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Secret Ingredient Red Velvet Cake Recipe

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Red velvet cake is known for being the moistest, most decadent type of cake there is. It is always tender, fluffy, and perfectly frosted. This cake has it all; chocolate, vanilla, a fun color, and cream cheese frosting!

The absolute best red velvet cake recipe features a secret ingredient – mayonnaise! This Secret Ingredient Red Velvet Cake features cage-free egg mayonnaise right in the batter. The mayo adds unmistakable moisture that makes for a fabulous mouthfeel and flavor.

By using a high-quality cage-free egg mayo, you get a wonderful flavor without any of the gloppiness associated with a regular mayonnaise. You can always tell the difference when a good mayo is used, so be sure to splurge on this very important secret ingredient. The mayo is added in addition to four eggs, so you know this cake is ultra moist.


Red velvet cake calls for not only vanilla extract but a small amount of cocoa powder. Most red velvet cakes call for both chocolate and vanilla flavors, but in small amounts. The star of the show is the vibrant color of this cake from the use of red food dye. This is the signature feature of red velvet cake.

The other signature feature of this cake is homemade cream cheese frosting. You’ll never see a red velvet cake recipe without it, and this one is kept simple using cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla. That’s it! The moist cake with the sweet creamy frosting is nostalgic, bringing you back to childhood birthday parties.

This Secret Ingredients Red Velvet Cake won’t stay a secret for long; everyone will be asking for the recipe! It is the perfect layer cake for birthdays, anniversaries, or anytime you want a fabulous cake. Who’d have thought high-quality mayonnaise makes for the best cake ever?

How to Make It

  • Prep Time20 min
  • Cook Time1 hr
  • Total Time1 hr 20 min
  • Serving Size16
  • Energy691 cal


  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup cage-free egg mayonnaise
  • 3⅓ cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup red food coloring, or less if using gel food dye

For the Frosting:



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper to fit. Set aside.


In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, beating completely in with each addition. Also, add the mayonnaise and vanilla and beat once more.


In a separate large bowl, combine the self-raising flour, cocoa powder, and salt.


In a liquid measuring cup, pour the buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, and red food coloring. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures into the flour and sugar mixture alternatively beginning and ending with the flour. Mix the batter until it is just combined and all the flour is hydrated. Turn off the mixer.


Distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared cake tins. Bake in a preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.


Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


Once the cakes are cooled, make the frosting. Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter until combined. Slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Blend until fluffy and fully combined.


Lay your first cake layer onto a cake plate. Frost the top with about ¼-inch thickness of frosting. Top your frosting with the final cake layer and frost the top. Add more frosting to gradually pushing the excess down the sides of the cake.


Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

  • Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size16
  • Amount per serving
  • Calories691
  • % Daily Value*Standard DV
  • Total Fat40.3 g78 g51.67%
  • Saturated Fat24.2 g20 g121%
  • Cholesterol145 mg300 mg48.33%
  • Sodium485 mg2300 mg21.09%
  • Total Carbohydrate80.1 g275 g29.13%
  • Dietary Fiber1.8 g28 g6.43%
  • Total Sugars56.6 g
  • Protein7.6 g50 g15.2%
  • Calcium59 mg1300 mg4.54%
  • Iron2 mg18 mg11.11%
  • Potassium194 mg4700 mg4.13%
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