This Red Velvet Bundt Cake is a showstopper! With its intensely vibrant red color and beautiful glaze finish, this old-fashioned red cake is a classic that will never go out of style. It’s the perfect cake for any special occasion, including anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and birthdays.
There’s something about a Bundt cake that is timeless and classic. It transforms an everyday cake into a standout centerpiece that feels slightly more elevated, exciting and special occasion-worthy.
We’ve baked a lot of Bundt cakes (a few favorites are this Lemonade Bundt and Cold Oven Pound Cake) but this red velvet Bundt cake might just take the top spot. It’s intensely rich, tender, and moist with a stunning red color.
Red velvet has a slight tang from buttermilk with a subtle chocolate flavor. It is one of our favorite cake recipes to make!
Just like with our Red Velvet Cake Roll and our Red Velvet Cupcakes, we give this homemade red velvet cake a rich and tangy cream cheese frosting. It is- without a doubt- an irresistible combination! You can also pair it with Ermine frosting if you like.
Why This Red Velvet Recipe Works
You can leave the red velvet cake mix at the store and opt for a homemade red velvet cake. It’s 1000x better than the store-bought stuff!
Our southern-charm, red velvet Bundt cake has the most tender crumb and that sweet cream cheese drizzle is a gorgeous finishing touch.
This is the red velvet cake recipe that will leave you (and everyone else) going in for seconds with zero regrets!
This bundt cake is:
- Showstopping Presentation: Using a Bundt pan turns this classic recipe into a work of art. The dome-like shape gives it a beautiful presentation, and the deep red color is a conversation starter.
- Moist and Flavorful: The blend of buttermilk and vegetable oil guarantees a moist, tender crumb. With just a touch of cocoa and a pop of vanilla, it’s red velvet as you’ve always loved it but even more moist.
- Easy-to-Make Cream Cheese Frosting: The cream cheese frosting isn’t just a finishing touch; it’s a second act! Creamy, sweet, and a breeze to make, this drizzle adds a layer of indulgence that pairs perfectly with the cake’s nuanced flavors.
The Ingredients for the Bundt Cake
Red velvet is one of those interesting, “mystery” flavors that true red velvet fans adore but may not be able to pinpoint what exactly makes a cake “red velvet.” (That is, unless you’ve ever made one from scratch!)
If this is your first time baking a homemade red velvet cake, you might be surprised to find that it’s made with common ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.
The secret ingredient for a perfect, moist red velvet Bundt cake? Well, there are technically two: oil and buttermilk.
They both contribute to not only the tart flavor, but the texture of the cake, creating a super moist and velvety cake with a tender crumb.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Flour. You can use all-purpose flour or cake flour. Cake flour will give the bundt cake a slightly more tender texture.
- Cocoa powder. Use unsweetened cocoa powder. This isn’t a chocolate cake. The cocoa powder is a traditional ingredient in red velvet cake. There is a chemical reaction between the cocoa powder and vinegar that turns it a dark red color.
- Baking soda. Since the buttermilk and vinegar are acidic, this cake needs baking soda as a leavening, not baking powder.
- Granulated sugar.
- Vegetable oil. The addition of vegetable oil gives the bundt cake an impossibly moist, velvety texture that red velvet cakes are famous for.
- White vinegar. The acidity of vinegar helps tenderize the cake and deepens the red color when it chemically reacts with the cocoa powder.
- Vanilla extract.
- Red food coloring. For the beautiful vibrant red seen in these photos, you need 5 to 6 tablespoons of red food coloring. Shopping for small bottles of red food coloring in grocery stores can be costly since they usually only provide 1-2 tablespoons. To get the most bang for your buck, consider buying a 32-ounce bottle instead.
- Buttermilk. Full-fat buttermilk will give you the best results.
- Confectioner’s sugar. Also called powdered sugar.
- Softened cream cheese.
How to Make a Red Velvet Bundt Cake
This Bundt cake recipe comes together pretty easily! Here’s a quick look at the process but be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page for all of the instructions and ingredient amounts.
Before you begin: preheat the oven and grease/flour a 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan. Set the prepared pan aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the liquid ingredients and mix until well combined. You can use an electric mixer or stir the mixture with a whisk.
Tip: Sift the dry ingredients through a sieve to lighten the flour and break up any clumps.
- Stir in half of the dry ingredients until combined, then stir in the rest of the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and tap it on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- When the cake finishes baking, let it cool for 10 minutes, then flip it over on a wire rack and lift the pan off.
- To make the cream cheese icing, combine the confectioners sugar and cream cheese and mix until smooth. Mix in tablespoons of milk to get the desired consistency. Pour the cream cheese glaze on top of the cake, allowing it to run down the crevices and into the center of the cake.
How to Prevent Bundt Cakes from Sticking to the Pan
- Proper Pan Preparation: Make sure your Bundt pan is well-greased. We recommend a baking spray that contains flour such as Bakers Joy or make your own baking release (see next tip). Make sure to get into all the crevices.
- DIY Baking Release: Mix equal parts of vegetable oil, shortening, and flour to create a paste. Use a pastry brush to evenly coat the pan.
- Quality Matters: Invest in a high-quality, non-stick Bundt pan.
- Temperature and Timing: Once your cake is baked, don’t rush to flip the pan. Let the cake rest in the pan on a wire cooling rack for about 10-12 minutes. Don’t let it sit too long though. The cake will slide out more easily if it is slightly warm. Setting a timer can help you hit that sweet spot between a cake that sticks and one that breaks apart when removing it.
- The Flip: When it’s time to de-pan, place a wire rack on top of the cake and invert the Bundt pan. Lift the pan; if the cake doesn’t release immediately, give the pan a few gentle taps or slightly shake it to loosen the cake.
Tips for the Best Red Velvet Bundt Pan Cake
- Grease the bundt pan well, and use either baking spray or vegetable shortening. Don’t use butter, as the solids in the butter will make the cake stick.
- If you want to make a homemade baking release, combine 1/4 cup each of vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, and flour. Use a pastry brush to coat the mixture in the Bundt pan.
- Make sure all of your eggs and liquids are at room temperature. This helps ensure they combine well and improves the texture of the cake.
- Baking soda is prone to clumping, and we suggest sifting all the dry ingredients through a fine sieve.
- If you’d like to give the cake a lovely, light almond flavor, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of almond extract.
- Fill the Bundt pan to within 1-½ inches from the top. This will allow the cake to rise without overflowing. If you use a smaller bundt pan, use the leftover batter to make cupcakes.
- Make sure to remove the cake from the pan 10 minutes after it’s done baking. If the pan is removed too soon, the cake will break apart, and if it gets left to sit too long, the cake will stick. The sweet spot is 10 minutes.
Choosing Food Coloring for Red Velvet Cakes
- Liquid Food Coloring: This is the most common type of food coloring, and it is readily available in most grocery stores. However, you’ll need to use a fair amount so look for a bottle that holds 2 to 3 ounces, as it can get expensive if you purchase the small squeezer bottles.
- Gel Food Coloring: This is a more concentrated food coloring so you don’t need to use as much to get that intense red. It’s a bit more expensive but since you use less, it is actually more economical in the long run.
- Powdered Food Coloring: I really like powdered food coloring because it is easy to get vibrant colors with small amounts of powder. It is more expensive, but like get food coloring, you don’t need to use a lot so it goes a long way.
- Natural Food Coloring: If you want to keep things natural, beet powder will work but the red will be less vibrant, and it will affect the flavor of the cake. You might be disappointed with this option.
With a velvety texture and vibrant red color, our homemade red velvet Bundt cake is as delicious as it is gorgeous!
It’s a beautiful cake for any occasion, and trust us; one piece won’t be enough. Happy baking!
More Recipes You Will Love:
These Rose and Pistachio Heart Shaped Cookies are lovely little treats that are perfect for Valentine’s Day! They combine a light rosewater flavor with sweet pistachios and the crunch of biscotti.
Chocolate Sponge Cake is rich yet light and airy, with a sweet raspberry filling and a velvety chocolate ganache topping. This is an Italian genoise that you can easily adapt with your favorite syrups and cake-filling flavors!
Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake is dense, rich and chocolatey! Flavored with Amaretto and covered in a thin layer of ganache, every bite of this is dreamy and decadent. Serve it with homemade whipped cream.
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For the Red Velvet Bundt Cake Recipe:
- 3-½ cups all-purpose flour or cake flour (420 grams)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
- 1-½ cups vegetable oil (300 grams)
- 1-¼ cups buttermilk (296 grams)
- 3 eggs, whisked or beaten well
- 5 to 6 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
- 2 cups powdered confectioners’ sugar (226 grams)
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) softened cream cheese (57 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4-6 tablespoons milk
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with baking flour/oil spray. Make sure the spray gets into all the crevices. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Place the sugar, oil, buttermilk, eggs, red food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed or stir well with a whisk until well combined.
- Add half of the flour mixture and stir with a whisk or beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then stir in the rest of the flour mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Fill the pan ¾ of the way full and tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles. NOTE: If you have a 10-inch pan, you will have enough batter for a couple of additional cupcakes.
- Bake the bundt cake for 50-55 minutes for a 10-inch cake and 52-58 minutes for a 12-inch cake. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. The toothpick should come out clean when the cake is finished baking.
- Remove the cake from the oven and set it on a wire cooling rack for 10-12 minutes. Place another wire rack on top of the cake, flip it over and lift off the Bundt pan. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the icing.
For the Cream Cheese Icing:
- Combine the confectioner's sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until soft and creamy.
- Add the milk, one to two tablespoons at a time, and mix well between additions. Continue to beat in the milk until the icing is thin enough to drizzle slowly off a spoon. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the cake crevices.
- Make sure the Bundt pan is well-greased. If you don't have baking spray, coat the pan with vegetable oil or melted shortening. Don't use butter, as the milk solids and water in butter will enhance sticking.
- If you want to make a homemade baking release, combine 1/4 cup each of vegetable oil, shortening, and flour. Brush the mixture into the pan with a pastry brush.
- The cocoa powder deepens the red color through a chemical reaction with the vinegar and gives the cake its traditional red velvet color.
- If you want a deeper chocolate flavor, you can increase the cocoa powder to 1/3 cup. However, the red color will be a ruddier brownish red.
- Vinegar helps tenderize the cake and intensifies the red color through a chemical reaction with cocoa powder.
- To get the vibrant, crimson-red color seen in the photos, you still need to add 5 to 6 tablespoons of red food coloring. The small bottles in the baking aisle of grocery stores usually only contain 1 to 2 tablespoons of red food coloring. It is more economical to purchase a 32-ounce bottle.
- All-purpose flour works fine in this recipe, but cake flour will make the bundt cake slightly more tender.
- Baking soda is prone to clumping. We suggest sifting all the dry ingredients through a sieve.
- For a nice alternative flavor, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of almond extract.
- Use full-fat cultured buttermilk for best results. If you don't have buttermilk, measure 1-1/4 cups of whole milk, then remove 4 teaspoons. Add 4 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Do not over-mix the batter. When the flour gets incorporated, stop stirring it, or the cake will not be as tender.
- When filling the Bundt pan, keep the batter to within 1-½ inches from the top. This will allow the cake to rise without overflowing.
- If you are using a 10-cup Bundt pan, there may be enough batter left for 1 or 2 cupcakes (bake separately).
- After removing from the oven, cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Hint, set a timer, as this is an important step to removing the cake from the pan without it sticking. If the pan is removed too soon, the cake will break apart. If left in the pan too long, the cake will stick to the pan. The sweet spot is 10 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the icing.
- You can freeze any leftover red velvet bundt cake for up to three months.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 479Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 448mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.