My Yummy Valentine: Red Velvet Cake With Creamy Nutella Buttercream

I know. I had you at Nutella, right?

It’s scary how one little jar of chocolately goodness can have such power over people but it’s crazy true! After all, everything is better with Nutella, amiright? I’ve been meaning to make a frosting with Nutella for ages but never got around to doing so until, the other day when my son requested a Red Velvet cake after seeing one on one of his favorite Nickelodeon shows—Olivia. 

You see, TV has crazy control over the food he craves and let’s face it, it’s the same for most of us, right? Anyway, I was happy to indulge him in his craving even if it did mean using an obscene amount red food coloring because, everything in moderating, right? Plus, I am known for my Red Velvet cake so it would have been a shame not to share it with my little guy and with Valentine’s Day on it’s way, it seemed like a festive thing to do so, I got to work on making his request happen. All was going swimmingly until I realized I had a cake in the oven and no cream cheese to make the frosting. Ugh! A red Velvet cake with no cream cheese icing seemed like a crime but, I was so not running to the store to get some so I had to improvise. And you know how they say, necessity is the mother of invention so I was inspired to find a suitable substitute. Well, a few minutes later and thanks to some pantry staples—butter, sugar and Nutella (a staple for EVERY Italian girl), I had one mother of an icing!!

This icing is deliciously creamy and light and would be delicious as a topping for any of your favorite chocolate or vanilla cake recipes. The Nutella adds a depth of flavor and a smoothness that I really like as in contrast to the to the delicate crumb of this light and airy red velvet cake. 

Red Velvet Cake

Makes 2 (9-inch) cakes


  • 12 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 sticks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ounce red food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round layer cake pans.

2. In your mixer using a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time and beat for about 1 minute. Add in vanilla.

3. In small bowl whisk together cocoa and food coloring and beat into the egg mixture.

4. In a large bowl whisk together flour and salt. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk mixtures to the batter, beating on low to medium speed. Combine soda and vinegar in cup and add to cake batter. Spoon batter evenly into the 2 cake pans. Bake at 350° for 22 to 28 minutes. Allow cakes to cool on wire rack racks. Remove from pans and frost with Nutella buttercream (recipe below). 

Nutella Buttercream Icing


  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 sticks of butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Nutella


1. Place butter into the bowl of a standing mixer and beat on high until pale and smooth, about 1 minute. Turn mixer to low and gradually add in confectioners sugar until all of the sugar is incorporated. Turn speed up to high and beat the heck out of it, about 6 minutes. Turn speed to medium and add in Nutella, beat for 30 second before using to frost cake.