Big Texas Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a big ol' cake with a shocking red color and an extra-tender cake piled high with fluffy cream cheese frosting. The finished cake is almost a foot tall when frosted! It's a wonderful dramatic dessert.

We achieved this delicious cake by using yogurt that reacts with this recipe’s baking soda to create a delicate, tender crumb. We used a smaller amount of cocoa that would add a darker color to the red cake while lending a subtle cocoa flavor. We love using vanilla bean paste in this frosting because it truly enhances the flavor.

Big Texas Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 cups (21 ¼ oz. or 600g) Panhandle Milling All-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup natural cocoa powder
2 cups (16 oz. or 456 g) unsweetened yogurt
1 cup (8 oz. or 228g) milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs (8 oz. or 228g)
¼ cup red food coloring
1 ½ (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups granulated sugar (24 oz., 684g)


2 cup unsalted butter, softened
7 cups confectioners’ sugar (2 lb. or 907g)
16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
¾ cup hot water
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
pinch salt


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour four 8-inch cake pans. Whisk flour, baking soda, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk yogurt, milk, vanilla, eggs, and food coloring in a medium bowl.
  • With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of the flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated for about 30 seconds. Add half of the yogurt mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture, remaining yogurt mixture, and finally remaining flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, give the batter a final stir.
  • Divide evenly between the four prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

For the frosting:

  • With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in water, vanilla, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use if it feels too soft.
  • When cakes are cooled, spread about 1 cup of frosting on one cake layer. Repeat with second, third, and fourth cake layers and spread top and sides of the cake with frosting. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.