Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
Welcome to my blog about gluten-free sweets!
I love making sweets that are as delicious as they look, and I’m sharing my recipes with you! First up is my vanilla cake. When I’m old, and I am no longer trying to fuel my body to last as long as possible, this is what I will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cake is the best.
Have you ever looked at a cake longingly? Have you ever seen a birthday cake and thought to yourself: “How long has it been since I last had one of those?” Well wonder no more. I have the perfect gluten-free vanilla cake recipe. It’s beautifully moist and fluffy. And it tastes like cake! No really. Look at these photos. It’s cake. I swear it’s gluten-free.
It resembles your run-of-the-mill gluten-filled cake recipes with ingredients you recognize like milk, butter, and baking powder. To make it gluten-free, I’ve included my own gluten-free flour mix. I’ve tested some variations on this recipe, and this one was my favorite! You can find lots of these ingredients in your local grocery store. If you can’t find them in a store, they are all available online through Amazon. I made this recipe to be scalable. If you want to make a layer cake, just double or triple the recipe for cakes that you can stack on top of each other. I recommend doubling the icing recipe for a layer cake.
But it’s not perfect. Here are some of the pitfalls of this gluten-free cake. Sometimes, the wet ingredients don’t blend together nicely before it’s time to add the flour. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to this including temperature of each ingredient, mixing speed, and a bunch of other stuff. Usually, butter sugar and eggs are a good combination. Then, things get a little unreliable. I delay the last wet ingredient until after the flour to be sure it comes together ok. Add the milk slowly, to be sure it incorporates easily. You will know it’s not ok if it starts to look lumpy or curdled. In that case, I immediately add a little flour to help the mixture hold together. Then, I alternate a little bit of flour with the remaining wet ingredients to create a smooth batter.
I’m still not sure how much baking soda to put in this cake. The recipe below makes really great cake. But when I made cupcakes, I added ½ tsp instead and they bloomed nicely over the top of my cupcake papers without creating big air bubbles or a dip in the center. Looks like I’ll have to keep testing - and eating cake.
One of the difficulties on gluten-free baking is texture. Many gluten-free cakes are mealy, coarse, or crumbly. It’s difficult to get a cake that is moist without being oily or holds together without being dense. My not-so-secret ingredient is sour cream. It helps these cakes stay super moist without being greasy or heavy. It won’t crumble to pieces, and it won’t feel like chewing on a rug. This recipe creates a delicious cake with good structure. It is amazing!
Please note: Cake is easy. Gluten-free cake is not easy. Don’t make substitutions. Just go to the store and get all of the ingredients. Don’t take shortcuts in the steps. That’s how baking fails happen.
GLUTEN-FREE VANILLA CAKE
Yields: 1 9-in cake or 12 cupcakes
- 1 ¼ cup gluten-free flour:
- 26g white rice flour
- 53g brown rice flour
- 53g tapioca flour/starch
- 26g corn starch
- 5g potato flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Wedding Cake Buttercream Icing (see recipe below)
- Add all flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- With your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until combined and continue beating until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Add vanilla and mix to combine.
- Gradually add flour mixture to the batter in three parts, mixing between each one.
- Add milk and sour cream. Mix to combine.
- Let batter rest while your oven preheats to 350 F.
- Grease your cake pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- Bake approximately 35 minutes or until firm and golden brown on top.
- Let cake cool completely at room temperature.
- Frost cake with Wedding Cake Buttercream Icing.
Wedding Cake Buttercream Icing
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (increase to 2 tsp if desired)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 Tbsp milk
- With your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk butter and shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time with the mixer on low speed, mixing well between each cup.
- Add extracts and milk. Whisk to combine.
- If when you run a spatula through it, your icing has lots of air bubbles, beat icing with the paddle attachment at medium speed for a few seconds to remove some of the air that was whipped in.