The hunt for the perfect red velvet: Where to find Atlanta's best

Not quite chocolate, not simply vanilla. Eye-popping color, multiple layers and rich cream cheese frosting. All are parts of the equation that make red velvet cake the scrumptious obsession it has become.

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Thus, we're on the hunt for the best red velvet cakes in Atlanta. With an outpouring of volunteered suggestions from friends and followers, plus weeks worth of sugar buzzes, here's our highlight reel.

Gabriel's Restaurant and Bakery
Owned by Johnnie Gabriel, it's a favorite to locals who've been in love with her sweet treats and Southern home cooking since 1996. Gabriel's layered red velvet cake with toasted pecans is the moistest of those sampled for this little experiment, and it's cream cheese frosting is light-- not overwhelming-- to each bite.

Credit: Jenn Hobby of Atlanta Eats

Credit: Jenn Hobby of Atlanta Eats

Piece of Cake
The little white house in the heart of the Buckhead bar scene takes the cake in the search for the perfect red velvet cupcake. Theirs earned top votes through a (completely unscientific) research study. Fluffy cakes with lots of vanilla flavor and rich, creamy frosting swirled on top, your choice of small or large size cupcakes. The only regret? I ordered all small, and they didn't last long in our house! Bonus: You can order online for quick pickup, front-door delivery, or have them shipped.

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar
High-end restaurant in the heart of Buckhead equals high-end dessert. Or should we say height of dessert? Chef Art Smith creates a WOW with his original recipe. It's his 12-layer red velvet cake with moist red chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting. Yes ... twelve layers!

Mama Bakes Safe Cakes
Food allergies can make you feel like you're out of the sweets game, but not with this shop. Owner of the "Gluten Free Go-To Guide," Jennifer Harris, gives the scoop on finding the best GF red velvet. She gladly joined the hunting expedition! "The Red Rooibos Velvet Cupcakes are moist, light and fluffy with just the right amount of creamy vegan frosting. It is truly hard to believe this level of texture and flavor is possible without gluten, dairy, and eggs. Just one bite will turn you into a believer!" said Harris.

Busy Bee Café
An Atlanta tradition featuring southern-style favorites since 1947, Busy Bee Cafe keeps its heritage alive by creating down-home desserts with Momma Lucy Jackson's original recipes. The red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is a popular choice at $5 per slice. Just be prepared, you may have to wait in line to get inside the famous Busy Bee!

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Nothing Bundt Cakes
With a cute name like this, how can you resist? They boast regular and mini-sized cakes in numerous flavors like lemon raspberry, cinnamon swirl and, of course, red velvet. These delights are made with rich cocoa and buttermilk with floating chocolate chips, and are topped with their signature velvety cream cheese frosting.

CamiCakes Cupcakes
Featured by popular demand, these CamiCakes cupcakes are a real crowd pleaser. Social media channels exploded with suggestions to try their red velvets, studded with lightly toasted pecans and garnished with smooth cream cheese frosting. The delicate toppings on each CamiCake are as pretty as their creator, Andra Hall, and as cute as the company's adorable namesake-- Andra's daughter, Camille.

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