Bobby’s Lighter Red Velvet Cake

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Bobby’s Lighter Red Velvet Cake

By Bobby Deen

256 Fewer Calories
16g Less Fat


2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon red food coloring

1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel) 
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/4 cup toasted coconut

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch round baking pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, granulated sugar, oil, egg, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring together in a medium bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture; stir until well blended.

Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert.

To make the frosting, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until very smooth 2 – 3 minutes. On low speed, beat in the confectioners’ sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until blended, 1 – 2 minutes.

Split the cake layer in half with a long serrated knife. Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread 1/2 cup of the frosting evenly over the layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place the remaining cake layer on top, rounded side up. Spread the remaining 1 cup frosting over the top and side of the cake. Sprinkle with the pecans and coconut.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes
Difficulty:  easy
Yield: 16 servings

Per Serving: 216 Cal (32% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 62% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 34 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 19 g Sugar; 31 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 79 mg Sodium; 22 mg Cholesterol

Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen: Grandmother Paul’s Red Velvet Cake
Lightened Up recipe courtesy of Bobby Deen and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Bobby Deen is the younger son of celebrity chef Paula Deen. Like older brother Jamie, the Savannah resident has helped shape the Deen media empire with a series of highly successful commercial collaborations, ranging from three best selling cookbooks to the series Road Tasted on the Food Network and the award winning Lady and Sons Restaurant in Savannah. On a personal side, he was also named one of People Magazine's Most Eligible Bachelors in 2007.

Read More From Deen Bros.

Read More From Deen Bros Take it Lighter.

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Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


Can i please have the red velvet cake with the beets that you put in the mix.

By Luna on March 17, 2012


This cake is moist and tasteless. Really nice texture. But dull taste. Even my 11-year-old said so. I could detect NO chocolate flavoring whatsoever. I am sooooo happy that I made these cupcakes in advance of my party...I have time to make a different batch. Plan BBB...Plan Better Baking Batter!!!!!

By Anonymous on October 11, 2011

hope bobby’s lighter recipes will be in a cookbook soon!

By trisha black on July 08, 2010

Thank you SO much for making some of these wonderful recipes a bit lighter. I love the originals, and can’t wait to try this one!

By Nicky Hurt on July 05, 2010

I always copy and paste to a word document. That way I can avoid printing out the stuff I don’t want.

By jean on July 04, 2010

I am going to try this. An easy way to print the recipe without all the color and ads is to highlight the recipe copy it then paste it into a Word document. Turns out great! Thanks for lightening up the recipes!

By Karen Cheney on July 02, 2010

Hi Bobby..I’m a diabetic and wanted to know if you and your family could do some recipes that I could eat.  I have been using Splenda in a few things and it’s been working fine but I’ve noticed if I use it in combination with flour it makes my batter so very thick.  Please help me!!!!

By Marilyn Singleton on July 02, 2010

Love Pauls’s recipes…If you want to copy without all the ads..Just right click, highlight the recipe only and paste in a word document on your computer and Print. Its simple.

By April on July 02, 2010

Love Red Velvet a in the midwest. Folks here get a good laugh and enjoyment out of Red Velvet Cake. I’m going to bake this for the 4th.

I agree, it would be nice to print direct from the page with just the receipe.

However, if you open your Word program, you can highlight just the receipe, hit control C (for copy), go over to the Word Doc, hit control V (for save all). and you’ll have the receipe to save on your computer and can print as you’d like.

Happy Baking!

By Nancy H Pierce on July 02, 2010

Here in the South, we are very proud of Paula Deen and her family.  As far as representing cooks from the great state of Georgia, she is my #1 choice.  So, y’all visit Lady and Sons in Savannah and taste a big bite of heaven.

By Fay Manning on July 02, 2010

It would be nice to be able to print just the recipie & not the ads. (takes to much ink)

Have not tried this recipie but will soon.

Ate at your restruant recently, very good

A Fan

By Sandra Bloomer on July 02, 2010

Love everything the Deen family does!

By Fay Manning on July 02, 2010

i tried to copy this and nothing came through.

By martha w. on July 02, 2010

good heavens, not only is he cute, but he can seriously cook! can’t wait to try this recipe!

By Nancy P. Cole on July 02, 2010

Wish I could print this recipe without all the advertising!

By fran w on July 02, 2010

Have you tried applesauce instead of the oil in this cake…I like to use that in place of oil when cutting out fat…I may try it…

By Sherry on July 02, 2010

I enjoy the lighter version of paula’s cooking especially the desserts. I met Bobby Deen at the store next to Lady and sons New Years weekend. He is charming and very personable like his mama. I am a fan of the Deens’s since she first started on Food Network…They remind me of our family and all the love and respect we have for each other.

By melissa placer on June 30, 2010

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