your slices so darn perfect? Amazing!

  40. This looks SO good- Red velvet is one of my favorites! πŸ™‚

  41. Is this cake moist? Can you taste the cocoa?

    • Hi, Rhonda,
      The cake is definitely moist, but you cannot taste the cocoa. My husband is a chocolate fanatic and this is one reason he does not like red velvet cakes as he’d always prefer chocolate. I think the cocoa is to add richness to the color of the cake more than to impart any chocolate flavor. Hope that helps!

  42. Liz, your cake looks too pretty to eat! I love red velvet cake and can’t wait to make this!

  43. Love the white chocolate cream cheese frosting! It is irresistible.

  44. This is cake is so festive and fun, that frosting is the best!

  45. Everyone at my house was impressed! We all loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

  46. Hi Liz! Love your cake! Question, need to make a purple velvert cake, can I omit de cocoa powder for flour and use purple coloring? Thanks!!!

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