This Red Velvet Bundt Cake has a flavorful moist crumb with a creamy tangy cheesecake filling and a luscious cream cheese frosting.
Red velvet cake is always a showstopper. Make it a bundt cake stuffed with creamy cheesecake and topped with drips of smooth cream cheese frosting and everyone is sure to ooh and ahh over its beauty!
Despite this cake's stunning appearance, it truly couldn't be easier to make. The cheesecake filling is made up of only 4 ingredients that simply need to be creamed together until light and airy. The cake is fairly standard except for a few extra, but simple, ingredients. Finally, the frosting is simply drizzled over the cake so no fancy knife work here!
You'll be asked (begged?) to bring this one to every holiday party, family gathering, and special event!
Flour - all-purpose flour serves as the base of the dry ingredients.
Cocoa Powder - Unsweetened natural cocoa powder gives the cake a mild chocolate flavor. Note: Dutch-process cocoa powder has been treated to neutralize it and is no longer acidic like natural cocoa powder and will not work properly in this recipe.
Buttermilk - Adds moisture and acid which is needed to activate the baking soda and provide lift to the cake.
Vinegar - Also adds acid.
Butter & Oil - Both provide fat and moisture resulting in a moist decadent cake. The butter also adds flavor.
Red Food Color - Without food dye, red velvet cake is a ruddier brownish-red color. Liquid red food dye amps up the red color for a more stunning visual effect.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 12-cup bundt pan by thoroughly coating it with softened butter, oil, or cooking spray. Then, cover the entire inside with a thin coating of flour and shake out the excess.
Start with making the cheesecake filling. With a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, an egg, and vanilla extract until well combined and light. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add buttermilk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, and red food coloring. Mix on medium-low speed until everything comes together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on medium-low speed just until they come together. Avoid overmixing.
Pour half of the cake batter into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan.
Then, spoon the cheesecake filling into the center of the cake batter avoiding the edges.
Finally, pour the rest of the cake batter over the filling. Gently tap the pan on the counter to help remove any air pockets.
Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes. I suggest checking with a long wooden or metal stick at 50 minutes and then every 2 to 3 minutes until it is ready. You want there to still be a few moist crumbs on the stick but no wet batter.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Then, flip the cake out onto the wire rack to continue cooling for another hour or until completely cooled.
In a bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar until well combined and light. Add the milk and continue mixing until the frosting is smooth.
Pour or spoon the frosting over the cooled bundt cake gently pushing the frosting down the sides to create drips.
Tips & Tricks
- Color In this recipe, I suggest using 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid red food coloring. 1 tablespoon will produce a more muted brownish-red color and 2 tablespoons will produce a more vibrant red color. In these photos, I used 1 ½ tablespoons so you can see what the midway point looks like.
- Ingredient Temperature Bring all of your cold ingredients to room temperature. This will help everything come together more evenly and result in a better cake.
- Buttermilk If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own. Simply pour 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice into a measuring cup then fill it to 1 cup with whole milk. Stir and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes or until the milk thickens and slightly curdles.
You'll also need a 12-cup bundt pan. I used this Nordic Ware Bundt Pan and love it. It's thick and sturdy and bakes the cake evenly.
Store the cake covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
For the best flavor, allow the cake to come to room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.
This cake can also be frozen whole or in slices for up to 3 months.
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Red Velvet Bundt Cake
Red Velvet Bundt Cake
- 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- ¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt fine kosher
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- ½ cup canola oil
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons liquid red food color
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan. Set aside.
- Start with the cheesecake filling. With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until they are well combined, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the buttermilk, canola oil, eggs, vanilla, vinegar, and red food coloring. Mix on medium-low speed until everything is well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on medium-low speed just until everything is mixed together. Avoid overmixing.
- Pour ½ of the red velvet cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Then, spoon the cheesecake filling onto the center of the cake batter keeping the filling from touching the edges (see photo in the post).
- Pour in the rest of the cake batter covering the top and sides of the cheesecake filling. Give the cake a gentle tap on the counter to help everything settle and remove any air pockets.
- Bake the cake for 50 to 60 minutes. Start checking at 50 minutes and remove once there are still some moist crumbs on the stick. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Then, remove the cake and cool for another hour.
- In a bowl, with a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar for the frosting until they are light and airy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk and mix on medium speed for another minute or until the frosting is smooth.
- Pour or spoon the frosting over the cooled bundt cake pushing it down the sides to create drips.
- I prefer to use softened butter and a pastry brush to grease my bundt pan before coating it in flour. You can also use oil or cooking spray. Just make sure you get the grease everywhere and flour the pan well.
- Depending on your oven, it can take anywhere from 50 to 60 minutes to fully bake. Begin checking at 50 minutes and watch it closely towards the end to avoid overbaking.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for the first 2 hours. It comes out much easier and cleaner that way.
- Store the cake in the fridge for up to 5 days. Allow it to come back to room temperature before serving for the best results.