How to make mini red velvet cake - based on an amazing red velvet sheet cake recipe from Life is What You Bake It by Vallery Lomas, this is the best mini red velvet cake recipe, perfect for small gatherings! And if you want more 6-inch cake pan recipes like this miniature red velvet cake, try my Mini Basque Cheesecake, my Mini Chocolate Cake, or my White Forest Cake!
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Best Mini Red Velvet Cake Recipe
I'm sharing this mini red velvet cake recipe as part of the 2022 Eat the Culture Juneteenth Virtual Cookout, in which participants this year have the chance to highlight the richness of the Black culinary experience by sharing a recipe by a Black cookbook author. I've followed Vallery Lomas's content for a while, so I knew right away I wanted to share her amazing baking book, Life is What You Bake It. In it, she shares a delicious Red Velvet Sheet Cake, and this is simply a scaled-down version that bakes in a 6-inch pan, similar to my Mini Vanilla Cake or my Mini Carrot Cake. It's the best mini red velvet cake recipe for a small gathering!
Is red velvet cake actually just chocolate?
Not at all! Although both cakes contain cocoa powder, red velvet usually contains less cocoa powder (and less cocoa flavor) than chocolate cake, so the main flavor also comes from vanilla in the cake batter and the cream cheese frosting.
What makes red velvet cake taste different?
In addition to a small amount of cocoa powder, red velvet cake is also made with buttermilk and vinegar, which add a slightly tart flavor. The acids also react with baking soda to break down the gluten in the flour. This leaves you with a very tender, tight crumb -- hence, "velvet."
Why do you eat red velvet cake on Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, now a federal holiday in the United States, is an occasion to honor Black American culture and history. Red Velvet Cake and other red foods are a Juneteenth tradition because the color red is a reminder of the bloodshed and lives lost, from our enslaved ancestors to present day. In addition to desserts like this mini red velvet cake, you may also see red drinks made with strawberry or hibiscus flavors, watermelon, or hot link sausages.
Life is What You Bake It by Vallery Lomas
Drawing upon her childhood in southern Louisiana, her time as a practicing attorney in Manhattan, and the incredible obstacles she overcame to follow her true passion in the food media industry, Life is What You Bake It is an exploration of the lessons Vallery has learned, and a source of inspiration for baking and for life.
Through her Punch Bowl Cake recipe, we learn about the new roles of working Black women during World War II, and that there's no shame in using a cake mix to make a celebratory treat for your family. Through her Tiger Doughnuts recipe, Vallery teaches us the value (and ultimate reward) of relentless practice and learning from failures. And through her Daiquiri Soufflé recipe, we learn the importance of being ready to move on opportunities as soon as they are ready for us.
I am the manifestation of my grandmothers' prayers, and their grandmothers' prayers, as well as all their biggest, boldest, most daring hopes and dreams.Vallery Lomas, Life Is What You Bake It
I want to thank Vallery for sharing her story and her amazing recipes with us in Life Is What You Bake It. As a baker and recipe developer, a Black woman in her 30s, a lawyer, and a major Francophile, I saw myself reflected back to me over and over in the pages of her book. But even without all that in common, the journey of the book is inspiring to every reader that picks it up. Because through Vallery's setbacks and triumphs, she imparts valuable wisdom and demonstrates the persistent spirit that we all need in order to achieve our goals. She teaches us to learn from every experience we have, and make that lesson work in our favor. Or as she puts it, to take the lemons we're given and make something better than lemonade -- make lemon curd!
Miniature Red Velvet Cake Ingredients
- cake flour - you'll want to make sure your flour is measured correctly. So either weigh it using a kitchen scale (you'll need 86 grams) or use the spoon-and-level method.
- unsweetened cocoa powder - the cocoa powder in this miniature red velvet cake recipe adds a slightly chocolatey flavor. It also reacts with the vinegar and buttermilk to create a hint of red color.
- kosher salt - a bit of salt brings out the flavors and balances the sweetness in this cake batter.
- vegetable oil - using oil instead of butter helps to keep this mini red velvet cake nice and moist.
- granulated sugar - adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this cake!
- egg - be sure to use a room temperature egg. If you need to get your egg to room temperature quickly, just submerge it in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes. It's ready when it's no longer cold to the touch.
- vanilla - I recommend using a high-quality pure vanilla extract. Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
- red food coloring - we'll use a bit of liquid food coloring to enhance the natural maroon tint of this mini red velvet cake.
- buttermilk - I like to use full-fat buttermilk, but you can also use lowfat buttermilk.
- baking soda & white vinegar - these two ingredients create a reaction that creates the lift! It also gives this mini red velvet cake the most dreamy texture!
And what's a red velvet cake without that luscious cream cheese frosting? Here's what you'll need:
- cream cheese - make sure your cream cheese is room temperature.
- unsalted butter - like your cream cheese, let your butter soften to room temperature before adding it in.
- vanilla - just like above, I recommend using a high-quality pure vanilla extract.
- powdered sugar - like your flour, you'll want to weigh your powdered sugar using a kitchen scale or use the spoon-and-level method.
You'll need a 6-inch cake pan to make this mini red velvet cake. I also use these silicone liners for my 6-inch cake pans instead of parchment paper. They're so easy and my cakes never stick! Here are a few more tools I used:
Mini Red Velvet Cake Calories
This is the best mini red velvet cake recipe, and it's definitely decadent! There are 371 calories per slice, and 6 slices in total. See the recipe card below for the rest of the nutrition information!
Frequently Asked Questions
Vanilla is one of the flavors present in this easy mini red velvet cake recipe, but you can't reduce red velvet to just one flavor! One of the unique qualities of red velvet cake is that its flavor is a subtle blend of vanilla, chocolate, and tang from buttermilk and vinegar. All that topped with the creamy, tangy cream cheese frosting makes is so much more than just vanilla cake.
Actually, red velvet gets its name from its natural deep maroon color caused by a chemical reaction between cocoa powder and the acid in buttermilk and vinegar. However, most modern red velvet cake recipes do call for some red food coloring to enhance the red color.
This easy mini red velvet cake recipe yields about six small slices, so it's best for at least two people. But if you really love red velvet, you could make it for one! Or just save half for later!
Vinegar reacts with baking soda to give this mini red velvet cake recipe a nice lift, and the acid in the vinegar and buttermilk reacts with the cocoa powder to create the deep red color, soft, velvety texture, and tangy flavor.
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a star review rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
More 6-inch Cake Recipes You'll Love
- Butter Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Vanilla Cake with Strawberries
- Pumpkin Pecan Dump Cake
- Mini Vanilla Cake with Easy Vanilla Buttercream
Equipment you may need
- baking spray
- ⅔ cup (86 g) cake flour - measured by weight with a kitchen scale, or using the spoon-and-level method
- 1 tablespoon (5 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt
- ⅓ cup (73 g) vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg - room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 25 drops liquid red food coloring
- ⅓ cup (79 ml) buttermilk - room temperature (I used full-fat)
- ¼ teaspoon (1 g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (2 ml) distilled white vinegar
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz (113 g) full-fat cream cheese - room temperature
- 2 tablespoon (28 g) unsalted butter - room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar - measured by weight with a kitchen scale, or using the spoon-and-level method
- Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom a 6-inch cake pan with a silicone liner or parchment paper and spray with baking spray.baking spray
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt until well combined. Set aside.⅔ cup cake flour, 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat oil and sugar on medium-high speed until combined, about 20 seconds.⅓ cup vegetable oil, ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- Add egg and beat on low for one minute. Add vanilla and food coloring and mix until combined.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 25 drops liquid red food coloring
- Add in half of dry ingredients, stirring gently with a rubber spatula. Add in buttermilk and stir.⅓ cup buttermilk
- Stir in remainder of dry ingredients until just combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. The batter will be somewhat thin.
- In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar. Add baking soda-vinegar mixture to the batter and fold in until just combined, about 10 seconds.¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- Immediately scrape batter into prepared cake pan and drop onto the counter from about an inch high to eliminated air bubbles.
- Bake in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick entered into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.4 oz full-fat cream cheese, 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 cups powdered sugar
- Mix on medium speed until creamy, about 5 minutes. Spread frosting over cooled cake.
#JuneteenthCookout2022 Full Participant List
- Purple and White Potato Salad by Big Delicious Life from the book Sweet Potato Soul
- Jam Cake by Britney Breaks Bread from the book Jubilee
- Mini Red Velvet Cake by Chenée Today from the book Life Is What You Bake It
- Soy Lime Beef Stir Fry by Coined Cuisine from the book Cooking Solo
- Pinto Beans with Smoked Neck Bones by Cooks with Soul from the book Bludso's Bbq Cookbook
- Black Pepper Strawberry Slab Pie by Dash of Jazz from the book Watermelon and Red Birds
- Buffalo Cheezy Sweet Potato Fries by Flights and Foods from the book Unbelievabley Vegan
- Grilled Pork Porterhouse Steaks by Food Fidelity from the book Rodney Scott's World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day
- Barbecue Baked Beans with Red Spice by Geo’s Table from the book Son of a Southern Chef
- Jamaican Beef Patty by Her Mise En Place from the book My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Spicy Vegetable Relish by Kenneth Temple from the book In Bibi's Kitchen
- Red Velvet Cake with Blackberry Frosting by Lenox Bakery from the book Grandbaby Cakes
- Very Strawberry Shortcake by Meiko And The Dish from the book The New Orleans Cook Book
- Pig-Pickin' Cake by My Sweet Precision from the book Cheryl Day's Treasury of Southern Baking
- Blackberry Peach Crumble Pie by Peaches2Peaches from the book Carla Hall’s Soul Food
- African Soul Rice Salad with Crispy Collards by Savor & Sage from the book The Cooking Gene
- Grape-Tarragon Spritzer by Sense and Edibility from the book Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora
- All-Green Everything Salad w/ Creamy Sage Dressing by That Green Lyfe from the book Vegetable Kingdom
- Rum Rum Punch by This Worthey Life from the book The Red Rooster Cookbook
Last Updated on January 30, 2023 by Chenée Lewis
made this with splenda for my dads birthday since he’s diabetic and couldn’t tell the difference!! and i didnt follow the steps i just weighed the dry all together first then added the wets and it still fluffed up nice.
So glad to hear it! 🙂
Never knew I needed a mini cake recipe but omgosh! Perfect idea and this cake is absolutely beautiful. Perfect size for any special occasion 🙂
I love the 6-inch size! Glad you like it!
Love red velvet cake and this recipe certainly did not disappoint. Plus the mini version made just enough cake to make and share with my little family!
Wonderful! I love mini versions of cakes for that reason!
Thank you for explaining what Red Velvet is, I had no idea that it was celebrated with Juneteenth as well! I can't wait to make this!
You're very welcome! Hope you enjoy!
Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer
Such a moist and decadent cake! The mini version is just perfect sized too! Thank you so much for sharing!
I'm so glad you liked it! 🙂
'Life is what you bake it' is such a great name for a cookbook. It also sounds like it's so much more than just a cookbook. This post was interesting as I learnt something about Juneteenth (which doen't happen here in Europe)and the sorrowful origin of the red food tradition. Now I want to try this cake!
So glad you could gain a lot from this post! Thanks so much for the feedback!
I love that these are mini! The perfect size! And such a delicious cake, peffect for Juneteenth! Thanks for another great recipe!
Thank you so much! Hope you enjoy!
This red velvet cake looks so delicious and I love how it's mini!!
Thank you! It's the perfect size for a small group!
Wow! Such an interesting post about a cake flavor I may very well call one of my favorites. Especially loving the juneteenth tie-in and referencing the value of learning from failures....don't us bakers get to know that one!! 🙂
We sure do!
I made four of these cakes to share with our neighbors and they loved them! Thanks for an easy and delicious recipe for red velvet cake!
What a great neighbor you are! Glad they were a hit!
Lauren Michael Harris
I absolutely love red velvet cake. This mini version is the perfect size for us too - it looks perfect!!
I love these little 6-inch cakes!