Name a better combo than red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting. I'll wait. This red velvet bundt cake is topped with a tangy cream cheese glaze for a simple but stunning dessert!
This red velvet bundt is a beautiful treat for Valentine's Day, a birthday party, or just because!
What is Red Velvet?
So what makes red velvet so special? Apparently some people don't get the hype around red velvet cake because "it's just regular cake with red food coloring, right?" wrong. Red velvet cake contains both vinegar and buttermilk which react with the cocoa powder to create a deep maroon color which is how red velvet got its name. These days extra red food coloring is added to give us a much brighter red color (which actually began as a marketing ploy in the 1920's). The vinegar and buttermilk also lend more flavor to the cake that regular chocolate cake doesn't have. Also, the cream cheese frosting. Duh.
You just need a few simple ingredients to make this red velvet bundt cake with cream cheese glaze!
- Vegetable oil - I use oil instead of butter in this cake to help keep the cake super moist and delicious! You can also use canola oil or a neutral olive oil.
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Cocoa powder - My absolute favorite cocoa powder to use in my baking is the King Arthur Flour Triple Cocoa Blend! It's a blend of natural, Dutch, and black cocoa and is perfect for any baking. But you can also use just regular natural cocoa powder!
- Buttermilk - If you don't have buttermilk you can use either regular whole milk or sour cream! You can also make your own buttermilk by using 1 cup whole milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar!
- White vinegar - You can leave out the vinegar if you prefer, but it adds a little extra tang to the cake and reacts with the cocoa powder!
- Red food coloring - You can add as much or as little red food coloring as you prefer!
How to Make Bundt Cake
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fully combined and smooth.
Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. If desired, add in some red food coloring (note it will be brighter before adding the dry ingredients).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Gently fold in the half the dry ingredients. Then fold in the buttermilk, white vinegar, and remaining dry ingredients until fully combined.
Prepare your bundt pan by spraying thoroughly with a vegetable oil based pan spray.
Evenly pour the cake batter into your prepared pan.
Bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the middle of the cake comes out clean. Note: Pans with a darker interior will cook faster, as will a smaller 5-6 cup bundt pan. Start checking at 30-35 minutes in those cases.
Remove from the oven and let the cake rest in the pan for 1-2 minutes.
Use a butter knife and gently slide it between the cake and pan around the edges and the center hole. Place a cooling rack on top of the bundt pan and turn over. It should fall right out but if it doesn’t let it sit for a couple minutes and then tap the top of the pan to gently coax it out of the pan.
Allow the red velvet bundt cake to cool completely before glazing.
Drizzle the cream cheese glaze over the top of the cake and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Bundt Cake Tips
Using a high quality non-stick bundt pan will increase your odds of the cake sliding cleanly out of the pan! I only use Nordic Ware bundt pans because they’re extremely well made and won’t break the bank. You can also find them on sale all the time! For this red velvet bundt cake I used my classic 12 cup bundt pan.
You also want to use a good pan spray! I love Everbake Pan Spray or Baker's Joy, but any vegetable oil spray will work. You do not want to use butter though as the milk solids can solidify during baking and cause your cake to stick in some of the smaller crevices.
This red velvet bundt recipe is designed for a 10-12 cup bundt pan. Simply halve the recipe to use a 5-6 cup bundt!
This red velvet bundt cake will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend getting an airtight bundt cake keeper for best results.
This can happen for a few different reasons. The pan you're using and the nonstick spray are usually the biggest culprits! See the notes above for what I recommend!
Red velvet cake has a very mild chocolate flavor that is usually complimented by a light, tangy cream cheese frosting!
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Red Velvet Recipes You Might Like!
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Red Velvet Bundt Cake
- ¾ cup vegetable oil, substitute canola oil or light olive oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons red food coloring
- 2 ¼ cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, substitute whole milk + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk, as needed
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fully combined and smooth.
- Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. If desired, add in some red food coloring (note it will be brighter before adding the dry ingredients).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gently fold in the half the dry ingredients. Then fold in the buttermilk, white vinegar, and remaining dry ingredients until fully combined.
- Prepare your bundt pan by spraying thoroughly with a vegetable oil based pan spray.
- Evenly pour the cake batter into your prepared pan.
- Bake at 375°F for 35-45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the middle of the cake comes out clean. Note: Pans with a darker interior will cook faster, as will a smaller 5-6 cup bundt pan. Start checking at 30-35 minutes in those cases.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake rest in the pan for 1-2 minutes.
- Use a butter knife and gently slide it between the cake and pan around the edges and the center hole. Place a cooling rack on top of the bundt pan and turn over. It should fall right out but if it doesn’t let it sit for a couple minutes and then tap the top of the pan to gently coax it out of the pan.
- Allow the red velvet bundt cake to cool completely before glazing.
Cream Cheese Glaze
- To make the glaze, cream together the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar using a hand mixer until fully combined. Slowly drizzle in the milk until the glaze is a thick, but pourable consistency.
- Drizzle the cream cheese glaze over the top of the bundt cake and enjoy!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.