Make This: Red Velvet Layer Cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe // red velvet cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting

This contributor post was written by Amanda Toman.

Being a Southern belle has its many perks and one of them is the multitude of Red Velvet recipes (along with other Southern cake recipes) available at your fingertips.   This festive Christmas recipe was passed down to me from a fancy, sweet grandmother that lives in my building who sniffed out my weekend cake baking from across the hall.  She loves to share her recipes with me as if I am her own granddaughter and I don’t mind, not one bit.  I’ve tweaked it along the way, as Ol’ Southern ladies do love their sugar and butter (even a bit too much for my major sweet tooth).

From the pictures you can tell that this cake is the perfect addition to your holiday celebrations.  First, it’s seriously good and moist and so, so fluffy.  Second, it’s the perfect shade of Christmas red and white, it will look so pretty you’d almost rather make it a Christmas decoration than eat it.   Third, the addition of peppermint makes this so Christmasy it’s as if Santa & Mrs. Claus sent this cake straight to you from the North Pole.  Now, if only I could find a lipstick this shade of red!

how to make a red velvet layer cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting

Red Velvet Cake

Yield: 4-5 (6 inch) cake layers

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons red food coloring. I found this is almost two small bottles.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour each of the layer pans, set aside.

2. Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.

3. In an electric mixer on medium speed, add the ingredients in the following order:  oil, sugar, and then the eggs (one at a time).

4. Switch your mixer to a low speed and SLOWLY add in the food coloring (it may splash), vanilla, and vinegar.  Make sure they are fully mixed together.

5. Add in the the flour mixture (from step 2) alternately with buttermilk in a few batches. Be sure to scrape down the bowl and beat to combine all the ingredients.  Do not over mix.

6. Divide batter among pans and place them in the oven.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans 15-20 minutes. Then remove from pans and flip layers. Note: If your cake layers have what resembles a muffin top, go ahead and use a knife to slowly cut off the tops to make your cake layers flat.  This will make layering and frosting much easier and you have a tasty treat to much on while frosting. Cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 6 cups

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 2-3 Candy canes for garnish

1. Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Add sugar and peppermint extract. Beat, on low speed to combine.

Lastly, take the candy canes and place them in a ziplock baggie.  Crush them with a kitchen utensil and then slowly sprinkle them over your frosting.

With all the Christmas shopping, holiday parties and everything else that goes into the holidays, you may not have time to bake a cake from scratch.  So, if this is the case, it’s okay to buy the box mix and frosting. I saw that they even have Peppermint flavor out for the holidays!  To make a layered cake like the one in the pics, be sure to buy two boxes of cake mix and two tubs of frosting.

sprinkle candy canes into the frosting

red velvet cake for Christmas

peppermint red velvet Christmas cake recipe

So what do you think? Will you be making one of these for the holidays this year?

Recipe and text Amanda Toman // Styling and photography Brittni Mehlhoff

amanda-tomanAmanda Toman wrote this post. Amanda is a northern born girl that is southern raised and loves road trips, new recipes, books (well, teen fiction), all animals (especially her little grey kitty cat), crime scene television shows and scary films. You can follow her on Instagram @nannertoman and here on Twitter.

18 comments | Click here to reply

I’m sort of obsessed with red velvet and Christmas, so this looks amazing!!


Oh good! Apparently we are too, at the moment. 🙂


This is a definite possibility for my holiday party this year. I get excited to cook to dinner…. but my excitement on baking the desserts far surpasses.


I know what you mean Anna. We have a family cookie baking day every year before Christmas, and I always get excited about it. Desserts/ sweets are pretty much the best.


What the what? This sounds amazing!!!! I would love to try out a gluten free version, perhaps in cupcake form. Seriously though, I’m drooling right now.

Ladyface Blog


Holy moly, this sounds amazing! I am a huge fan of peppermint flavored foods, but for some reason never thought to put it together like this. I will be making this very soon!


It’s really delicious Katie. Let me know how it turns out.


AMAZING! This looks AMAZING! Who needs Christmas cookies when you have THIS!?

Kelly @ Studio DIY

Thanks Kelly. When it comes to the holidays, I’ll take cookies and cakes and donuts…pretty much anything.


Red velvet AND peppermint cream cheese! Nailed it!


Haha. Pretty much Charity. Amanda is good at that.


Beauuuuutiful! I’ve been tasked with making dessert on Christmas day; this may just be it… Thanks!


Awesome Tilly. Let me know how it turns out if you end up making one.


Yum, this looks delicious! Ive actually never tried red velvet, but it looks so good!


This looks. So. Freaking. Good. Definitely going to be trying this out soon!


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I made this cake today. Turned out great. I used one ounce of red food coloring instead of 6 tbsp (not sure if it was a typo or what, just seemed like a ton and this made it plenty red. For the frosting, I used about 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract and about 1 tsp of clear imitation vanilla, gave just the right amount of peppermint flavor without being overpowering. I also had to make an extra batch of frosting, but I like it to go on thick and I frosted the sides. This was much better than the southern living recipe I tried last year.

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