Just take a look around the internet and you’ll find tons of recipes for red velvet cake. Most of those recipes call for buttermilk, which is fine and I love it in cakes, but I’m even more of a fan of sour cream in cakes. I just think it’s one of the best ways to add moisture to your cakes. So, I set out to make a sour cream red velvet cake and I really think I hit the jackpot with this one.
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Ok, since we talked about buttermilk earlier and since we’re not using it in this recipe, I have a story and a question for you. I think this might be a southern thing, but I’m not really sure. One of my dad’s favorite snacks was cornbread and buttermilk. Now, if you get grossed out by buttermilk, just scroll on past this part of the post. Just warning you now.
My dad would take cornbread, put it into the bottom of a tall glass and then pour buttermilk over it. He’d take a spoon, break up the cornbread and then just eat it all mixed up in the buttercream. He’d then leave the glass on the coffee table, apparently just to gross everyone out. The buttermilk would make these lines on the glass and it was just…ewww.
Here’s my question…is this just a southern thing? Did anyone else’s parents do this? Or maybe do you do it? Just curious. I’m not sure whether that or my dad’s sardine snacks were worse. Ok, my point is we’re not using buttermilk in this cake. Yes, I know that was a weird segue, but here we are.
This sour cream red velvet cake is so moist and so good. It’s got just a hint of cocoa powder in it. That, along with the acidity of a touch of vinegar and the sour cream, really gives it that red velvet flavor.
I used ‘no-taste’ red gel coloring. There are different brands out there, but I just used the one I had available near me, which was the Wilton brand. You can grab it here: No Taste Red Gel coloring.
I like using the gel food coloring because it’s more concentrated. You’re not having to add so much of it and it’s not going to add any unnecessary liquid to your cake batter.
I only used about a tablespoon of the gel coloring, which was slightly over half the container. You can always add more if you want a really bright red color, but I tend to go a little lighter on the food coloring, just because I’m sure it’s not exceedingly good for your body. (Um, like sugar, butter and flour are?) Anyway, it was my effort to at least be a little health conscious.
One of my favorite things about red velvet cake is the cream cheese buttercream that’s slathered all over it. You’ll want to try my recipe here: Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe
Ok, now to the recipe. I’ve even got a video just below the recipe. Plus keep scrolling if you’d like to download the cute recipe card for this cake.
Sour Cream Red Velvet Cake
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp no taste red gel food coloring (can use a bit more for a darker red color)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans or three 6" pans.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
In another bowl, mix together the sour cream, milk, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk well and set aside.
Now in your mixing bowl, mix the butter until creamy.
Add the sugar and whip until fluffy. (About a couple minutes.)
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one, but only just until combined.
Alternately add in the dry and liquid ingredients. Start with 1/3 of the dry mixture, mix just until combined. Add in 1/2 the liquid mixture, mix until combined, then another third of the dry mixture and mix only until combined. Add in the last 1/2 of the liquid mixture, mix, then add in the last third of the dry mixture and mix just until combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Add in the red food coloring. If you want your cake to be a deep red, add a little more red food coloring. Mix until the food coloring is well incorporated.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes. Start checking at 45 minutes. The middle should spring back when touched.
Cover with cream cheese buttercream. (Grab that recipe on the blog.)
Want a free cute recipe card? Enter your email below to download it for free.
Don’t forget to grab the recipe for the Cream Cheese Buttercream!
And here’s the video to see how it’s done:
I hope you try this one out and if you do, let me know how you like it!
Items & Tools:
- KitchenAid Mixer
- 8″ cake pans
- Large Icing Spatula
- Icing Bags
- 2D Icing Tip
- Cream Cheese Buttercream Recipe
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