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Red Velvet Blackberry Cake | Grandbaby Cakes
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4.71 from 27 votes

Red Velvet Cake With Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting from Grandbaby Cakes Cookbook

My daddy is the biggest fan of blackberries. I grew up listening to his warm tales of eating them during his childhood (back then Daddy was lovingly nicknamed June Baby, not because he was born in June but because he was a junior named after his father). He adored berry picking in his grandmother’s backyard. Those ripe goodies would later star in her incredible pies and cobblers, for which she was well known.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 22 servings
Calories: 303kcal


For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee hot
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ounce liquid red food coloring

For the Blackberry Compote:

  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 2 blocks
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries for garnish


For the Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Liberally prepare 3 9-inch round cake pans with the nonstick method of your choice. (I recommend the parchment method described on p. 17.)
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix on low speed. Slowly add the oil and buttermilk.
  • Increase the speed to medium-low and add the eggs 1 at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Slowly add the coffee, vanilla extract, vinegar, and food coloring. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a layer comes out clean. Do not overbake.
  • Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Let cool to room temperature. Lightly cover the cakes with foil or plastic wrap so they do not dry out.

For the Blackberry Compote:

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the blackberries, granulated sugar, lime juice, and salt. Once the blackberries begin releasing their juices and the liquid begins to boil, after about 8 to 12 minutes, use a pastry cutter or fork to mash 1/2 of the berries. Leave the rest whole.
  • Stir in the cornstarch and continue to cook at a boil, allowing the juices to cook down and thicken. The compote is ready when the liquid coats and completely sticks to the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature.

For the Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting:

  • Clean your stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment. Beat the cream cheese on high speed until it begins to thicken and become fluffy.
  • Turn your mixer down to low speed and carefully add the confectioners’ sugar. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, turn your mixer speed back up and continue whipping. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Continue to whip until the frosting is smooth, light, and fluffy. Refrigerate the buttercream for 30 minutes to firm it up.

To Assemble:

  • Once the layers are completely cooled, place 1 layer on a serving plate. Spread just the top with 1/3 of the frosting (please refer to the Basic Frosting Instructions on p. 18). Add 1/3 of the compote over the frosting. Using a butter knife or skewer, swirl the compote into the frosting. Add the second layer and spread with another 1/3 of the frosting. Add 1/3 of the compote, swirling the compote into the frosting again. Add the final layer, bottom-side up, and top with the remaining frosting. Add the rest of the compote and repeat the swirling process. Do not frost the side of the cake. Garnish with the whole blackberries. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.


  • Grandbaby Note: The cake layers can be quite tender, so feel free to refrigerate them (20 to 30 minutes should do it) to firm them up and make them easier to work with when frosting.
Reprinted with permission from Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams, Agate Surrey, 2015.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 6.2mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg