Red Velvet Cake was one of the first cakes I made, decades ago, that was not from a mix. This recipe, however, starts with a Betty Crocker Gluten-free yellow cake mix.
For the cake:
- Vegetable oil spray for misting the cake pans
- Rice flour for dusting the pans
- 1 pkg (15 oz) gluten-free yellow cake mix
- 1 pkg (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup water
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter at room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 teaspoons red food coloring
For cream cheese frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mist two 8-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray and dust with rice flour. (9-inch pans make a thinner cake, and the baking time would need to be adjusted.)
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Add the water, butter, eggs, vanilla, and food coloring. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until batter is smooth and well combined.
Divide batter evenly between the 2 cake pans. Bake cake until tops spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. 21-25 minutes. Transfer cake pans to wire racks and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the cake from pan, and place on wire rack, so the layers are right side up. Let cool for at least 20 more minutes. The longer the cake cools before icing, the better.
Make the frosting. (If you’d rather not mess with making frosting, you can buy 2 tubs of already made cream cheese frosting, but really, this frosting is waaay better than any tub, and not difficult to make. Well worth the effort.)
Place cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy. Stop the machine and add the powdered sugar and vanilla a little at a time. Beat on low speed just to incorporate the sugar. Increase speed to medium and beat until creamy and light.
Spread frosting evenly over top of one layer. Place second layer on top of first, and carefully spread a thin layer of frosting around the side of the cake just to seal the crumbs. (When I made the cake, I gently brushed the crumbs from the cake. If the crumbs rub off into the frosting, it will turn pink. If you want pink frosting, don’t worry about the crumbs. :))
Spread a thicker layer of frosting around the side of the cake. Spoon the remaining frosting on top of the cake and spread it evenly to the edge.
For easier slicing, refrigerate the cake uncovered for 1 hour.
Store in the refrigerator. This cake is best eaten within a day or two of baking.
I wish you well.
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