Red Velvet Pound Cake
Try this delicious bundt cake with deep red velvet flavor and rich cream cheese frosting. This homemade red velvet pound cake is easy to make from scratch and has the best flavor. It’s the perfect dessert for Christmas and Valentine’s Day!
Bundt cakes are my favorite because they always turn out beautifully without much effort! This red velvet cake is no different. Its cream cheese glaze complements the moist pound cake perfectly. You will love making this (and eating it!) for your next celebratory event!
Why this recipe works
- Delicious taste. It has a traditional red velvet flavor, which is mild cocoa with a subtle tangy taste.
- Easy to make from scratch. The recipe calls for common ingredients and uses simple steps.
- Great for holiday entertaining. Be it Christmas, Valentine’s Day or birthdays, bundt cakes are always a crowd pleaser!
- Versatile recipe. You can use different pans and frostings to your liking. Garnishes and decorations add a personal or festive touch!
- Eggs: This helps bind the ingredients while making a rich flavor. Make sure they are room temperature for a consistent batter.
- Distilled white vinegar: This unique ingredient creates a tangy flavor and reacts with the baking soda to make a velvety smooth texture.
- Cocoa powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder is best for baking recipes. I prefer the Ghirardelli brand.
- Red food dye: I prefer food gel since it is more concentrated, but you can use liquid dye as well. I’ve included the measurements for both in the recipe card.
- Buttermilk: Not only does this make the cake rise, but it also helps achieve a velvety texture.
- Cream cheese: Block cream cheese is best for frosting. It is thicker and has less air than tub cream cheese so it has better flavor and texture.
Change the pan size! You can make this recipe in two 8-inch round cake pans as well. Start checking to see if they are done around 35 minutes. You can also make a red velvet pound cake loaf in an 8×4-inch loaf pan. Cut the recipe in half and check the cake after about 40 minutes.
An easy way to decorate your cake is using festive sprinkles. I chose white sanding sprinkles for a snowy winter effect, but you could use red and green sprinkles for Christmas or heart sprinkles for Valentine’s Day. Another option is sprinkling chocolate chips or nuts on top for garnish.
How to make red velvet pound cake
- Whisk dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Beat wet ingredients: vegetable oil, melted butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and red food coloring. Mix until combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Transfer batter to 10-cup bundt cake pan. Bake at 350 F for 50 to 60 minutes
- Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Then mix in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. For a thinner glaze, add 1-2 Tablespoons of milk and mix until spreadable.
- Pour frosting over cooled cake. Garnish if desired, then slice and serve.
If you want a moist cake, be sure to measure your ingredients properly. I suggest using a kitchen scale for your dry ingredients. Also, avoid over-baking the cake and take it out of the pan to cool completely.
To prevent your bundt cake from sticking to the pan, use my magic cake pan release. Spread this paste into the crevices of your favorite pan. I guarantee your cake will release from the pan without a crumb left behind!
For the perfect cream cheese icing, use room temperature block cream cheese and mix it until smooth and no clumps remain. Only add enough milk to make a pourable consistency.
Storage and freezing instructions
Store red velvet pound cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If it has cream cheese frosting, then it should be refrigerated. Cake with cream cheese frosting is okay to serve at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
To freeze the cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before bringing to room temperature and serving. Cake can be frozen with or without frosting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out with a few crumbs, then it is done. If it is wet, then the cake needs to keep baking. You can also tell by looking at the edges of the cake, which should be firm, but not brown.
It depends. If you want an authentic red velvet flavor, then, yes, you should use vinegar. If that is not important to you, then you can omit it from the recipe.
Once your frosting is a desired consistency, slowly pour it over the top of the cake letting it drip down the sides. Alternatively, you can transfer the frosting to a bag and pipe it in a back and forth motion on top of the cake.
I prefer AmeriColor Super Red Food Gel. It’s more concentrated so you need less. I’ve always achieved a strong red color in my baked goods when using it!
Yes, if you don’t mind the cake not being red, then you can omit the dye. If you have an all natural food dye that you love and works, let us know in the comments!
Whether it’s red velvet or pound cake you prefer, here are some similar recipes you’d also enjoy!
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Red Velvet Pound Cake
Red Velvet Cake
- 2 ½ cups (312 g) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (24 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (160 g) canola or vegetable oil
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons red gel food coloring, or 1 1/2 Tbs liquid food coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup (113 g or 4 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Milk as needed for consistency
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 10-cup or 12-cup bundt cake pan (I suggest this cake pan release paste and using a pastry brush to get into the crevices). Set pan aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat vegetable oil, melted butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar and red food coloring. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Using a spatula, fold in half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Add remaining flour mixture and stir just until combined (avoid overmixing).
- Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake at 350° F for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with little to no crumbs. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it on a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter until creamy and smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, then mix until combined. If a thinner frosting is desired add 1-2 Tablespoons of milk and mix until spreadable.
- Spoon frosting over cooled cake. Allow it to set before slicing and serving.