Red Velvet Traybake

Red Velvet Traybake

I’ve noticed that people either love red velvet, or they’re not quite sure what all the fuss is about. Well I’m here to convert the unsure crowd! It’s not just a red coloured cake let me tell you! Because it’s made with buttermilk you get an extra moist and very light cake – what’s not to like?! Then there’s a hint of chocolate and the sweet tang of the cream cheese frosting. I’m actually salivating as I write this!! If you’re still unure, then get baking this Red Velvet Traybake. It has a lovely light sponge that melts in the mouth, and it’s smothered in totally droolworthy cream cheese frosting! This would be a great bake sale recipe or Valentine’s Day treat for your loved ones.

How to make a Red Velvet Traybake…

To make the sponge, I mixed butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then I whisked in eggs, buttermilk and red food colouring. Finally I added self raising flour and cocoa powder.

I poured the mixture into a traybake tin and baked it for 25 minutes.

To make the cream cheese frosting I mixed butter and icing sugar together, then I mixed in cream cheese and vanilla extract.

Red Velvet Traybake

I decorated the Red Velvet Traybake with some heart shaped sprinkes, you can leave it plain or decorate with sprinkles of your choice.

Red Velvet Traybake

Tips for making the Red Velvet Traybake:

  • If you can’t find any buttermilk, use milk with 1 tsp lemon juice added to it. Leave it for 10 minutes and it will go lumpy, then it’s ready to use!
  • I recommend using gel food colouring as it is the best and keeps the colour strong even after baking.
  • I use a 12″ x 9″ traybake tin for all of my traybake recipes, I woudl advise getting one if you can. If you’re using a smaller tin remember that it will take longer to bake.
  • You can freeze the red velvet sponge before adding the cream cheese frosting. Wrap it well to avoid freezer burn and freeze for up to 3 months.

More Red Velvet recipes…

Red Velvet Cake Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Red Velvet Cheesecake (No Bake) Halloween Red Velvet Cake Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Red Velvet Cupcakes Bleeding Brain Cupcakes Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cupcakes Bleeding Brain Cupcakes Red Velvet Cake

Recommended Equipment and Ingredients*

Red food colouring Electric hand mixer Traybake tin
Heart sprinkles Cooling rack

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Red Velvet Traybake

Red Velvet Traybake

Light red coloured sponge with a hint of chocolate, with cream cheese frosting
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: thebakingexplorer


For the sponge

  • 225 g Butter or baking spread
  • 225 g Caster sugar
  • 3 Eggs large
  • 125 ml Buttermilk
  • 225 g Self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • Red food colouring I use Pro Gel

For the frosting

  • 100 g Butter or baking spread
  • 150 g Icing sugar
  • 300 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

For decoration

  • Sprinkles optional


  • Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4, and grease and line a 12" x 9" traybake tin
  • Make the sponge by mixing the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a spoon until fluffy, or mix using an electric mixer
  • Add the eggs and buttermilk, and whisk until fully incorporated
  • Add the red food colouring and whisk until a strong bright red colour is achieved
  • Add the self raising flour and cocoa powder and whisk in until you can't see any flour anymore
  • Pour the batter into the lined traybake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a thin skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool fully
  • To make the cream cheese frosting use a spoon or an electric hand whisk to mix together the butter and icing sugar, when they start to come together, add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and mix until smooth
  • Smooth the buttercream onto the sponge using a palette knife, then add the sprinkles to decorate (if using)
  • Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place and eat within 3 days
Made this recipe?Share on Instagram with me @TheBakingExplorer or tag #thebakingexplorer!

If you like this, check out more of my Traybake recipes!

Red Velvet Traybake

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11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This sponge looks beautiful and perfect (as always) Kat. Red Velvet is an interesting one. I love the idea of it, but the amount of food colouring required to get the depth of flavour always seems a little excessive and puts me off making it very often. I’ve tried using beetroot powder in the past instead, but it’s either not intense enough or I end up with beetroot sponge! Yummy though… xx

  2. 5 stars
    Oooo I’m in love with that colour! I use the same colour gels and they are great for getting a fabulous colour without adding huge amounts into the recipe. What a great recipe for Valentines! Thanks for sharing #CookBlogShare

  3. 5 stars
    I’m another sceptic! It looks great but I almost never use food colouring. I’m sure this would still taste amazing naturally coloured anyhow and I’ll eat cream cheese frosting on just about anything!

  4. 5 stars
    No convincing needed here. I love both the colour and the flavour of red velvet and although I’m not a huge fan of using lots of food colouring there is definitely time and place for that. I like your traybake version instead of cake as well. Nice and simple!

        1. Hi, you could swap it for granulated sugar. But caster sugar is best, it’s very widely available.

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