A red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is surprisingly easy to make from scratch! Our secret ingredients for this moist yet crumbly recipe? Applesauce, buttermilk, and vinegar! Buttermilk keeps the batter a little tangy and very creamy, which is perfect for a red velvet cake, while the applesauce also works to keep the cake moist. The vinegar activates the baking soda, which gives this cake a better texture; plus, the vinegar brightens the red color! Homemade cream cheese frosting pairs best with the rich taste of the cake, but you can also use vanilla or chocolate if you prefer. Friends and family will be obsessed with this red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting; there's no need to tell them how simple the recipe is!
Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare your pan(s) by spraying with cooking spray, and dusting with flour.
Cream sugar, butter, and applesauce together the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl on low-medium speed. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the large mixing bowl, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix well on a low-medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 30 minutes. When done, remove the cakes from the oven and cool completely before frosting.
Cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla together in a mixing bowl. When smooth, gradually add sugar and mix until fluffy. Top with the pecans. if desired.