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Ever dreamed of making a Red Velvet Cake that’s just the right size for one or two people? Well, this mini Red Velvet Cake recipe is your dream come true! Imagine a soft, tender cake with a rich chocolate hint, topped with irresistible cream cheese frosting. This small homemade cake is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a special celebration or just a craving for something sweet and elegant. The best part? This mini cake recipe has been scaled down to a smaller size, making it absolutely ideal for enjoying alone or sharing with someone special.

Searching for more exquisite mini cake options? Discover our other small cake recipes including luxurious Devil’s Food Cake, exotic Hummingbird Cake, decadent Texas Sheet Cake, and classic Pound Cake.

Why You’ll Love This Small Red Velvet Cake Recipe

  • Perfect Size: Scaled for one or two servings, it’s just the right amount for a small treat.
  • Moist and Tender: The use of oil and buttermilk ensures the cake is exceptionally moist and tender.
  • Easy to Make: Easy-to-find ingredients and simple steps make this a breeze to bake.
  • Versatile Frosting Options: Whether you prefer cream cheese or buttercream, this recipe adapts to your taste.
  • Customizable Color: Adjust the amount of food coloring to suit your preference, or use natural dyes.

What Is Red Velvet Cake?

Red velvet cake, a favorite in the southern United States, is essentially a vanilla cake infused with a hint of cocoa powder and, optionally, red food coloring. This cake, known for its soft, velvety texture and distinctive reddish-brown hue, is believed to have emerged during the Great Depression.

Cake Ingredients

ingredients needed for red velvet cake on a wooden cutting board.

This section provides a quick rundown of the ingredients used in this single serve Red Velvet Cake recipe. For complete measurements and step-by-step instructions, please scroll to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

  • Oil: In this red velvet cake recipe, either vegetable, canola, or avocado oil is used for its ability to make the cake exceptionally moist.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar is the ideal choice for sweetening this cake, delivering the perfect level of sweetness.
  • Egg: Only one large egg is required. For optimal results, start with a room-temperature egg, which blends more smoothly into the batter.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract to achieve the best flavor in your cake.
  • Red Food Coloring: Essential for achieving the cake’s signature vibrant red hue. McCormick is a recommended brand due to its widespread availability, but any brand will do. If using gel food coloring, use less than the recipe suggests, as it’s more concentrated.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar is added to provide a slight tang, a classic characteristic of traditional red velvet cake.
  • Buttermilk: Crucial for its creaminess and tanginess, buttermilk also interacts with baking soda to help the cake rise. If unavailable, mix 1/4-cup milk with 1/2-tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar, and let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature as a substitute. If you’ve got leftover buttermilk, consider using it in a small batch of Butter Swim Biscuits, mini Buttermilk Pie, and Buttermilk Pancakes!
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Just 1 tablespoon is needed to impart a subtle chocolate flavor. Leftover cocoa powder can be used in our Chocolate Scones, Chocolate Banana Bread, and Rum Balls recipes.
  • All-Purpose Flour: This recipe calls for regular all-purpose flour, which ensures a tender and velvety texture, without the need for cake flour.
  • Baking Soda: An ideal leavening agent for this cake. It reacts with buttermilk and vinegar to give the cake an excellent rise.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon) is used to enhance the overall flavor of the cake.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

Recipe Variations

You might like to try these delightful recipe variations, each adding a unique twist to the classic Red Velvet Cake.

  • Chocolate Chips: Sprinkle a handful into the batter for extra chocolatey bites.
  • Orange Zest: Add 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest to the batter for a citrusy twist.
  • Nutty Crunch: Mix in a few tablespoons of chopped walnuts or pecans for texture.
  • Layered Delight: Split the batter into two 10-ounce ramekins for a layered cake.
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How To Make A Red Velvet Cake

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make this mini Red Velvet Cake recipe. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

Note: This recipe is versatile and can be baked in various dishes such as a 5×5-inch, 5×7-inch, 4×6-inch baking dish, a 6-inch round cake pan, or two 10-ounce ramekins. For visual guidance, we’ve used a 5×5-inch baking dish and a 6-inch round cake pan in the photos.

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  2. Mix Wet Ingredients: Using an electric mixer at medium speed, blend the oil and sugar in a medium-sized bowl for 1 minute.
sugar and oil in a mixing bowl.
  1. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, red food coloring, and white vinegar, beating for another minute.
red food coloring, egg, oil, and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt.
flour and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl.
  1. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually mix half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. After blending well, incorporate the buttermilk. Then, add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
red velvet cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Prepare the Baking Dish: Lightly grease a small baking dish or mini cake pan with butter or cooking spray. Pour the red velvet cake batter into the prepared dish.
red velvet cake batter in a small baking dish.
  1. Bake the Cake: Bake for 35-40 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before frosting.
an unfrosted red velvet cake in a cake pan.
  1. Make the Frosting: For the frosting, you’ll need softened cream cheese, softened butter, sifted powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on high until well combined. Gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar at low speed. Once all sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla extract and continue to whip until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  2. Frost the Cake: Once the cake is completely cool, apply the frosting evenly. Since the cake is topped with cream cheese frosting, it should be stored in the refrigerator.

Pro Tip: For those who favor buttercream frosting, follow the frosting instructions provided in our Vanilla Cupcakes recipe.

Note: Refer to the FAQ section for additional information on baking dish sizes and tips.

five small red velvet cakes on a wooden table.

Expert Tips

  1. Room Temperature Egg: Always start with a room temperature egg for this recipe. Place the egg on the counter about 30 minutes before you begin baking for optimal integration into the batter.
  2. Cream Cheese and Butter for Frosting: For smoother and easier mixing, ensure that the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before making the frosting.
  3. Accurate Flour Measurement: Precise flour measurement is crucial for the success of red velvet cake, as with all baking recipes. While using a digital scale is the most accurate method for measuring flour and sugar, here’s an alternative if you don’t have one:
    • First, stir the flour in its container to loosen it.
    • Then, use a spoon to gently scoop the flour into a dry measuring cup.
  4. Baking Time and Checking for Doneness: It typically takes 35 minutes to bake a small red velvet cake. Check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick or a sharp knife into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Depending on your oven, you might need an additional 5 minutes or so.

Serving Suggestions

This mini Red Velvet Cake pairs beautifully with various accompaniments:

  • Fresh Berries: Add a pop of natural sweetness and color.
  • Whipped Cream: A light and airy option if cream cheese frosting isn’t your preference.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: A scoop of ice cream makes a delightful companion.
  • Hot Coffee or Tea: Complements the cake’s rich flavors perfectly.
  • Dusted Powdered Sugar: For a simple yet elegant finish.

Make-Ahead Instructions

  • Refrigerating the Cake: Once covered, the cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing the Cake: For longer storage, red velvet cake can be frozen with great results. After the cake has cooled, wrap it securely in plastic wrap. You can freeze the unfrosted cake for up to 2 months.
  • Thawing the Cake: When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the cake in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature for about 1 hour before frosting and serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best baking dish sizes for a small Red Velvet Cake?

Choosing the right baking dish is important for this mini red velvet cake. Suitable options include:
A 5×5-inch baking dish (25 square inches base area)
A 5×7-inch baking dish (35 square inches base area)
A 4×6-inch baking dish (24 square inches base area)
A 6-inch round cake pan (approximately 28 square inches base area)
Two 10-ounce ramekins (each with a 12.5 square inches base area)

Baking Times:
For all square and rectangular dishes: 35-40 minutes.
For the round pan and ramekins: 30-35 minutes.

Note: For a cake made in a 6-inch round pan, prepare a double batch of frosting for full coverage. Remember, using a significantly larger or smaller dish than recommended will alter the baking time and could affect the outcome.

How does Red Velvet Cake differ from Chocolate Cake?

The main difference is the cocoa content. Red velvet cake contains less cocoa powder, giving it a much more subtle chocolate flavor compared to a regular chocolate cake.

Is red food coloring necessary in Red Velvet Cake?

The red food coloring in red velvet cake is optional. It doesn’t affect the flavor or texture but gives the cake its characteristic red color.

Can this Red Velvet Cake recipe be adapted to make a Blue Velvet Cake?

You can definitely transform this recipe into a blue velvet cake by using blue food coloring instead of red. It offers the same delicate texture and flavor as red velvet cake but with a fun blue color, making it a great choice for gender reveal parties, baby showers, or birthdays. The surprise blue color is concealed under a thick layer of frosting.

What can I use as a buttermilk substitute in Red Velvet Cake?

If buttermilk is unavailable, create a substitute by adding 1/2-tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1/4-cup of milk. Stir and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before using in the recipe.

a forkful of red velvet cake next to a slice of cake on a plate.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this mini red velvet cake or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


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Because you’re worth it

Mini Red Velvet Cake

5 from 9 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
Enjoy a mini Red Velvet Cake perfect for 1-2 people. Soft, chocolatey, and topped with cream cheese frosting. Perfect for one or two people to enjoy.

Equipment

  • 5-inch baking dish This small red velvet cake can be baked in a 5×5-inch baking dish, a 5×7-inch baking dish, a 4×6-inch baking dish, a 6-inch round cake pan, or 2 (10-ounce) ramekins.

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil , avocado oil, or canola oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

For the frosting

  • 2 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter , softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar , sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped pecans for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Set your oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
    Using an electric mixer at medium speed, blend the oil and sugar in a medium-sized bowl for 1 minute. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, red food coloring, and white vinegar, beating for another minute.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Gradually mix half of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. After blending well, incorporate the buttermilk. Then, add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Lightly grease a small baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Pour the red velvet cake batter into the prepared dish.
    Pro Tip: Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before frosting.

Make The Frosting

  • Add cream cheese and butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Slowly pour in the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all the sugar has been fully mixed in.
    Pro Tip: Sifting the powdered sugar after measuring is always helpful because it breaks up any lumps.
  • Add the vanilla and continue whipping until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  • Once the cake is completely cool, apply the frosting evenly. Since the cake is topped with cream cheese frosting, it should be stored in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

  1. Room Temperature Egg: Always start with a room temperature egg for this recipe. Place the egg on the counter about 30 minutes before you begin baking for optimal integration into the batter.
  2. Cream Cheese and Butter for Frosting: For smoother and easier mixing, ensure that the cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before making the frosting.
  3. Accurate Flour Measurement: Precise flour measurement is crucial for the success of red velvet cake, as with all baking recipes. While using a digital scale is the most accurate method for measuring flour and sugar, here’s an alternative if you don’t have one:
    • First, stir the flour in its container to loosen it.
    • Then, use a spoon to gently scoop the flour into a dry measuring cup.
  4. Baking Time and Checking for Doneness: It typically takes 35 minutes to bake a small red velvet cake. Check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick or a sharp knife into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. Depending on your oven, you might need an additional 5 minutes or so.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 453kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 79mg, Sodium: 262mg, Potassium: 95mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 458IU, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. Sadie says:

    I made 6 cupcakes and they’re excellent. The crumb is incredibly light, tender and moist. They’re a deep rich red colour, which isn’t always the case with red velvet desserts. My only negative is that they’re a bit bland and could have used more vanilla and salt. I didn’t add any frosting because I wanted to test the flavour without any embellishment. They’re quite sweet, so for me a dusting of powdered sugar was all that was needed. Instead of a hand mixer, I whisked the batter by hand. The cupcakes baked for 22 minutes.

  2. Qiana says:

    I just made this red velvet recipe and it was absolutely delicious. I used a 4 inch cake pan from Walmart and this recipe made 2 cakes. Finally, a personal size cake recipe that is really good. This cake is even better than Nothing Bundt Cakes. Thank you!

  3. Laura m says:

    If cooking in ramekins is it still that long of time? Seems long?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      30 to 35 minutes worked in our tests with ramekins.

  4. Sharlana says:

    If I could give this cake more stars, I would!! So delicious. I made it with gluten free flour and added a little xanthan gum. Made a double recipe and baked in a small rectangular pan. Excellent recipe!

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the cake. Thank you so much for your feedback.

  5. Romell says:

    This was delicious and so easy to make. Thank you for recommending the 5×5 dish. It was a very worthwhile purchase.

  6. Rose says:

    Made this for my boyfriend and myself. It turned out so good. It was just enough for the two of us.
    Thank you for all these great recipes.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    This was delicious. Very moist. I followed the recipe, for the most part. I used avocado oil instead of vegetable oil. I didn’t have buttermilk, per se, but added buttermilk powder with the dry ingredients and used whole milk for the liquid. I baked it in a 6” round pan for 28 minutes. Every single recipe I’ve made from this site has been very flavorful and easy to execute. It’s become my go-to site.

  8. Maestra says:

    Wonderful recipe. My granddaughter
    s favorite- she said it was better than the bakery’s. She loved the frosting. Please publish a recipe book soon.

  9. Tammie says:

    Cake turned out really moist and great flavor! Will definitely make again!!