This classic Southern cake stands five layers tall and is topped with a nutty cream cheese icing.

Yield: 12 servings

Difficulty Rating: Easy
Recipe Created By:


  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped

Tips & Notes

Alternately, make a four-layer red velvet cake by using just two 8-inch cake pans and slicing them in half after they’ve cooled.



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar, oil and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together food coloring, cocoa and vanilla. Add to sugar mixture and combine.
  4. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Add sifted ingredients alternately with buttermilk to sugar mixture. Mix well.
  6. Pour batter into five 8-inch round cake pans coated with nonstick baking spray and flour.
  7. Bake layers just until cake loosens from the sides of pans and the center springs to the touch, about 12-15 minutes. Do not overbake.
  8. To make icing, mix all icing ingredients well. 
  9. Once cake has cooled, spread icing between the layers and over top and sides of the five-layer cake.
Recipe From: Farm Flavor -

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  1. Debi Recipes For My Boys says:

    This looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing on Thursday’s Treasures, I’ve featured it on Week 66. <3 and hugs!

  2. denise says:

    Ummm…Am I missing something? How much red food coloring?

  3. Theresa says:

    how much food coloring and if use just two 8 inch pans what would be cooking time

  4. Rachel Bertone says:

    Linked up at Foodie Friday and The Party Bunch

  5. Diane Balch says:

    Great looking cake… the color is perfect for this time of year. Like the addition of nuts. Thanks for bring it to foodie friday.