Red Velvet Bundt Cake

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Fall in love with this beauty! A light chocolate Red Velvet bundt cake drizzled with amazing cream cheese glaze, that you’ll want to eat with a spoon. This cake is super easy to make, perfectly moist and fluffy, and an awesome Holiday bake or Valentine’s Day surprise!

Overhead view of a round cake with white icing and red sprinkles

All the heart eyes

Just look at it! It’s beautiful, isn’t it? If my face was an emoji, it would be the heart eyes one every time I look at it.

That red colour is amazing, and it would be an ideal festive choice to take centre stage on your dessert table this Christmas! That said, there is nothing stopping this Red Velvet bundt cake being welcome on my dessert table at any time of the year. 

And what if you made it for your one true love next Valentines? Imagine it!

It’s such a fun cake to make and it’s delicious to eat, so how could anyone look at it and not be wowed.

Ready to give it a try? Watch the video on how to make this cake then head on down for top tips and the full recipe.

Just take me to the cake already!

If you want to skip the essential info and handy tips for making absolutely the best Red Velvet Bundt cake, then head to the printable recipe card. Just keep scrolling!

What is Red Velvet cake?

Are you like me, and you first came across Red Velvet cake, or cupcakes, watching Sex and the City, and the delights of the Magnolia Bakery?

But did you know that Carrie Bradshaw is not responsible for bringing us this beautiful and decadent baked delight? No, she’s not!

In fact, the origins of the Red Velvet cake go all the way back to the Victorian era when it was served as a dessert, where the soft and fluffy cake crumb gave it it’s ‘velvet’ name’. 

If asked to describe the taste flavour is not one you can easily put your finger on. Is it a vanilla-y-chocolate or is it chocolatey-vanilla? And whilst it’s often referred to as a chocolate cake, there’s absolutely no ‘actual’ chocolate in it. Instead, the recipe calls for cocoa powder.

And that’s how it also got its colour!

Red Velvet bundt cake covered in cream cheese glaze and sprinkled with cake crumbs

What makes the cake red?

Originally the red tint of a Red Velvet cake came from the reaction of the cocoa powder with the acidity in the buttermilk. However, as we now Dutch-process cocoa powder, this prevents that magical colour change from taking place.

So now, there’s a few different ways to achieve that gorgeous red colour:

  • Liquid Food Colouring – a lot of recipes out there will ask you to add a bottle of liquid red food colouring. I’ve had mixed results with these – either with the cake batter being too runny, it looking an odd shade of red-brown or tasting of beetroot as it’s an ingredient in liquid colourings.
  • Beetroot or Beet Powder – if you don’t mind the taste of beetroot overshadowing that light cocoa flavour, and you’re looking for something more natural, then this is what you want. Alas, it’s not for me.
  • Red Food Colouring Gel – in my opinion, food gel is the best way to get that ‘wow’ red colour without compromising on the flavour. Add it a little at a time until you get the shade of red you’re looking for.
Red Velvet bundt cake with a slice cut out of it

Which bundt pan to use?

The choice is yours – there are so many to choose from!

I’ve used the trusty bargain-buy that I picked up in Aldi – you can find a similar one on Amazon. It does the trick when I want a smaller, ‘chuck it in the tin and bake’ kind of bundt cake. 

But if I’m looking for something that has the ‘wow factor’, there’s nothing better than a Nordic Ware bundt pan. These are simply the most amazing pans!

There are so many different designs for all occasions and holidays. Even the most intricate design slides straight out without any problems, so the design is there for all to see. Sometimes it seems such a shame to decorate them!

Here’s some that I love and recommend…

TOP TIP: Don’t mess with melted butter and flouring your Bundt pan. Get into all the nooks and crannies with this quick and easy homemade cake release.

How to make a Red Velvet bundt cake

Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card

This cake couldn’t be easier to make – there’s no butter and sugar to cream together, and there’s no need to use a stand mixer unless you really want to. I whisk mine by hand with a balloon whisk (that counts as an arm workout, right?). The cream cheese glaze is super simple too.

Start off with a large mixing bowl, and mix together the flour, caster sugar, cocoa powder and baking soda (1-3).

In a separate bowl, add the wet ingredients – the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, vinegar and vanilla bean paste. Then give them a good whisk until they’re all combined (4). 

Next comes the red food colouring gel! Add this a little at a time depending on how red you would like your cake. Whisk each time you add some colour so you can see what it is like. You will want to make sure the mixture is at least a scarlet red colour (5).

Add the buttermilk mixture to your dry ingredients and whisk until you’ve got a nice, smooth batter. Then pour it straight into your greased bundt tin. Then it’s into the oven for 45-55 minutes (6-7).

Skip forward to a beautifully baked Red Velvet bundt, and depending on how gnarly the bottom of your cake is, you might want to level it off – this also gives you something to crumble over the top. 

Whizz together a quick and simple glaze. All you’ll need is cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste; maybe a drop of milk if it’s a little too thick. Then drizzle it all over and scatter those offcut crumbs (8-11).

How simple is that?

Slice of red coloured cake on a plate with a fork

Top tips for perfect bundts

  • Cake Pan Release – whether you’re a butter person or more of a release spray fan, I’ll guarantee that you’ll never use anything else again once you’ve tried this quick and easy homemade cake release. Make a batch and keep it in the cupboard, it’s a baking miracle!
  • Fill about 3/4s full – don’t be tempted to fill your bundt pan to the top, otherwise when you bake it you’ll end up with an overflowing mess. For best results don’t fill it more than 3/4s full, and if you have any batter leftover pop it in cupcake liners for a little extra treat.
  • Let it cool in the pan – demolding the bundt when it’s still warm in the tin risks it breaking or leaving pieces of your pan design behind. So make sure you let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out.
  • Think about the design – there are so many intricate cake pan designs out there, and it would be a shame to cover them up with frosting or a glaze. If you have a fancy design like a gingerbread house bundt pan, then just a dusting of icing sugar does the job.

More bundt cake recipes to try

If you liked this red velvet bundt cake recipe here are some other recipes that I think you’d enjoy…

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

5 from 5 votes
Serves : 12 slices
A light chocolate Red Velvet bundt cake drizzled with amazing cream cheese glaze, that you’ll want to eat with a spoon.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
 

For the Red Velvet Bundt Cake

For the Cream Cheese Glaze

VIDEO

Instructions
 

  • To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 160C/325F and grease your bundt pan with cake release.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the caster sugar, plain flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Gently mix these together. Alternatively, use a stand mixer.
  • In a small saucepan, over low heat, gently melt the butter. Alternatively, melt it in the microwave with 30-second blasts.
  • In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk, melted butter, vegetable oil, vinegar, eggs and vanilla bean paste. Whisk together until well combined.
  • Add the red food colouring gel, a little at a time, whisking between each addition until you achieve the red colour that you are looking for.
  • Pour the red buttermilk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk with a hand balloon whisk until the cake batter is thick and smooth. Alternatively, you can mix together using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  • Pour the cake batter into the greased bundt tin, until about 3/4s full.
  • Bake at 160C/325F for 45-55 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • When baked leave to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire cooling rack.
  • To make the glaze: In a small bowl, add the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste and mix together with a spoon until smooth and runny. If the glaze is too thick, add a drop of milk to loosen it up.
  • Level the base of the cake, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and crumble over any offcuts crumbs to decorate.

Notes

  • Cake Pan Release – whether you’re a butter person or more of a release spray fan, I’ll guarantee that you’ll never use anything else again once you’ve tried this quick and easy homemade cake release. Make a batch and keep it in the cupboard, it’s a baking miracle!
  • Fill about 3/4s full – don’t be tempted to fill your bundt pan to the top, otherwise when you bake it you’ll end up with an overflowing mess. For best releases don’t fill it more than 3/4s full, and if you have any batter leftover pop it in cupcake liners for a little extra treat.
  • Let it cool in the pan – demolding the bundt when it’s still warm in the tin risks it breaking or leaving pieces of your pan design between. So make sure you let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out.
  • Think about the design – there are so many intricate cake pan designs out there, and it would be a shame to cover them up with frosting or a glaze. If you have a fancy design like a gingerbread house bundt pan, then just a dusting of icing sugar does the job.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 427kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 206mgPotassium: 82mgFiber: 1gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 368IUCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg

DISCLAIMER

The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

Tried this recipe?Mention @crumbscorkscrews or tag #crumbscorkscrews!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a ☆☆☆☆☆ rating in the recipe card and/or a review in the comments section.

Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

12 thoughts on “Red Velvet Bundt Cake”

  1. Vanilla bean paste and castor sugar are two things I’m not going to be able to get in time to make my daughter’s birthday red-velvet cake during COVID-19. Yikes!!! Can you sift sugar for the castor sugar effect? Vanilla bean paste . . . have you SEEN the baking aisles lately??

    • Hi Kate

      Thanks for your message – totally understand not being able to get hold of items during these times. I’ve been struggling to get sugar for a while, this recipe was written way before all this happened though! But…

      For the vanilla bean paste, you can substitute with a teaspoon of vanilla extract or essence, which ever you can get hold of. You can omit but you will just get the cocoa powder flavour coming through in the Red Velvet instead.

      For the caster sugar – I have struggled here too, but have found golden caster sugar, which works well. But if you can’t find it and have regular granulated sugar; add the same quantity and pulse quickly a few times in a food processor until it resembles fine sugar.

      Hope this helps and good luck! Any queries please drop me a line.

      Thanks
      Lou

  2. 5 stars
    Wow – what a cake! That’s truly a showstopper and such a gorgeous colour!! Eb x

    • Thanks Eb! It’s such a simple cake but the colour makes it so dramatic, I love it x

  3. 5 stars
    Such a beautiful colour. This cake really has the wow factor and I bet it tastes delicious too!

    • Thank you Rosemary! It is a great colour, isn’t it? The food gel works so well not to taint the taste and give you a great red without using a lot of liquid colouring. It certainly tastes great as well; it didn’t last long when my lot got their hands on it.

  4. 5 stars
    I’m definitely with you on gel food colouring, it’s the best way to get that red! Your cake looks so tasty!

    • Thanks Kat! Food gel is definitely the best way for me too. I’m really not a beetroot fan so using a natural beetroot powder or a liquid colour that is made with beetroot really aren’t going to cut it for me, hah! Using the gel makes sure that it’s still tasty.

  5. 5 stars
    I love Bundt cakes! They always look so impressive. Especially when they come out of the tin I. One piece! Thanks for including our blood orange cake:-)

    • Thanks Michelle! I love bundt cakes too, especially that you don’t have to do loads of decorating to make them look impressive, so long as they come out the tin in one piece, hah! I love your blood orange cake so I definitely had to include it.

  6. 5 stars
    Wow, cream cheese icing? I’m in! Love the red look as well This would make a perfect festive cake.

    • Thanks Choclette! I love the red colour of this, is great fun and definitely perfect for Christmas baking. The cream cheese icing is so simple, and goes so well with the light cocoa flavour of the bundt cake.

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