Using a small 6 inch cake pan, we can make the cutest things! This mini red velvet cake is the perfect thing for a Valentine's Day dessert for two. Save a few roses from the bouquet and garnish the cake with them to make this cake beautiful.
This mini red velvet cake recipe for two has been on my To Do list for a while. Ever since my Mom discovered that you can double most of my small batch cupcakes recipes and bake them in a 6" cake pan for a single layer cake, I've been meaning to make this!
My Mom is a good indicator of which recipes we should make for the site. Did you see her guest post of Lobster Mac and Cheese for Two? Don't miss that one!
Mini Red Velvet Cake recipe in the 6 inch cake pan, you have been waiting so patiently for your moment! Well, it's your day--the day before Valentine's Day when everyone grabs the red food coloring and bakes a cake! Use any leftover food coloring to make these red velvet sugar cookies, okay?
This is the Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Technically, this recipe is a quadruple batch of my red velvet cupcakes, baked in two 6" cake pans. It makes one small 6" two-layer round cake that is perfect for two people, or perfect as a wedding cake topper.
Actually, first, we doubled the cupcake recipe to get enough cake for my red velvet truffles. After one bite, we knew it was time to quadruple it, stack it with cream cheese frosting and enjoy.
Why you'll love this Red Velvet Cake Recipe from Scratch
This red velvet cake is perfect for any special occasion to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. Because it’s two layers, it feels special and worthy of a celebration. The batter comes together in one bowl, so it’s super simple to make. The cake is made with all egg whites, which ensures a light and fluffy cake. Plus, it bakes up perfectly flat on top, which is perfect for decorating with extra cream cheese frosting or sprinkles.
Homemade Red Velvet Cake ingredients
- Oil. Any neutral oil works for this--I typically use canola oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, or even avocado oil. Do not use olive oil or shortening.
- Sugar. Plain white granulated sugar.
- Buttermilk. We really need to real buttermilk frosting from the store for this recipe. Sometimes, when only a small amount of buttermilk is required, we can use milk with a splash of vinegar, but I really don't recommend that for this mini red velvet cake. Look for low-fat buttermilk sold at the grocery store.
- Egg Whites. We only need 4 egg whites, no egg yolks. This keeps it super tender and light, and plus, the egg yolk might interfere with the red color!
- Red Food Coloring. If you use plain red food coloring, use 4 teaspoons. If you're using red gel food coloring, reduce to 1 teaspoon.
- Vanilla Extract. Absolutely crucial to the flavoring here, use 1 teaspoon of real, pure vanilla extract.
- White Vinegar. All red velvet cake recipes have a bit of vinegar to help them rise and become super fluffy. No, you won't taste ½ teaspoon in a mini layer cake.
- All-Purpose Flour. We need 1 ⅓ cup, plus ¼ cup of flour. This sounds like an odd amount, but remember we're quadrupling another similar recipe.
- Cocoa Powder. We need 8 teaspoons of cocoa powder, which is equal to 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons. There are 3 teaspoons in one tablespoon.
- Baking Soda. One-half teaspoon of baking soda reacts with the vinegar to make the cake rise in the oven.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Cream Cheese. This cake is minimally frosted (see the photos) for a special 'wedding cake look', so it only requires one 8-ounce block of cream cheese. Soften at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before using.
- Butter. One stick of butter (4 ounces), also softened at room temperature before using.
- Powdered Sugar. Yes, four cups of powdered sugar, also called confectioner's sugar (or 10x sugar).
- Heavy Cream. A small splash of heavy cream makes cream cheese frosting so fluffy and easy to spread. We know this because of our delicious whipped cream cream cheese frosting recipe.
How to make a Red Velvet Cake
- Prepare the cake pans by lining the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper and lightly oil the sides of the pans.
- First, make the cakes: using an electric mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, buttermilk, egg white, red food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, while mixing on low speed.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans, and bake for 25-35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan, and then tip out onto a wire rack.
- Next, make the frosting: Ensure everything is room temperature (except the heavy cream). Beat the cream cheese and butter for about 45 seconds to break it up. Begin adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time while beating. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream, and beat again. Add extra heavy cream if needed to form a fluffy, spreadable frosting. Stack the cake layers and frost the cake.
Red Velvet Cake Recipe: Equipment
I'm using two small 6" round cake pans with 2" sides. I don't recommend the taller cake pans with 3 inch sides, because they can have a tendency to cause the cake to sink. On that note, anytime you remove a cake from the oven before it finishes baking completely, it will sink. Always test your cakes with a toothpick, and look at the sides of the pan to see if the cake is pulling away from it.
Decorating Homemade Red Velvet Cake
For decorating this cake, there are so many directions you can go. I like the look of a 'naked cake,' which is when a minimal amount of frosting is placed on the outside of the cake and then swiped off. In this case, I make sure to pack quite a bit of frosting between the cake layers to make up for the lesser amount of frosting on the sides of the cake. See how, in my photo, you can see the edges of the red velvet cake recipe peeking through? I love this!
However, this cream cheese frosting recipe makes enough to frost the cake in the traditional way, if you wish.
I like decorating the cake with fresh red roses (make sure they're unsprayed), but sprinkles or strawberries would be so festive, too!
When you slice into this cake, it reveals the prettiest layers!
Recipe for Red Velvet Cake tips and tricks
Just a note about the measurements in the cake: you'll see some strange stuff, like 1 ⅓ cups plus ¼ cup. I want you to add 1 ⅓ cups of flour to a bowl, and then add another ¼ cup. I quadrupled my small batch cupcake recipe to make this cake, and some of the numbers came out this way. It makes for a perfect cake, though, so have patience and bake with precision.
How to store leftover Red Velvet Cake
Leftover layer cakes keep on the counter at room temperature (tightly wrapped) for one day. Beyond that, I move them to the fridge. They will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remove from the fridge about 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving. You can also slice and freeze leftover cake slices! A quick 20 second stint in the microwave will defrost your cake enough and not melt the frosting.
I hope you guys have a great Valentine's Day! Please let me know if you have any questions, and I would love see a photo if you make this cake. Enjoy!
- 1 cup of canola oil
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites*
- 4 teaspoons red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 ⅓ cup + ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 8 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Line two 6" round cake pans with parchment paper on the bottom, and then lightly spray the sides with cooking spray.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the canola oil, sugar, buttermilk, egg white, red food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar using an electric mixer.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, while mixing.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans, and bake for 25-35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, tip the cakes out of the pan, and remove the parchment liner on the bottom.
- Once the cake is cool, make the frosting. Make sure everything is room temperature (except the cream). Beat the cream cheese and butter for about 45 seconds to break it up.
- Begin adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time while beating.
- Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream, and beat again. Add extra heavy cream if needed to form a fluffy, spreadable frosting.
- Place one cake layer on a serving dish. Add a heaping one cup of cream cheese frosting on top, and spread it almost to the edge of the cake.
- Add the other cake layer on top. Add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake, and using an off-set spatula, move the frosting down the sides of the cake. Use a cake scraper or bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake.
- Serve immediately, or store in the fridge until serving.
*We just need the egg whites for this recipe; save the egg yolks for another use.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 803Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 0gSugar: 81gProtein: 5g