Holiday Dessert Recipe: Red Velvet Cake with Cream-Cheese Coconut Icing

This holiday season, try out this delicious recipe for a crowd-pleasing dessert from Janet Rodriguez, the owner of Embroidery Palace Inc. and partners with Joanna Poitier in The Florio Collection of hand-embroidered drapery fabrics in West Hollywood, California.


Red Velvet Cake with Cream-Cheese Coconut Icing
Photo by Jacqueline deMontravel

Ingredients for cake:

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 ½ cups whole buttermilk

3 large eggs

2 cups of vegetable oil

2 ½ tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup of red food coloring

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

1 ½ tsp. distilled white vinegar

3 cups unsifted cake flour, plus extra for preparing cake pans

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. salt

Cooking spray


Ingredients for cream-cheese icing:

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

3 cups powdered sugar

¾ cup of shredded coconut (optional, for topping)


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer on low, mix sugar, buttermilk, eggs, oil and cocoa powder until smooth.

2. Add food coloring, vanilla and vinegar, and blend until smooth and glossy.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the batter in a mixer on low and blend until well combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate all ingredients.

4. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, dust with flower and tap out excess.

5. Divide batter among pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6. Flip layers out on wire racks, and cool completely before icing.


Cream-cheese icing:

1. In electric mixer (low speed), cream butter for 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Increase mixer speed to medium. Add cream cheese, and cream together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate all ingredients.

3. Reduce mixer speed to low, add sugar one cup at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth and creamy.



1. Place one layer of cake on serving dish. Cover top with about 1/3 of the icing and sprinkle with ¼ cup of coconut.

2.Repeat with a second layer. Once top layer and sides are iced, sprinkle entire cake with coconut. Add fresh holly for garnish.


For more information about Janet Rodriguez, check out her house tour in our upcoming December issue of Romantic Homes magazine.


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