YUM! Dr Pepper Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

/ Tuesday, September 25, 2012

As part of the festivities this weekend, I made my lovely friend a cake spiked with her favorite soda: My Dr Pepper Red Velvet Cake comes out super moist—exactly how I like it!—because I stir a little warm Dr Pepper syrup into the cake batter, then brush the finished cakes with it right before frosting. The sour cherry candy–decorations gave the cake an extra soda-flavored kick. It looked a little Christmasy in the end but really, who cares? We were too busy stealing licks of frosting and treating ourselves to second helpings to notice :)

SERVES: 10 to 12

Unsalted butter, softened, for the pans
1 12-ounce can Dr Pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1-ounce bottle red food coloring

2 8-ounce packaged cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream (or Dr. Pepper syrup)

1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325˚. Butter two 9-inch-round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment; butter the parchment and dust the pans with flour. Bring the Dr Pepper to a simmer in a skillet over medium heat and cook until reduce by at least half, about 15 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat the vegetable oil and granulated sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, red food coloring and ½ cup of the hot Dr Pepper syrup and beat until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the flour mixture in 4 additions (do not over mix). 
3. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pans on racks for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks and cool completely. 
4. For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Alternate adding the confectioners' sugar and heavy cream (use Dr. Pepper syrup, instead, for an amped-up soda flavor; it will change the color slightly) until you reach the desired consistency and sweetness. 
5. Put 1 layer on a cake platter and brush the top with some of the remaining Dr Pepper syrup. Spread about 1 cup frosting on top, then top with the remaining cake layer; brush with more Dr Pepper syrup. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting (this is a crumb coat, it doesn't have to be perfect) and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Cover with the remaining frosting.


  1. totally in love - you are an artist! what a delish!!


  2. You're the artist, Aida! But thank you very much, that means a lot. Glad you enjoyed it!


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