Peppermint Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Stylist Amanda Smith Fowler shares her recipe for a delicious and showy holiday treat.

“In my family, we’re bakers and the holidays are a big deal. We always have different cakes and pies and cookies. This whimsical Peppermint Red Velvet Cake is a favorite at our house because my daughter likes to help unwrap the candies and put them on the cake.” — Amanda Smith Fowler

Amanda also notes that for other seasons and celebrations, the cake can be decorated with red gumdrops or even ribbon candy.

A holiday dessert table featuring a 4-layer red velvet cake on a pedestal and champagne in glasses garnished with rosemary sprigs and cranberries. In the background, an arrangement of red flowers fills a silver basket.



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable oil (we used Wesson)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 large bottle red food coloring
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Peppermint candies (optional)


1 | Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

2 | Using a stand mixer and beating until well combined after each addition: Cream the sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Combine cocoa powder, vinegar, and food coloring; add to sugar mixture. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in 2-3 parts, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Lastly, add vanilla, blending well. Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9” cake pans.

3 | Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool cake layers in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack (about 1 hour). Frost cake with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting. Decorate with peppermint candies, if desired.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Makes enough to frost a 3-layer cake


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons peppermint extract


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth. Add extract, beating until blended. Use remaining 1 teaspoon heavy whipping cream, if needed, to reach desired consistency.

A slice of Peppermint Red Velvet Cake on a Haviland Haute Epoque Dessert Plate with a Christofle Renaissance dessert fork, both from Replacements, Ltd, on a holiday dessert table

By Amanda Smith Fowler