6-inch Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cake

It’s hard to believe that a up until a few years ago, I had never had red velvet cake. Since moving to Texas, I have made (and eaten) more than my fair share of the stuff, and while I was reluctant to jump on the red velvet band wagon at first, I’m officially a fan. The cream cheese frosting that is usually paired with it is just an additional bonus.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cake

This is the first time I have used this particular recipe for Red Velvet, which is originally from the popular Brooklyn Bakery Cake Man Raven. It has less cocoa in it than other recipes I’ve tried, so the color is a very bright red. I added some chocolate chips to the batter to amp up the chocolate flavor and add some texture, but if you don’t like chocolate chips (is this even possible?!) feel free to leave them out. I liked them so much that I decided not to frost the outside of the cake just so that they could be seen. For cleaner looking layers, I spread some frosting in between the layers and then piped a ring around the outside of each layer with a large round pastry tip.

This cake was made for a birthday get together, and since there were only 4 of us, I halved the original recipe to make a 6-inch cake.Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so this would also make a great cake for you and your sweetie (or a Single’s Awareness Day get together). The paired down recipe made 2 6-inch layers, but I sliced them in half so that I could sneak some more frosting in there. Did I mention that I love cream cheese frosting?

6 inch Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
makes one 2 (or 4) layer 6-inch round cake


For the cake:
1 1/4 cups (162 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cups (150 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 g) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine salt
1/2 teaspoon (3 g) cocoa powder
3/4 cup (177 ml) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 ml) red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips plus more for topping the cake

For the frosting:
8 oz (230 g) cream cheese
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 173 g) unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (435 g) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
pinch of salt


For the cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line 2 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to whisk together the oil, buttermilk, egg, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on low until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans (I use a scale for this) and bake for 25-28 minutes, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pans to loosen them, and invert them onto cooling racks. Cool completely.

For the frosting:

1. Beat the cream cheese, butter, and salt on medium until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Turn the mixer down to low and add the confectioner’s sugar. Beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Add the vanilla bean paste and salt and continue beating until combined.

To assemble the cake:

1. When the cakes are completely cool, use a serrated knife to divide the cakes in half horizontally.
2. Put about 1/3 of the icing in a decorating bag fitted with a large round pastry tip.
3. Place one layer of the cake on an 6-inch cake board. Place a scoop of the frosting on top, and spread evenly with a palette knife.
4. With the pastry bag, pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the cake. Place the next layer on top and repeat this process until you get to the top layer.
5. Spread the remainder of the frosting on top of the cake and top with additional mini chocolate chips.

Recipe adapted from here


  1. This has to be the most beautiful red velvet cake I’ve ever seen! and I’ve had red velvet wedding cake before. Yours is just beautiful! Especially with the chocolate chips on top and inside. Oh and the frosting alone sounds heavenly. Wow!
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted…red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies.My Profile

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Sally!

  2. Oh yum!! This looks fantastic! Those layers are killing me! I have never made a red velvet..anything, and I really want to try
    ATasteOfMadness recently posted…Caesar Chicken PizzaMy Profile

    1. Thank you! You should definitely try making something red velvet. It’s addicting!

  3. You know, I’m not sure if I’d ever had red velvet before I came to Texas either! But I’m so in love now that it’s hard to remember life before it!! Your cake looks so fantastic! I’ve never seen red velvet with chocolate chips in it, but sounds super yum :) Hope your V-day is sugar-filled and awesome!!
    Erika recently posted…Oatmeal Cookie SconesMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Erika! I definitely had my fill of sugar. I hope you had a great V-day too!

  4. so pretty and festive!
    Dina recently posted…Chocolate FountainMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Dina!

  5. Lovely cake, love the layers! So unusual for a red velvet cake.
    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com recently posted…Stuffed manicotti pasta shells recipe with ricotta cheese and spinach fillingMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Julia!

  6. Supermarkets over where I live do not have buttermilk :(. I’ve searched and searched but never found. Is there a subsititute for this or is there a way to make this on my own please?

    1. Yes, you can absolutely make your own buttermilk! Just add 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup of milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

  7. What kind of cocoa powder did you use? (natural unsweetened, dutch process, etc.)

    1. I used natural cocoa, but dutch process will work too.

  8. Making this tomorrow. Super excited, it looks delicious and beautiful! I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. I made this cake for my girlfriend’s birthday. im actually waiting on the cake to bake in the oven as i type this. but i noticed a mistake/typo in the recipe, for the icing specifically. you wrote down that it just calls for cream cheese, unsalted butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar, but then in the mixing instructions you say to add cinnamon. is this just a mistake or should there actually be cinnamon?

    1. Yes, there is a typo. I didn’t put any cinnamon in the frosting. I’ll edit the recipe. Thanks for letting me know, and I hope the cake turns out well!

  10. How would I do this recipe for a 9 inch cake? Would it just be the ingredient amounts change? Love your site btw. Amazing recipes, they all look soo good. I’m going to try them all. Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Amy! If you click on the link from which the recipe was adapted, it will take you to the original recipe for a 9-inch cake.

  11. Can you please clarify if you mean liquid or paste food colouring? I assume liquid based on the amount but want to be sure. My son loves the Nothing Bundt Cake red velvet and has asked for a “non Bundt” version for his birthday :)

    1. Hi Gen,

      I used liquid food coloring. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you so much!

  12. Hi there! I know this is a fairly old post now, but if you’re able to answer my question I’d really appreciate it! I’ve been looking for a small red velvet cake recipe to make for this Christmas, but I noticed yours only calls for 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder…is that accurate? It seems like such a small amount!! Haha. Just wanted to double check. 😉

    1. Hi Justina,

      This is an adaptation of the Cake Man Raven recipe which uses very little cocoa powder, which gives it the bright red color. I’ve made this a few times since then and added a tablespoon of cocoa since I like a little bit more chocolate flavor.

  13. Hi Natasha,

    I have been reading your blog for over a year now…never commented until now though! You have some great collection of cake recipes.
    I was looking for a birthday cake recipe (for making on my own birthday ;)) and this recipe looks awesome as I love red velvet cake!!
    I was wondering can I substitute vinegar with the same amount of lemon juice? Different types of vinegar are little hard to find here in Bangalore! Also, what if I want to use white chocolate chips in the batter – what should be the quantity?
    I still have 1 and half weeks to make this, so I would really appreciate your response.


    1. Hi Prajakta, I’ve actually been thinking about updating this recipe since it’s been so long since I’ve made it. I prefer this recipe for red velvet cake- http://cakemerchant.com/2012/06/27/one-bowl-red-velvet-cupcakes/ (it can be made into a one layer 8-inch cake or doubled for a 2 layer 8-inch cake). You can sub lemon juice for the vinegar (you just need some kind of acid). You can sub white chocolate chips for the mini chocolate chips. The same quantity would work. I hope it turns out well for you!

      1. Thanks a bunch! I will have a look at the other recipe you mentioned as well!
        Have a great day :)

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