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Moist Red Velvet Bundt Cake Recipe From Scratch

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Red Velvet Bundt Cake –  a lusciously smooth, decadently rich, and vibrantly hued crimson cake, with just the right balance of cocoa and vanilla flavors that melt onto your tongue with moist, velvety softness. 

Slice of Red Velvet Cake with icing.

Red velvet cake has a long-standing tradition of being viewed as luxuriously indulgent and with good reason. Believed to have appeared in parlors and dining rooms during the Victorian Era and traditionally layered with ermine icing, it was considered a sign of good breeding and opulence.

I’m not sure who cares about all the hooey anymore, but everyone seems to get a bit more excited when “cake” turns out to be red velvet! Especially one that’s made from scratch.

I’ve taken this one step farther by shaping this moist red velvet cake into a beautifully displayed bundt recipe that holler’s “made with love and care!”

Whether you decide to drizzle a cream cheese icing, homemade chocolate syrup, or simply sprinkle with powdered sugar, this moist red velvet bundt cake will be an awe-worthy addition to any affair or holiday event.

Equipment

  • 10” Bundt Pan
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Electric Mixer
  • Cooling Rack

Ingredients

  • granulated sugar
  • unsalted butter, melted
  • large eggs
  • sour cream
  • whole milk
  • vanilla extract
  • white flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • cocoa powder
Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, shortening, butter, and red food coloring.

How to Make Red Velvet Bundt Cake From Scratch 

Step 1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and by coating a 10-inch Bundt pan in butter and cocoa powder. This will help keep the cake from sticking when you go to take it out.

Step 2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. This will take 3-4 minutes.

Step 3. Once creamed, add the eggs and beat the mixture until the eggs are fully incorporated into the mixture.

Eggs and butter in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 4. Add in the sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract and beat again until the ingredients are homogenous, and the mixture is runny.

Step 5. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and slowly mix the batter until there are no longer any dry clumps of flour in the mixture.

Red velvet cake batter in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 6. Spoon your cake batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be removed from the cake cleanly.

Because this is a very thick cake batter, you will want to make sure that it is leveled out in the Bundt pan before you place it in the oven. One way of doing that is to take the pan and tap it on your countertop. It helps to place a towel on the countertop to protect your counter and to help minimize the tapping sound. You may find that you also need to use a spoon or spatula to finish the leveling.

Red velvet cake batter in a Bundt pan.

Step 7. Allow the cake to cool for about ten minutes before removing it from the pan. Once removed, allow the cake to cool completely before topping with your favorite frosting or icing.

Red velvet cake topped with white glaze.

Serve and enjoy!

Storing Cake

Red velvet bundt cake should keep 2-3 days on the counter in an appropriate container in cooler weather. If you add cream cheese icing, err on the side of caution and keep it in the fridge.

The cake can be refrigerated for up to five days if it lasts that long. Be sure to wrap the cake well to avoid drying out and let it come to room temp before serving.

This bundt cake can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. Simply move it to the fridge to thaw when you are ready to serve it.

Recipe Tips 

  • It’s crucial to properly grease and prep every nook and cranny of a bundt pan to ensure that the cake will turn out of the pan properly after baking.
  • The butter and cocoa powder prep should not get too warm to avoid pooling at the bottom or sliding down the sides of the bundt pan before adding batter.
  • Always allow eggs to become room temperature before using in batter unless specified otherwise.
  • The addition of beetroot powder makes for a more vibrant colored cake, especially when using alkalized or Dutch cocoa powder.
  • Time your to 10 minute cooling period precisely for optimum release of the cake from the bundt pan. 
  • To make cream cheese icing a little thinner, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to frosting/icing.
  • Add your nonpareils or themed decorative sprinkles to the red velvet bundt cake for a festive touch.
White plate topped with a slice of Red Velvet Bundt Cake.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Instead of using just cocoa powder or flour to coat the bundt pan, try mixing granulated sugar with cocoa powder and adding to the buttered pan. This gives the batter a little extra to catch onto as it rises and provides a slightly crystallized chocolate crunch to the cake’s exterior. 
  • You can use baking spray with flour like Baker’s Joy or try Wilton’s Bake Easy if you need a sure-fire fix. With either product, use short, broad strokes to apply. Then use a pastry brush to make sure every portion of the pan is covered.
  • Add mini white chocolate chips or chocolate chips to the cake batter for a greater chocolate impact. 
  • The addition of natural beetroot powder makes for a more vibrant colored cake, especially when using alkalized or Dutch cocoa powder.
  • Want to “Feel the Sensation?” Try adding a couple drops of peppermint extract to a chocolate icing and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. 
A slice of chocolate cake topped with vanilla icing.

Why is it called “red velvet?”

When the red velvet cake was first introduced, it was primarily made with flour, butter, buttermilk, vinegar, and (non-alkalized) cocoa powder. Besides the velvety texture, the non-alkalized cocoa powder has high levels of anthocyanins that react with acids in the batter, causing a vibrant reddish-brown to crimson-colored cake.

Why do some people add red food coloring to red velvet batters?

The color reaction is not the same when using a Dutched or alkalized cocoa powder; adding food coloring helps deepen and boost the red velvet cake’s color and visual appeal.

The addition of food coloring was not necessary when the non-Dutched, anthocyanin-rich cocoa powder was used. Anthocyanin is a naturally occurring reddish-purple antioxidant that is pH sensitive; when mixed with the acids in red velvet cake batter creates the signature red color.

Does cacao powder have more anthocyanins than cocoa powder?

Cacao is higher in antioxidants including flavonols, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins than cocoa.

Cocoa powder is processed cacao powder; processing cacao destroys much of the antioxidant content.

Can red velvet bundt cake be made ahead?

Yes, this moist red velvet cake can be made a day before serving, and some consider the flavor is heightened by this method. If you refrigerate overnight, the cake should be allowed to warm to room temperature 1 – 2 hours before serving.

Yes, this moist red velvet cake can be made a day before serving, and some consider the flavor is heightened by this method. If you refrigerate overnight, the cake should be allowed to warm to room temperature 1 – 2 hours before serving.

Why is 10 minutes the optimum time to remove the red velvet cake from the bundt pan?

The sugars in the warm cake are still fluid enough to keep from hardening and sticking to the sides. Also, the bundt cake has cooled enough that it won’t break apart. That’s what makes the 10-minute mark the “sweet spot,” no pun intended!

Red Velvet Cake slice on a white plate.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake Recipe

This red velvet bundt cake is a chocolate lover's dream. It has an irresistible flavor that you can't stop eating, and it tastes even better when topped with your favorite frosting!
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 490kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cocoa powder plus additional for preparing Bundt pan

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and coat a 10-inch Bundt pan in butter and cocoa powder. (This will help keep the cake from sticking when you remove it from the pan.)
  • Cream together sugar and butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until it is smooth and creamy, approximately 3-4 minutes.
  • Add eggs and beat until the eggs are fully incorporated into the sugar mixture.
  • Add sour cream, milk, and vanilla and beat until the ingredients are homogenous and the mixture is runny.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and slowly mix until there are no longer any dry clumps of flour in the mixture.
  • Pour cake batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be removed from the cake cleanly.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the Bundt pan for 10 minutes before removing it. To remove, place a plate over the Bundt pan. While holding both the cake pan and the plate, invert the cake onto the plate.
  • Let the cake cool completely before adding frosting or icing.

Notes

Nutrition information excludes topping.
If you use cocoa that is Dutch-processed, you will need to add red food coloring or beet powder to achieve a red hue (color).
Generally, cream cheese frosting is used to top Red Velvet Cake.  Buttercream is also a good option.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 559IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg
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