Red Velvet Sheet Cake

24 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Easy Red Velvet Sheet Cake is a party-sized crowd pleaser. Moist and tender old fashioned red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, all made from scratch.

This no-fuss sheet cake recipe is just as moist and delicious as Red Velvet Layer Cake, without the extra work. Whether for a birthday cake or a weekend dessert, these Cake Recipes are just what you need.

Red Velvet Sheet Cake slice on plate


An old fashioned Red Velvet Cake brings joy to any dessert table. The cheery, bright red color makes it the perfect cake for holidays like Christmas and Valentines’ Day. Even with your eyes closed, one bite of the melt-in-your-mouth tangy, moist cake will have you smiling from ear to ear.

This Red Velvet Sheet Cake is incredibly moist and fluffy, with just a hint of cocoa flavor and the perfect amount of cream cheese frosting to cake ratio. The best part is whether you have a baking addiction or you just dabble, you probably have everything you need on hand to make this easy cake.

Red Velvet Sheet Cake in baking pan without frosting

Like Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake, this Red Velvet Cake is great for potlucks, summer cookouts, or parties. Simply frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, or add sprinkles or heart-shaped candies to make it extra special. For more chocolate flavor, top with mini chocolate chips or a Chocolate Ganache drizzle. Classic Buttercream Frosting would also taste great on this cake!

Tips for Red Velvet Sheet Cake

  • Part of the red color comes from the combination of acidic buttermilk and sour cream plus the cocoa powder. You don’t want to swap just plain milk or your cake will be duller and darker.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, use ½ cup whole milk plus ½ tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before adding to the cake batter.
  • This Red Velvet Sheet Cake is baked in a 9×13 pan, but you can also use a regular sheet pan or jelly roll pan. Reduce the cooking time to 15-20 minutes, checking at 15 minutes to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
  • This recipe uses gel food coloring because you need less of it than liquid food coloring. If you use liquid food coloring, use a full bottle.
  • If you don’t want to use red food coloring, check out the beet puree substitute below for an all natural Red Velvet Sheet Cake. While it won’t be as vibrant, it will still be a beautiful red color.


Red Velvet Sheet Cake in baking pan with frosting


  • Coffee: Just a like a chocolate cake, you can add a tablespoon of espresso powder or instant coffee to bring out the chocolate flavor.
  • Nuts: Fold in a ½ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the cake batter or use the nuts as a garnish to the frosting.
  • Chocolate Chips: Add a ½ cup of semisweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips to your cake batter. You can also sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the frosting.
  • Vanilla: Make a Red Velvet Vanilla Sheet Cake by simply leaving the cocoa powder out of the dry ingredients and increasing the flour to 2 ¾ cups.
  • Cake Mix: Substitute all the dry ingredients with 1 box red velvet mix and 1 box white chocolate instant pudding. Use the same amount of eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Replace the butter with ⅓ cup vegetable oil and use ½ cup sour cream.

Red Velvet Cake with Beets (no food coloring)

  • Scrub 10 ounces red beets really well.
  • Wrap beets in parchment paper and microwave 8-10 minutes, until tender.
  • Cool beets before peeling and chopping.
  • Add beets and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Prepare cake batter as usual, using only ¼ cup sour cream.
  • Gently fold in 1 cup beet puree after the flour mixture is added.
  • Bake cake according to recipe card.



  • Serve: If frosted, your Red Velvet Sheet Cake will need to be refrigerated after no more than 2 hours room temperature. Unfrosted, the sheet cake can be at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Store: Cover cake pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate Red Velvet Sheet Cake for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature to serve for best taste.
  • Freeze: Freeze a frosted or unfrosted Red Velvet Sheet Cake for up to 3 months. Cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to store. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature to serve.

Red Velvet Sheet Cake in baking pan, cross-section

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Easy Red Velvet Sheet Cake is a party-sized crowd pleaser. Moist and tender old fashioned red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, all made from scratch.
Yield 24 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ounce red food color
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Cream Cheese Frosting , recipe


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking pan with baking spray.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda into a large bowl and add the baking soda to it.
  • In a stand mixer whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time.
  • Whisk in the sour cream, milk, red food coloring and vanilla then add in the flour until just combined with no dry streaks.
  • Pour into baking pan, spread evenly and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Let cool completely before frosting.


Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 344IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Red Velvet Sheet Cake collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Making this for a graduation cake. Deciding if I want to make from scratch or go with your box cake version. If I go that route, what size of the white chocolate pudding mix would I use? Small box or big box? Thank you for sharing!

    1. Not sure what the yield for a small or big box would be. This recipe feeds 24 people.

  2. Hi, I am excited to make this cake, but would like to split this cake into 2 8 x 8 pans. One for now one for later. Do you think I will need to
    change the baking time? Thanks!

  3. Used this recipe, doubled, to make a graduation cake this week. The cake tasted SO GOOD, thank you! I also noticed one error in your instructions; did you mean to say “…add the salt to it” on the second part?: the original says “Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda into a large bowl and add the baking soda to it.”

  4. this is my favorite cake had for my birthdays going up and had cook frosting on it not cream cheese. I like trying different recipe to see how each is and how well it goes for events

  5. I was thinking about piping the frosting on using some decorating tips. Any suggestions for getting the cream cheese frosting to hold its shape?

  6. I made this cake twice in a couple of weeks. The best Red Velvet cake I’ve ever made.
    Nothing but great remarks from others. So very moist and easy to make. Thanks for sharing. This one is a keeper!!
    P.S. . Can I use this recipe for 9’ inch layers?

    1. I’ve made this recipe 3 times. Nothing but great results and compliments. Can I use this to make 9 inch cakes?
      This recipe is a keeper.
      Thanks for sharing

      1. Yes you can. There are many charts online to help with cake pan conversions.
        A 9 inch round cake pan holds approx 8 cups of batter.
        This recipe is for a 2 inch half sheet pan (some are 12×18 and others 13×18) and hold approx. 14 cups of batter.
        Hover over Yield in the recipe card and slide the bar to increase the recipe to the desired size!
        So glad you enjoy the recipe! We do too.

  7. Hi, I’m wondering, do you think this recipe is firm enough for carving? I want to make a shaped cake with this recipe.

  8. This recipe turned out great! I went with 1/2 the amount of food coloring called for and still ended up with a nice vibrant red cake. I made it in a 10”x15” sheet pan and cut out circles from it with a cookie cutter, then stacked them with cream cheese frosting to make baby cakes for the bakery I work at. Will definitely hold onto this recipe!

  9. Hi Sabrina,

    This is the BEST recipe for Red Velvet that I’ve ever made. My family loved it. My ‘soon-to-be 7-year-old’ grandson wants this cake for his birthday next week.

    Thanks so much!


  10. I am going make this for a women’s shelter this weekend and won’t be able to do a test run ahead of time. I know you reference being able to use a sheet pan but will it work in a 12×17 without being too thin?

    1. I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I hope it turned out well for you. Yes, it should’ve worked, cooked for 18-20 minutes.

  11. Interesting recipe. My red velvet cake, I add vinegar with my eggs food coloring, vanilla, and oil. I noticed you didn’t have canola oil nor vinegar to yours. Could you explain that?

    1. Hi Sheila, I’m so sorry this comment was lost and I just came across it. I find the buttermilk gives me the tangy flavor I need for the cake.

    1. I recommend placing toothpicks throughout so nothing covering the cake is able to get to the frosting. Helps create a barrier. Hope this helps!