Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake

By this point, I like to think that we’re friends. I mean, this beautiful friendship bracelet that I’m making for you certainly indicates that.

And, because we’re friends, you know me. You know that I like hot chocolate and bread pudding and deep-frying ridiculous things. You know that I shun cake mixes whenever possible, but I’m not mad at most brownie mixes. You might even know that I am macaron-indifferent but used to pretend to like them because I wanted to seem cool. I hope you also know that the only thing I like better than a big layer cake is a really REALLY big layer cake.

Well, my sweet valentines, have I got a really REALLY big layer cake for you.

Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake |

Wait, I’m afraid that that picture doesn’t adequately give you a sense of scale. Cakes look like cakes look like cakes when they’re all stuck on a little cake stand, right? You need to see the inside of this bad boy to truly appreciate what’s going on in here:

Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake |

Eight layers. EIGHT LAYERS! That sight makes my little heart go pitter-patter in a way that no paper valentine ever could.

This Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake was born out of a dream. A dream to construct the biggest, the sky-highest, the pinkest and the red velvetiest cake the world has ever seen. I dreamed a dream, and then I ate that dream, and it was awesome.

Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake |

The cake itself is the same recipe I use for all of my red velvet cakes and cupcakes. It’s based on a Paula Deen recipe, only I reduce the oil by about 30%, and increase the buttermilk. (When she’s not busy jamming unnecessary fat into things, that Paula knows her red velvet business.) I love that it uses oil instead of butter, because it stays incredibly soft and moist for days, even when it’s refrigerated. When one is making an 8-layer cake, one needs to be prepared for the possibility of having leftovers for a few days.

Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake |

The cream cheese frosting is another old favorite of mine. It uses a little bit of marshmallow cream, and a slightly higher proportion of powdered sugar than usual, so it’s a touch sweeter than some other versions, with a wonderfully light and creamy texture.

Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake |

And finally, I exercised my laziness creativity and decorated the cake with heart-shaped candies. These are Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers Candy, and they’re basically heart-shaped jelly beans in a variety of cherry flavors. They’re gorgeous, right? I chose them for their looks, but their flavor actually works well with the cream cheese and red velvet. Bonus! You can, of course, use any other sprinkles or candies you like.

Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake |

We enjoyed this cake with a friend to celebrate her birthday, so don’t think of it as a one-trick Valentine’s pony. It can also be a birthday pony! An anniversary pony! A good-job-on-your-promotion pony! A you-learned-to-ride-a-pony pony! I’m losing the analogy, but you get the idea. It’s a wonderful cake and a striking showpiece for any celebration.


Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If red velvet cake is good, then a giant, 8-layer red and pink velvet cake must be even better! This beautiful cake is perfect for birthdays and Valentine's Day parties. It can also be made in 9-inch pans if you prefer your cake to be slightly shorter and wider.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12-16
For the Red Velvet Cake:
  • 10½ oz (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 10½ oz (1½ cups) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp red gel food coloring or 2 tbsp red liquid food coloring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Pink Velvet Cake:
  • 10½ oz (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 10½ oz (1½ cups) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pink gel food coloring or 2 tsp pink liquid food coloring
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 lb butter, at room temperature
  • 2 lbs full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3½ oz (1/2 cup) marshmallow cream or fluff
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 lbs powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cream (or milk)
  • ¼ tsp salt
To Make the Cakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line four 8-inch cake pans with parchment rounds, and spray the pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Begin by making the red velvet cake: in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla, and mix on medium speed with a paddle attachment until everything is smooth.
  3. Stop the mixer, add the dry ingredients, and mix on low until the flour streaks disappear. Turn the speed to medium and continue to mix until any lumps are gone and the batter is smooth. Divide the batter between two cake pans.
  4. Wash your bowl and paddle, and repeat the process to make the pink velvet layer cakes. They will be made in exactly the same way, except the pink velvet doesn’t contain any cocoa powder, and the amount of food coloring used is less. Bake the pink and red velvet cakes for 30 minutes, until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack, then turn them out of the pans and wrap them well in plastic wrap. Place the cakes in the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour before assembling the cake. They don’t need to be frozen solid, but it will be much easier to assemble if they are partially frozen and firm. If you do want to make them in advance and freeze them for several days or several weeks, that’s fine—they will keep well. Just let them sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before trying to slice them so they’re easier to cut.
To Make the Frosting:
  1. Combine the butter, cream cheese, and marshmallow cream in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream them together until they’re light and fluffy, without any chunks of butter or cream cheese. Add the vanilla and salt, and mix it in.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and cream, and mix on low speed until the sugar is moistened. Turn the speed to medium-high and whip until the frosting is fluffy and light. Add more cream or sugar as desired, to get your optimal texture. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready to use. If it’s too cold straight from the fridge, beat it briefly until it’s a workable texture.
To Assemble:
  1. Working with partially frozen cakes, cut each one in half so you have 4 red velvet rounds and 4 pink velvet rounds. Place a red velvet round on a cardboard cake circle, and top it with about ½ – ⅔ cup of frosting. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting to the edge of the cake. Place a pink velvet round on top, and top it with more cream cheese.
  2. Continue to layer the cakes and frosting until you have stacked all 8 cake layers. Cover the sides and top of the cake with frosting, and decorate with candy or sprinkles, as desired. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve. This cake keeps well and should stay moist for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Cake recipe adapted from Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe.

Special Ingredients used:

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50 Responses to Sky-High Pink and Red Velvet Cake
  1. Medeja says:

    It would be impossible not to fall in love with such cake!

  2. […] this cake! It’s sky high, pink and red velvet cake layers Lobster fra diavolo is my kind of lunch/dinner Pancakes, heart shaped, with chocolate […]

  3. That is just an explosion of Valentine’s Day loving right there. Love those heart-shaped jelly beans!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, thanks Erin! The idea of exploding cakes has never sounded so good. And yes, the jelly beans are awesome–I found them ages ago and bought them in preparation for Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t really sure what I’d use them for–I just knew they needed to be featured!

  4. ela says:

    I couldn’t take my eyes off that amazing cake!!! Wow!!!

  5. Sara says:

    I know the focus of this cake is supposed to be the eight layers, but we ARE friends, and you must know the only thing I can possibly focus on right now is the jellybeans. Be still my cherry flavored jellybean heart.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha! I actually didn’t know you were such a jelly bean fan, but since you are, you need to get on these cherry hearts, stat! They’re pretty legit.

  6. Gah, how do you do these amazing things? I think if i saw this cake I’d cry! It’s beautiful!

  7. I am also macaron indifferent, but totally not indifferent to this cake. Bigger is better when it comes to layer cakes!

  8. Danguole says:

    How did you know I wanted a friendship bracelet? I bet it’s green too, huh? #friendsforreal

    That Paula Deen, I swear. SOMEBODY has to plunk a stick of butter into a pot of stock, right? Or maybe not….

    Love those layers! Mesmerizing. I can imagine all the oohs and aahs a showstopper like this inspires.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Green friendship bracelet headed your way! You wanted the little dangly cupcake charm too, right?

      And yes, Paula Deen is out of control. I love indulgence like the next person, but if the oil can be safely reduced by a THIRD, perhaps you are putting a wee bit too much in your baked goods…

  9. Johlene says:

    Now you see that is why I mention you on my blog.. look at this recipe!! Wow this cake looks good!! I also like making my red velvet with oil, the texture is so much better.. actually I have come to like making most of my cakes with oil and using butter in my frosting.. (a good balance).
    Happy Valentines Day chica!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Haha, I like that oil-butter balance! Seems like the perfect compromise. I think the only exception for me is white cake, because they’re pretty boring without the butter flavor. But yeah, oil for moisture is the way to go!

  10. Oh my gosh, this truly looks like a labor of love, and worth every minute you spent on it. It is a BEAUTY! Love the increased buttermilk in the cake batter – I’m sure it’s nice and tangy! Yum!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Lori! I like the extra buttermilk because I had to decrease the cocoa (to get bright colors) so buttermilk is doing a lot of heavy lifting, flavor-wise.

  11. Dina says:

    oh my goodness! that is lovely!

  12. Absolutely gorgeous! That’s some real love in that cake. Your creations are amazing.

  13. What the heck!?!? I’m speechless! This cake IS a dream!

  14. You have definitely outdone yourself with this cake!! This is the best valentine’s day recipe I’ve seen! So, so awesome…

  15. Liz says:

    You are SO talented! Another gorgeous dessert!

  16. This is my kind of cake! Red velvet is my favorite, and I love all the red and pink layers you’ve got going on here. A little marshmallow cream in the cream cheese frosting sounds like the best idea! Also, love those heart-shaped jelly beans!

  17. It looks incredible. I don’t ever dare to think about how good it must taste…

  18. Ok ok ok ok. This has to be one of the most beautiful layer cakes I’ve ever seen! How is it that it’s so ridiculously pretty?? I don’t think I’d be able to eat it, to be honest ;–)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Now now, let’s not say things we can’t take back! Because a pretty cake is pointless if it also can’t be enjoyed. Thanks Consuelo!

  19. Ays says:

    wow! this cake is amazing and so pretty! i should try to make this one of these days and hope it turns out as pretty!

  20. This looks so perfect and amazing! Seriously, how did you make this so perfectly? You seriously rock! Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks so much, Danielle! I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but a decade of practice has made cake assembly a little easier. :) I appreciate the kind words!

  21. A_Boleyn says:

    Gorgeous cake. I’ve only made a few cakes over the years (cheesecakes, crepes and cream puffs are more my thing) but I could never hope to make anything like this in my wildest dreams. I’d love to have a slice though. :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! I have to disagree, though–if you can make crepes, cream puffs, etc, you can definitely make this cake! The candy does the hard work of making it look complicated. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  22. […] Pink and Red Velvet Cake from Sugarhero […]

  23. […] Seriously, I’m supposed to be an adult in like 3 months. My 3-year-old behaviour should have been gone by now… Hey, I hope that the moment I turn 18, I magically develope some kind of supernatural powers so I’m able to frost cakes like this talented lady would. […]

  24. […] Linked from: […]

  25. […] That was me two weeks ago. I could not get it out of my head that my daughter had requested for a pink birthday cake and I was determined to make it for her. So off I went to Mr. Google searching for a simple birthday cake recipe and made up my mind to make a layered pink and red velvet birthday cake when I stumbled upon this pretty looking thing called the Sky High Pink and Red Velvet Cake  by Sugar Hero. […]

  26. Stephanie says:

    This cake is gorgeous. I just sent my roommate the link and told her I found my next birthday cake. Too bad that’s 8 months away! This looks so good.

  27. sue says:

    Can I ask if this cake would do ok if it was covered in fondant?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Sue! I think the cakes themselves would do okay, but I wouldn’t recommend using cream cheese frosting under fondant. In my experience it’s just too soft and tends to droop and cause problems. I would try a stiffer buttercream (American or Swiss meringue) if you wanted to go the fondant route. Let me know how it goes!

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