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Red Hot Red Velvet Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream

Learn how to spice up your Valentine’s Day with this Red Hot Red Velvet Cake. There's a hint of cinnamon and cayenne pepper that makes this cake its own. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake Decorating, Cake Recipe, Frosting, Red Velvet Cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3 (6") - cake layers
Author Katie


Dry Mix Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons liquid red food color
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. 

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornstarch, milk cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Whisk all the dry mix ingredients together to sift the dry mix ingredients and de-clump the flour.

  3. In a stand mixer bowl with a whisk attachment, combine vegetable oil, eggs, red food color, and vanilla. Carefully mix together on low speed. Continue to mix until all the wet ingredient has incorporated together. 

  4. On low speed slowly add ⅓ of the dry mix ingredients into the wet ingredients then add ½ of the buttermilk and another ⅓ of the dry mix. At this stage stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. 

  5. Next begin the mixer again on low speed and add ½ of the buttermilk. Then add the last ⅓ of the dry mix. Continue to mix until the cake batter is smooth. Once all ingredients are, and you no longer see any buttermilk or dry mix, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl including the center of the bowl where the flour might have settled. 

  6. A single batch of this recipe makes enough for 3 – 6” cake layers or 2 – 9” cake layers. To prepare the cake pan, spray each pan with cooking or baking spray and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Place the parchment paper on top of the cooking spray to prevent the cake from sticking. 

  7. To make 3 layers evenly pour the batter into the 3 pans or weight out by using a baking scale. Place the cake pans into the oven and bake for 20-24 minutes. 

  8. After 20 minutes, carefully check the cakes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, then the cakes are done, if not add 4 more minutes and recheck them. Depending on how high or the size of the pan the baking time may vary. 

  9. Once done baking remove the cakes from the oven and set aside to cool. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, the cake pans should be cool enough to touch but still warm. Then carefully remove the cakes from the pan by turning the cakes upside and flip back upright and leave the parchment paper on the bottom to finish cooling. See notes if the cakes are sticking to the sides of the pan. 

  10. After the cakes have cooled completely, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. At this stage, you can cover the cakes and leave them in the freezer for several days or up to a month before decorating them. 

  11. Remove the chilled cakes from the freezer and carefully slice the top of any dome of the cakes off to make them level and flat. This makes the stacking process much more manageable. 

  12. Next is decorating, use an offset spatula to layer the frosting in between each cake layer. Continue to a crumb coat, so the whole cake is covered then chill in the fridge for 20 minutes until the crumb coat has set.

  13. Next, add a thicker layer of frosting onto the cake for the final coat. This is where you make it pretty. Add swirls of buttercream on top, add sprinkles or keep it simple. 

  14. Finally, you have a Red Hot Red Velvet Cake that’s ready for Valentine’s Day or any celebration!  

Recipe Notes

If the cakes are sticking to the cake pans, carefully run an off-set spatula or a small knife around the edges of the cake then flip the cakes out of the pan. That should release the cake from the sides of the pan.  

For Making Cupcakes

  1. Make the cake batter according to the instructions until step #6. Then line the cupcake pans with paper liners and use an ice cream scoop or ⅓ measuring cup to portion out the cupcakes. Use a slightly rounded scoop of the cake batter to fill each cupcake liner. You should get approximately 16-18 cupcakes for a single batch recipe.
  2. Bake at 350℉ for 20 minutes then check the cupcakes with a toothpick, if the toothpick comes out clean then its done. When testing the cupcakes if they need more time, then add another 2 minutes to the baking time.
  3. Once the cupcakes are done baking, take them out of the oven and set aside to cool. After about 5 minutes, or until you can touch the pans, of cooling in the pan remove from the cupcake pans to finish cooling, this prevents the cupcakes from drying out and over baking.
  4. Cool completely and frost with buttercream. Decorate and Enjoy!