Keto Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This is the best keto red velvet cake recipe with a smooth crumb and delicious vanilla, cocoa, and buttermilk flavor.
This red velvet cake won’t disappoint, I guarantee!
What’s A Keto Red Velvet Cake?
A red velvet cake is way more than a vanilla cake with red color. It is a moist, vanilla cocoa cake with a subtle flavor of buttermilk.
This keto red velvet recipe has all of these without the carbs or sugar. It uses almond milk and apple cider vinegar to mimic classic buttermilk.
The secret for a moist low-carb cake crumb is to use ultra-fine almond flour, not almond meal.
How To Make Keto Red Velvet Cake
This very easy red velvet cake recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients.
But before you start baking this amazing keto cake, there are a few simple things you need to know to make sure you get the most delicious cake.
Preparing The Ingredients
This is a standard for any keto baking recipe. In fact, if you don’t use ingredients at room temperature, your batter can end up ultra-thick or lumpy.
So what does it means to bring ingredients to room temperature, you would ask?
Well, it means taking all the ingredients out of the fridge at least 3 hours before you start baking.
- Eggs – if you want to bring eggs to room temperature quickly, you can immerse them in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Of course, don’t use boiling water, or you will cook the eggs! Otherwise, the best method is to place the eggs out of the fridge the day before baking the cake or at least 3 hours before baking.
- Butter and cream cheese – to soften butter or cream cheese quickly, I recommend measuring the amount called by the recipe. Then, cut the block of butter or cream cheese into small cubes. Finally, store the cubes of butter or cream cheese in a bowl on the kitchen countertop for at least 3 hours or overnight. You know your butter is ready when it is ultra-soft. If you squeeze it with your fingers, it melts easily.
- Other ingredients – if you usually store flour or erythritol in the fridge, take it out the day before or 3 hours before baking.
- Almond Flour – An almond meal is coarse and would not be a good fit for this cake. It would dry the cake crumb, making it dense and not moist at all. So use ultra-fine almond flour.
- Erythritol – or allulose or a blend of Monk fruit and erythritol. Note that erythritol decreases the ingredients’ temperature. Read more about it in my keto sweetener article. Therefore, if you bake this cake in winter, make sure your house is between 68°F and 72°F (20°C-22°C), or erythritol can solidify butter, forming lumps.
- Liquid natural red food coloring – if you want to use food coloring powder instead of liquid coloring, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk to compensate.
- Large eggs – as mentioned above, they must be at room temperature and large. In fact, using small eggs results in a dry cake crumb.
- Butter – soft at room temperature. Read my paragraph above for more details about how to bring butter to room temperature quickly.
- Light olive oil – or any nut or seed oil like avocado oil, almond oil, or grape seed oil. I don’t recommend using coconut oil in this recipe simply because it firms up when in contact with unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking powder – this is a gluten-free keto cake, so it won’t rise much. Gluten protein is what reacts with baking powder and raises cakes a lot. The baking powder will react with apple cider vinegar to add a lighter texture to the cake layer. Don’t expect a high-raising layer like a regular red velvet cake, though.
- Vanilla extract
- Unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk.
- Apple cider vinegar – the specificity of red velvet cakes is the buttermilk flavor. Since this is a keto cake recipe, we don’t use dairy, buttermilk contains sugar from lactose, so it is better to avoid it on a keto diet. As a replacement, we use apple cider vinegar and unsweetened almond milk. It adds a similar buttermilk flavor to the cake without the carbs.
Making The Keto Velvet Cake Batter
It is an easy 4-step keto cake recipe.
Let me guide you through each step, including any cake troubleshooting tips to help you achieve the tastiest red velvet cake.
Step 1: beat butter and sweetener
First, you have to beat the soft butter and sweetener with an electric beater or stand mixer using the whisk attachment.
That’s very easy to do, but if your butter is hard, half-soft, or cold, you can get into trouble.
Plus, if your sweetener is crystal erythritol, it can result in serious butter lumps.
In fact, erythritol is known for its endothermic reaction, which means it decreases the temperature of ingredients coming in contact with it.
So, if you also use butter that is not soft enough or too cold, this problem will be exacerbated.
To troubleshoot this, bring the bowl into a bain-marie, and read my recipe card note to learn more about removing butter lumps.
Step 2- add eggs
Next, you must add eggs one by one into the beaten butter. As above, if eggs are not cold, you won’t have a problem achieving a lump-free batter.
Also, always add eggs quickly every 15 seconds to decrease the beating time which could lead to lumps too.
Step 3: oil and cocoa powder
In another bowl, you will combine oil, red food coloring, and unsweetened cocoa powder. While you could add this directly into the previous batter, I recommend stirring these 3 ingredients together first.
In fact, this will ensure that the cocoa powder dissolves well and avoid bitter lumps of unsweetened cocoa powder.
The only trick here is to use an oil that is liquid at room temperature, so coconut oil is not a good choice. The best keto oils to use in this keto cake recipe are light olive oil, avocado oil, or almond oil.
Step 4: combine all ingredients
Finally, bring all the ingredients together using the electric beater on low speed or a stand mixer.
You know the batter is ready when it is read/pinkish in color, smooth and liquid.
It shouldn’t be thick. This would mean you are missing some liquid.
Baking The Best Keto Cake
This keto red velvet cake is a two-layer cake. Therefore, you will bake each cake layer into separate 9-inch round non-stick pans.
Grease the pan
It is crucial to double grease the pan to prevent the batter from sticking to the pan.
First, spray oil all over the cake pan.
Then, lay a circle piece of parchment paper at the bottom of each pan. Finally, respray some oil.
Fill the pan
To create 2 layers of the same thickness, you should add the same amount of cake batter to each cake pan.
For this keto cake recipe, it means adding about 2 cups of cake batter to each pan.
There are two ways to bake your keto red velvet cake, regular more or convection mode.
Whatever mode you choose, don’t change the temperature for this keto cake recipe.
Simply note that convection mode bakes 5-8 minutes faster.
First, set the oven to 325°F (160°C) and place the cake pans on the center rack of the oven.
Then, bake for 25-30 minutes, checking the baking time after 20 minutes with a skewer.
Finally, remove the cake from the oven when the skewer comes out dry or with just a few crumbs on it. It means the cake is cooked through.
To prevent the cake from sticking to the pan, it is better to unmold the cake shortly after taking it out of the oven. 5 minutes is the ideal time.
You may have to run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake if it sticks slightly.
Decorating Low-Carb Red Velvet Cake
Like most red velvet cakes, this keto cake uses a cream cheese frosting.
However, this is a sugar-free cream cheese frosting using powdered erythritol, butter, and vanilla extract.
As a result, it is an almost zero-carb frosting, and any leftover can be used as a sweet keto snack!
Sugar-free cream cheese icing
A cake turntable is very convenient for decorating layer cakes. I love to use this for my keto chocolate cake or keto vanilla cake recipes too.
First, place the first layer of cake on the turning table.
Next, add 1/3 of the frosting to the center of the cake. Then, turn the table with one hand and hold a spreading tool with the other hand to press/spread the frosting as you turn.
Finally, add the last cake layer and repeat the frosting spreading process until fully covered with icing.
I love to decorate the sides of this low-carb red velvet cake with cake crumbs. Usually, red velvet cake layers raise a lot in the middle.
So the layers are leveled with a knife, and the leftover cake crumb is used as a decoration.
However, keto cake layers don’t raise much, and you don’t have any leftover cake crumbs.
My secret is to set aside 1/4 cup of cake batter and bake it for 10 minutes on a tray covered with greased parchment paper.
It results in a thin layer of red velvet batter that you can crumble into pieces and use as cake decoration.
This recipe serves a double-layer keto cake with 12 slices. Therefore, you won’t be able to eat the whole cake quickly, except if it is a celebration cake to share.
The good news, you can freeze the leftover keto cake slices in airtight containers.
Or, simply store the cake in a cake box in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Easy Cake Recipes
I love cakes, and I have a large collection of cake recipes for you to try!
Made this keto red velvet cake and want to share a picture of your lovely creation? Leave a comment below!
Keto Red Velvet Cake
Want My Kitchen Equipment?
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter not cold, at room temperature for at least 3 hours or overnight, 4oz.
- ½ cup Crystal Sweetener
- 4 large Eggs not cold, at room temperature, not cold, at room temperature for at least 3 hours or overnight
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Avocado Oil or light olive oil or any seed/nut based oil but not coconut oil!
- 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon Natural Liquid Red Food Coloring
- 1 ¾ cup Almond Flour
- ¼ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
Cream cheese frosting
- 16 oz Cream Cheese
- 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- ⅓ cup Sugar-free Powdered Sweetener
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Before starting the recipe, make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature, not cold, or the butter would form lumps in the batter. See recipe notes to troubleshoot butter lumps in baking.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with coconut oil or butter. Cut out a piece of parchment paper into a 9-inch circle and stick it to the bottom of the pan. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan again. These steps prevent the cake from sticking to the pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add soft cubes of butter with sugar-free crystal sweetener (erythritol or allulose), and vanilla extract
- Beat on low speed with an electric beater until creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, with 15 seconds between each addition.
- Set aside the egg/butter batter.
- In another bowl, combine light olive oil, apple cider vinegar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and red food coloring with a spatula. Don't use coconut oil as it tends to form a paste when in contact with cocoa powder, or you want the mixture to be liquid for the best cake texture.
- Using a baking spatula, stir the previous cocoa mixture into the first bowl with the egg/butter mixture.
- Add in the almond flour, baking powder, and unsweetened almond milk.
- Beat on low speed to combine and form a smooth cake batter with no lumps.
Cake decoration – optional
- Scoop out 1/4 cup of cake batter and spread in a thin layer on a separate baking tray, covered with a piece of oiled baking paper. Bake this cake layer at 160°C (325°F) for 10 minutes or until set. Crumble this to decorate the top of the cake!
- Cool it down, then crumble with your fingers to form a red crumb and decorate the cake at the end.
Bake the cake layers
- Fill each greased baking pan evenly. Usually, each layer will be made of about 2 cups of cake batter. Spread the batter evenly with a spatula, then tap the baking pan a few times on the benchtop to make sure you remove any air bubbles locked in the batter.
- Bake for 22-30 minutes in the center of your oven. The fan-bake mode is ideal if you have one, otherwise use regular mode (same temperature). Your cake is cooked when the top is still soft, moist and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, with no crumbs stick on the skewer. Note: this is a gluten-free cake. It won't raise and form 2 moist, thin, flat cake layers of red velvet cake layer.
- Remove from the oven, cool 5 minutes in the pan, then unmold and cool on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature – about 1 hour.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese with soft butter, powdered erythritol, and vanilla.
- Place the first layer of cake onto a cake frosting turning table, then add 1/3 of the frosting to the center of the cake layer. Spread with a spatula, turning the cake frosting table to spread evenly.
- Place the second cake layer on top of the previous one, add more frosting, and repeat the previous step to cover the top and side of the cake.
- Cut the cake in 12 slices and serve one slice as one serving.
- Store leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge and eat as a zero-carb keto snack. You can also freeze this frosting in an ice cube tray to make single-serve keto frozen snack treats.
- Store the cake in an airtight cake box in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze in slices in an airtight container. Defrost the day before at room temperature.
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Category:Cakes & CupcakesDessertsRecipes
Ingredients:Almond FlourButterCocoa PowderVanilla
The recipes, instructions, and articles on this website should not be taken or used as medical advice. You must consult with your doctor before starting on a keto or low-carb diet. The nutritional data provided on Sweetashoney is to be used as indicative only.
The nutrition data is calculated using WP Recipe Maker. Net Carbs is calculated by removing the fiber and some sweeteners from the total Carbohydrates. As an example, a recipe with 10 grams of Carbs per 100 grams that contains 3 grams of erythritol and 5 grams of fiber will have a net carbs content of 2 grams. Some sweeteners are excluded because they are not metabolized.
You should always calculate the nutritional data yourself instead of relying on Sweetashoney's data. Sweetashoney and its recipes and articles are not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease. Sweetashoney cannot be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or advice found on the Website.
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I’m wondering if I can use monk fruit and regular flour? I do t need a strict keto, just looking for low sugar… thoughts?
You can use a blend of Monk Fruit and Erythritol (which is what most Monk fruit sweeteners are, check your ingredients).
It might work with regular flour, but I have not tried.
Question: Almond Flour, do you pack it down or just kinda press more firmly than usual when scooping it out of the bag instead of how normal flour you scoop it spoonful into the measuring cup? 2nd Question, if I substituted Buttermilk instead of the almond milk/ACV combo does that change any of the carb/sugar ratios that much?Thanks
Don’t over pack, scoop and sweet top that’s it. If packed, the cake will be very dense and dry. Enjoy!
This cake looks great! My son would love a red velvet for his bday but I can’t have almond – could I make it with spelt flour instead?
I’ve tried to find sugar free recipes but they all come up as keto
Thanks so much
Can I half the recipe and bake it in a 7 inch pan? If so for how long should I bake it? Thank you
Yes, you can! Check the baking with a toothpick after 25 minutes, it’ll tell you if it’s enough or if you need another 5 minutes.
I didn’t try spelt but it may work or use sunflower seed flour or sesame flour, they are keto friendly and works as a 1:1 swap to almond flour
What is an example of the food coloring to use?
Any natural liquid food coloring brand works well.
Hi! I would love to try out this recipe but before that,possible to replace unsweetened almond milk with heavy cream? Hear from you!
Yes it should be fine, the crumb will much more moist tho
This cake looks amazing! Is it possible to substitute vegetable oil for the olive or avocado oil in the recipe?
The recipe use avocado oil, vegetable oils are not keto friendly but any oil you have on hand work in the recipe.
Hello, I plan to bake the cake as a birthday cake for my daughter who loves the Red Velvet K-pop group. 🙂 I wondered whether it would be ok to bake in one pan and then just cut it across to make two layers. I do not have two pans. I suppose I would have to bake it longer. Thanks!
Yes, you are right it will work well, simply bake a bit longer, maybe 10 minutes, check by inserting a pick inside the center of the cake if it’s dry, remove from oven and cool down. Enjoy!
Hi thank you for this recipe, Just wondering if I can use coconut flour instead? and what adjustments should I do? I can’t find almond flour easily in our area 😞 thank you !
No you an only swap almond flour by same amount of sesame flour
I made this today and took it to a church potluck. It was sooo good! There were only a few crumbs left on the serving plate. I will definitely be making it again. This was well received by people having no clue they were eating a low carb dessert. Love taking a keto friendly dessert knowing I can enjoy it and others will like it as well!!
Made this today Frosting is so good . And cake great also . Do not extend more that30 min so it won’t dry out
Just checked and I have 7” pans, I wanted to make a triple layer for my partners birthday, would I need to adjust recipe/ cooking time? I’m new to baking! Thanks so much
I made this in 3 6-inch pans yesterday and they were about 1-inch thick layers. So a 7-inch pan will give you thinner layers. I also had to bake for the full 30 mins.
I am not sure the recipe will make decent size 3 layer cake. The layer will be very thin I guess, but you also says that your pan size is smaller, so it will probably come out ok. You can always double up the recipe to make thicker cake layers. Enjoy and happy birthday to your partner. Carine
Hi , I want to make this cake. I don’t have two 9inch pans . Can I do it in a larger square pan ?? Can this be made without Apple cider vinegar . Have none.
Yes it will probably bake very well too. You can replace apple cider vinegar by lemon juice.
Hi. My cake isn’t as red, more like brown. I followed the instructions exactly, what could I be doing wrong?
Your almond flour is probably darker, did you use almond meal instead of ultra thin almond flour?
Hi I’m very confused. You talk about the secret to this cake being the flours IE; coconut flour and almond flour but when you look at the recipe there is no coconut flour. Then you talk about almond flour, mentioned that almond “meal” would make the cake too dry. When were we talking about almond “meal”? I’m so confused. Looks like a great cake but not sure where this coconut flour is coming in to make it so nice and moist. Thank you
Sorry for the typo, the cake has no coconut flour, recipe card is correct. I updated the post to be clearer. Enjoy the cake.
I am excited to try your recipe for my birthday cake!
I wont probably find almond milk in time, can I use coconut milk instead, or regular cow milk, or heavy cream? What can I use instead of almond milk, even if it’s not keto friendly?
Sure any milk will work, heavy cream can make the cake more moist.
I know butrermilk isnt keto but can you tell ke how muxh to use if i wanted to use buttermilk in this recipe instead of the acv and almond milk.
The vinegar should be added to the almond milk as a great sub for buttermilk, which is a very important ingredient, in an original old fashioned red velvet cake.
I would eliminate the vinegar if you use buttermilk since there is acid in the buttermilk.
I never used buttermilk in my life so I can’t recommend I am sorry
Could I use 9” cake pan instead of a cheesecake pan?
Yes, the bigger is the pan, the thinner the cake layer will be and the faster it will bake
Can I use coconut sugar instead of erythritol.
Probably, I didn’t try because coconut sugar is not keto friendly, it is full of sugar but if you don’t mind the sugar amount you can try that
Hi there. I made this recipe as cupcakes and baked them in a convection oven(commercial one) at 325 for 18 mins. They were baked perfectly in the middle but sank and my batter “blew” some making them look not so good. My baking powder is brand new and I did not over whip the batter nor open the doors. I am a seasoned low carb baker. In fact, I own an all keto and gluten free bakery! 🙂 I want to use this recipe as my go to red velvet. Any thoughts on the sinking? I’m thinking of baking lower temp/longer. Just curious on your thoughts. Thanks! PS…they taste great!
Can I use yogurt instead of the eggs??…if yes how much quantity??
No I am sorry the cake batter won’t hold with yogurt and no eggs
18 minutes is way too short, I wouldn’t never bake a keto muffin or cupcake less than 25-30 minutes at 180C. This explain why it deflate in the center, they are not cooked enough, the temp is lower in the middle and it sank. Enjoy!
Since they seemed like they were cooked perfectly and moist would you suggest lowering the temp to say 300 and a longer bake?
Probably a good idea, yes!
Hi! I’m excited to make this for Valentine’s Day! Would it work if I used allulose instead of erythritol? I find that allulose leaves less of a cooling taste. Also, could I substitute sour cream for the avocado oil? If so, would it still be 3/4 cup? Thanks!!
Sure, you can use my keto sweetener convertiseur here to help you adjust the recipe using allulose. But I usually go for 1:1 ratio, Enjoy! Happy Valentine’s day, XOXO Carine
I was a bit disappointed by this recipe after viewing all the great responses. The cake was definitely moist however a bit oily in taste. Also the icing just seemed like you were eating cream cheese.. maybe add more sugar? Any tips would be appreciated, thanks!
I made this cake yesterday with avocado oil and it did not taste oily to me. It was super moist almost wet tasting, but still very good. I think that may be the cooling effect of the erythritol though. I used my usual ratio for cream cheese frosting so I ended up using 16 oz of cream cheese and 2 sticks/1 cup of butter. I also had to use a bit more powdered Lankato to make up for that.
Did you use regular sugar in this recipe ? It would explain why the cake came out oily. The recipe has been tested with sugar free keto sweeteners, erythritol. The frosting is a cream cheese frosting so it does taste like cream cheese indeed. You can increase vanilla extract to cover the cream cheese flavor or use my vanilla cake frosting recipe, made from butter only. Enjoy,