Red Velvet Cake Recipe | Southern Recipes | PBS Food

Bake Vivian Howard's sister Leraine's red velvet cake recipe from the "Deck the Halls, Y'all!" holiday special of A Chef's Life.



  • For the Red Velvet Cake:
  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
  • 3/4 tsp. butter flavoring
  • 2 oz. red food coloring
  • 3 cups self-­‐rising flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • For the Red Velvet Cake Icing:
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups Crisco
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring


  1. For the Red Velvet Cake: Preheat conventional oven 350 degrees. Grease and flour 4-­‐9 inch pans (parchment paper works well).
  2. Using a stand mixer, cream together the Crisco and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Break the eggs in a bowl. Add the flavorings and food coloring to eggs. Run the stand mixer and add 1/3 of egg mixture at a time, incorporating it into the Crisco and sugar. Mix self-­‐rising flour, cocoa powder and salt together.
  4. Run the stand mixer then alternate between flour and buttermilk: add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the buttermilk, then 1/3 flour, then the other 1/2 of buttermilk, then the last 1/3 flour.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together vinegar and soda. Pour into batter and mix thoroughly. Pour in 4 greased and floured pans. Bake 20-­‐25 minutes until done. Toothpick inserted comes clean.
  6. For the Red Velvet Cake Icing: On stove in large thick skillet, cook flour and milk until thick and smooth, stirring constantly and eliminating lumps. Remove from stove and place in fridge to cool (this can be done before mixing cake).
  7. In large mixing bowl cream together Crisco and granulated sugar. Add flavorings and continue mixing. This step needs to be done before adding cooled flour mixture.
  8. When flour mixture cools completely, add to sugar mixture and beat until smooth.
  9. Remove cake from oven. Cool completely. Ice. Do not refrigerate. It dries the cake out.
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