This red velvet pound cake is so many levels of amazing. It combines the simplicity of a loaf cake, the flavour of red velvet cake and the texture of your favourite pound cake.

If you love that red velvet flavour as much as I do, you’ll also love this red velvet bundt cake and these red velvet brownies.

Slices of red velvet pound cake on a white platter

The fluffy marshmallow frosting may be a step away from the traditional but it seemed like the perfect fluffy frosting to top it with and make it look seriously pretty at the same time.

What you’ll need

This red velvet pound cake (well technically it’s a half pound cake) has the classic red velvet combination of light chocolate flavour, a slight tang and a little vanilla kick.

Ingredients for red velvet pound cake on a white marble surface
Ingredients for red velvet pound cake
  • Unsweetened cocoa (3): Just regular everyday cocoa in this one gives it just the little chocolate hit it needs.
  • Buttermilk (2): This is where the hint of tanginess comes from
  • Vanilla extract (5): Make sure to use extract and not essence, the first being the real deal, while essence is a man-made flavouring.
  • Butter (9): 1 whole cup of butter goes into this pound cake and gives a rich buttery flavour.
  • Eggs (1): 4 whole eggs in the cake for lift, binding and richness. In the frosting you’ll just need egg whites.
  • Red food colouring (6): it’s not a red velvet cake without it’s signature colour. I find the best colour is from gels and my favourite is the Americolor brand.
  • Cream of tartar (10): This is used in the fluffy marshmallow frosting (which is actually a type of meringue mixture). It helps with stability but you can use an equal amount of vinegar or lemon juice.

Along with some flour (4), sugar (7), baking powder (11) and a touch of salt (8) for balance that’s all this cake needs.

Close up of the inside of a red velvet loaf cake

Handy tools to have

How to make it – step by step

Being a pound cake, this red velvet cake is incredibly simple.

4 images showing batter for the red velvet pound cake being prepared
Steps for making the red velvet pound cake batter
  1. Start by beating together butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time followed by vanilla and food colouring.
  2. Next you’ll gradually add in the dry ingredients and buttermilk.
  3. Tip it all into a loaf tin and bake it.
4 images showing how to beating up marshmallow frosting
  1. To make the marshmallow frosting, beat the ingredients together in a bowl over simmering water until the eggs reach a temperature of 73C / 165F.
  2. Take it off the heat and keep beating until it’s thick and glossy.
  3. Frost the cake once it’s cool, then you can use a kitchen blow torch to scorch the frosting.

Tips and tricks

  • Make sure to beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is looking pale and fluffy.
  • Don’t overmix the batter once you’ve added the flour. Just enough to combine it.
  • It’s definitely worth having a candy thermometer to check the temperature as the egg whites cook. They need to be at least 60C / 140F to be pasteurised and safe to eat.

Storage

Once frosted, this cake will hold up well at room temperature for a few hours but longer than that and it should be stored in the fridge. The frosting may tend to ‘melt’ the longer it is kept, so it’s also best to eat this cake within 2 days.

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Slices of red velvet pound cake on a white platter

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Red velvet cake on a white platter with two slices cut from it.

Red Velvet Pound Cake

5 from 4 votes
Red Velvet Pound Cake is where two wonderful worlds collide. Tender, buttery pound cake and the unmistakeable tangy, light chocolate flavour of red velvet cake. All topped off with a light as air marshmallow frosting.

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 195 g plain (all purp) flour (1 ½ cups / 6.8oz)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (14g / 0.5oz) (notes)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar (200g / 7oz)
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (notes)
  • ½ teaspoon red gel food colour
  • ½ cup buttermilk (125ml)

FOR THE FROSTING

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100g / 3.5oz)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C / 160C fan forced. Grease and line a 6 cup capacity loaf tin.
  • In a small bowl combine the flour, sifted cocoa, baking powder and salt, then whisk to combine well.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until lightened and creamy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the sides of the bowl from time to time.
  • Add the vanilla and food colouring and beat to combine.
  • Add half the flour mixture and mix on low just until combined (no more).
  • Follow with the buttermilk, mix in, then the rest of the flour mixing until only just combined.
  • Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, then level out with a spatula.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out with a crumb or two attached.

FOR THE FROSTING

  • Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar into a large heatproof glass bowl and sit it on top of a saucepan of simmering water – make sure it is not touching the water.
  • Use a handheld beater to beat the mixture for 5-6 minutes, until it becomes very thick and holds it’s shape when moved. If you have a candy or meat thermometer, check the temperature is at 60C / 140F – at this temperature the eggs are pasteurized.
  • Remove the bowl from the saucepan and turn off the heat. Continue to beat the frosting for a further 5 minutes until it has cooled almost to room temperature and is even thicker and glossy. It should be at stiff peak stage.
  • Once the cake has cooled, spread over the frosting, creating peaks here and there. Use a kitchen blowtorch if you have one to toast the frosting.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. All ovens vary – always test for doneness 3-5 minutes before the recipe suggests
  3. For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
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