Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

Jump To Recipe Jump To Video

If you are in search of a great Gluten Free Vanilla Cake, you are going to love this recipe!

Over the years, we have received requests for gluten free cake recipes and we are happy to say that we now have our first--a simple vanilla layer cake.

The texture of this delicious cake is soft and incredibly moist. Today, we've paired it with our favorite vanilla buttercream, but this cake is very versatile. It would taste amazing with fruit fillings, cream fillings and more.

How to Make Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

Today's cake is based on our Vanilla Buttermilk Cake recipe. It is one of our favorites!

We kept things very simple and swapped out our usual flour for Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour (King Arthur Flour).

The flavor of the cake is not identical to the original, and the color is slightly darker, but it is delicious, and the crumb is heavenly! We are really happy with it.

You can find the full, printable recipe card further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps:

  • Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour three 8×2 inch round pans.
  • Flour Mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  • Buttermilk Mixture: In another bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.  Set aside.
  • Butter and Sugar: In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk is blended.
  • Dry and Wet Ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid). After the last addition, mix just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Divide the vanilla cake batter between the three prepared cake pans.
Three pans filled with cake batter
  • Time to Bake! Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes and turn out.
Three freshly baked cake layers in pans

For the Vanilla Buttercream

We kept things very simple today and paired our cake with vanilla buttercream frosting.

This is our classic vanilla buttercream recipe, which is a combination of butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, a splash of milk and a pinch of salt.

The resulting frosting is creamy, delicious, and perfectly pipeable!

Bowl of Vanilla Buttercream

Assembling the Cake

  • To decorate the cake, place the first cake layer on the cake pedestal. Spread with a layer of vanilla buttercream, top with the second cake layer and repeat.
Applying frosting to the first cake layer
  • Next, add the third cake layer and fill in any gaps between the layers. Frost the cake with a thin layer of buttercream.
  • At this point, I like to chill the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes (or longer in the refrigerator) before applying the final coat of frosting. It is easier to decorate the cake if it is nice and firm from chilling.

Decorating the Cake

  • I added texture to the buttercream around the top and sides of the cake.
Adding texture to buttercream frosting with offset spatula
  • Then, using a small offset spatula, I applied a simple shell and rosette border around the base using a star tip 21.
  • I decided to make buttercream ribbon roses using a piping tip 125 for the larger buttercream roses and a tip 104 for the smaller ones.
Closeup of ribbon rose on square of wax paper & rose nail
  • While rotating a rose nail, I piped the roses onto a square of wax paper.
  • Then, chilled the roses in the freezer for 15 minutes, peeled from the wax paper and placed onto the cake! I added a few leaves here and there with a 104 tip.
Closeup of Buttercream Roses

Enjoy the Recipe!

Thanks so much for stopping by, we hope that you enjoy the recipe. If you try it, please leave a comment and photo below!

Sliced Gluten Free Vanilla Cake on Pedestal

Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

This Gluten Free Vanilla Cake is fantastically moist, soft, and flavorful! We've paired it with vanilla buttercream but it would also taste amazing with so many different fillings and frostings.
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 15 servings
RATE THIS RECIPE
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened. (Holds its shape but dents when pressed.) 170g unsalted butter, softened ( holds it shape but dents when pressed)
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature (If in a hurry, place eggs in a warm bowl of water for five minutes.)
  • 3 cups (360g) Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour (We used King Arthur brand)
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (296g) buttermilk (If you do not have buttermilk, see substitution below.)
  • ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons (12g) vanilla extract

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  • 3 sticks (339g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 cups (820g) conectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons (12g) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120g) milk (add slowly and adjust if needed to desired consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour three 8×2 inch round pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside
  • In another bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.  Set aside..
  • In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk is blended.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid). After the last addition, mix just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Divide the cake batter between the three prepared cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes and turn out.
  • For the Vanilla Buttercream
  • Cream the (slightly softened) butter until smooth. Blend in the vanilla.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar and most of the milk. Beat at medium speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated.
  • Add remaining powdered sugar and milk and mix at medium speed another 3 to 4 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. I slow down the mixer to very slow. (#2 on the Kitchenaid) for 1 to 2 minutes. This will help eliminate air pockets in the buttercream. The texture will become very smooth.
  • This recipe can be doubled or halved.
  • Yields approximately 4 ½ cups of frosting. Enough to frost a two layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
  • Can be frozen in air tight container for at least three months . Thaw on countertop.
  • If your buttercream is too thin, add more sugar. If the consistency is too thick, add a bit more milk.

Notes

Substitute for Buttermilk: No Buttermilk? Here is a substitution: To a measuring cup, add 1 Tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice. Add milk to the 1 ¼ mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use.
Freezing: Just as with all of our cake recipes, these cake layers can be baked in advance and frozen. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost on countertop, still wrapped, until they have defrosted desired amount for decorating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here

23 Comments

    1. Hi Brenda- I've never used monk fruit sugar and so I don't know (except that from what I've read, most brands/blends wouldn't be a 1:1 substitution since monk fruit is much sweeter)- If you give it a try, let us know what you think!

      1. LOL :-) You've opened a can of worms ;-) You will be bombarded with questions about how to accommodate other allergies and still use this recipe. Here's a tip, most substitutes won't work, for varies reasons. You need to know how each ingredient responds with the others. Each ingredient interacts differently with GF flour mixes. Your ingredients and that particular flour mix work perfectly together.
        Trying to change the sugar, butter, buttermilk or the exact flour mix you used won't go smoothly. And the usual rules for baking don't really apply when dealing with GF. It's not as simple and straightforward as people think. Good Luck ;-) LOL I'm here for you, don't worry :-) LOL

        1. Hi Teri! Believe me, I'll be sticking to the recipe just as written, haha! The world of GF baking is complex. Make sure to leave a link to your site below when it's ready-- so people interested in GF/food allergy baking can find you! :0) xo

        2. Hi MsGF. I was wondering if you could help me with GF baking. I'm recently new to GF and want to be able to bake for myself and others. I've struggled with GF cakes and I'm ready to give up. Can you help me?

  1. Hi, I miss your tutorials so much. Recipes are great but I loved all the cakes you made. Any chance you’ll do that again?

    1. Hi Cathy, I had to update my answer-- I was thinking this was a 6 cup recipe but it's actually closer to 7 cups of batter. For a two layer 8 inch layer cake, we usually stick to around 3 cups of batter per 8x2 inch pan. Wilton's batter chart says an 8x2 inch pan can hold 4 cups of batter...but I would probably pour a few cupcakes to be on the safe side ;0)-- The general rule of thumb is not to fill a pan more than 2/3 full. I hope that you enjoy the recipe! You'll likely need to allow at least 3-5 more minutes of bake time.

    1. Hi Maria, We have only used GF flour 1:1 for this recipe so I can't be sure of the outcome if using gluten free self rising as a substitute. You would usually omit the baking powder and salt when substituting with self rising. Our recipe also has baking soda. Let us know the outcome if you give it a try.

  2. Would using plant based butter and coconut milk possibly yield the same results? Or would you suggest something different to make it GF and Dairy free?

  3. I want to turn this into a poppy seed gf vanilla cake! Should I soak the poppyseeds in the buttermilk or just add to the batter? Not sure if you will know the answer but I thought I would ask.

    1. Hi Debra! Would you believe I haven't made a poppyseed cake? I just checked a couple of recipes online that folded them right into the batter-- let us know how it goes! ;0)

      1. The poppy seeds I added to the buttermilk mixture and the cake turned out great! I didn’t soak the poppyseed just added with the wet mixture.

  4. could i add mini choc. chips to this? will the texture of the cake work with choc chips? thanks. i need to make a choc chip cake and my daughter just like gf even though not gf!

    1. Hi Lori! I think the batter is thick enough to keep the mini chips suspended but I just haven't tried it. Let us know how it goes!