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pink velvet cake slice

Scratch Pink Velvet Cake Recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pink velvet cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 954kcal
Author: Kara @I Scream for Buttercream
This pink velvet cake is the perfect scratch cake for a princess. Even if you're not a princess, you'll love this tender and moist cake made from scratch.
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For the cake:

  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 ½ cups milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 ½ teaspoon princess emulsion (If you can't get this, substitute with 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon almond extract and ½ teaspoon lemon extract)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 drops red or pink gel food coloring (or about 3 drops red liquid food coloring)
  • pink & mint sprinkles optional

For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temp
  • 1 cup salted butter (Room temp.) (Using half salted butter tastes better, but if you don't have it, just use unsalted here and add in a pinch of salt.)
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese (room temp)
  • 7-8 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon princess emulsion (If you can't get this, substitute with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon almond extract and ¼ teaspoon lemon extract)
  • 1-2 tablespoon milk
  • 2 drops of pink or red gel food coloring (optional)


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease and flour two 8" round (2" inch deep) cake pans and set aside.
  • Add one cup of milk to a measuring cup and add in one tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In another bowl, add the milk & lemon juice mixture, another ½ cup of milk, the vinegar, oil, food coloring, princess emulsion (or extract) and egg whites. Whisk well and set aside.
  • Make sure your butter is at room temperature. Add the butter (in chunks) slowly to your dry ingredients. (You can turn your stand mixer on low and leave it on while you add the butter chunks at a time, or you can use a hand mixer.)
  • Turn the mixer up to medium and mix until all the flour is coated with the butter and the mixture is crumbly. It will have a sand-like texture.
  • Pour in about a third of the liquid mixture. Mix on low to medium until just combined. About 15-20 seconds.
  • Pour the last of the liquid mixture and mix again until combined. Don't over mix the batter. Mixing it for several minutes is too long. Once all the ingredients are incorporated well, stop mixing.
  • Use a rubber spatula and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix again for only about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Check the color, if it needs to be more pink, add in another drop or two of the gel food coloring. (The batter will need to be a bit brighter than you want the baked cake to be, since the cake will darken a bit and become more golden and may over power a super light pink color.)
  • Mix until the food coloring is well incorporated, but be careful not to mix too long here, or it will affect your cake's texture.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out with some crumbs on it.
  • Set on wire racks to cool for 10-15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks and let them cool out of the pans completely before adding frosting.
  • Once cooled, add buttercream.

For the buttercream:

  • If you're using a stand mixer, use the flat beater attachment to mix with. (If you don't have a paddle attachment, just use the whisk attachment, or use a handheld mixer.)
  • Cream the room temperature butter and cream cheese well for several minutes on medium speed. (If you're not using any salted butter, go ahead and add in a pinch of salt here.)
  • Add in three cups of confectioner’s sugar and beat on low until incorporated and then on medium until well mixed.
  • Add one tablespoon of milk and beat until incorporated.
  • Add the last four cups of confectioner’s sugar and beat on low, then on medium until well mixed.
  • Add in the food coloring (optional) and the princess emulsion (or extracts), then beat on medium until well mixed.
  • Now, check the consistency. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of milk. If it's too thin, add another cup of confectioner's sugar.
  • Once you reach the consistency desired, beat on medium speed for about four to five minutes. The icing will fluff up and will lighten a bit in color.


The cake layers will flatten a bit once cooled. If you want a taller cake, make four layers (2 recipes), or you could just make three layers (a recipe and a half).
This cake will need to be refrigerated if you cover it with the cream cheese pink velvet buttercream.
This cake can be frozen for up to a month if wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil.
Nutritional values are an estimate.
Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post.
*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Calories: 954kcal | Carbohydrates: 127g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 104g | Vitamin A: 1468IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg