Home Desserts Easy Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Easy Red Velvet Sheet Cake

This red velvet sheet cake is the dessert of my dreams!

With a tender crumb, deep cocoa flavor, and rich cream cheese frosting, I simply can’t resist a second slice.

The secret? A blend of buttermilk and sour cream creates the most insanely moist sponge.

Add a thick layer of tangy frosting, and it’s enough to make you weak in the knees. Better yet, it’s a crowd-pleasing favorite your whole family will love.

Slice of red velvet sheet cake in a white plate.
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Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Why choose a basic sheet cake when you can jazz it up with red velvet?

This recipe is similar to the ever popular Texas sheet cake but with a bright red velvet twist.

Its eye-catching hue makes it perfect for occasions like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Or, honestly, any day.

And luckily, it tastes even better than it looks!

Plus, it’s super easy to make. No layers or fancy decorating needed. Just bake, frost, and dig in. 

So it’s perfect for newbies who need to feed a crowd!

Cake ladle scooping a square slice of red velvet cake sheet.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need for a classic red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the full list with measurements.

  • All-Purpose Flour: Forms the base of the cake, giving it structure and a tender crumb.
  • Cocoa Powder: Adds a hint of chocolate flavor without overpowering the vanilla and butter.
  • Baking Soda: The leavening agent, helping the batter rise into a tall and fluffy cake.
  • Salt and Vanilla Extract: They enhance the flavors and balance the sweetness.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cake.
  • Butter: Adds to the cake’s rich flavor and tender texture.
  • Eggs: For structure and richness.
  • Buttermilk and Sour Cream: They add moisture to the crumb and a delightful tang.
  • Red Food Coloring: Without it, the cake won’t be nearly as bright.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: A blend of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
Red velvet sheet cake with spread of frosting on top.

How to Make Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Follow these steps for an unforgettable red velvet dessert.

1. PREP. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13-inch pan. If you like, add a layer of parchment to the bottom.

2. SIFT. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

3. CREAM. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, then the buttermilk, sour cream, food coloring, and vanilla.

4. COMBINE. Gently mix the dry into the wet by hand until just combined.

5. BAKE. Pour the batter into the pan, bake for 25-30 minutes, and cool completely.

6. FROST. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth; add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. When smooth, spread it evenly over the cake.

7. SERVE. Chill the cake for 20-30 minutes, then slice, serve, and enjoy!

Slices of red velvet cake on a baking sheet

Tips for Success

Here are some tips to ensure your red velvet sheet cake comes out perfectly every time.

  • Don’t skip the buttermilk. The cake’s red hue is enhanced by acidic ingredients like buttermilk. It reacts with the cocoa powder where plain milk can’t.
  • DIY buttermilk. Mix 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Use gel food coloring. It’s more concentrated, so you need a LOT less. If using liquid, you might need a whole bottle.
  • Using a different pan? This recipe is for a 9×13 pan, but you can use a sheet or jelly roll pan if you like. Just reduce the baking time to 15-20 minutes, checking at 15 to avoid overbaking.
  • Enhance it with espresso. A teaspoon of espresso powder goes a long way to deepen the chocolate notes.
  • Rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking. This is especially crucial for older ovens.
  • Adjust frosting consistency. If the frosting is too thick, thin it with a bit of milk. If too thin, thicken with additional powdered sugar.
Square slices of red velvet sheet cake in a baking pan.

How to Store & Freeze

Keep your red velvet sheet cake fresh and delicious for days with these storage instructions.

To Store: Cover the cake or cake pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

To Freeze: Wrap the cake or slices in plastic wrap, then cover with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.

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Thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying. Then, for the best texture, let it come to room temperature before serving.

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Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

20

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

This red velvet sheet cake features a moist crumb with subtle cocoa flavor. Add a layer of rich cream cheese frosting, and I can’t resist a second slice.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • red food coloring (see notes)

  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Add a layer of parchment to the bottom, if desired.
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat again for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, add the buttermilk, sour cream, red food coloring, and vanilla and whisk on low until smooth.
  • Slowly stir in the dry ingredients on low or by hand with a spatula to prevent over-mixing. Stop mixing when no streaks of flour are visible.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • While the cake cools, make the frosting. In a clean, large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and lump-free. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla and salt, and beat again until smooth.
  • Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix by hand until no longer powdery. Then, beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Add more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
  • When the cake is cold, spread the frosting over the top and chill for 20-30 minutes for slicing. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Gel food coloring is best as it won’t alter the cake’s texture. Start with 1-2 teaspoons, depending on the brand. For liquid coloring, start with 1 tablespoon. Add more as needed.
Red velvet sheet cake.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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