The Best Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 25 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 55 Mins

Red velvet cake is a classic dessert that originated in the United States and has become popular all over the world. It is known for its distinctive red color, moist texture, and rich flavor. The cake is usually paired with cream cheese frosting or buttercream icing, which adds a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the cake.

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s red velvet cake recipe, which is one of her signature creations. This recipe is easy to follow and produces a stunning cake that will impress your guests. You will need some basic ingredients and equipment, as well as some red food coloring to achieve the desired color. The recipe makes a three-layer cake that serves 12 people.

What is Mary Berry’s Red Velvet Cake?

Mary Berry red velvet cake is a delicious dessert that consists of three layers of red-colored cake with a moist and fluffy texture, and a creamy and tangy cream cheese frosting. The cake gets its red color from food coloring, and its rich flavor from cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. The cake is named after Mary Berry, a famous British baker, author, and TV personality who created this recipe.

Why You Love this Recipe

Here’s why it will capture your heart:

  • Uncomplicated Elegance: With straightforward instructions and ingredients that are likely already in your pantry, this recipe demystifies the art of baking a show-stopping cake.
  • Sensory Perfection: Imagine a cake so moist it melts on the tongue, so fluffy it’s like biting into a cloud, and so rich in flavor it tells a story in every slice. That’s the experience awaiting you.
  • Frosting Bliss: The creamy, tangy frosting is the crowning glory, adding a luxurious touch that entices the palate.
  • Versatility: Whether it’s a birthday bash, an intimate anniversary dinner, a festive holiday gathering, or simply a day that calls for something special, this cake is your go-to masterpiece.
  • Praise Worthy: Get ready for the oohs and aahs, for this cake will make you the star baker in the eyes of friends and family.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake

For the cake:

  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp red food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 200g (7oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 100g (3.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 450g (1lb) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


You will need the following Equipment:

  • A large mixing bowl
  • An electric mixer or a wooden spoon
  • A spatula
  • Three 20cm (8in) round cake tins
  • Baking parchment
  • A wire rack
  • A palette knife or a piping bag

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare the cake tins

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease the cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

Step 2: Cream the butter and sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the eggs and vanilla

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Step 4: Sift the dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.

Step 5: Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and fold gently with a spatula. Add half of the buttermilk and fold again. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk.

Step 6: Add the food coloring

Add the food coloring and mix well until you have a smooth and even batter. You may need to adjust the amount of food coloring depending on the brand and intensity you are using.

Step 7: Divide the batter and bake

Divide the batter equally among the prepared cake tins and level the tops with a spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 8: Cool the cakes

Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool slightly in the tins before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 9: Make the frosting

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Step 10: Assemble and decorate the cake

Place one cake layer on a serving plate or a cake stand and spread about a third of the frosting over it. Top with another cake layer and repeat with another third of the frosting. Place the final cake layer on top and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. You can use a palette knife to create swirls or patterns on the frosting or use a piping bag to create rosettes or other designs.

Easy Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake?

Mary Berry red velvet cake is a decadent dessert that can be enjoyed on its own or with some accompaniments. Some of the options are:

  • Fresh berries: You can serve the cake with some fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries to add some freshness and color to the plate.
  • Whipped cream: You can serve the cake with some whipped cream to add some extra creaminess and lightness to the cake.
  • Ice cream: You can serve the cake with some vanilla ice cream to create a classic combination of cake and ice cream.
  • Chocolate sauce: You can serve the cake with some chocolate sauce to add some more chocolate flavor and richness to the cake.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake

To make the perfect Mary Berry red velvet cake, follow these pro tips:

  • Use room-temperature ingredients: Make sure that your butter, eggs, cream cheese, and buttermilk are at room temperature before you start baking. This will help them blend better and create a smoother batter and frosting.
  • Sift the dry ingredients: Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together before adding them to the butter mixture. This will help remove any lumps and aerate the flour for a lighter cake.
  • Don’t overmix the batter: Once you add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture, fold them gently with a spatula until just combined. Don’t overmix the batter or it will become tough and dense.
  • Use good quality food coloring: Use good quality food coloring that is suitable for baking and has a strong color. Natural food coloring may give a less vibrant color and may affect the taste of the cake.
  • Test for doneness: Insert a skewer in the center of each cake layer after baking for 20 to 25 minutes. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for a few more minutes until done.
  • Cool the cakes completely: Let the cakes cool slightly in the tins before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you frost the cakes while they are still warm, the frosting will melt and slide off.
  • Refrigerate the frosting: Refrigerate the frosting for about 15 minutes before using it to make it firmer and easier to spread or pipe.

Easy Red Velvet Cake Mary Berry

How do I store Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake Leftovers?

When you find yourself with more cake than you can eat, storage becomes essential to maintaining that just-baked goodness. Here’s how to keep your Mary Berry red velvet cake as tantalizing as day one:

  • Refrigerator Storage: For short-term indulgence, place the leftover cake in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, ensuring it retains its moisture and flavor.
  • Freezing: For longevity, embrace the freezer. Wrap each piece individually first in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil for a snug fit. Label them with the date, and tuck them into a freezer-safe bag or container. They’ll be your sweet treasures for up to 3 months.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Red Velvet Cake Leftovers?

The joy of leftovers lies in their second act, and for a cake that’s just as divine the next day, here’s the reheating ritual:

  • Thawing: If you opt for the gentle thaw, remove the desired pieces from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, allow them to reach room temperature, awakening their flavors.
  • Microwaving: For almost instant gratification, give your cake a brief stint in the microwave. Just a few seconds should do—enough to warm, but with great care not to sap its moisture.

Remember, reheating is an art, especially when it comes to cake. Warm slowly, serve graciously, and revel in each bite as if it were the first. Enjoy your culinary creation!

Nutritional Value of Red Velvet Cake (per 100g slice):

A 100g serving of red velvet cake  offers the following approximate nutritional values:

  • Calories: Approximately 350 kcal
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Calcium: Present in small amounts
  • Iron: Present in small amounts
  • Vitamin A: Present in small amounts


How do I make red velvet cake without food coloring?

You can make red velvet cake without food coloring by using natural ingredients that have a red or pink hue, such as beetroot juice, pureed strawberries, cranberries, or raspberries. You can also use a natural food coloring made from plant extracts, such as beet powder or hibiscus powder. However, the color and flavor of the cake may vary depending on the type and amount of natural coloring you use.

What is the difference between red velvet cake and chocolate cake?

  • Red velvet cake has a lighter, fluffier texture thanks to the buttermilk and extra lift from the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar. Chocolate cake is denser and fudgier in contrast.
  • The milder chocolate flavor of red velvet cake is not overly sweet compared to a chocolate cake’s more pronounced chocolate taste.
  • Red velvet cake also has a tangy undertone from the buttermilk and vinegar, while chocolate cake tends to be sweeter.

Why do I need vinegar and buttermilk for red velvet cake?

Vinegar and buttermilk are acidic ingredients that help to activate the baking soda in the red velvet cake batter, which makes the cake rise and become light and airy. Vinegar and buttermilk also react with the cocoa powder and the food coloring to enhance the red color of the cake. Additionally, vinegar and buttermilk add some tanginess and moisture to the cake, which balances out the sweetness of the cream cheese frosting.

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