Naked Red Velvet Layer Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting Kisses


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


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By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

What, more red velvet? Yes, more red velvet – I would make all of my baking red if I could. Red food literally makes me so happy. I have experimented with many food colourings and Sugarflair is the only one I have found that makes things super red. Cream cheese frosting can be tricky to make as it goes soft very quickly, so if you find this happening to you, pop it in the fridge for a few moments to firm up.


  • 450 g butter, softened
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 9 eggs
  • 450 g self-raising flour
  • ½–1 tsp red food colouring (I always use Sugarflair red extra or Christmas red)


    Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4). Line the base of the three cake tins with baking parchment. Cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. You can do this for 5 minutes in a stand mixer or using a hand-held electric whisk. You can also do this by hand, but it takes about 10 minutes and lots of elbow grease! Add five of the eggs and half of the flour to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well together. Then add the remaining eggs and the rest of the flour and beat well again until well combined.

    Add enough red food colouring to the mixture, stirring all the time, until the sponge is a lovely red colour. The red will turn a little darker in the oven but it will not get any more ‘red’. So if the mixture still looks pink then just add more colouring. I usually use about 1 teaspoon of colouring which is quite a lot, but necessary if you want to get the right colour.

    Divide the mixture evenly between the lined cake tins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Place in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean.

    Place baking parchment on two wire racks. When the cakes are baked remove them from the oven. Leave them to cool for a few moments and then remove them from the cake tins. Place each cake, bottom side up, onto the baking parchment on the wire rack. This will help the cakes stay nice and flat. You may find that the sides of the cakes have gone a bit brown, if so, I like to take a very fine microplane grater and gently rub the sides of the cake to ‘shave off’ the brown colour and expose the brilliant red underneath.

    While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Use a hand-held electric whisk or put the butter into a stand mixer and beat well until very soft and light. Add the icing sugar in four batches, beating well between each addition. I like to cover the mixer with a damp tea towel so that the icing sugar does not fly everywhere!

    Once the butter and the icing sugar are well combined add the cream cheese and beat until just combined. The frosting will most probably be super soft at this stage so put it in the fridge to firm up a little so that it is nice and easy to pipe.

    Once the cakes have cooled, half-fill the piping bag with the frosting – filling halfway ensures that the frosting does not squidge out of the top when you are piping.

    Remove the baking parchment from the cake layers and pipe large kisses on top of each cake. Stack the layers on top of each other, being careful not to press down, to keep the kisses intact. If the frosting is too soft it will squish down when you layer the cakes and you won’t be able to see the beautiful individual kisses, so if this happens, pop the cakes and frosting in the fridge for 10–15 minutes or so to firm up. Once the cakes are stacked together, put a blob of frosting onto your serving plate or cake stand, then carefully transfer the whole cake onto it, and serve.