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Easy Small Red Velvet Cake

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Small Red Velvet Cake is just as good as it two-tiered counterpart only smaller. It’s soft, moist, and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.

Red velvet cake might just be my absolute favorite cake. I really, really enjoy a good two or three-tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

However, most of us know how sweet and heavy those gigantic pieces of cake can be. John and I tend to save those as a once or twice a year type of thing, kind of like our cranberry cheesecake and gingerbread Bundt cake.

That doesn’t mean we don’t get a craving for cake every now and then. Instead of making a huge cake, we started making smaller cakes that are one layer and the perfect size for a couple of servings each.

This small red velvet cake is just that. It can be made in either a 6-inch or 7-inch cake pan and has 6 servings. It’s soft, moist, has a light cocoa flavor, and tastes perfect with homemade cream cheese frosting.

Red velvet cake on a white dish.

How to Make a Small Red Velvet Cake:

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F, and greasing a 6-inch or 7-inch cake pan. Set aside.

Sift together the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until the the mixture is light in color. Add the egg, and continue to mix until combined.

Three collage-style photos of how to make red velvet cake.

Next, add the oil, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Mix until just combined, then pour in half the flour mixture and half the buttermilk.

Beat on low speed until no flour streaks remain (don’t over mix). Add in the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, and continue to mix just until combined.

Three collage-style photos of how to make a small red velvet cake.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 18-22 minutes for a 6-inch or 15-18 minutes for a 7-inch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when the cake is cooked through.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool the cake completely before frosting.

Three collage-style photos of how to make cream cheese frosting.

To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:

Place the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat for several minutes until smooth and creamy.

Use an icing spatula or knife to apply the frosting to the cooled cake. Slice and serve!

Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Can you use sour milk instead of buttermilk in a small red velvet cake?

Yes, sour milk can be used in place of buttermilk. However, the distinctive flavor of buttermilk will be missing from the cake.

To make the sour milk, place a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup then pour in enough milk to equal 1/4 cup. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes before adding to the cake batter.

Red velvet cake on a metal spatula.

What does a small red velvet cake taste like?

A small red velvet cake is just like a larger red velvet cake only it’s one tier and smaller in diameter.

It tastes slightly of chocolate from the cocoa powder. There’s a touch of acidity from the buttermilk and vinegar, but it’s balanced nicely from the sweetness of the granulated sugar and the powdered sugar in the cream cheese frosting.

Top down view of cake with cream cheese frosting.

Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

We have not tried to double or triple this recipe, so we can’t say with certainty that it will turn out exactly the same as the original recipe.

Our recommendations would be to make multiple single cakes without doubling or tripling the recipe, or try this two-layered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting or this triple layer red velvet cake recipe instead. 🙂

Don’t forget to check out our Small Red Velvet Cake web story!

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Slice of red velvet cake being pulled from the whole cake.

Easy Small Red Velvet Cake

Yield: 1 Small Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute

Small Red Velvet Cake is just as good as it two-tiered counterpart only smaller. It's soft, moist, and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • ½ Cup (60 g) Cake Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (28 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ½ Cup (99 g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg (50 g) , room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 2 ½ Teaspoons Red Food Coloring
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon White Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup (57 g) Buttermilk, room temperature

For the Frosting:

  • 4 Ounces (114 g) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons (57 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ¾ Cup (85 g) Powdered Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly grease a 7-inch cake pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, and mix well to combine.
  4. Add the oil, vanilla, and food coloring to the butter mixture, and continue to mix on low speed just until combined. 
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed, then repeat with the remaining dry and wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  1. After the cake cools completely, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Use an icing spatula to apply the frosting to the cake in an even layer.
  2. Serve the cake immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. The cake will be good stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ⅙ of the cake. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

*The cake can also be made in a 6-inch cake pan. However, the bake time may need to be adjusted since the cake will be thicker. Add 3-5 additional minutes, check the cake, and add more time from there if needed.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 Slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 368Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 0gSugar: 32gProtein: 4g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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