Red Velvet Valentine’s Cake

Ribbon pix

Valentine’s Day is almost here and I’d like to dedicate this Red Velvet Cake to my husband. We’ve been married for more than 30 years and I’m thankful for his humor, intelligence and his companionship.

Afterall, I went out of my way to track down a heart-shaped cake pan – that must say something about our relationship!

A Red Velvet Cake is basically a chocolate flavored cake with red food coloring: you’ll get a deep reddish-brown cake that will hopefully set fire to your special loved one’s passion on Valentine’s Day. The recipe also typically calls for buttermilk and a splash of vinegar (although no cause for alarm- you won’t notice the vinegar)!

Where did the recipe for Red Velvet Cake come from? Word has it that it was invented during the 1930’s Great Depression by the Adam’s Extract Company in the U.S. In order to counteract slumping sales of their food coloring products, they offered this recipe on free recipe cards handed out at supermarkets. It was a big success and later had a resurgence in popularity caused by the appearance of the cake (shaped like an Armadillo) in the 1989 movie Steel Magnolias.

Cream cheese icing goes well with this cake, although I decided to use a simple Meringue icing, embellished with some sliced strawberries in the center of the cake. You can either bake the cake in one large cake tin and then slice it horizontally in half, as I have done here with my heart-shaped cake. Or you can bake the cake in two separate round 20 cm (8 inch) cake pans.

Meringue icing and sliced strawberries placed on base layer of the cake


In order to photograph my cake, I found some velvet material I had used over 25 years ago to make my little daughter a velveteen dress. How fortunate that I had kept the material after all these years!

Valentine Cake vertical shot


5.0 from 1 reviews
Red Velvet Valentine's Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 - 10
  • 225 g butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ¼ cup red food coloring
  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries
  • Meringue Icing:
  • 4 eggwhites at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup fine caster sugar
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 C (325 F).
  2. Add butter, sugar and vanilla extract to a bowl and beat with electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add the buttermilk, vinegar and red food coloring and beat until smooth.
  4. In separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing after each addition.
  5. Line a heart-shape cake pan (or two 20 cm (8 inch) round cake pans) with non-stick baking paper. Pour the cake batter into the pan and smooth the top with a palette knife.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a toothpick or skewer. Let cool on a wire wrack.
  7. To prepare the Meringue Icing, combine four egg whites with a pinch of salt. Beat on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, beating on high until the mixture is shiny and smooth.
  8. Slice the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife and place the base on a serving dish. Spread half of the icing mixture on the base of the cake. Slice the strawberries into halves then into quarters. Arrange the strawberry pieces around the edge of the cake base. Place the other cake half on top of the base and spread with the remaining icing.
  9. Now serve to your favorite Valentine!

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  • Reply
    [email protected] Riffs
    February 10, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Great cake! Perfect for Valentine’s Day. Mrs K R and I have been married for over 30 years, too. And we’ve actually known each other for more than 40! We must have met year before we were born. 😉 Fun post — thanks.
    [email protected] Riffs recently posted…Boca Negra CakeMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks, John. My hubby and I have known each other for about 40 years, too. It’s amazing how we don’t get tired of each other!
      Fran recently posted…Red Velvet Valentine’s CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joanne T Ferguson
    February 10, 2014 at 10:43 am

    G’day! Looks GREAT Fran and Happy Anniversary!
    What a GREAT milestone indeed! Well done!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Joanne T Ferguson recently posted…#Foodie Friends Friday Valentine’s Day PartyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    February 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Fran, you are so romantic – buying a cake pan. I’m not sure I’ll even make a cookie. 🙂 My husband is a non-celebrating Aussie. Thankfully our wedding anniversary is coming up the week after and IF he doesn’t forget, I’ll get a present!

    Your cake is so beautiful and looks delicious. Lemme get a fork.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…Chocolate Mousse CakeMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 13, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Maureen, thanks so much for your comment. Maybe you’ll have to ‘take a rolling pin’ to your husband so he doesn’t forget your anniversary!
      Fran recently posted…Red Velvet Valentine’s CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    February 11, 2014 at 1:06 am

    This post really made me smile, it’s so full of love 🙂 The cake looks amazing! I am sure you had the most amazing Valentine by your side appreciating the effort you put in.
    [email protected] recently posted…Scrumptious Bok Choy with spicy sesame dressing and a Thai Red Curry in a hurryMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Minnie. Yes, my hubby did see this post, but I’m not sure I’m going to get any chocolates in return!
      Fran recently posted…Red Velvet Valentine’s CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice
    February 11, 2014 at 4:03 am

    This looks gorgeous, Fran. The strawberries combined with that red velvet flavor sound so good. Happy Valentine’s Day!
    Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice recently posted…Creamed Pearl OnionsMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 12, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Oh Fran…this cake looks so cute…I love the heart shaped…I like the fresh strawberries!
    Have a wonderful week 😀
    Juliana recently posted…Cherry Ice CreamMy Profile

    • Reply
      February 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Hi Juliana, it took me some time to track down the heart-shaped cake tin, but was well-worth the effort!
      Fran recently posted…Red Velvet Valentine’s CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 14, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Really adorable and perfect for Valentine’s Day! Love the fresh strawberries.
    Barbara recently posted…Baked Strawberry Balsamic Donuts with Cream Cheese GlazeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    February 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I love this cake, so pretty, a very special Valentines Day treat. I have a tin like this but I lent it to my neighbors daughter yesterday… I think she was making a cake for her boyfriend 😉
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Happy Valentines Day – Wine AmnestyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Laurie Nguyen
    February 15, 2014 at 4:16 am

    So pretty! I don’t know if mine would look as good as yours, but, with your recipe, I think it will be as yummy. Thanks for sharing it!
    Laurie Nguyen recently posted…How Can I Afford Food Storage And All The Stuff That Goes With It?My Profile

    • Reply
      February 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Laurie. I just had a look at your latest blog and looks like you have some good food storage ideas there!
      Fran recently posted…Red Velvet Valentine’s CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    February 15, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Such a beautiful V-Day-perfect cake!!

  • Reply
    February 16, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    This is such a sweet and romantic way to celebrate V D with this cute cake.
    We will be celebrating our 38th anniversary this year and I’ll try to prepare your beautiful Red Velvet cake for this occasion.
    Thanks for the inspiration Fran!
    Daniela recently posted…Sweet Valentine with delicate Crepes SuzetteMy Profile

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