Pink Velvet Cake is the prettiest layer cake recipe! Tender light pink sponge cake layers, strawberry filling and pink vanilla buttercream.
This showstopping Cake is a lighter, brighter, vanilla-flavored version of a Classic Red Velvet Cake. Beneath the bright pink frosting are light and airy pink cake layers with the same velvety crumb that make velvet cakes so special.
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Sabrina’s Pink Velvet Cake Recipe
With its tender, light pink sponge cake layers, sweet Strawberry Jam filling, and pink Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, this Pink Velvet Cake recipe is a true showstopper that will impress at any occasion. Not only does it look gorgeous and taste amazing, but it’s also so much easier to make than it looks! This recipe is your complete step-by-step guide to making a stunning, delicious Pink Velvet Layer Cake at home.
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, hosting a tea party, or simply craving a slice of something special, this pretty pink cake delivers. With the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cake, the fruity tang of the strawberry filling, and the creamy richness of the frosting, Pink Velvet Cake is a dreamy dessert that will leave you wanting more. So grab your baking pans and ingredients, set up your mixer, and get ready to make a mouthwatering, charming Pink Velvet Cake.
- Egg Whites: Using only egg whites and beating them to stiff peaks helps create a light and fluffy cake with a tender crumb that melts in your mouth.
- Cake Flour: Cake flour has a lower protein content compared to all-purpose flour to give this cake an airy texture and a softer bite.
- Clear Vanilla Extract: By using clear vanilla extract instead of the traditional brown-colored vanilla, the pink color is vibrant and bright.
- Food Coloring: Pink food coloring turns the white sponge cake batter and creamy frosting into a whimsical and charming cake. Gel food coloring is going to have the most vibrant color, but liquid food coloring works too.
- Strawberry Jam: The thin layer of strawberry jam adds the perfect amount fruity sweetness without overpowering the subtle vanilla cake.
- Frosting: This Pink Velvet Cake is frosted with a rich and creamy vanilla buttercream that’s been colored a bright, fun pink. You could also swap in Cream Cheese Frosting and it would taste just as lovely!
Kitchen Tools & Equipment
Cake Pans: You’ll need two 9-inch (or 8-inch) round cake pans for this cake. You can also bake it in two batches if you only have 1 pan.
Piping Bag: If you want to add the decorative swirls on top, you’ll want a piping bag with a 1-inch star tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, use a ziploc bag with a tiny corner snipped. It won’t be as neat but you can still get a little swirl of frosting.
How to Make
Time needed: 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Prep for Baking
Preheat the oven. Grease 9-inch cake pans with butter and flour, or spray with baking spray. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Sifting is key for a tender cake.
- Whip Egg Whites
Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Soft peaks means when you pull the beaters out of the beaten egg whites, a little peak will form but the tip will bend over. Continue mixing while you add ¼ cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches hard peaks, meaning the tip won’t bend over. Use a rubber spatula to gently transfer egg whites to a large bowl, getting as much off the sides of the mixer bowl.
- Cake Batter
Into your mixer bowl, add the remaining granulated sugar, 2/3 cup of butter, and vanilla. Cream on a medium high mixer speed until fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to lowest setting and alternate adding the milk and sifted flour mixture a little at a time until everything is just combined.
- Combine Everything
Add the pink food color to the cake batter until it’s slightly darker than the pink color you want. The egg whites are going to give the cake a lighter color when you add them. Gently fold in ⅓ of the egg whites with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks.
- Bake the Cake
Pour and gently spread the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool slightly before removing them from the pans. Finish cooling baked cake layers on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.
- Make the Frosting
In a clean mixer bowl, cream the butter on low speed and begin adding the powdered sugar a ½ cup at a time. Once the sugar is combined, beat on medium-high speed another minute to fluff. Finally, add in the vanilla extract, heavy cream, and the pink food coloring a drop or two at a time until it’s the pink you want. Beat on medium speed one more minute to fluff.
- Prep Cake for Frosting
Add a small dollop of frosting to the middle of a cake board or stand. Level the cakes and lightly brush away any crumbs. Add a cup of cake frosting to a large piping bag with a 1-inch round or star piping tip.
Place the first layer of cake gently on the frosting on the plate. Pipe frosting around the top edge of the cake. Fill the center with strawberry jam, then cover jam with frosting and smooth with an offset spatula. Place the other cake layer over frosting. Spread a cup of frosting on the top and sides to create a thin crumb coat. Chill the cake for one hour then coat the entire cake with another thicker layer of frosting.
Using the leftover frosting in the piping bag, pipe mounds or swirls around the top edge of the frosted cake. Decorate the top with sprinkles. If the outer coat of frosting isn’t dry, you can also gently press some sprinkles around the bottom and halfway up the sides.
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yes, Pink Velvet Cake can be made ahead of time. Bake the cake layers in advance and store them, well wrapped, in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze them for longer storage. For long-term freezing, up to 3 months, wrap them tightly twice in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. This will keep out odors and moisture. It is actually easier to assemble the baked cake layers and apply the crumb coat while the cake is frozen. The frosting can also be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Assemble the cake with the final layer of frosting and decorative piping a few hours before serving.
How to Store
Store: A frosted cake can be at room temperature for a couple days, covered with plastic wrap or cake cover. However, it will keep fresher longer if stored in the fridge and it’s best to keep any leftover frosting chilled. Cover the leftover cake tightly or place an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Bring to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes to soften before serving. Leftover frosting will stay good for up to a week.
Freezing: Wrap leftover cake pieces in plastic wrap then aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw them at room temperature or in the fridge overnight. If you want to freeze the entire cake, see the “Make Ahead” section.
Alternative Cooking Techniques
Pink Velvet Cupcakes
Instead of a layer cake, you can bake the batter as cupcakes. Fill the lined muffin cups 2/3 full and bake them for 18-20 minutes. This batter should make about 3 dozen cupcakes.
Pink Velvet Cake has a delicate and subtly sweet vanilla flavor, similar to a vanilla sponge cake. This Pink Velvet Cake recipe also has a strawberry filling and a creamy rich vanilla buttercream frosting.
Velvet cake gets its name from its luxurious and velvety texture. The use of specific ingredients and techniques, such as incorporating beaten egg whites and using cake flour, creates a tender and moist crumb that resembles the smoothness of velvet, giving the cake its aptly fitting name.
No, Pink Velvet Cake does not typically contain cocoa powder. The absence of cocoa powder allows the delicate pink color of the cake to shine through without any interference from the brown hue of cocoa.
Pink Velvet Cake:
- 6 large egg whites , room temperature
- 1 cup sugar , divided
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 5-6 drops pink food coloring , or until it makes a pretty pink color
- 1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
Pink Velvet Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray two 9″ cake pans with baking spray.
- To a stand mixer add the egg whites, beating on medium speed until soft peaks form (the tip of the peak will fall down when in soft peak stage), this should take 2-3 minutes.
- Add in ¼ cup sugar one tablespoon at a time while it is beating, until the mixture reaches hard peaks (the tip of the peak will stay standing up), this should take another 1 minute.
- Remove the beaten egg whites from the stand mixer to a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ¾ cup sugar, 2/3 cup butter, and vanilla extract to the stand mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt (this is important for soft and tender cupcakes) then add in the flour and milk alternating about ¼ of each at a time on low speed until just combined.
- Add in the pink food coloring until it makes a pretty vibrant pink color (this will lighten as you add the egg whites).
- Fold in ⅓ of the egg whites gently until combined (start with this amount first to lighten the mixture so the rest of the egg whites will fold in easier), then add in the remaining egg whites gently as well.
- Spread the batter into the cake pans evenly (be gentle with the mixture or it can make a dense cake).
- Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely.
- To your stand mixer on low speed cream the butter then start adding in the powdered sugar in ½ cup increments until fully combined then raise the speed to medium-high for 1 additional minute.
- Add in the vanilla extract, heavy cream and pink food coloring and beat until light and fluffy for 1 minute.
- Add a bit of frosting to you cake stand in the center.
- Place the first layer of cake gently onto the frosting.
- Pipe a circle of frosting around the top edge of the first layer.
- Fill with the strawberry jam.
- Pipe frosting over the jam.
- Top with the second layer of cake.
- Carefully frost the top and sides of the cake.
- To make a clean frosting, you can frost the exterior first with a thin layer and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Remove and frost with remaining frosting.
- Pipe mounds on top of the cake and top with white and pink sprinkles.
Lemon: Make a Pink Lemonade Velvet Cake by adding lemon juice and lemon juice to the cake batter. Instead of the strawberry jam, use Lemon Curd as the filling.
Filling: You can swap out the jam filling with other berry jams like raspberry or Blueberry Jam. You could also just leave the jam out and spread a cup of frosting in the middle.