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a bite taken from a slice of gluten free cake

Moist Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 17 reviews

  • Author: Jenna Barnard
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 10-12 slices
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This is the BEST gluten free vanilla cake! It’s so incredibly soft, moist and plush with so much vanilla flavor. So much so that it tastes JUST like regular box cake mix. To take it over the top, it’s smothered in incredibly silky smooth vanilla buttercream.


Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

  • 1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, room temp (reg or plant-based)
  • 1/3 cup (75g) vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cup (350g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (300g) cup for cup gluten free baking flour*
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240g) milk, room temp (reg or plant-based)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, room temp (reg or plant-based**)
  • 2 tbsp milk, room temp (reg or plant-based)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 5 cups (550g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled***


Gluten Free Vanilla Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two 8″ round cake pans. Line the bottom of each with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a measuring glass, combine the milk and vinegar. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl using a hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip together the butter with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar.
  5. Mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Add in the remaining 1 cup of sugar and oil and mix until smooth. 
  7. Now mix in the eggs, two at a time, followed by the vanilla. Mix well to fully combine.
  8. Pour in half of the dry ingredients and mix.
  9. Right before it’s fully combined, mix in the milk and vinegar mixture.
  10. Again, right before it’s fully combined, mix in the remaining dry ingredients to create a smooth batter. It should be pretty thin and pudding-like. 
  11. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and spread even. 
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. They should be golden around the edges and right in the center.
  13. Allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then run a knife along the sides, turn out onto a cooling rack, and peel back the parchment paper.
  14. Completely cool the cakes either at room temp or in the refrigerator before frosting. *Make-ahead: Allow the cakes to cool completely and then wrap each one in plastic wrap. The layers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for a couple months.

Vanilla Buttercream

  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add all of the ingredients.
  2. Run on low speed just to combine.
  3. Once everything is smoothed together, crank up the speed to a notch below the highest setting and let it go for 5 minutes. 
  4. After 5 minutes, stop and scrape down the bowl. Then crank the speed back up and run for another 5 minutes.
  5. This 10 minutes of mixing knocks out the air bubbles to leave you with an incredibly smooth vanilla buttercream. 
  6. To assemble, spread a layer of buttercream between the two cake layers.
  7. Cover the entire cake in a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) and chill for 20 minutes. This locks in the cake crumbs so they don’t get caught in the final layer of frosting.
  8. Once chilled, coat the cake in the remaining frosting. It should be enough to do one thick layer or a thinner layer with enough left to pipe decorations on top.
  9. Finish with some sprinkles and enjoy!


GLUTEN FREE FLOUR – Make sure to use a gluten free baking flour that includes xanthan gum. If it doesn’t, add 1/2 tsp to the recipe. I personally used Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 gluten free baking flour for this recipe.

PLANT-BASED BUTTERCREAM – Plant-based butter tends to be much softer than regular butter, so I recommend making the buttercream right after the cakes bake and then both the cakes and the frosting can chill alongside each other. Chilling the frosting will help thicken the consistency.

SPOONED AND LEVELED – Make sure to spoon the sugar into a measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge. We want light and fluffy cups of powdered sugar, otherwise the buttercream will be way too sweet.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
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