Pink velvet buttermilk cake recipe

Homemade pink velvet cake gets its flavor and velvety texture from buttermilk. The stabilized whipped cream and fresh raspberries add a touch of sweetness. A moist, tender cake that is great for any special occasion. This recipe makes three 6"x2" tall cakes.
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 8 cups
slice of pink velvet cake with whipped cream frosting and fresh raspberries on a white plate

Pink velvet cake is fluffy, moist and has a velvety crumb that melts in your mouth

Homemade Pink velvet cake covered in a thick layer of stabilized whipped cream and fresh raspberries. If you loved my white velvet buttermilk cake and my red velvet cake, this is the cake for you. This pretty pink cake is perfect for Valentine’s Day. 

slice of pink velvet cake with whipped cream frosting and fresh raspberries on a white plate

What does pink velvet cake taste like?

Pink velvet cake is a vanilla-flavored cake. The pink color comes from just a touch of pink food coloring although you could use natural colorings like strawberry or raspberry emulsion to get that pretty pink color without any artificial colors. 

I like to use a liquid pink food coloring instead of a gel because it mixes into the milk/egg mixture better than a gel which can leave behind a few specks. If all you have is gel food coloring then mix it with a teaspoon of warm water and stir well before adding it into your cake batter. 

pink velvet cake layer showing the crumb

three layers of pink velvet cake with whipped cream in between the layers

How do you make a pink velvet layer cake?

Making a layer cake doesn’t have to be hard. Follow these simple steps to making a beautiful pink velvet layer cake. 

  1. Bake your pink velvet cake layers and let them cool
  2. Trim off the dome and the brown sides of the cake if you want your cake slice to be really pretty
  3. Make your stabilized whipped cream
  4. Place your first layer of cake onto your cake board or plate
  5. Use an offset spatula to spread a layer of whipped cream on top of the cake then place your second layer of cake on top of the whipped cream. Repeat with the final layer of cake. 
  6. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream all over your cake and then put the whole cake into the freezer for 10 minutes
  7. Spread a final layer of whipped cream on top of the cake
  8. Use a bench scraper to make the sides straight and an offset spatula to make the top flat
  9. Optional: use a cake comb to make the sides more interesting
  10. Finish the cake design with some swirls of whipped cream on top using a 1M piping tip and finish with some fresh raspberries. 

pink velvet cake frosted in stabilized whipped cream with fresh raspberries on top

If you want to learn more about the basics of stacking and frosting a cake you can check out this tutorial on making your first cake

how to make a cake tutorial

What makes a cake velvet cake?

A lot of people ask what makes a cake a velvet cake. The answer is in the texture of the cake. Velvet cakes make use of buttermilk and sometimes vinegar that reacts with baking soda to create a delicious velvet-textured cake. 

Buttermilk is one of those magical ingredients that really adds tenderness to baked goods. It also leaves behind a slightly tangy flavor that cuts down on the sweetness of a cake. 

slice of pink velvet cake on a white plate in front of pink velvet layer cake in the background

What makes velvet cake so moist?

Velvet cakes are super moist because of the buttermilk and the oil. No need for simple syrup, these cakes stay moist for days. 

Don’t have buttermilk? It’s ok! You can substitute buttermilk for 10 ounces of milk with 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice added. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes then add it to your recipe. 

Pink velvet cake with stabilized whipped cream should be stored in the refrigerator because of the dairy in the whipped cream but cold cake doesn’t taste so great. I take my cake out of the fridge for about an hour or two before it will be served to give the cake a chance to warm up. 

three slices of pink velvet cake on white plates shot overhead

Other velvet cake recipes you might enjoy

Black Velvet Cake
Authentic Red Velvet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
White Velvet Cake With Ermine Frosting
Green Velvet Cake

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Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

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Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

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slice of pink velvet cake with whipped cream frosting and fresh raspberries on a white plate

Pink velvet buttermilk cake recipe

Homemade pink velvet cake gets its flavor and velvety texture from buttermilk. The stabilized whipped cream and fresh raspberries add a touch of sweetness. A moist, tender cake that is great for any special occasion. This recipe makes three 6"x2" tall cakes.
4.96 from 104 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 656kcal


Pink Velvet Cake Ingredients

  • 13 oz (369 g) cake flour
  • 12 oz (340 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 oz (142 g) egg whites room temperature
  • 4 oz (113 g) vegetable oil
  • 10 oz (284 g) buttermilk room temperature or slightly warm
  • 6 oz (170 g) butter unsalted and softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 drops electric pink food coloring

Stabilized Whipped Cream

  • 24 ounces (680 g) Heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ounces (113 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (14 g) powdered gelatin
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (optional) garnish


  • Stand Mixer
  • Whisk Attachment
  • Paddle Attachment


  • NOTE: It is SUPER IMPORTANT that all the room temperature ingredients listed above are room temperature and measured by weight so that the ingredients mix and incorporate correctly.
    Heat oven to 335º F/168º C — 350º F/177º C. I tend to use lower setting to prevent my cakes from getting too dark on the outside before the inside is done baking.
  • Prepare two three 6"x2" cake pans with cake goop or another preferred pan spray. Fill your pans about 3/4 of the way full of batter. 
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix 10 seconds to combine. 
  • Combine 1/2 cup of the milk and the oil together and set aside. 
  • Combine the remaining milk, egg whites, pink food coloring and vanilla together, whisk to break up the eggs and set aside. 
  • Add your softened butter to the dry ingredients and mix on low until mixture resembles a coarse sand (about 30 seconds). Add in your milk/oil mixture and let mix until dry ingredients are moistened and then bump up to med (setting 4 on my kitchenaid) and let mix for 2 minutes to develop the cakes structure. If you don't let your cake mix on this step your cake could collapse. 
  • Scrape your bowl and then reduce speed to low. Add in your egg white mixture in three batches, letting the batter mix for 15 seconds between additions. 
  • Scrape down the sides again to make sure everything has incorporated then pour into prepared pans.
    Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out cleanly but the cake has not begun to shrink yet from the sides of the pan. 
    IMMEDIATELY TAP PAN FIRMLY on countertop once to release the steam from the cake. This stops the cake from shrinking. 
  • Let cakes cool for 10 minutes inside the pan before flipping them out. The cake will shrink a bit and that is normal. Flip onto a cooling rack and let cool fully. I chill my cakes before handling or you can wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them to trap moisture in the cake. Thaw on the countertop while still wrapped before frosting. 

Stabilized Whipped Cream

  • Sprinkle your gelatin over the water and let bloom for 5 minutes. 
  • Melt gelatin for 5 seconds in the microwave. If not fully melted do another 3 seconds. You can tell gelatin is melted when there are no granules of unmelted gelatin visible.
    After dissolving your gelatin, add in 1 tsp of heavy cream and mix. If your gelatin is too cold, heat again until it's melted (5 seconds).
  • In a cold mixing bowl, whip your heavy cream to soft peaks
  • Add in your powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined
  • Turn your mixer down to low and drizzle in your gelatin and mix until whipped cream forms stiff peaks. Do not over-mix or your whipped cream will turn into butter.


IMPORTANT: Make sure all your ingredients are at room temp and you're using a scale to measure. Substituting ingredients may cause this recipe to fail. (see notes at the bottom of the recipe)
Important Things To Note Before You Start
1. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature or even a little warm (eggs, buttermilk, butter, etc) to ensure your batter does not break or curdle. 
2. Use a scale to weigh your ingredients (including liquids) unless otherwise instructed (Tablespoons, teaspoons, pinch etc). Metric measurements are available in the recipe card. Scaled ingredients are much more accurate than using cups and help ensure the success of your recipe. 
3. Practice Mise en Place (everything in it's place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
4. Chill your cakes before frosting and filling. You can cover a frosted and chilled cake in fondant if you wish. This cake is also great for stacking. I always keep my cakes chilled in the refrigerator before delivery for easy transporting. 
5. If the recipe calls for specific ingredients like cake flour, replacing it with all purpose flour and cornstarch is not recommended unless specified in the recipe that it’s ok. Substituting ingredients may cause this recipe to fail. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 656kcal (33%) | Carbohydrates: 62g (21%) | Protein: 7g (14%) | Fat: 43g (66%) | Saturated Fat: 29g (145%) | Cholesterol: 111mg (37%) | Sodium: 410mg (17%) | Potassium: 226mg (6%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 39g (43%) | Vitamin A: 1233IU (25%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 115mg (12%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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153 comments on “Pink Velvet Cake

  1. Hi Liz

    Instead of (3) 6” cake pans, can I bake it in (2) 6” tall cake pans?

  2. Hi, I’d love to make this but I don’t have a scale, plus I am totally confused by volumn and mass. Can I just measure the ounces like regular cups, you know, 4 ounces s half a cup? Thanks!
    Arlette – numbers illiterate 🙂

  3. Hi Liz,

    The recipe looks great, however, because I like in the UK, the only flour available for baking here is AP/ plain flour, can I use that instead?


  4. 5 stars
    I made this today and it is SO light and fluffy and delicious. I almost feel like I will never bother with vanilla or yellow cake again lol. The buttermilk, egg whites and oil make a big difference IMO. Absolutely loved this and am going to make white velvet next and try with easy buttercream.

  5. 5 stars
    Amazing! If I wanted to make this as a 3 layer 8” cake would I need to double it?

  6. Good day Liz, I’m really excited to try your recipe. I, however, only have 2 8″ cake pans. Could I use double the recipe and bake it in the two 8″ pans? The plan is to then cut each layer in half to make a four layer cake. (For a party of about 15 +people)

    My worry is that it will be too much batter in one tin and it won’t rise, or the texture might suffer. What do you suggest?

  7. I’m going to make this tomorrow, but I’ll have to use AP flour since I can’t find any cake flour anywhere since the pandemic started. I noticed someone asked about gluten free flour. Does that work like cake flour? I have seen that.

  8. 5 stars
    We loved this recipe over here! I’ve been baking a lot lately and wanted to try my hand at a cake and we gobbled this one up! We’ve made it twice and the second time used a strawberry filling in between layers and put strawberries on top. Totally would recommend this recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    can I divide the measurements of the ingredients into 2 for a smaller cake?

  10. hey girl! i tried your vanilla cake recipe for Father’s day and it was hands down the best vanilla cake I’ve ever made, everyone loved it! so im excited to try this one. im going to be making it into a number 22 cake for my best friend. it’ll be made in a sheet pan and i wanted to ask how much i shoukd double the recipe and what adjustments should be made in terms of mixing time and oven time. thanks so much! 🙂

  11. Hi Liz,

    Can I use a 12”x 2 round pan for this recipe? And can I colour the whipped cream?

    Thank you.


  12. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. It’s so soft and tender without being oily or heavy. The whipped cream frosting really lightened it up too. I felt like I was really eating cotton! I made ¾ of this recipe (weird amount I know but I didn’t want the whole recipe but thought ½ was too little lol) and it fit two 8 inch pans (1” tall) pans perfectly. It baked at 335 for about 25 minutes. I also reduced some of the sugar and used maybe ¼ cup powdered sugar total in the frosting. Also, I put in about 1-¼ tsp strawberry extract and it lent it a lovely flavor that paired well with the cake color. Thank you for a great recipe!

  13. Hello, please I want to know if you can use margarine instead of butter for this recipe.

  14. 5 stars

    If I was to make this cake Friday would the whipped cream frosting still hold up when I plan to serve it on Sunday??? thanks so much!

  15. 5 stars
    A perfect cake! This recipe is amazing. Thank you!

  16. When substituting milk/vinegar for the buttermilk… do I still leave it out to become room temperature or do I add it after 5 minutes?

  17. Hi Liz,

    I can’t wait to try this for my daughter’s birthday…

    The recipe looks amazing, but not only that; your format and tutorials are top notch. Thank you for sharing your expertise/knowledge.

    I wanted to ask: where you do you get your tools like your scrapers and other utensils?

  18. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for this recipe, I made this twice and everybody loves it. I have one question though, will it taste the same if I freeze this cake for may be a week without frosting?

    1. So glad you like it! Yes, just make sure to wrap the cakes in plastic wrap while freezing.

  19. 5 stars
    Hi Liz! When I say it’s THE BEST vanilla cake (that’s what we call it!), it IS THE BEST! Since discovering this on September 10th, I made this cake 5 more times! I have tried several vanilla type cakes and this is by far the best! Thank you!!

  20. 5 stars
    This is my new go-to cake recipe! I baked it on Friday morning, put it into the freezer, decorated it Friday evening, and froze it until Sunday afternoon. I thought the freezing and thawing would affect the texture but it was super soft and very delicious. Homemade strawberry filling inside with the stabilized whipped cream on the outside made it taste like a strawberry shortcake! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  21. I baked this for my neice last weekend using AP flour, it was amazing. Got serious rave. Can I substitute the pink for blue

  22. 5 stars
    Hi! Excited to try! I’m having a hard time finding the metric measurements for this recipe. I read the comments above and looked for the “recipe card” and I just cannot figure it out. Sorry to bother.

  23. Hi Liz

    Thank you for sharing your recipes with us. Is this the same recipe as your white velvet cake just adding different colours?

    1. yes! You can add any color you want to the white velvet cake!

  24. Hi Liz!
    I have a silly question. Can i substitute the vanilla extract for strawberry extract and call this a strawberry velvet cake? 😅

    1. Sure! Maybe add strawberry buttercream too 😀

  25. 5 stars
    Cake was fantastic. Soft and delicious 😋

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