When I think of the holidays, I think of sweets. My mind quickly goes to Christmas cookies, but I’m a huge fan of cakes and cupcakes. Some of the cutest ones can be found during the holiday season. This easy to make Red Velvet Sheet Cake is a great dessert option for Christmas parties or as an alternative to pie!
Read on to get the full benefit of my tips and tricks or scroll down to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe card.
RED VELVET SHEET CAKE
If you find yourself pondering a sheet cake and what it is, you’re not alone! I first discovered sheet cake when I met my husband. His mother make the best chocolate Texas Sheet Cake around!
For the holidays, red velvet sheet pan cake is a festive take on the delicious cake!
What’s the difference between sheet cake and regular cake?
The main difference between a sheet cake and a regular cake has to do with the size of the cake pan you use to bake them. Sheet cake is made in a sheet cake pan. A sheet cake pan is a large, shallow pan. Regular cake is usually made in a deeper baking pan or in round pans for cakes with multiple layers.
What is a sheet cake pan?
A sheet pan is a flat, rectangular-shaped baking pan. It can also be called a jelly roll pan. You can use it to make much more than cake too! You can use it for anything you like to bake — rolls, pastries, cookies, and even pizzas!
I like to use an 11×7 inch pan when I bake sheet cakes but you can find ones that are larger and smaller. Look for a jelly roll pan for the type of pan that will work well for the red velvet sheet cake.
For this recipe, I recommend that you use an 11×7. If you only have a larger pan, it will work, your cake will just be a little thinner. Of course, with a classic sheet cake, there’s nothing wrong with thin!
You just want to watch the bake time and check on the cake a few minutes early.
HOW TO MAKE RED VELVET CAKE
Let me keep it real and tell you that you can make this with a box of cake mix. If you want this recipe to be super simple, grab the red velvet cake mix and roll! You can make a sheet cake just by using the larger, more shallow pan!
When it comes to the holidays, I am usually in a baking mood so I wanted to share this recipe that makes the cake from scratch. Don’t let that scare you! It’s really very easy.
To make this sheet cake you’ll need:
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking powder
- Sour cream
- Red food coloring
- Baking soda
- Cream cheese
- Heavy cream
- Holiday sprinkles, if desired
Exact measurements for the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
If you do decide to use a box cake mix for this cake, I still recommend that you make the homemade icing. It’s just too good to skip!
This recipe makes one 11×7 sheet cake and takes about 30 minutes to prep. Your cake will need about 30 minutes to bake and then time to cool before you put the icing on.
To start, heat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 11×7 baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease the paper and edges of the pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Beat together the softened butter and sugar in another bowl. Then add the sour cream and eggs. Beat the mixture until smooth.
In a third bowl, combine the buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat to combine.
Then add half of the buttermilk mixture to the flour/butter mixture and beat to combine.
Mix in the remaining flour mixture until combined.
Then mix in the remaining buttermilk mixture until combined.
Combine the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Then add it to the batter and fold it in until it’s just combined.
Spread the cake batter out over the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
Once the cake is cool, make the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and butter.
Then add the powdered sugar and half of the heavy cream. Beat to combine.
Add additional cream, ½ tablespoon at a time, to thin the icing until you reach the desired consistency.
Add your favorite holiday sprinkles to make it even more festive!
Red Velvet Sheet Cake
For the Cake:
- 2½ cups flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 2 oz bottle red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
For the Icing:
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- holiday sprinkles (if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 11x7 baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease the paper and edges of the pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Add the sour cream and eggs and beat until smooth.
- Combine the buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat to combine. Add half the buttermilk mixture and beat to combine.
- Mix in the remaining flour mixture until combined, then mix in the remaining buttermilk mixture.
- In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar. Add to the batter and fold until just combined.
- Spread the mixture over the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack until cooled completely.
- When the cake is cool, make the icing by beating together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and half the heavy cream and beat to combine. Add more cream, ½ tablespoon at a time, to thin the icing to the desired consistency.
- Add more cream, ½ tablespoon at a time, to thin the icing to the desired consistency.
- Decorate with holiday sprinkles and cake crumbs, if desired.