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Vegan red velvet cake

Contents

Red Velvet Cake

Instructions

To make the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with baking spray (or grease with shortening and line with parchment). Or, if you prefer, prepare 24 cupcake tins with liners.
With a mixer, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In a small bowl, make a paste of the food coloring and cocoa. Beat the food coloring mixture into the shortening mixture.
Sift or mix together the flour and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to shortening mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the vanilla.
In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and baking soda. After it fizzes out, add it to the batter and, using a spatula, lightly fold in by hand, until completely incorporated.
Pour the batter into prepared pans. Bake until the cake or cupcakes spring back when touched, about 30 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove from pans. Let cool to room temperature before frosting.
To make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, mix together the water and cornstarch. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and vanilla. Beat in the cornstarch mixture, continuing to cream until light and fluffy. Frost the cake and serve.

A light chocolate cake with lots of addictive cream cheese frosting and a crown of buttercream roses. This cake is moist but so light and fluffy, it really is the perfect match for all that delicious frosting! You can make this without any food coloring and it will be a light tan color, not quite red, but it will be eaten just as quickly!

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I did a lot of recipe testing for this much-requested cake but in the end I lightly adapted the recipe for the batter from a New York Times recipe. Wonderful moist fluffy sponge, and I loved the typo saying it made 8 inch layers! LOL, even the best of us make mistakes…Check out my Chocolate Beet Cake to see what happens when you skip the food coloring!

Frequently asked questions

How do you decorate a cake?

I covered the outside in crumbs and topped it with delicate buttercream flowers for some extra visual oomph. A definite time saver would be to pipe some cream cheese frosting dollops on top or make a rope pattern like I used in my dulce de leche cake.

If you find cake decorating to be a bit intimidating then check out my How to Decorate a Cake post, it has lots of helpful tips and a full how to video. I’ve got a Buttercream flower tutorial up on the blog as well! Check it out

Is a Red Velvet Cake Just a Chocolate Cake?

It’s a much lighter chocolate cake with a tangy note from the cream cheese frosting. Some people have stopped adding chocolate to the batter as it interferes with the desired bright red color. It’s the vinegar that makes a huge difference, acid reacts with the leavening agents to give you a fluffier cake.

What is the difference between chocolate cake and red velvet cake?

Aside from having MUCH less chocolate, a red velvet cake will also have vinegar and buttermilk in the batter, which reacts with the leavening agents to give you a fluffier cake. Originally the cakes had a dusty maroon hue from the acid reacting with cocoa powder but as time went on that became a bright red color with the addition of red dye to the batter.

What Is The Flavor Of Red Velvet Cake?

Red velvet cake is indeed a very mild chocolate flavor since it possesses very little cocoa powder. The main flavor note actually comes from the cream cheese frosting. You’re getting bites of fluffy moist cake with a very creamy delicate frosting giving a really wonderful mouthfeel.

How to make Red Velvet Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and cocoa powder three 6-inch cake pans. Add 1 cupcake paper to a pan. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter. Add in sugar and mix on medium until combined. Add eggs in one at a time and beat. Add vanilla extract.

2. In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt and baking soda then whisk together and set aside.

3. Sift the cocoa powder into the butter mixture and cream together.

4. Add red food coloring and vinegar to the buttermilk then whisk together.

5. Add ½ of the dry and ½ of the wet to the butter mixture until combined. Add the red buttermilk mixture and beat. Pour the batter into the three prepared pans. Add any extra batter to a cupcake paper. This will be used for the crumble. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch. Bake the crumble cupcake for about 15-20 minutes. When done, let them cool in their pans for about 5 minutes, then invert them out onto a wire rack.

6. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter. Sift confectioners sugar into a large bowl. Add room temperature cream cheese to the creamed butter. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Beat together. Add the confectioners sugar in cups. Mix until combined. If you’re wanting a stronger buttercream, keep adding more sifted confectioners sugar until you reach a desired consistency. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and snip off the tip.

7. To create the crumbs, you can either break up the cupcake by hand or use a grater. I find that using the grater gives you a more consistent crumb for decorating.

8. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter until smooth. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until you get to a desired consistency. Add the rose water. Make sure the buttercream is thick. Dye a few batches yellow, soft pink and pink. Use some matcha powder to create a natural leaf color. Transfer the green buttercream to a bag fitted with a 68 tip. Cut a square of parchment paper. Use a tiny bit of buttercream to glue down the paper onto a piping nail. For the roses, place a small cone of very thick buttercream in the middle of the square. Add bits of yellow in the middle for added dimension. Pipe the petals using a 127 tip.

9. Pipe a thick layer of cream cheese frosting between each layer. Cover the cake in frosting.

10. Use a bench scraper and offset spatula to smooth out the cake. Transfer to the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes or until the frosting is a bit set. If you’re in a warm climate, let your cake chill for even longer!

11. Using your hand, scoop crumbs onto the side and top of the cake until it’s completely covered.

12. Arrange the flowers on top of the cake. Pipe in leaves using the green buttercream.

Pro Tips for the Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe

  • Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
  • If you’re not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans.
  • Skip the food coloring if you want a great tasting cake that isn’t red.
  • To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can buy a set on the shop page or make your own from foil and paper towels at home. I made a whole blog post on it so check it out if you’re interested!
  • For nice uniform crumbs for decorating use the fine grater, or just whip out that cheese grater!
  • This recipe makes an AWESOME sheet cake! You’ll save tons of time and you can pour less sugar into the cream cheese frosting since you won’t have to worry about consistency. I would use approximately a 9×13 inch pan if you’re making this as a sheet cake.

If you’ve tried this red velvet cake recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

5 from 29 votes

Best Red Velvet Cake

A light chocolate cake with a moist, fluffy crumb and decadent cream cheese frosting. Course Dessert Cuisine American Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 35 minutes Total Time 50 minutes Servings 10 Calories 370kcal Author John Kanell

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS:

For the Cake:

  • ½ cup butter 113 grams, room temperature,
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 10mL
  • 1 cup buttermilk 240ml, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vinegar 15mL
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder 15g
  • 2 ½ cups flour 300g
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 300g
  • 2 tsp powdered red food coloring
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 6g
  • 1 tsp baking soda 6g

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 sticks butter 340g, room temperature unsalted
  • 1 ½ lb confectioners sugar 550g, sifted
  • 16 oz cream cheese 455g, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 5mL
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

For the American Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 113g, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups Confectioners sugar 550g, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp rose water 2mL
  • pink, yellow, orange food coloring
  • matcha powder

Instructions

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and cocoa powder three 6-inch cake pans.
  • In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream your room temperature butter. Add in sugar and mix on medium until combined.
  • Add eggs in one at a time and beat. Add vanilla extract.
  • Add red food coloring and vinegar to the buttermilk.
  • Sift in cocoa powder to the butter mixture.
  • In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.
  • Add ½ of the dry and ½ of the wet to the butter mixture until combined.
  • Add the red buttermilk mixture and mix until combined.
  • Pour the batter into three prepared pans. Add any extra batter to a cupcake paper. This will be used for the crumble. Add damp baking strips.
  • Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch. When done, let them cool in their pans for about 5 minutes, then dump them out onto a wire rack.
  • Bake the crumble cupcake for about 15-20 minutes.

  • Cream the butter. Sift confectioners sugar into a large bowl.
  • Add room temperature cream cheese to the creamed butter. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Beat together.
  • Add the confectioners sugar in cups. Mix until combined. If you’re wanting a stronger buttercream, keep adding more sifted confectioners sugar until it’s stiff. Transfer buttercream to a piping bag and snip off the tip.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter until smooth.
  • Sift in the confectioner’s sugar. You can add the sugar in two batches.
  • Beat until you get to a desired consistency. Add a few drops of rose water. Make sure the buttercream is thick.
  • Dye a few batches yellow, soft pink and pink. Use some matcha powder to create a natural leaf color. Transfer the green buttercream to a bag fitted with a 68 tip.
  • Transfer buttercream to piping bag fitted with a 120 and 127 tip to make the petals.
  • Cut a square of parchment paper. Use a tiny bit of buttercream to glue down the paper onto a piping nail.
  • For the roses, place a small cone of very thick buttercream in the middle of the square.
  • Add bits of yellow in the middle for added dimension. Pipe the petals using a 120 and 127 tip.

For the Assembly:

  • To create the crumbs, you can either break up the cupcake by hand or use a cheese grater. I find that using the grater gives you a more consistent crumb for decorating.
  • Pipe a thick layer of cream cheese frosting between each layer. Cover the cake in frosting.
  • Use a bench scraper and offset spatula to smooth out the cake. Transfer to the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes or until the frosting is a bit set. If you’re in a warm climate, let your cake chill for even longer!
  • Using your hand, scoop crumbs onto the side and top of the cake until it’s completely covered.
  • Arrange the flowers on top of the cake. Pipe in leaves using the green buttercream.

Video

  • If you’re not using 6-inch pans, double the recipe for 8-inch pans or triple the recipe for 9-inch pans.
  • Skip the food coloring if you want a great tasting cake that isn’t red.
  • To get FLAT layers that are moist inside and out try using cake strips! You can buy a set online or make your own from foil and paper towels at home. I made a whole blog post on it so check it out if you’re interested!
  • For nice uniform crumbs for decorating use the fine grater, or just whip out that cheese grater!

Nutrition

Serving: 3oz | Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 390mg | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 6.6mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Red Velvet Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line each pan with a round of parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. Let cool completely before frosting. Slice each cake into 2 layers and frost.

Frosting:

  1. Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and the sugar is totally dissolved, about 6 minutes. Add the cold paste, a few tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.

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Red Velvet Cake is not just cake dyed red. It’s a lot more than that.

It’s a mix of subtle flavors: vanilla, chocolate, buttermilk. All these flavors are represented gorgeously, and subtly.

It’s like you can’t quite put your finger on it, is that vanilla I’m tasting? Oh wait no, it’s chocolate.

Paired with lemon buttercream frosting and some maraschino cherries this is a cake to remember!

Perfectly smooth, moist, dreamy and decadent, not to mention absolutely gorgeous with that glorious red color.

A note about the color. I used red food dye.

McCormick’s Red Food Color has been confirmed to me to be vegan (I contacted them directly). So that’s likely a good one to use and available on Amazon.

Foster Clark is another good one to use if you’re in the UK or somewhere else where it is a commonly sold brand. But from my research it seems that most red food dye is vegan these days. The non-vegan ingredients – cochineal or carmine – are not usually seen anymore.

I did try using beet juice to dye previous versions of this cake, and…. I did not manage to make that work – to put it nicely.

It was the grossest cake I have ever made and the whole thing went straight into trash, to put it more bluntly.

First off – it wasn’t moist, it was wet. And it tasted like beets! Yum! Hahaha!

All that and the red color did not hold.

The chemical reactions that take place while baking stripped that red color right out of it and it was a not terribly appealing shade of reddish brown. But way more brown than red.

I’ve heard of beets being used successfully but it might be out of my purview, so red food dye it is!

Red food dye enabled this cake to come out beautifully, with the color holding absolutely perfectly.

This cake is ideal for birthdays or other special occasions and it definitely stands out from the crowd.

You will love this cake for its smoothness, richness, moistness, vibrant color, subtle flavors, hints of vanilla, hints of chocolate, hints of buttercream and lemony creamy frosting.

And if you love red velvet then check out our vegan red velvet cupcakes. Our midnight blue velvet cupcakes are something special too!

So for all the reasons mentioned above, you’re definitely going to love this vegan red velvet cake. But if you’re still not convinced, let’s recap, this cake is:

  • Moist
  • Beautifully red
  • Spongey
  • Frosted with Lemon Buttercream
  • A deliciously subtle blend of flavors

Keep covered at room temperature where it will stay fresh for a few days or keep it covered in the fridge where it will stay good for up to a week!

So go on and make this gorgeous vegan red velvet cake!

And let us know how it goes by rating the recipe and leaving a comment. But hey do that anyway, we love to hear from you!

And you’re definitely going to want to show off your creation, so take a photo and tag it #lovingitvegan on Instagram so we can go nuts over your gorgeous cake. 🙂

For more glorious vegan cake recipes, check out:

  1. Vegan Blue Velvet Cake
  2. Vegan Banana Cake
  3. Vegan Carrot Cake
  4. Vegan Vanilla Cake
  5. Vegan Chocolate Cake
  6. Vegan Key Lime Cake
  7. Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake

And if you lean more towards the gluten-free, then don’t miss our gluten-free chocolate cake with ganache frosting!

Sign up to our email list for a gorgeous 10-recipe (free) ebook, and to stay updated with all our latest recipe postings (including lots of cakes!)

Description

Rich, moist and smooth vegan red velvet cake topped with lemon buttercream frosting and maraschino cherries. Two gorgeous layers of fluffy, gloriously vibrant red cake, ideal for birthdays or other special occasions.

For the Red Velvet Cake:

  • 2 cups (250g) All-Purpose Flour*
  • 1 cup (200g) White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup (240ml) Vegan Homemade Buttermilk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
  • 1 Tbsp White Vinegar*
  • 3 Tbsp Vegan Red Food Dye

For the Frosting:

  • 3 and 3/4 Cups (450g) Powdered Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (45g) Vegan Butter
  • 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For Decoration:

  • Maraschino Cherries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray 2 7-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. To make the vegan buttermilk, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to a measuring jug and then add soy milk up to the 1 cup (240ml) line. Leave to sit for a minute, it will curdle into buttermilk.
  5. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, oil, vinegar and red food dye into the mixing bowl and mix in.
  6. Use a hand whisk briefly to get rid of any large lumps.
  7. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  8. Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes, insert a toothpick into the center of one of the cake layers and if it comes out clean, it is cooked.
  10. Transfer the cakes to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  11. While the cakes are cooling, add the powdered sugar, vegan butter, lemon juice and vanilla to an electric mixing bowl and starting at slow speed gradually increase speed until the frosting is thick and smooth.
  12. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t slide off the cake, but not so thick that you can’t easily spread it. If the frosting is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency.
  13. Spread frosting over the top of one of the cake layers. Add the other layer on top and frost the top and sides.
  14. Add cherries to decorate.

*My cake tins are 7 inches round.

*Always weigh your flour for the most accurate results.

*You can use a different oil such as canola oil if you prefer.

*Apple cider vinegar can be used instead of white vinegar.

  • Category: Dessert, Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Keywords: vegan red velvet cake

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These Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfectly moist and fluffy with a subtle note of chocolate flavor. They are easy to make and downright delicious!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and red velvet is the perfect way to celebrate! It’s a silly holiday, but it’s certainly fun making sweet treats for the ones you love or for yourself. Wouldn’t you agree?

We’re staying home this year, so I’m making a batch of these for the big day and my Easy Vegan Alfredo Sauce over fettuccine for dinner.

WHAT DO RED VELVET CUPCAKES TASTE LIKE?

Well, they taste very similar to chocolate cupcakes except they are less chocolatey. They have a slight tang from vegan buttermilk and I like to add a little almond extract for added depth.

Then you can frost them with a tangy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting or this Vegan Buttercream Frosting that I used for my Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes (just omit the peppermint).

If you don’t have time to make the frosting, you can purchase a Vegan Store-Bought Variety to make life easier.

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN RED VELVET CUPCAKES

(full ingredient amounts in recipe card below)

  • Mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar together in a medium bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to create vegan buttermilk.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine well
  • Add the oil, applesauce, sugar, red coloring, and vanilla to the buttermilk and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  • Bake at 350 °F (177 °C) for 20-24 minutes. Lightly press the surface to check for doneness – It should spring back.
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Then let them cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before frosting.

Can I make Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes without the food coloring?

Yes, you can leave out the food coloring and it won’t affect the taste at all. They won’t be vibrant red, but you can dress them up with cute cupcake liners and crushed dried strawberries on top.

IS RED FOOD COLORING VEGAN?

Not all coloring is vegan and may contain animal byproducts. This one by Americolor is vegan-friendly. I called the company myself to confirm.

CAN I FREEZE THEM?

Absolutely! I haven’t tried freezing them with the frosting, but the cupcakes will last in the freezer for 3-5 months. Just thaw them out at room temp for 10-20 minutes before enjoying.

Looking for more sweet treats? Here are my faves:

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

Vegan Powdered Donuts

I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

If you make these Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.

Step By Step Photos Above

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfectly moist and fluffy with a subtle note of chocolate flavor. They are easy to make and downright delicious!
5 from 2 votes Pin Course: Dessert Cuisine: American, Vegan Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Servings: 12 people Calories: 176kcal Author: Melissa Huggins

  • 1 batch Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (sub store-bought)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (sub lemon juice)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or any neutral flavored oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (*optional)
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring gel , more if desired (*see note)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder , unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat your oven to 350 °F (177 °C). Fill a 12-Slot Cupcake Pan with your favorite Cupcake Liners.
  • In a medium Mixing Bowl, add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Combine and let it sit for 10 minutes to create a vegan buttermilk. It will thicken and curdle slightly. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl with a Mesh Strainer on top (or use a Flour Sifter), sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Now whisk to combine well. Set aside.
  • In the medium bowl with the buttermilk, add the oil, applesauce, granulated sugar, red coloring, and vanilla. Whisk to combine well.
  • Now slowly pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk together until just combined. Small lumps are fine. (*Don’t over mix or it can create a dense and chewy cupcake)
  • Divide batter evenly into each slot about 2/3 the way full (an ice cream scoop works great for this). Bake them in the oven for 20-24 minutes. To check for doneness, lightly press the surface – It should spring back (You can also use a toothpick and push it through the center – it should come out clean).
  • Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Then let them cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before frosting.

FOOD COLORING: I used gel coloring because it’s more vibrant and only requires a few teaspoons to achieve this. If you use liquid, you will need about 2 tablespoons.

  • Note: not all coloring is vegan. This one by Americolor is vegan-friendly. I called the company myself to confirm.
  • You can omit the coloring and the cupcakes will taste the same, they just won’t be red. You can decorate them with crushed dried strawberries/raspberries and use red cupcake liners to make them festive.

FROSTING: If you won’t be serving the cupcakes right away. Decorate the cupcakes and place them in the fridge for a few hours. Take them out 30 minutes before serving. This will prevent the frosting from melting.

  • You can also frost them with Vegan Buttercream Frosting.
  • If you want to save time, you can use store-bought Vegan Frosting.

MEASURING: For accurate results, don’t scoop the flour with a measuring cup directly from the flour container. Instead, scoop the flour out of your container with a spoon and then into a measuring cup. Don’t pack or tap the cup. After filling, lightly sweep a butter knife across the top to remove the excess flour. * Example photo below recipe card.

  • Make sure your baking soda is not expired. Fresh baking agents are important for a successful baking experience.

* Nutritional info doesn’t include frosting. That information is in the frosting recipe card. Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 23mg | Sugar: 17g | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.8mg Tried this recipe?Follow me @veganhuggs and mention #veganhuggs!

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Melissa Huggins

Melissa is the creator and recipe developer of the popular food & lifestyle blog, Vegan Huggs. It’s a friendly and approachable environment for anyone who’s curious about plant-based eating or cruelty-free living. Her blog is filled with comforting, familiar and easy-to-follow recipes that will fit into every household. Each dish is beautifully photographed in her own unique style with an inviting feel to them. Also, she has built a solid relationship with her readers and has a real understanding of what makes them return. Follow me

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This Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake is moist and fluffy, naturally coloured and much healthier than the traditional version!

Why you’ll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake:

  • it’s undetectably vegan and gluten-free
  • it’s moist and fluffy
  • it’s naturally coloured
  • it has a balance of sweet, salty, sour and chocolatey flavours
  • it’s covered in a tangy “cream cheese” frosting
  • it’s refined sugar free
  • it’s easy to make!

How to make vegan “buttermilk”

Traditional Red Velvet Cake is made using buttermilk, but it’s really easy to make a vegan “buttermilk”. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Mix almond milk with vinegar in a measuring jug.
  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Tip: This trick works with any kind of non-dairy milk, as the vinegar curdles the milk so that it resembles buttermilk.

How to make naturally coloured Red Velvet Cake

  • To create a red colour without food colouring, I used beetroot powder.
  • You can buy beetroot powder in local health stores, as well as online.
  • If you can’t get hold of it, it’s not a problem if you leave it out – you’ll just end up with a slightly differently coloured cake, but the taste will be the same and still delicious!

How to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake

Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.

  • Mix together all the ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.
  • Transfer the batter between two 18 cm / 7 inch sandwich baking tins.

Tip: Line the baking tins with greased baking paper to make the sponges easier to remove afterwards.

  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Place the sponges on a cooling rack until completely cooled before applying the frosting.

How to make vegan “cream cheese” frosting

  • Place coconut cream, lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl and use an electric whisk to whip up until fluffy.
  • Use a palette knife for frosting to apply the frosting in between and on top of the layers of sponge.

How long does this Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake keep for?

This Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake is best enjoyed fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days.

Substitutions you can make to this recipe:

  • you can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil
  • you can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc
  • you can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc
  • you can substitute the vinegar with lemon juice
  • you can substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground walnuts
  • for a nut-free version: substitute the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (1/4 cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds
  • you can use plain flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free
  • you can omit the beetroot powder – it’s used for adding red colouring but the recipe still works without it.

More Gluten-Free Vegan Cake recipes:

  • Tropical Carrot Cake
  • Chocolate Truffle Cake
  • Tropical Carrot Cake
  • Lemon Blueberry Cake
  • Cherry Bakewell Cake
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Black Forest Cake
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
  • Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake
  • Lemon Pound Cake

If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.

Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake is moist and fluffy, naturally coloured and much healthier than the traditional version!

4.22 from 41 votes Pin Course: Dessert Cuisine: American Keyword: gluten-free red velvet cake, refined sugar free red velvet cake, vegan red velvet cake Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Servings: 8 Calories: 400kcal Author: Rhian Williams

For the cake:

  • 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener_
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons beetroot powder (optional – adds red colour but not completely necessary for the recipe to work)

For the frosting:

  • 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk **
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Measure out the milk and, leaving it in the measuring container, add the tablespoon of vinegar and stir – leave to sit for around 10 minutes, while you make the rest of the cake
  • Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
  • Once melted, add the teaspoon of vinegar to the same bowl along with the maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and beetroot powder
  • Add the milk and vinegar mixture and mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
  • Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
  • Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting
  • You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
  • Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
  • Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract
  • Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy

To frost and decorate the cake:

  • Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread just less than half of the frosting onto it
  • Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top
  • Decorate with freeze-dried raspberries and cacao nibs if desired
  • Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days

*You can alternatively use almond flour **You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) coconut yogurt Nutrition Facts Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake Amount Per Serving Calories 400 Calories from Fat 252 % Daily Value* Fat 28g43% Saturated Fat 16g80% Sodium 76mg3% Potassium 201mg6% Carbohydrates 35g12% Fiber 3g12% Sugar 16g18% Protein 6g12% Vitamin C 2mg2% Calcium 127mg13% Iron 3mg17% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Made the recipe?Tag @rhiansrecipes on instagram and use the hashtag #rhiansrecipes!

Disclosure: This posts contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you click through and purchase any of these films, a small percentage will come to me, with no extra cost to you! This income will go towards the running of this blog – thank you.

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Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice, stir with a fork, and set aside for 5-8 minutes until it appears curdled.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and coconut oil with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  5. Add the the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, red food coloring, applesauce, and almond milk mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup about ¾ of the way.
  7. Bake for 20- 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean
  8. Make the frosting: In a large bowl, cream the vegan butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add the vegan cream cheese. Sift in half the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Sift in the rest of the powdered sugar and beat again.
  9. Fold in the vanilla and lemon zest with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  10. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of frosting onto each cupcake and smooth out with a butter knife. Use a wooden skewer and more red food coloring to decorate to your liking.
  11. Enjoy!

SERVINGS

8 to 10

INGREDIENTS

For Cake Batter:

3 1/2 cups (440 g) unbleached all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour

1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons (9 g) baking soda

1 teaspoon (6 g) salt

2 teaspoons (9 g) cocoa powder

2 cups (470 ml) nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, or oat)

2/3 cup (155 ml) canola oil

3 tablespoons (45 ml) red food coloring

2 tablespoons (30 ml) distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract

Ground pecans, for topping (optional)

For Buttercream Frosting:

1/2 cup (112 g) nondairy, nonhydrogenated butter (such as Earth Balance), at room temperature

3 cups (300 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (30 ml) nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, or oat) or water

Assorted food colors (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4). Lightly oil two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans.

To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Create a well in the center, and add milk, oil, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.

Divide cake batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Place pans in the oven spaced evenly apart. Bake for about 35 minutes, rotating 45 degrees halfway through. When the cakes pull away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, they are ready.

Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides. One at a time, invert cakes onto a plate and then reinvert onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting, with an electric hand or stand mixer, cream butter until it is smooth and begins to fluff. With the mixer on low speed, add confectioners’ sugar and fluff for another few minutes. Add vanilla, milk and food coloring (if using).

Once all ingredients are well-combined, beat on high until frosting is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more milk to achieve the right consistency. Cover the icing with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out until ready to use. Rewhip before using.

To frost cake, place one layer, rounded-side down, on a plate or cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula, spread some frosting over top of cake. Carefully set other layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Cover entire cake with remaining frosting. If desired, sprinkle with pecans.

Excerpted from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. © Fair Winds Press 2009

The most amazing Vegan Red Velvet Cake! Moist, fluffy layers of red cake with a hint of chocolate. Sweet, tangy vegan cream cheese frosting. Simply incredible!

What does Red Velvet Cake taste like?

Red Velvet Cake is not just a chocolate or vanilla cake with a red hue. It has a hint of chocolate flavor that is very mild, and is typically made with buttermilk and a little bit of vinegar as well for the perfect blend of acidity and sweetness. It has a flavor like no other cake, and it is absolutely divine!

For a vegan version of this amazing cake, we will make our own “buttermilk” with non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar.

Essential ingredients for vegan red velvet cake:

  • vegan “buttermilk”
  • vegan butter AND canola oil, for flavor and the best texture
  • natural cocoa powder
  • vegan red food coloring (or beet powder)
  • white vinegar
  • pure vanilla extract
  • Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

How do you make vegan red velvet cake?

First, measure out your soy milk (may use any other non-dairy milk as well) in a measuring jar. Add the apple cider vinegar, stir and set aside for a minute to curdle. This is your “buttermilk.”

Next, whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Using a hand or stand mixer and a large bowl, beat the vegan butter and sugar until creamy. Now add the other wet ingredients, except the “buttermilk” and mix. Add the red dye and mix it in as well.

With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients alternating with the “buttermilk” until just combined, in about three additions. Pour into pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.

While the cakes are baking, make a double batch of Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting.

Is red food coloring vegan?

A lot of red food coloring is NOT vegan. This one is, so if you can find that you should be safe. But if you want a more natural red food coloring, try this beet powder. It won’t be as bright as my cakes are, but it should work quite well! You could add more, or less depending on how colorful you want the cakes to be. I used a full 3 tablespoons.

What kind of frosting is used for vegan red velvet cake?

I can not eat Red Velvet Cake with anything other than Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting! If you aren’t a big fan though, or you can’t find vegan cream cheese, you can certainly use my classic Vegan Vanilla Frosting. It is easier to work with, but the cream cheese frosting is SO worth it. Plus, it’s traditional on red velvet cake for that unique acidic/sweet taste.

If you are using cream cheese frosting, be aware that it tends to be less stable at room temperature than most other vegan frostings. This is because vegan cream cheese usually contains coconut oil which melts when it gets warm, and thickens when it’s cold. This means it is especially important that the cakes are COMPLETELY cooled before you frost, your frosting is thick and cold, and that you keep this cake in the fridge until serving. Don’t let it sit at room temperature, or you will have a melty, slippery cake on your hands!

I even like to frost the first layer, then stick it in the fridge for 10 minutes before adding the second layer and finishing. Just to make sure that second layer won’t slip off! If you aren’t making a layer cake, but cupcakes or a 9 x13 inch cake, this is less important, but I would still keep anything frosted with vegan cream cheese frosting in the fridge.

Check out these other incredible vegan cake recipes!

  • The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
  • Vegan Lemon Cake
  • Vegan Vanilla Cake
  • The Best Vegan Cheesecake

Inspired by Modern Honey.

Vegan Red Velvet Cake

The most amazing Vegan Red Velvet Cake! Moist, fluffy layers of red cake with a hint of chocolate. Sweet, tangy vegan cream cheese frosting. Simply incredible! 5 from 4 votes PIN Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 40 mins Cooling time: 1 hr Total Time: 1 hr Servings: 16 servings Author: Nora Taylor

Vegan Buttermilk

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons red dye (vegan) OR beetroot powder

Frosting

  • Double Recipe Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray (2) 8-inch cake pans with oil. I also put a small parchment paper circle in the bottom, to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  • Make the Vegan Buttermilk: Pour the soy milk into a measuring cup and stir in the apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle; this is your “buttermilk.”
  • Add all the dry ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine. If your cocoa powder is very clumpy, sift it into the bowl.
  • Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer), beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Now mix in the canola oil, applesauce, vanilla and white vinegar. Beat until smooth. Mix in the red dye (or beetroot powder.)
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternating with the “buttermilk”, in about three additions, until just incorporated.
  • Divide the batter equally into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool on wire racks for 5-10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen, and carefully invert the cakes onto your hand. Remove the parchment paper and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • Once the cakes are completely cooled, evenly cover the first layer with cream cheese frosting. At this point I like to stick the first layer in the fridge for 10 minutes, to ensure the frosting firms up and won’t cause the second layer to slip. Then place the second layer on top, and frost the cake as desired.
  • Keep this cake refrigerated until ready to serve, and any leftover cake in the fridge as well, as the frosting softens at room temperature. Alternatively, you could use Vegan Vanilla Frosting instead, if desired.

Recipe Notes

  1. Calories listed are per 1/16th of the cake, with frosting. Amounts are approximate.
  2. Feel free to substitute another non-dairy milk for soy, such as almond, cashew, oat, coconut or hemp milk.
  3. For cupcakes, fill liners half full and bake for 20-25 minutes. The whole recipe will yield approximately 24 cupcakes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving: 1serving Calories: 318kcal Carbohydrates: 45g Protein: 3g Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 147mg Potassium: 148mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 26g Vitamin A: 309IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 63mg Iron: 2mg Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment – if your cake tins are quite shallow, line the sides to a depth of at least 5cm.

  2. Put 250g flour, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 280g light brown soft sugar and 1 tsp salt in a bowl and mix well. If there are any lumps in the sugar, squeeze these through your fingers to break them up.

  3. Mix 200ml buttermilk, 150ml oil, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 100ml water and 15ml food colouring in a jug. Add 2 eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well combined. Pour the cake mixture evenly into the two tins, and bake for 25-30 mins, or until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the baking parchment and leave to cool.

  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2, so that you have four sponge cakes in total. These sponges can be made up to three days ahead and will stay moist if wrapped in cling film, or you can wrap well and freeze for up to two months.

  5. To make the icing, put the butter in a large bowl and sieve in half the icing sugar. Roughly mash together with a spatula, then whizz with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the soft cheese and vanilla, sieve in the remaining icing sugar, mash together again, then blend once more with the hand mixer.

  6. To assemble the cake, stick one of your sponges to a cake stand or board with a little of the soft cheese icing. Use roughly half the icing to stack the remaining cakes on top, spreading a generous amount between each layer. Pile the remaining icing on top of the assembled cake, and use a palette knife to ease it over the edges, covering the entire surface of the cake. Tidy the plate with a piece of kitchen paper. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days, but bring back to room temperature for an hour or so before eating.

    This recipe was refreshed in July 2018 based on user feedback. For the original recipe, see our beetroot cake.

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