Our daughter requested this for her 10th birthday family dinner. Red velvet cake is subtly flavoured with cocoa powder. I'm not too enamoured with the flavour myself, but I do love a bit of cream cheese icing.

3 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

115 g softened butter

2 c sugar

1 c vegetable oil

4 eggs, separated

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp white vinegar

1-2 tsp red food colouring gel

1 c buttermilk (or milk mixed with yoghurt)


450 g cream cheese, softened

170 g butter, softened

5 1/2 c icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 or 3 20-cm round tins with baking paper and spray with oil.

Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine.

In a large bowl mix the butter and sugar until lightly creamed. Add oil, egg yolks, vanilla and vinegar and mix until well combined.

With mixer on low, add in dry ingredients in 3 lots alternating with the buttermilk until batter is smooth. Beat in food colouring to your desired shade.

In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form, a few minutes. Gently fold into the batter with a metal spoon until just combined.

Divide batter evenly in your cake tins. Bake for around 30 minutes until cooked through. The cakes should spring back when you press the tops.

Place on wire racks and eave in the tins to cool.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter in a bowl until smooth, add icing sugar one cup at a time until mixed in, then add in vanilla and salt. Adjust with more icing sugar if it's too runny or another pinch of salt if too sweet. Store covered in fridge.

When cakes are completely cool, turn out and use a serrated knife to cut off any domed parts of the cakes so you have an even flat surface. Make the offcuts into crumbs for decoration.

Place one cake on your serving plate and top with icing. Layer another cake on top and spread with more icing. Put the last layer on top and cover the whole cake with the rest of the icing. This is the crumb coat so it doesn't have to been too neat. Leave a cup or so of icing for the final coat.

Chill cake in fridge for at least half an hour. Spread over final layer of icing and tidy up with a palette knife.

Our daughter decorated her cake with crumbs and fresh berries.