Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

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Made with buttermilk and cocoa powder, this red velvet bundt cake is simple and delicious. The cake is moist and tender with a hint of cocoa, and the tangy cream cheese glaze is silky smooth. Soft and buttery with a smooth velvet crumb, this classic bundt cake is perfect for birthdays, parties, and any occasion.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

What is Red Velvet Cake?

If you’ve never tried red velvet cake, the Southern classic is a must bake. Red velvet isn’t vanilla cake, and it’s not quite chocolate cake.

The best way to describe the flavor of red velvet cake is rich and buttery vanilla flavor with a hint of cocoa and buttermilk. The icing on the cake is cream cheese frosting – the sweet and tangy flavor pairs perfectly with red velvet cake.

Essential Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

  • Flour – All-purpose flour is perfect for this cake.
  • Unsweetened natural cocoa powder – Natural cocoa is more acidic than Dutch process cocoa, and also lighter in color, making the red hue of the cake more vibrant.
  • Baking powder and baking soda – Both are necessary since the cake uses buttermilk.
  • Salt – To enhance the red velvet flavor.
  • Butter – Use room temperature unsalted butter in both the cake and glaze. Room temperature butter is slightly cool to the touch and your finger will make a shallow impression.
  • Sugars – The cake is made with both light brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  • Oil – Baking oil adds the signature soft texture.
  • Eggs – Two large eggs plus one egg yolk provide structure, extra flavor, and moisture.
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract flavors the cake and cream cheese glaze.
  • White vinegar – A teaspoon of white vinegar adds a little extra acid and helps brighten the red hue.
  • Red gel coloring – Concentrated gel food coloring adds the signature red color.
  • Buttermilk – Tangy and creamy buttermilk makes this bundt cake moist and helps activate the baking soda.
  • Cream cheese – Use full fat cream cheese in the glaze.
  • Powdered sugar – Sift the powdered sugar to make a perfectly smooth cream cheese glaze.

Prefer cupcakes? Try my classic red velvet cupcakes!

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

How to Make Red Velvet Bundt Cake

Follow these steps to make red velvet bundt cake from scratch:

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed for 1 minute until soft and creamy.

Mix in oil (vegetable, canola oil, or a neutral baking oil) until incorporated.

Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time and beat until combined.

Mix in vanilla extract. Beat in white vinegar and red gel coloring on low speed until combined.

Red gel food coloring added to batter in glass mixing bowl

With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk (begin and end with flour mixture).

Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray with flour (this is very important – otherwise the cake will stick ). Spoon batter into pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Tap pan sharply several times to reduce air bubbles.

Bake bundt cake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch, pulls away from the edges of the pan, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.

Place bundt pan on a wire rack and cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto the rack. Cool bundt cake completely before glazing.

Baked red velvet bundt cake on wire cooling rack

Cream Cheese Glaze

Here’s how to make cream cheese glaze for red velvet cake:

  1. Beat room temperature butter and cream cheese in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Beat in salt and vanilla extract. Gradually mix in sifted powdered sugar on low speed until combined.
  3. Mix in buttermilk (or heavy cream) 1 tablespoon at a time, until glaze can be poured or drizzled. Top cake with glaze and let set before serving.
Red Velvet Bundt Cake

Make Ahead Tips

The bundt cake can be made one day in advance. Let cool completely and store at room temperature overnight. Add the glaze just before serving. The cream cheese glaze can be made two days ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

How to Freeze

You can make this cake in advance. Once fully cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap again in foil or place the wrapped cake in a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months.

The day before you plan to serve, let the cake thaw overnight in the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation), then bring to room temperature. Glaze just before serving.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

More delicious red velvet desserts:

Did you try this Red Velvet Bundt Cake Recipe? Let me know by leaving a comment and rating below!

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Red Velvet Bundt Cake

Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Made with buttermilk and cocoa powder, this red velvet bundt cake is simple and delicious. The cake is moist and tender with a hint of cocoa, and the tangy cream cheese glaze is silky smooth. Soft and buttery with a smooth velvet crumb, this classic bundt cake is perfect for any occasion.


Ingredients

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (24 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (3 g) salt
  • 3/4 cup (168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs (100 g) plus 1 egg yolk (18.5 g), at room temperature
  • 2 tsp (8 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (4 g) white vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp red gel food coloring
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, at room temperature

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz (113 g)  full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tbsp (45 g) buttermilk or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Make cake: Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugars in a large mixer bowl on medium speed for 1 minute until soft and creamy; mix in oil until incorporated. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time and beat until combined. Mix in vanilla extract. Beat in white vinegar and red gel coloring on low speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk (begin and end with flour mixture).
  3. Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with baking spray with flour (or generously butter and flour the pan). Spoon batter into prepared bundt pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pan sharply several times to reduce air bubbles.
  4. Bake bundt cake for 40 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch, pulls away from the edges of the pan, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; carefully invert onto rack and cool completely.
  5. Make glaze: Beat butter and cream cheese in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth. Beat in salt and vanilla extract. Gradually mix in powdered sugar on low speed until combined. Mix in buttermilk 1 tablespoon (15 g) at a time, until glaze can be poured or drizzled. Drizzle or pour glaze over cake and let set before serving.
  6. Store leftover cake tightly covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.


Notes

Unsweetened cocoa powder: Use natural baking cocoa. Natural cocoa is more acidic than Dutch process cocoa, and also lighter in color, making the red hue of the cake more vibrant.

Red gel food coloring: I use and recommend AmeriColor Super Red Soft Gel Paste.

Prep bundt pan: To prevent sticking, use baking spray with flour or generously butter and flour the pan. Use a pastry brush or paper towel to spread softened butter evenly inside the pan. Add a small amount of flour to the pan (about a tablespoon) and gently shake the pan to coat the bottom and up the sides evenly with flour. Invert the pan and tap out any excess flour.

Make ahead: The bundt cake can be made one day in advance. Let cool completely and store at room temperature overnight. Add the glaze just before serving. The cream cheese glaze can be made two days ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

Freezing Instructions: Once fully cool, wrap bundt cake in plastic wrap and a freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. The day before serving, move the cake to the refrigerator (still wrapped to prevent condensation) and defrost overnight. Bring to room temperature, remove plastic wrap, and add glaze.

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Keywords: Red Velvet, Red Velvet Bundt Cake, Bundt Cake, Cream Cheese Glaze

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8 Comments

  1. Excellent recipe! I froze a portion of the cake for about 4 weeks and thawed it to enjoy for dessert tonight – it tasted freshly baked! Highly recommend.

    1. Hi Sharon, I haven’t personally tested this recipe with gluten free flour but it should work fine. Try a gluten free 1-1 baking flour, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for best results.

  2. Baked this cake for Valentine’s Day and it was absolutely perfect! So soft and buttery and the glaze is delicious!

  3. Excellent recipe! My bundt turned out perfectly and is so moist and delicious. The cream cheese glaze is fantastic and the perfect complement to the cake.