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Red Velvet Bundt Cake

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This Red Velvet Bundt Cake is an incredibly moist, velvety, soft, red-colored cake with a decadently delicious cream cheese filling. Utterly perfect for special occasions, holidays, fancy parties… or simply with a cup of tea.

Top view of Vanilla Glazed Red Velvet Bundt Cake on a white cake platter

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And you know what? It’s really simple to make. There are no complicated techniques needed to bake this delicious, tender cake that will delight your friends and family.

Stunningly pretty with its red and white interior, it’s a cake perfect for company with a simple vanilla glaze dripping over its sides.

Closeup side view of sliced Red Velvet Bundt Cake on a white beaded plate.

What to Love About Red Velvet Cake

  • Strikingly festive for holidays, parties, or “just because” occasions
  • Tender, moist, and utterly delicious with a velvety texture
  • Incredibly simple to make with pantry-type ingredients

If you love Bundt cakes, this is an incredibly delicious and fun one to make.

Top view of vanilla glazed Red Velvet Bundt Cake on a white cake plate with Irish lace and blue and white linens

Origins of Red Velvet Cake

It seems to be an age old question, “What is red velvet cake?” and “What is the origins of red velvet cake?” Both of which I’ve spent far too many hours researching… with very little results.

In my Hummingbird Cake recipe, I could point you to the exact origins of the recipe, complete with an image of it’s first publication. I so wish I could do the same for this iconic delight!

I would also love to say the Red Velvet Cake has Victorian origins. That fits my view of this amazingly pretty cake and the era I love to research. Victorian Valentine’s Day Cards come to mind. But I can’t quite pin that one down.

Although The Washington Post says, “Recipes for velvet cake, named to describe its plush texture, started to appear in cookbooks in the late 1800s, though these were sometimes pancakes or yeast-risen shortcakes.”

This would refer to Velvet Cakes that first began appearing in the Victorian era and referred to cakes with a smooth texture, often served for “fancy” occasions. These cakes often included cocoa powder which helped bring a smooth, soft texture.

Some proclaim that Red Velvet Cake is simply a cake of joy. Whether it’s baked for celebrations like Juneteenth, or holidays (like Christmas and Valentine’s Day), the color of red does spark joy.

So from whenever this cake first originated, and from whomever brilliant baker first put it all together, this cake can truly be seen as a cake to celebrate… joy.

Happy baking.

Top view of slices of Red Velvet Bundt Cake on blue and white bone china plates.

Science behind Red Velvet Cakes

A bit of science: cocoa powder helps break down coarse flour, which then contributes to a softer, more “velvety” texture. Some believe the “red” color is a result of the reaction of that combination, lending a reddish or mahogany color to the batter.

In this Red Velvet Bundt Cake recipe, I’m using a combination of buttermilk and vinegar that will activate the baking soda to create our “velvety” texture.

So armed with that baking science, let’s take a look at all the ingredients you’ll need to bake your own cake of joy.

Top view of Red Velvet Bundt Cake ingredients on a white wood background

Red Velvet Bundt Cake Ingredients

Exact ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below.

Here’s what you need for the cake:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For leavening: baking powder and baking soda
  • Granulated sugar for sweetness
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a pinch of salt in the batter
  • Large eggs: at room temperature
  • Buttermilk: at room temperature
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring: you can use either gel or liquid (I’m using gel)

Cream Cheese Filling

  • Cream cheese (full fat) at room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large egg
  • Sour cream
  • Vanilla extract

Vanilla Glaze

The vanilla glaze is optional but so incredibly pretty. It’s a simple combination of powdered sugar, mixed with vanilla extract and a couple of tablespoons of water, adjusting to achieve desired consistency. You want a glaze that is thick enough to stand up and coat the cake, but still pourable.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

You will need only a few tools to make this delicious and amazingly easy cake. The first is, of course, a Bundt pan, either a 10-cup capacity or a 12-cup capacity. I’ll give you a couple of links below to my favorite in both sizes.

In this recipe, the sugar is creamed into the butter until it’s light and fluffy. This is best achieved with a electric mixer or stand mixer. Either one works equally well. Other than that, a spatula helps evenly spread the batter into the pan.

Bundt Pans I particularly like:
Top view of Red Velvet Cake batter, cream cheese filling an a bundt pan

How to Make Red Velvet Bundt Cake

Step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card below.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray that contains flour (like Baker’s Joy). Set aside.

Make the Cream Cheese Filling

  • Beat the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and silky. Be sure your ingredients are at room temperature. Set aside.

Make the Red Velvet Cake Batter

  • Whisk dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, then beat in the buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring, adjusting as necessary to achieve desired color.
  • Gradually fold in the dry ingredients.
Top view of unbaked Red Velvet Bundt Cake in Nordic Anniversary Bundt Cake pan

Assembling the Bundt Cake

  • Spoon 2/3 of the batter into the Bundt pan.
  • Spread cream cheese filling over the batter, leaving a red border of batter to conceal the filling.
  • Top with remaining batter.

Baking the Cake

  • Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until done.
  • Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a cooling rack.
Side view of slicing a red-velvet cake on a white stand

Red Velvet Cake Questions

Which red food coloring is best for Red Velvet Cake?

You can use either a gel food coloring or liquid food coloring. If using gel, a concentrated food dye, you will need anywhere from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon. Begin with the smaller measurement as add color as needed. For liquid food coloring, you will need from 1 to 2 tablespoons to achieve color.

How do you add the cream cheese filling?

When you add the cream cheese filling, near the top of the cake pan, try to leave a clear line of red batter around the edges. This will help conceal the beautiful white swirl in the center of each slice.

What is the trick to getting a Bundt cake out of the pan?

Be sure to coat the pan with baking spray (this is nonstick spray with flour) and use a nonstick Bundt pan if possible. After baking, let the cake cool in the pan about 10 minutes (this helps easily release the cake from the pan).

How do you coat a Bundt pan with baking spray?

I’ve found it best to spray the Bundt pan in short spurts so the residual spray doesn’t pool in the bottom of the pan. Use a pastry brush to distribute it evenly, paying close attention to the cracks and crevices of the baking pan.

More Bundt Cake Recipes You’ll Also Love

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Closeup view of sliced Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Filling.
Side view of sliced Red Velvet Bundt Cake on a white plate with lace and blue and white linens.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

This Red Velvet Bundt Cake is an incredibly moist, velvety, soft, red-colored cake with a decadently delicious cream cheese filling. Utterly perfect for special occasions, holidays, fancy parties… or simply with a cup of tea.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 14 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspooon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray that contains flour (like Baker's Joy). Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, sour cream, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and silky. Room temperature cream cheese is essential to a smooth filling. Set aside.

Red Velvet Cake

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Then beat in the buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring.
  • Gradually fold in the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms.

Assembling the Bundt Cake

  • Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Then spread the cream cheese filling over the batter. Be sure to keep the cream cheese in the middle of the red velvet cake batter to prevent it from bleeding through to the front of the cake. The surprising filling is part of the charm of this Bundt cake.
  • Top with remaining cake batter. It's ok if the cream cheese filling can be seen in parts of the batter. The filling tends to sink as the cake bakes.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester (toothpick) inserted near the center comes out mostly clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Glaze

  • Once the cake is cool, or just before serving, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of water. Continue adding water until desired consistency is reached. You want the glaze thick enough to drip over the sides, but still pourable. Adjust the water and powdered sugar amount until just the right consistency is reached.

Video

Notes

Storing Red Velvet Bundt Cake
Cover the cooled Bundt cake well and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months. It’s best if you can use an airtight container. If not, wrap it securely.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 304IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red velvet cake, red velvet Bundt cake

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