Super Easy Red Velvet Layer Cake




A friend texted me recently asking if our family would like to celebrate her husband’s birthday with them.  I replied, “Sure, what can I bring?”  I expected maybe chips and a dip or a side dish or bread.  But, no I received a very specific request in return, Red Velvet Cake.  I thought, “Well gosh; I really don’t know if I have a recipe for one of those.”  My next thought was,  “Ahh, it must be her hubby’s favorite cake.”  So I turned to an old recipe I used about 15 years ago.  It calls for a cake mix and added ingredients in a certain order to make it super delicious.   And who is not impressed by a beautifully frosted layer cake?  Anyone can do it and it looks quite fancy!  Happy Birthday, Jon!

Quick Red Velvet Cake

Vegetable shortening, for greasing pans

Flour, for dusting pans

1 pkg German Chocolate cake mix with pudding

1 cup sour cream

½ cup water

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 bottle red food coloring

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) (1 stick of butter, 1 package cream cheese, 3-3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla)


1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Grease and flour 2 – 8 or 9 inch pans.  To do this take a dab of shortening (Crisco) on a paper towel and smear it all inside the pan, covering every little space available.  Then, take a tablespoon or two of flour and shake around so that the flour covers all parts of the inside of the pan.


3. Get out your mixer! 

4. In the mixing bowl combine:

  • cake mix,
  • sour cream,
  • water,
  • vegetable oil,
  •  food coloring – if using the liquid kind, use the whole little bottle (1 ounce), if using the gel, I covered the tip of my knife with a good size glob (see photo below)
  • eggs – I add them one at a time, like a good Home Ec teacher should, into a small custard cup, making sure each egg is in good shape and does not smell. 
  • vanilla

5. Mix on low about a minute till all ingredients are combined well

6. Turn it up!  Mix on high for about 3 minutes, this incorporates lots of air so that you have a nice fluffy cake.

7. Pour into your greased and floured baking pans and make sure they have equal amounts in them.

8. Put the cake pans in the center of your oven

9. Bake for 30 minutes.  Cake is done when it is pulling away from the edges of the pan and springs back into place when you poke it!

10. Let it cool completely!  Really completely!  It will not frost well if you don’t! 

11. Take your butter and cream cheese out of the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature

12. Make the Cream Cheese Frosting when cakes are cool


Cream Cheese Frosting 

  • 1 stick of butter,
  • 1 package cream cheese,
  • 3-3/4 cup powdered sugar,
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

1. Cream Butter and sour cream in the mixer

2. Add small amounts of powdered sugar at a time (if you add it all at once you and everything around you gets a sugar shower)


3. Add vanilla,

4. Mix on medium for about 2 minutes

Now, to put it all together:

1. Get out your prettiest cake plate. You may have to dig a little in the cabinet, but it will be worth it. 

2. Turn one of the cooled cakes, right side up (rounded side up) onto the middle of the cake plate

3. Spread a generous amount of frosting onto the top of this cake. 

4. Place the second layer on right side up.  Make sure it is centered.

5. Frost the cake top and sides of the cake with smooth strokes.  It’s OK if it does not look like a cake bought at a store.  Really!  YOU made a beautiful cake and everyone will love it! 







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