Streamlined Red Velvet Cake

Experience the elegance of this Streamlined Red Velvet Cake, designed to impress with its rich color and exquisite taste. This classic dessert is paired with a unique twist—a luscious vanilla bean honey cream cheese frosting—that enhances the traditional flavor profile.


For the Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 fl oz red food coloring
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk

For the Frosting:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, very soft
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • ¼ tsp fine salt


Cake Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and shortening until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium-high speed.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating fully after each addition, then mix in vanilla extract and red food coloring.
  5. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the mixture of sour cream and buttermilk to the creamed sugar, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, then mix in honey, scraped vanilla bean, and salt. Beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

Cake Assembly:

  1. Level the cooled cakes with a serrated knife.
  2. Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or cake board. Generously spread frosting on top.
  3. Place the second cake layer on top and apply a thin crumb coat of frosting all over the cake. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set.
  4. Finish with a thicker final layer of frosting, smoothing it over the surface and sides.
  5. Decorate as desired, perhaps with additional red velvet crumbs, fresh berries, or edible flowers.

Preparation and Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: Approximately 2 hours, including cooling and decorating.


  • Ingredient Temperature: Ensure all ingredients, especially eggs, cream cheese, and buttermilk, are at room temperature to achieve a smooth, even mix.
  • Color Adjustment: For a more vivid red hue, consider adjusting the amount of red food coloring based on your preference.
  • Refrigeration: Chilling the cake between frosting applications helps to firm up the base, making the final frosting application easier and cleaner.


This Streamlined Red Velvet Cake combines the velvety richness of classic red velvet with a modern twist in the frosting, resulting in a dessert that’s both visually stunning and deliciously satisfying. It’s perfect for any celebration, bringing a touch of elegance and joy to the table. Enjoy crafting this beautiful cake that’s as much fun to make as it is to serve and savor!

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