Masthead header

Red Velvet Cakes (yes, more than one!)

I really hate to put up another post on anything red after doing the last week on it, but this one is a little different.  I promise I will get off the red kick after this.  My husband’s birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day.  It seems we like to double up on celebrations around here!  (We got married on my birthday; our daughter and one of our son’s birthdays are 3 days apart, my brother and my brother-in-law share the same birthday.)   I could keep going, but I know you would probably prefer to get to the recipe, right?

My mother-in-law always makes a red velvet cake for my husband’s birthday.  Her recipe comes from this cookbook…one of my most used ones. Is it just me, or don’t you think the best tasting food recipes come from the old self-published cookbooks with the spiral spines?  James Farmer did a post on a pound cake recipe from this same cookbook a couple of years ago.  If you would like to see it, just click here.  (He is obviously not addicted to frosting like I am since he prefers pound cake over any other cake.)

Without further ado, here is recipe #1 for the red velvet cake:

And you must frost it with the traditional cream cheese frosting.  Mrs. Shelton says the nuts are “optional.” I think they are required, but you can choose for yourself. 

If you have been following along here, you will remember in December someone very sweet made me a red velvet cake.

I thought I would include Pat’s recipe for her delicious cake here, too.

She uses the identical frosting recipe, but she doubles it.  I am thinking my mother-in-law must also double her frosting recipe since it was on quite thick – but then she only had 2 layers not 3 like Pat has.  I would double it if I made it, just because I could eat that cream cheese deliciousness by the spoonfuls!

So you might be wondering, “Which one is better?”  Well, it really depends on what you like in a cake. There is a really interesting cake testing of 8 different versions of the recipe here, and there is a Southern Living version here.

This is my recommendation:  If you are like my parents and one of my friends, and you don’t want something super sweet, go with Pat’s version.  If you like a very sweet cake, then use the first one from the cookbook above.  Either way, double your cream cheese frosting recipe. 🙂

Okay, that is truly the end of all my red posts for awhile.  I hope you get to make one of the recipes, and if you do, I would love to know how it turns out (and which recipe you used. :))

Talk with you soon!

You might enjoy these posts:

Dawn S - February 27, 2013 - 8:09 am

I would love to have a copy of that cookbook! Sadly, Amazon says it’s currently unavailable!

lisa - February 20, 2013 - 10:30 am


You are quickly becoming my favorite blog. I love your colors and your home. Any ideas where to find this cookbook? I’m a cookbook addict! We love red velvet cake around here but mine never turn out. My husband’s aunt makes a mean red velvet and she is the expert. I need to go spend some time with her. We also need some help with chicken and dumplings. If you make those, I’d love your recipe. A great southern favorite.

Lori - February 19, 2013 - 11:33 pm

Just catching up with your red posts – LOVE!
Valentine’s decor, gifts and oh those treats!
And now this post takes the cake. 🙂
Glad to be caught up again.

Garden, Home and Party - February 18, 2013 - 10:18 pm

Red Velvet cake is Mr. B’s favorite. I went to the link with the review of the 8 different recipes and decided I will try Bobby Flay’s recipe first. I have fond memories of red velvet cake in Texas the 2 short years we lived there. The red velvet cake I’ve tasted since have a metallic taste, I’m assuming it’s from the red food dye. Bobby Flay’s recipe only has 1 tablespoon. I’ll let you know. This was a fun post. Happy Birthday to your hubby. Our family has birthday clusters too. Crazy.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - February 18, 2013 - 8:22 pm

I LOVE Red Velvet cake….thanks for the recipes…will have to try both of them!!

Kitty - February 18, 2013 - 12:17 pm

Red velvet is one of my most favorite cakes. I make one every year for Christmas.

I think that cookbook you used is one I have been looking for. I am a new transplant to Middle Georgia. After enjoying some yummies at the Swanson House I asked if they had a cook book. The owner told me he used all of Nelle Shelton’s recipes, but he couldn’t remember the name of the book. That one you have must be it. I’ll keep my eye out for it now 🙂

Thank you!!!

Wanda - February 18, 2013 - 8:13 am

My oldest soon in law loves red velvet ! I will be using this recipe for the next occasion !

Tammy Loves Dishes - February 17, 2013 - 7:38 pm

Red Velvet Cake is my birthday cake of choice for many, many years. My mother’s recipe is called Red Velvet Layer Cake, although she always made it in a 13×9 inch pan. The icing must be cream cheese and with nuts, please. She would always have a little icing left over which she put into a small container. Whoever was celebrating their birthday, would get that extra icing (my brother and I, born just one month apart, would each request this cake for our birthdays). Summertime meant Red Velvet Cake twice!

I agree with you about the self-published recipe books. I have a bookshelf full of them and find them hard to pass by when I see them at thrifts or book sales. They are often filled with treasures.

Dawn - February 17, 2013 - 6:28 pm


I am baking red velvet cookies right now. I am off of work tomorrow so I might just have to bake a red velvet cake and share with some friends in need. Thanks for sharing the recipes with us.

Karen - February 17, 2013 - 6:05 pm

Oh I love all the red….it just makes everything pop….
My daughter and I share the same birthday and my husband and DIL have birthdays just 10 days apart.
I’ll need to try that recipe one of these days! Thanks 🙂

Pat - February 17, 2013 - 4:47 pm

I love, love, love all the red, red, red. Thank you for honoring my cake and recipe by sharing both on your blog. I use the same cookbook as you; and, I believe the best cookbooks are those tried and true recipes published in family and church cookbooks. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with your fans. Valentine’s Day is a day full of love, and I love your blog. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Linda@Lime in the Coconut - February 17, 2013 - 4:31 pm

Oh my. droolworthy to be sure. Thanks for the recipe! Love your images!!

Kathy - February 17, 2013 - 2:42 pm

They all look so good as I sit here by the fire on a very cold day in Florida. A cup of coffee and a big piece of cake would be great. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly @ Babiole de Windsor - February 17, 2013 - 2:15 pm

I love love love Red Velvet cake…I do a red velvet checkerboard cake for Christmas some years and it’s always fun to cut into. And definitely double the cream cheese frosting!

Kelly @ Babiole de Windsor

S u b s c r i b e   b y   E m a i l