red velvet brownies

a sliced red velvet brownie with swooped frosting, photographed straight-on

5 from 1 review


For the frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar [120 g]
  • 4 oz cream cheese [115 g], at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter [30 g], at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract [10 g]
  • 1 pinch salt

For the brownies:

  • Butter for greasing the pan
  • 1¼ cup flour [160 g]
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder [20 g]
  • ½ tsp baking powder [2.5 g]
  • 3 large eggs [150 g]
  • 1⅔ cup sugar [335 g]
  • ½ tsp salt [5.5 g]
  • ⅔ cup canola oil [140 g]
  • 2 Tbsp liquid red food coloring* [30 g]
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract [10 g]
  • 1 tsp white vinegar [5 g]


  1. Decorate the brownies once they’ve cooled: Dump all of the frosting into the center of the brownies. Use an offset spatula to work the frosting almost to the edges. Then make a few swoops in it with the spatula. Slice into 16 pieces.


* I developed this recipe with liquid food coloring because it’s easily accessible for most folks who read this blog. But if you have gel coloring, you can totally use it here instead. You’ll just need to use much less. Add it gradually to your wet ingredients until they’re deeply red.

Also note that natural food colorings will not dye your cake as dramatically as artificial colorings. This won’t affect the flavor, so feel free to use a natural food coloring, but adjust your expectations accordingly. And don’t use a bunch of extra liquid coloring to compensate, or it will throw off the amount of moisture in the recipe.

** If you let it chill for too long, it’ll stick to the pan a bit when you try to remove it. If so, just let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes until it’s easier to remove from the pan, and re-trace around the edges.