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3 Layer Red Velvet Cake made in the Microwave!!! You won't believe how soft and moist this cake is that was made in a microwave

3 Layer Microwave Red Velvet Cake

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Hi Bold Bakers!

What if I told you you could make a Big and Bold 3 Layer Red Velvet Cake in under 10 minutes? Now, you’re thinking, “Gemma, no way!” Well, it is 100% possible, you just need a few ingredients and a microwave. You, too, can bake my 3 Layer Microwave Red Velvet Cake in a matter of minutes.

I have experimented with countless microwave recipes from my original 3 Layer Vanilla Cake Made in the Microwave, to an entire Microwave New York Cheesecake made in under 5 minutes not to mention all of my 100 Mug Meal recipes. I can hardly believe it is possible to make a cake this decadent in the microwave, but I did it, and you can too. This cake is moist and light in texture, with a hint of chocolate, a touch of cinnamon and of course a lovely red color. You will love it!

This cake is the real deal.  You make it with good quality cocoa powder, sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk, oil and red coloring. Not only is this cake a cinch to microwave, but a joy to mix up, as the batter is made all in one bowl and with no special equipment.

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After adding the wet ingredients into the dry and mixing, I pour the batter into 3 silicone cake pans. I use these Silicone Cake Molds. This is the secret baking cakes in the microwave as the silicone ensures the cakes cook evenly in just a few minutes without sticking to the pans.

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When each layer has been microwaved allow them to cool. Then you can frost them just like any other cake. My 3 Layer Microwave Red Velvet Cake gets some very special treatment as it is frosted with my decadent and delicious best-ever cream cheese frosting. While this cake cuts down on the cooking time it is over-the-top on flavor and presentation.

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When frosting the cake I make it look rustic, leaving big swirls of frosting on the top and sides. You can do it your own way!  Last but not least I decorate the cake with additional red velvet crumbs. This 3 Layer Microwave Red Velvet Cake is one of my most beautiful to date. I cannot wait for all of you to get MICROBAKING!

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4.52 from 37 votes
3 Layer Microwave Red Velvet Cake
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Servings: 10 -12
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • cups (12½oz/ 375g) all purpose flour
  • cups (12oz/ 360g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder , sifted
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 1 cups (8fl oz/ 240g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8oz/ 224g) buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring , (A gel or paste is best for a strong color)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • My Best Ever Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
  1. To make the 3 layer microwave red velvet cake grease 3 x 7 1/4 inch silicon cake pans and set aside. Note you can use a 6, 8 or 9 inch mold/dish as long as it is microwave safe.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate jug, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring and vanilla.
  4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Don't be tempted to over mix as this will make for a tough cake.
  5. Next divide the batter evenly between the 3 silicone cake pans.
  6. Microwave each layer of the cake separately for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, checking the cake around the 2 minute mark to ensure it does not over bake.
  7. After microwaving each layer of the cake remove from the microwave and allow to cool completely before turning out onto a flat surface.
  8. While the cakes are cooling prepare the cream cheese frosting and chill until needed.
  9. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on your cake stand. Gently spoon on about 1/4 cup of the cream cheese frosting.
  10. Using an offset spatula smooth the frosting out into one thin layer across the cake.
  11. Stack the next layer of cake on top of the first frosted cake and repeat the process until all 3 layers are stacked and frosted.
  12. Next frost the outside of the cake. Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won't be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don't worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake.
  13. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to "set" the frosting.
  14. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. You shouldn't have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer now, but some might sneak in :).
  15. Generously swirl the cream cheese frosting on the top of the cake to create those classic swirls of frosting.
  16. Lastly decorate the top of the cake with red velvet crumbs or as desired.
  17. To store, cover the cake with cling wrap and place in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Recipe Notes

All microwaves have their own way of baking, depending on the wattage and the technology. It is important to monitor the bake. Check at 2 minutes, if the cake feels barely firm to the touch on top, it is baked. You can then check it will a skewer/toothpick.
You can bake this recipe in a traditional oven too. Select 180C/350F and bake for about 25 minutes. Monitor the bake in the usual way.

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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160 Comments

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  1. Mohor on October 4, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Gemma thank you for the lovely recipe. can I decided it into silicon cup mold?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 5, 2018 at 2:37 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, I think this will work well for you. Some may bake ahead of others, and this depends on your microwave and the technology.
      Try about 6 at a time, distribute them in the oven, and remove the bakes ones when ready.
      Thank you for being here with us,
      Gemma 😉

  2. Jove legaspi on October 3, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Hi.
    May i ask can i cook this in the oven instead of microwave? And if yes may i know what is the temp and time. Thank you so much

    • Gemma Stafford on October 4, 2018 at 6:02 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, that will work well for you. Bake at 180C/350F for about 25 minutes, depending on the size of the pan. you will need to keep an eye on it to check the bake,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Eiman on September 29, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Writing from sunny Glasgow here ;). For some reason I have never been able to find any red food colouring that doesn’t turn brown upon adding the wet into the dry ingredients. The colour of your cake is such a beautiful red. I tried Dr. Oetker gel food colouring but didn’t get near to your colour. As we don’t have American products (food colouring) here in the UK is there a brand you might be familiar with that I can try?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Hi there Eiman,
      Lucky to be in a sunny Glasgow! Good to have you here with us. I use AMERICOLOR which gives me a great true red, and of course that is artificial. This is available on Amazon.co.uk too, though perhaps not all of the range. wilton do a good job too.
      Red velvet cake, back in the day, would not have used a color, but relied on the cocoa, which has shades of red, the vinegar and buttermilk to react to create the reddish/brown color. It is exaggerated now with the modern versions. You do need a paste for best results too.
      I hope this is of help, and that you get the results you want.
      Incidentally Beetroot is still used in this type of cake for color, not the pickled version, but fresh beetroot, grated in to the mix, there are lots of recipes online for this. we must do it here too, a thought!
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Kiran J on September 20, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Hi Gemma.I made this cake.I had been wanting to make a Red Velvet cake ever since a long time.On seeing your recipe I made it finally and it came out great.Attaching photo of it.
    Bye

    • Gemma Stafford on September 22, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Hi there Kiran,
      I saw this, and thank you so much for posting the photo. I am delighted you worked it well, and that you are here with us too,
      Gemma 😉

  5. Hang Thuy Nguyen on September 19, 2018 at 1:58 am

    Hi Germa, can i replace baking soda with baking powder.

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Hi there,
      traditionally buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda is used in Red velvet recipes. The cocoa is also an acid ingredient. This is the leavening of the cake. I think if you change this in the recipe you may need to increase the baking powder to 2 teaspoons, and I think this will work well for you.
      Try it! It will not be a fail,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Tiffany Filippi on September 18, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    I made the red velvet microwave cake for my husbands birthday this weekend since red velvet is one of his favorites. I must have done something wrong, it turned out dry. Any suggestions? He still loved it, and ate every last bit, but I would definitely love to perfect it.

    Thank you,
    Tiffany

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Hi Tiffany,
      I think, all things being equal, that you may have over baked this recipe!
      When you bake in the microwave the baking time changes according to number of variables. The power of the microwave, the temperature of the ingredients, they type of ingredients etc.
      Then you need to know how to check the doneness, if you will. A touch will tell you a lot. Press the top gently with your finger when it looks like it is done, and when it is is baked it will feel slightly firm to the touch.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Desynee on September 9, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    How many cups of cream cheese frosting did you use for this recipe?

    Thank you
    Desynee

    • Gemma Stafford on September 10, 2018 at 4:33 am

      Hi there,
      When you have a question about this type of thing you should go back to the recipe and add up the ingredients in the list, this will tell you what you need to know.
      Here is the recipe for the large batch of this frosting, and it will be 7 cups of frosting.
      5 cups (1 lb 4 oz/ 575g) powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
      2 cups (16oz/454g) cream cheese, at room temperature
      ½ cup (4oz/115g) butter, at room temperature
      1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
      For the three layer cake here you will need 4 – 5 cups of frosting, but you can use it in such a way as to make it work for your cake. About 1/3 less ingredients should do it for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Khadija on August 26, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Hi gemma ,
    I wanted to know if i can bake this in an oven?

  9. Dikla Shain Ben Avraham on August 22, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Gamma. Gritting from Israel. My name is Dikla and I love your recipes.
    I have some questions.
    how many cupcakes can I make with this amount of mixture?
    And can you please make some cupcakes recipes for the microwave, for cupcakes lovers like me. 😉
    Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 23, 2018 at 3:34 am

      Hi there,
      thank you for being here with us in Israel, we have so many Bold Bakers all over the World, it makes the world seem like a small place.
      The general rule would be to count up the weight of the ingredients, loosely, and every cup cake will take about 2ozs/60g of the recipe.
      This recipe will make about 18 cupcakes, depending on the size. Cupcakes now tend to be muffin sized! Try it.
      If you intend to bake these in the microwave, bake in small amounts, so 6 at a time or so, circle them too, this helps with the heat distribution, some may bake ahead of others. If in doubt reduce the microwave level to Med high/75% and monitor the bake. When they feel barely firm to the touch they are baked!
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Asma on July 28, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Hi gemma..this looks amazing .. can we use this recipe for a double layer instead of tiple layer and cook in the normal oven rather than microwaving?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 28, 2018 at 8:48 am

      Hi Asma,
      Yes, this is perfectly possible. two 8 inch pans, bake at 180c/350f for about 25 mins, but keep an eye on it at 20 mins or so.
      Thank you for being here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. suehappywanderer on July 20, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Gemma

    I have made several things from your recipes and enjoy your video presentations. I made the velvet layer cake yesterday evening and iced it today. I have never made a cake in the microwave before. It turned out a little underdone and the icing was firm but not set. Not quite sure where I went wrong. However it tasted great!! Will try it again to improve my technique.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      delighted you like this!!! Practice makes perfect 🙂

      Happy Baking,
      Gemma.

  12. kellie on June 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    can u please suggest me something for frosting instead of cream cheese?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 25, 2018 at 4:00 am

      Hi Kellie,
      Really a simple buttercream will do it for you. The traditional frosting for red velvet cake is actually a cooked frosting, not so commonly used now. This is like a Bechamel sauce really. You can google this, you may like it too. the ingredients are as follows:
      1 cup full fat (250ml) milk/half and half, or cream.
      1/3 cup (40g) plain/ all purpose flour
      1 cup butter (225g)
      1 cup sugar (200g) (granulated, caster is ideal)
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      I hope this is of help.
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Euge F. Pérez Moya on June 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Hi! I´m from Argentina, Today I made this recipe, and it came out INCREDIBLY rich. I cooked it in two layers and divided them into the middle, and I got four layers.

    I give you the frosting recipe I use for this cake, which does not have butter, so it’s lighter:
    300g of cream
    300g of cream cheese (firm)
    100g of powdered sugar
    vanilla
    4 g of gelatin without flavor hydrated in milk and melted.

    Beat the cream with the vanilla sugar until it forms almost firm peaks, blend in the melted gelatin and beat until the cream is firm.
    integrate the cream cheese CAREFULLY.

    and ready to use! You can perfectly fill a 4-layer cake and decorate it.

    Greetings and thanks for the recipe!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 24, 2018 at 2:43 am

      Hi there,
      Good job you!
      Thank you too for the recipe suggestion for frosting, I will need to try this one! Other bold bakers will be delighted with this too. I am happy that you got on well with the red velvet recipe, well done you,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Suganya Kannan on June 20, 2018 at 4:14 am

    hi,
    can I use vanilla buttercream instead of cream cheese frosting in this recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 20, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Yes you can, that will work well.

      Gemma.

  15. Kristian on June 19, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Dear Gemma,

    It seems to be hard to find a 1200 w- microwave in Europe. When you do this in your microwave may I ask, do you use a standard microwave setting 1200w or a grill function? I know some of our european microwaves have the function to go up to 1200 w when using a grill funtion/setting.

    Otherwise I suppose I could convert time from 1200w to 800w, but I am completely sold to the idea to make a sponge cake in 3 mins!!

    When making this cake in fan oven, any recommendations? (Apart from that every oven is different) thanks!!!

    Kristian, Sweden

    • Gemma Stafford on June 20, 2018 at 12:28 am

      Hi Kristan,
      Good question. When I bake in the microwave it is with just microwaves, we like to call it micro-baking!
      My oven is a combination oven, but each function is selected separately, and mainly I use it as a microwave oven only.
      The power level of a microwave is about time really, the higher the wattage the quicker it will be. A 800watt oven will be a bit slower, but other than that it will work well for you. You will need to monitor it the first time or two. The temperature of the ingredients and the room temperature will also affect the time. In the main oven I would bake this at 160C/325F for about 35 minutes, but you will need to monitor it.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Aparna on June 10, 2018 at 6:10 am

    Hey Gemma! Which sugar is to be used in this recipe? Powdered sugar or the normal granulated sugar? And one more thing, for egg substitution, can I use more amount of buttermilk or try some other ingredients?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2018 at 2:53 am

      Hi there,
      for a sponge cake it is almost always a granulated/caster sugar, unless the recipe says differently.
      I would not use more buttermilk for this. Try a flax egg/chia egg instead. This is a useful thing to have in your store cupboard. (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/egg-substitutes-for-baking/) this will give you the idea.
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Divya Gupta on June 4, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Can this be made eggless? What ingredient to use to make it eggless? Flaxegg? What quantity?

  18. Soumya on May 28, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks a lot for your microwave recipes. It is a great inspiration for all those who doesn’t have an oven. I tried out the microwave red velvet cake and it turned out really good. I even tried the cream cheese frosting but it was a little bit grainy. I did all the mixing with my hand even for the frosting. But i’m not disappointed as the taste was awsome!!
    Eager to try out all of your microwave recipes and looking out for more easy and delicious recipes…

    • Gemma Stafford on May 28, 2018 at 8:43 am

      H ithere,
      I am really delighted to hear this. It is not all about equipment, it is about being determined, and brave, and giving things a go. Well done you, you will inspire others to try,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Nemo73 on May 16, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Hi Gemma, thanks for your recipe, I’m gonna try it this weekend
    Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the cake? And also in the cream cheese frosting? Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on May 16, 2018 at 7:41 am

      Hi,

      You can reduce it at the most a 1/4. Don’t leave out too much for you won’t get the same results.

      Gemma.

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