RED VELVET CAKE WITH CINNAMON BUTTERCREAM. This rose cake is sure to make any birthday or special occasion spectacular. The red velvet cake made from scratch is soft, moist, and tender, with the perfect red velvet flavor. Inside you will find fluffy cinnamon buttercream between the layers and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. A cake they will never forget!

Whether for a birthday cake, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or a weekend dessert you can’t go wrong with red velvet recipes like Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies, Red Velvet Pancakes, and Red Velvet Hot Chocolate.

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RED VELVET CAKE WITH CINNAMON BUTTERCREAM with a slice on a plate

Why I Love This Red Velvet Rose Cake Recipe

As you can see, a rose cake looks intricate, beautiful, and visually stunning. It’s SO easy you won’t believe it until you try it for yourself! I really love making this red velvet rose cake, not just for the wow factor, but because it tastes spectacular too!

  • I love the unexpected addition of a fluffy cinnamon buttercream nestled between the red velvet layers. (It’s even more of a wow factor than the piped rose frosting.)
  • You’ll love the delicious chocolate undertones, the tang of buttermilk, and that heavenly melt-in-your-mouth crumb.
  • We all love a brilliantly hued red velvet cake made from scratch; soft, moist and tender.
  • Everyone will love that piping rosettes on the cake is easier than icing a smooth birthday cake–EVERY day of the week!
  • Anyone will love receiving this gorgeous red velvet rose cake, special occasion or not!
ingredients to make red velvet cake

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Homemade Red Velvet Cake Ingredients

First, grab the equipment you’re going to need for this red velvet cake: grab two 9” x 2” cake pans, non-stick spray, mixing bowls, measuring implements, a sifter, wooden spoon, stand mixer with a paddle attachment, large spatula, and a cooling rack. Highly recommended but optional: kitchen scale and kitchen timer.

For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • All-Purpose Unbleached Flour – Use a kitchen scale for the most successful red velvet cake texture; otherwise, fluff, spoon, and level the flour.  
  • Natural Cocoa Powder – I usually use Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda – make sure they are fresh and have not expired.
  • Powdered Buttermilk
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • Red Food Coloring – You can use liquid food coloring or a super red gel . Gel color is concentrated, so you need less than you would with liquid food coloring- either will work. (use 1-2 teaspoons if using gel)
  • Unsalted Butter – you don’t have to wait until it is room temperature.
  • Sugar – white granulated
  • Large Eggs – should be at room temperature.

How To Make A Red Velvet Cake From Scratch

Now, now, bear with me. The instructions may seem longer than some for a red velvet cake recipe, but keep this in mind, it’s a homemade cake from scratch with two types of frosting! All the steps are simple, and there is more detail in the recipe card! So don’t miss out on making this delectable red velvet cake. You can bake the cake one day; frost and pipe the super easy rosettes the next! 

When you are baking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Sift the dry cake ingredients, stir, and set aside.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter in a stand mixer, then slowly add sugar until light and fluffy. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Start combining the dry flour mixture, with the wet ingredients.
  6. Divide the cake batter equally into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake the red velvet layers in preheated oven.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

Ingredients For Your Red Velvet Cinnamon Buttercream Layers

  • Butter – unsalted and softened
  • Vegetable Shortening
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar – break up or sift if you have clumps.
  • Ground Cinnamon – should be fresh.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (aka Heavy Cream) – with a minimum 36% butterfat content. If it doesn’t say “heavy,” the product labeled whipping cream can contain 30% to 35% milk fat that will alter the texture of your cinnamon buttercream.

How To Make Cinnamon Buttercream Cake Filling

  1. Blend butter and shortening salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.
  2. Mix powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, and beat until thick and gooey.
  3. Pour heavy whipping cream using the highest speed.
  4. Beat until the cinnamon buttercream frosting is fluffy.

Ingredients For Gorgeous Piped Vanilla Cream Cheese Rose Frosting

Stunning piped roses contrast so beautifully with the deep dark red cake. The tangy-sweet chocolate is balanced by the savory-sweet tartness of cream cheese frosting.

  • Butter – (salted or unsalted?) softened to room temperature.
  • Cream Cheese – at room temperature; full fat.
  • Clear Vanilla Extract – clear vanilla keeps vanilla cream cheese frosting a crisp white.
  • Powdered Sugar – break up or sift if there are any clumps.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – same as the cake, stick with the “heavy.”
  • White Gel Food Coloring – is optional but will increase the brilliance of the piped rose decorations.

Making Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting For Piped Roses

  1. Blend butter slightly, then add cream cheese and blend until combined.
  2. Combine vanilla and sugar on low; beat on medium until it begins to get fluffy.
  3. Beat heavy cream into frosting slowly until it is thick enough to hold its shape to pipe roses.
  4. Add bright white gel coloring to make cream cheese frosting bright white.

Assembling Red Velvet Cake With Rose Decorations: Rose Cake

  1. Use a long serrated knife (or nifty cake slicer/leveler) to slice cooled cake layers in half horizontally for four cake layers.
  2. Slather each red velvet cake layer with one cup of cinnamon buttercream filling.
  3. Frost the outside of the rose cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting.
  4. For stunning frosted roses, check out this easy rose cake tutorial video.
slice of layered red velvet cake with a fork in the cake.

Red Velvet Rose Cake Recipe Notes/Tips

  • If the butter is cold for the red velvet cake, it will warm quickly from the beaters.
  • You may notice the batter will curdle slightly if the water is too cold; this is ok, as It will come together when you add the flour.
  • I use a kitchen scale to be sure both pans are filled equally with cake batter.
  • Unlike other baked goods, when you insert a toothpick to check for doneness, you should have a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter.
  • You don’t have to halve the two cake layers, you can just make a two-layer cake (you might want to only make half of the cinnamon buttercream if you make a two-layer cake).
  • Spread a thin “crumb coat” layer of frosting over the whole cake then refrigerate for several hours or overnight before piping the roses.
  • It’s better to prep two frosting bags for piping rosettes if it’s overly warm in your kitchen or you have hot hands!
slice of red velvet cake with a bite on the fork

How To Store Red Velvet Rose Cake

You will want to refrigerate the cake layers before frosting. Wrap the red velvet cake layers in plastic (wrap well so they don’t dry out) and put them in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight.

Refrigerate/Leftovers

Red velvet cake frosted with cream cheese rose decoration needs refrigeration. Use an airtight cake container to refrigerate it for a few days. Red velvet rose cake MUST be refrigerated because of the cream cheese frosting.

Freeze

Unfrosted cake layers can also be frozen for over a month, well-wrapped. Thaw at room temperature.

overhead look at red velvet layered cake

Red Velvet Cake FAQs

What does red velvet cake taste like?

Heaven! A wonderful melding of chocolate with an interesting, nuanced tang tempered with tart-sweet cream cheese icing. Red velvet chocolate has a velvety moist mouthfeel that is deeply satisfying. Adding the cinnamon buttercream layers puts the whole creation over the top!

Can you make a black velvet cake?

Why not?! You can use black cocoa powder for the cake and the frosting. FYI- avoid black food coloring, it will tint your teeth and mouth and lips (speaking from experience when we had black icing on a bakery cake years ago) Shake it up with blood-red piped roses!

How long until I can start frosting a red velvet birthday cake?

When it’s completely cooled. If your red velvet cake is warm at all, you will have a melty mess with the frosting. Ideally, you should pop it in the fridge for a few hours before frosting, just wrap really well in plastic wrap.

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    red velvet cake on a cake stand and a slice on a plate.

    Originally posted in February 2013. UPDATED January 2023. We spiffed up this post with more info and new photos.

    RED VELVET CAKE WITH CINNAMON BUTTERCREAM with a slice on a plate

    Red Velvet Cake With Cinnamon Buttercream

    Yield: one 9-inch layer cake
    Prep Time: 1 hour
    Cook Time: 25 minutes
    Minimum Chill Time: 2 hours
    Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

    This rose cake is sure to make any birthday or special occasion spectacular. The red velvet cake made from scratch is soft, moist and tender, with the perfect red velvet flavor. Inside you will find fluffy cinnamon buttercream between the layers and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. A cake they will never forget!

    Ingredients

    Red Velvet Cake

    • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 4 Tablespoons powdered ButterMilk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) liquid red food coloring (or 2-3 teaspoons if using gel color)
    • 1 cup unsalted butter; can be cold from the refrigerator
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 4 large eggs, room temp

    Cinnamon Butter Cream

    • 1 cup butter (softened)
    • 1 cup vegetable shortening
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

    Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

    Instructions

    for Red Velvet Cake

    1. Preheat to 350° F
    2. Generously grease two, 9- x 2-inch pans with non-stick spray or shortening.
    3. In a medium-sized bowl, after measuring, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, powdered buttermilk, and salt. Stir together with a spoon. Set aside.
    4. Mix the water with the food coloring and vanilla extract. Set aside.
    5. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on low speed until soft. (If the butter is cold, it will warm quickly from the beaters - taking about 60 seconds).
    6. Slowly add sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until light yellow and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
    7. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time and beat for 20 seconds after each addition.
    8. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the mixture for 2 minutes. be sure to use a kitchen timer to help you keep track of the time. The mixture will become fluffy and aerated.
    9. Add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the water in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour. (If the water is cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together when you add the flour.) Mix on low and work quickly so you don't over-mix.
    10. After completing the last addition of flour, stop the mixer, and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.
    11. Then, let the mixer run for 30 seconds on LOW. The batter will be thick and fluffy. STOP the mixer. Do NOT overmix.
    12. With a large rubber spatula, give the batter ONE or TWO quick folds to incorporate any stray flour or liquid left at the sides and bottom of the bowl. do not continue mixing!
    13. Divide the batter equally into the prepared pans and lightly smooth their tops. The pans should be about 1/2-full.(I use my kitchen scale to be sure both pans are equal)
    14. Bake the cake layers for 20 to 30 minutes or until the top feels firm and gives slightly when touched. (inserted a toothpick in the middle should have a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter.)
    15. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula or sharp knife. Invert onto a cake rack and place upright to cool completely until they are no longer warm. Then, wrap the cakes up tight with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight before frosting.

    For Cinnamon Buttercream

    1. In a mixing bowl, blend butter and shortening until smooth. Add a pinch of salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Continue mixing until well blended. Gradually add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Eventually, you will have a very thick gooey mixture. On the highest speed of your mixer, stream in the heavy whipping cream- pour nice and slow.
    2. Continue beating on high speed until the frosting is fluffy

    For Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

    1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
    2. Add vanilla and sugar and blend on low until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
    3. Slowly add the cream a little at a time until desired consistency is met. (you want it thick enough to hold its shape if you are going to pipe on roses)I added some bright white gel coloring at this point to make my frosting nice and white.
    4. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

    To Assemble Rose Cake

    1. Remove cakes from the fridge.
    2. Using a long serrated knife, slice both cold cake layers in half horizontally, yielding 4 cake layers (you can leave your cake as 2 thicker layers with one layer of filling if you'd prefer).
    3. Top each cake layer with about 1 cup of cinnamon buttercream.
    4. Frost the outside of the cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.
    5. You can go to youtube to follow a rose cake tutorial.
    6. Enjoy!

    Notes

    STORAGE

    • Unfrosted cake layers can be refigerated well wrapped for a few hours or overnight before frosting. A cold cake is much easier to frost.
    • Unfrosted cake layers can be frozen for more than one month, well wrapped. Thaw at room temperature.
    • DECORATED CAKE STORAGE: Cream Cheese Frosting needs refrigeration, so this cake MUST be refrigerated, where the cake will keep for a few days.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1187Total Fat: 71gSaturated Fat: 41gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 212mgSodium: 614mgCarbohydrates: 134gFiber: 1gSugar: 115gProtein: 7g

    Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

    slices of red velvet cake