Red Velvet Cake with Traditional Frosting

Hi Friends!

Every year for my birthday I asked for the same cake!

Red Cake.

In our family we aren’t fancy. No velvet anywhere near our house.

We didn’t call this cake Red Velvet Cake. Just Red Cake.

This cake deserves every accolade and absolutely should include Velvet in it’s name.

The traditional frosting isn’t cream cheese frosting. The traditional frosting is a boiled roux (paste) that when you add the milk and butter and sugar it whips up into a smooth sweet concoction.

Try it for a special dessert!

Red Velvet Cake with Traditional Frosting

Red Velvet Cake with Traditional Frosting
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake
Servings: 12 slices
Author: One Step Woman | Deanna Schultz


Red Velvet Cake

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 oz red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cup twice-sifted cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Traditional Boiled Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • For Cake: In a mixer, cream shortening, sugar and eggs until fluffy. 
  • Combine red food coloring, vanilla extract and cocoa powder; add to creamed mixture. 
  • Add salt to flour and combine. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture.
  • Mix baking soda and vinegar; blend well. Add to creamed mixture. Beat with mixer just until all ingredients are combined. Do not overmix.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in two 8 inch layer pans that have been greased and floured.
  • For Frosting: In a saucepan on medium heat, combine flour and milk. cook until thick. Chill.
  • In a mixer, blend in sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Add chilled mixture. Beat until fluffy as whipped cream. 
    Frost cake. Enjoy!


Growing up, my request for birthday cake was ALWAYS Red Cake. We didn’t call it Red Velvet Cake. We aren’t fancy like that. 🙂
My grandma and my mom always made this rich beauty from scratch. 
The boiled frosting adds just the right amount of sweetness.
I wouldn’t blame you for topping with cream cheese frosting. Both are equally delicious. 

Love cream cheese frosting? Try this delicious and light Hummingbird Cake

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  1. What a great birthday tradition! A red velvet cake from scratch sounds wonderful! I can see why you asked for it each year! Thanks for sharing your family’s recipe!