Gluten Free Vanilla Cake is the perfect recipe for a layer cake or any other cake that you want to hold its shape well. Whether you need a gluten free cake for a child's birthday party, a baby shower, an anniversary, or any other special occasion, this is the one! The cake is moist, light, and neutral - a great base for fancy frostings or whatever decorations you might want to add. And - it tastes great!
I like mine with fresh berries and minimally sweetened chia berry jam or Strawberry Cupcake Filling, then topped off with freshly whipped pure cream or Cream Cheese Frosting as in Strawberry Jam Cake.
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Ingredients
- Baking Powder - Use gluten free baking powder to make the recipe truly gluten free.
- Potato Starch - This is different from potato flour. Don't mix them up!
- Tapioca Flour - On the other hand, this is the same as tapioca starch, so they are interchangeable.
- Raw Sugar - This acts a lot like refined sugar in a recipe, but is - less refined!
Note: I've updated this recipe since the video was made. The video is still helpful, but where it differs from this recipe, follow the recipe here.
Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and eggs. Then add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with a blend of milk, oil, and vanilla in two parts. Bake the batter in prepared pans.
When the cake has finished baking, let it sit on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, slide a knife or other straight edge around the edge to free the cake from the pan. After that, simply tip the cake over onto a cooling rack and peel off the parchment paper from the bottom.
Place one cake layer with the top, rounded side, down. Spread a filling over it. Jam makes a great filling between layers of cake. I like a strawberry chia jam that isn't too sweet.
Set the second layer on the first, flat bottom side down. I spread the jam over the top layer, too, before adding whipped cream.
You can spread whipped cream over the top of the second layer. Then, top it with fresh, seasonal berries.
Strawberry chia jam between the layers makes it even better the second day!
If you'd like to keep things even simpler, use whipped cream for the filling and frosting. Garnish your cake with any kind of berries, if you wish.
Recipe Tips and FAQ's
This is a question that people often ask. My answer is always that there isn't one gluten free flour that you can simply substitute for wheat flour. Good gluten free baking requires a blend of flours. The specific blend you use depends on what you are making. That's why I list the exact flours that I've found to work best for this recipe. Read more about that in Gluten Free Flours.
A little tip that I like to use for greasing gluten free cake pans actually works well for any kind of cake. I grease the sides of the pan with butter or lard residue that remains on the wrapper before discarding it. Then I simply trace the bottom of my cake pan onto parchment paper, cut out the shape, and press it into the bottom of the pan.
Other gluten free cakes you might enjoy!
- Carrot Cake with Pineapple and Coconut
- Angel Food Cake
- Fruit Cocktail Cake
- Applesauce Spice Cake with Raisins
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
- Lemon Cake
I've made some improvements to this recipe since it was first published. It's just getting better all the time!
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
- Two 9-inch layer cake pans
Flour (or use 2½ cups/400 g Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend)
- 1 cup white rice flour
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup organic raw sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup dairy free milk (coconut milk, for nut free)
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C).
- Grease the sides of two 9-inch (23 cm) cake layer pans. Trace around the bottom of pans onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cut them out and place them inside the bottoms of your pans.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the rice flours, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, (or Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend) baking powder, and sea salt.
- In a large bowl (Use a stand mixer, if you have one.), beat the butter until light, almost fluffy. One by one, add the sugar and eggs. Combine the coconut milk, avocado oil, and vanilla in a measuring cup. Add the dry, flour mixture to the batter in 3 parts, alternating with the liquid mixture in 2 parts. Continue beating until the batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven, until the internal temperature reaches 210°F (99° C).
- Allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans, and let it finish cooling.
- Decorate as you wish.
- Instead of measuring out the various flours for this recipe, you may prefer to simply use 2 ½ cup Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend. I have tested it successfully with this recipe!
- Fill and decorate this cake as you wish. It's good with jam between the layers and whipped cream and fresh berries on top!
- This recipe also makes 12 cupcakes. Shorten the baking time for cupcakes to about 20 minutes.