Red Velvet Cake Base

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    9 by ¾ inch high cake

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About


2 large egg whites, room temperature ¼ cup (59 ml) 2.1 ounces 60 grams
red liquid food coloring 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 ml) 0.7 ounce 20 grams
pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon (5 ml) . .
bleached cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour) 1⅓ cups (or 1 cup plus tablespoons), sifted into the cup and leveled off 4.7 ounces 133 grams
superfine sugar cup 4.7 ounces 133 grams
baking powder 2 teaspoons . 9 grams
unsweetened cocoa powder ¾ teaspoon (sifted before measuring) . 1.1 grams
fine sea salt teaspoon . 2.2 grams
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons 1.3 ounces 38 grams
canola or safflower oil, at room temperature 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (39 ml) 1.3 ounces 36 grams
low-fat buttermilk cup (79 ml) 2.9 ounces 81 grams


Mix the Liquid Ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites, red food coloring, and vanilla just until lightly combined. (Caution: Be careful with the food coloring; it stains effectively, but also unmercifully.)

Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa, and salt.

Mix the Batter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the butter and oil on medium speed for 1 minute. The mixture will not be completely smooth. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1½ minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a small offset spatula. The pan will be just one-quarter full.