Pink velvet cake is sweet, a little bit tangy, and the prettiest pink cake you’ll ever make! It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, a pink-themed birthday party, or a baby shower.
Pin this recipe now to save it for laterPin Recipe
We all know red velvet cake (not to mention red velvet cupcakes, red velvet waffles, and even red velvet cookies…), but pink velvet might be new to you!
In addition to being beautiful, pink velvet cake has the most delicious flavor—but it’s vanilla instead of chocolate like red velvet. My recipe uses buttermilk in the cake batter, which balances the sweetness of the cake. It’s also a classic ingredient in red velvet cake, so you get a bit of the traditional tangy flavor of red velvet in a whole new way.
Homemade Pink Velvet Cake Recipe
I wanted to make a pink velvet cake to celebrate Valentine’s Day and this recipe definitely did not disappoint! This pink velvet cake recipe is easy to follow and fun to make. I love mixing in that pink food coloring and watching my cake batter slowly become a brilliant, eye-catching color.
Once the cake bakes, I know you will love the moist, tender texture, which is perfectly light and spongy. I love vanilla buttercream frosting on pink velvet cake, but chocolate buttercream is also delicious with pink velvet and will give you a classic “red velvet” flavor profile. Cream cheese frosting is also a great choice for pink velvet cake to enhance the tangy, sweet taste of the delectable cake.
You really can’t go wrong—this pink velvet cake recipe is so versatile and guaranteed to be a show-stopper!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Cake flour – Cake flour has less protein than all-purpose flour and makes lighter, fluffier cakes. I definitely recommend using cake flour for this recipe so your cake has the perfect airy texture.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Butter – Butter is used to make the cake batter and the frosting for the pink velvet cake. I always use unsalted butter to make baked goods.
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk gives the cake that classic tangy taste that is so irresistible in pink velvet.
- Vegetable oil
- Egg whites – Using just egg whites makes the cake batter a lighter color which allows the pink coloring to really shine through.
- Vanilla extract
- Pink gel food coloring – Be sure to use gel food coloring, which will make the cake a brilliant color with just a few drops.
- Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar is the best choice, as it melts right into the butter, making a smooth, thick frosting.
- Milk – A splash of whole milk helps make the buttercream spreadable.
- Replace the buttermilk with 1 ¼ cup whole milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Mix the vinegar and milk together in a separate bowl before adding it to the cake batter. The milk will thicken as it sits, creating a buttermilk substitute.
- Replace the vegetable oil with the same quantity of canola oil.
- Use homemade chocolate frosting or cream cheese frosting in place of the vanilla buttercream.
How to Make Pink Velvet Cake
- Prep the equipment: Start by preheating your oven to 350ºF. Then, grease and flour two eight-inch cake pans.
- Mix the dry ingredients: Add the cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to a bowl and blend together. Add the room temperature butter and mix until the dry ingredients look like wet sand.
- Add buttermilk and oil: Add a little bit of the buttermilk and vegetable oil. This will wet the dry ingredients and help soften the proteins in the flour. This step helps your cake become tender and soft!
- Whisk the remaining wet ingredients: Whisk the rest of the buttermilk, egg whites, vanilla, and food coloring in a separate small bowl. Slowly pour this into the bowl with the flour mixture. Keep the mixer running while you pour in the wet ingredients to make sure they are blended in evenly—you want to have no lumps in the batter!
- Bake: Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pans and then bake for 35-40 minutes. Let the cakes cool before turning them out of the pans.
- Make the frosting: Beat the butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well.
- Assemble the cake: Spread about half of the frosting on top of one of the layers of cake. Place the second layer of cake on top of the frosting, making a big cake sandwich. Spread the rest of the frosting on top of the cake and around the sides, then decorate the cake however you’d like!
While you can make the cake layers in advance, the frosting is best when made right before you are ready to frost and decorate the cake. The vanilla buttercream frosting is perfectly soft and easiest to use when it is super fresh.
How to Store Pink Velvet Cake
Once your pink velvet cake is assembled, it can be kept at room temperature for two days. You can also loosely cover the cake and store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Pink velvet cake freezes really well too. You can frost the cake completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to two months. Place the frozen cake in the fridge overnight to thaw the day before you’d like to serve it. Decorate the cake on the day of your party!
Pink velvet cake is essentially a vanilla-flavored cake that is dyed pink. It is made with buttermilk, which gives it a slightly tart taste.
No, pink velvet is not the same as red velvet. Red velvet is a chocolate buttermilk cake while pink velvet is a vanilla buttermilk cake. One is rich and decadent while the other is light and sweet. While they are both “velvety”, they are quite different!
Pink velvet cake is sweet with a subtle hint of tanginess thanks to the buttermilk. The tart taste actually balances the sugary cake well. The cake has a smooth, fluffy texture that melts in your mouth. It’s an easy cake to make, but it looks and tastes like a cake from a gourmet bakery.
More Cake Recipes
Easter Poke Cake
Honey Bun Cake
Pink Velvet Cake
Pink Velvet Cake
- 3 ⅔ cup cake flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 5 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 drops pink gel food coloring
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 ½ cups butter, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease flour two 8-inch round cake pans then dust them with flour. The flour will help the cake batter climb up the pan and get nice and tall. It also helps make the baked cake very easy to pop out.
- Add the cake flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the bowl of a stand mixer and blend together with a paddle attachment.
- Add the softened butter to the bowl and mix until the butter is blended into the dry ingredients and the mix looks like coarse sand.
- Add ½ cup of buttermilk and the ½ cup of oil to the bowl of the mixer and mix on medium speed for two minutes. The batter will be very thick and stiff.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining ¾ cup buttermilk, egg whites, vanilla and pink gel food coloring. Whisk this mix a little bit by hand just to break up the egg whites.
- Turn your stand mixer on low speed and very slowly pour the pink egg mix into the bowl, letting the wet ingredients blend into the flour mix evenly. Mix until the batter is smooth and be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure there are no lumps.
- Divide the cake batter between the two prepared cake pans and then bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the center of each cake to check that they are fully baked. The toothpick should come out clean and with no sticky batter when the cakes are done.
- Let the cakes cool inside the pan for about ten minutes before flipping them out on a cooling rack.
- Make the vanilla buttercream by beating the butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until the butter is very light and fluffy. It should be almost white.
- Add the milk and vanilla to the bowl and blend into the frosting to make it soft.
- Spread about 1 ½ cups of frosting over the top of one of the cake layers. Place the second cake layer on top of the first, sandwiching the frosting inside the cake. Use an offset metal spatula to coat the outside and top of the cake with a small amount of frosting. You just want enough frosting to stick the cakes together and make the outside smooth. This is called a crumb coat of frosting as it traps all the cake crumbs. Place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let the frosting harden.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and use an offset metal spatula to add the rest of the vanilla frosting to the outside of the cake. Decorate as you wish and then enjoy the pink velvet cake!