Grandma’s Red Velvet Cake

Southern Kitchen
Grandma’s Red Velvet Cake

About the recipe

The perfect Valentine’s day dessert made with Coca Cola and topped with cream cheese frosting. This recipe has belonged to the family of Sean McLendon, executive chef at Chops, for generations. To give this Southern confection added flair, he adds a bit of a regional favorite: Coca-Cola. You will have leftover ganache and frosting, so use them for decorating cookies or cupcakes.

Recipe courtesy of Chops Lobster Bar in Atlanta, Ga.

Serves: 12

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon Coca-Cola

1 teaspoon coffee

2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1 cup buttermilk


4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 tablespoon cognac or brandy (optional)


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup chocolate ganache



Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

To make the cake: In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt and stir to blend. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs and oil. Add Coca-Cola, coffee, food coloring and vanilla and mix to combine. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Divide equally into pans. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans and cool completely on a rack.

To make the ganache: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, heat cream and butter just to boiling. Pour over chocolate and allow it to stand for 2 minutes. Add cognac and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.

To make the frosting: With an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese. On low speed, gradually add sugar. Scrape down beater and sides of bowl and stir to incorporate. Increase speed and beat well to combine. Add salt, ganache and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Top with frosting. Add second layer and frost top and sides of cake