Naked Red Velvet Cake

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Naked red velvet cake is a stripped-down version of our favorite dessert with the perfect amount of cake and frosting. Rich, cream cheese frosting is sandwiched between layers of moist, delicious red velvet cake.

Closeup shot of slice of naked red velvet cake on plate

This red velvet cake does away with the outer layer of frosting, making for a dessert that allows the red velvet cake to stand out more from the frosting without being too dry. It’s the perfect amount of both cake and frosting.

Naked Red Velvet Cake

This has quickly become one of my favorite cake recipes of all time. I love red velvet cake, but I’ve always felt that the frosting could sometimes overpower the flavor of the cake. This naked version gives the perfect balance of frosting and cake in every bite.

Ingredients

It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe.

Cake Ingredients:

  • butter
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • sour cream
  • milk
  • red food coloring
  • vanilla
  • flour
  • cocoa powder
  • salt
  • baking soda

Frosting Ingredients:

  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • sour cream
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla 
Overhead shot of ingrdients in individual bowls.

Instructions

Although there are several steps to this recipe, they’re all incredibly easy when you break them down.

Cake Directions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Step 2: Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans by spraying them with cooking spray and coating them with a fine layer of flour. Set aside.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.

Step 4: Beat in eggs.

Step 5: Mix in sour cream, milk, food color, and vanilla.

Overhead shot of heavy cream being poured into batter ingredients in bowl

Step 6: Blend in flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Dry cake ingredients being added to wet ingredients in bowl

Step 7: Split batter between prepared round cake pans.

Overhead shot of three round cake pans filled with red velvet cake batter

Step 8: Bake @ 350°F for 24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Step 9: Allow cakes to cool 15 minutes before flipping them onto your work surface. Allow to cool completely 

Frosting Directions:

Step 10: Beat cream cheese, butter and sour cream in bowl.

Step 11: Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. 

Overhead shot of cream cheese frosting  ingredients in bowl

Assembly Directions:

Step 12: Place a layer of cake on a serving dish.

Step 13: Cover with 1/3 of frosting.

Step 14: Add another layer of cake followed by another layer of frosting.

Closeup shot of two layers of red velvet cake with a layer of frosting between them

Step 15: Add the final layer of cake with the remaining frosting on top. 

Closeup shot of whole nake red velvet cake on cake stand

Equipment

You’ll only need basic baking equipment for this recipe.

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Bowls
  • Spoon
  • Cake pans
  • Spatula

Substitutions

Greek Yogurt: You can use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in equal amounts.

Cake Flour: Cake flour works wonderfully in this recipe.

Closeup shot of slice of naked red velvet cake on plate with more cake in background

Options

Looking for ways to change up this naked red velvet cake? Here are some suggestions.

Cayenne Peper: A dash of cayenne pepper only makes the cake slightly warm and really accentuates the chocolate flavor.

Strong Coffee: Add some strong coffee for even deeper chocolate flavor.

Tips:

  • Be sure your cream cheese and butter are fully softened for the best texture possible.
  • To keep gluten to a minimum in your cake, don’t overmix the batter.
  • Really whip your frosting well to get the best texture and flavor.
Closeup shot of forkful of naked red velvet cake

More Cake Recipes

FAQ

How long is this cake good?

You can store it in the refrigerator for 3 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.

How do you freeze cake?

Slice the cake into pieces and open-air freeze them. Then, wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap and store them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.

How do you defrost cake?

Let this caked defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Naked Red Velvet Cake

Ready to cook this naked red velvet cake? Then print the recipe card below.

Yield: 8 servings

Naked Red Velvet Cake

Naked Red Velvet Cake

Naked red velvet cake offers the perfect ratio of moist, tender red velvet cake to rich, creamy, sweet cream cheese frosting.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 4 minutes

Ingredients

  • Roll Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 2 tbsp water

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 
1 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 
1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 
1 egg
  • Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 
1/2 cup brown sugar 

  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • Icing Ingredients:
  • 
1 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream 

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Cake Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  3. Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans by spraying them with cooking spray and coating them with a fine layer of flour. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  5. Beat in eggs.
  6. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color, and vanilla.
  7. Blend in flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Split batter between prepared round cake pans.
  8. Bake @ 350°F for 24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow cakes to cool 15 minutes before flipping them onto your work surface.
  10. Allow to cool completely 
  11. Frosting Directions:
  12. Beat cream cheese, butter and sour cream in bowl.
  13. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. 
  14. Assembly Directions:
  15. Place a layer of cake on a serving dish.
  16. Cover with 1/3 of frosting.
  17. Add another layer of cake followed by another layer of frosting.
  18. Add the final layer of cake with the remaining frosting on top. 

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 305Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 55mgSodium 188mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 1gSugar 21gProtein 5g

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