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Grandma’s Red Velvet Cake

Moist layers of buttermilk-tender cake are sandwiched together with creamy frosting and crunchy pecans in this sky-high holiday treat from Sunny Anderson that’s sure to dazzle. 


12 servings

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • at room temp
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 fl oz. red food coloring
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda


In pot, combine all ingredients except pecans. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 15 min. Cool slightly.

Invert cake onto cutting board; cut crosswise into quarters. 

To assemble, spread 1 cake quarter with some of frosting to cover. Sprinkle with 6 Tbs. pecans.  Add another layer of cake and repeat with frosting and pecans. Continue until last layer is added. Frost top of that and sprinkle remaining pecans.

Heat oven to 350°F.  

Butter 17”x12” rimmed baking sheet. Line bottom with parchment paper.

On medium speed, beat 1 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, make a paste out of food coloring, cocoa and salt. With spoon, stir food coloring paste into butter mixture.  

In measuring cup, stir eggs with buttermilk; add to batter. Mix in vinegar and vanilla; add flour and baking soda. Mix until combined, but do not over mix. 

Pour into baking sheet; smooth top. Bake 30 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan.

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