Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Best Gluten Free White Cake

best gluten free white cake recipe
Tender, moist, and yet dense enough not to crumble at the touch of a fork, this cake is everything I want in a white cake. Topped with creamy fresh strawberry frosting, or a classic buttercream, this cake has received more thumbs up over the past couple of months than anything else I've baked. The flavor combination is absolutely perfect with both almond and vanilla flavors.

A few years ago, my best friend asked if I would make her a gluten free white cake. In my relative newness to gluten free baking, I assured her that I could do that. Ha. It took me 6, maybe 7-8, different recipe attempts, (I stopping counting after I dumped the third mess into the trash.) The taste and/or texture was never quite right.

If you are familiar with gluten free baking, then you likely already know that recipes for traditional chocolate desserts are fairly simple to convert to gluten free most of the time. This is not true for all dessert recipes though. Chocolate provides so much flavor that without it, the more "unique" flavors of the gluten free flour alternatives will often show through. This made it much harder to achieve a classic white cake flavor.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm rather picky about my gluten free baking. (It has caused many an eye roll from my husband as I decide something just isn't quite right, while he and my kids are happily devouring it. ha) Because I am not restricted from eating the traditional versions myself, I often make both items side by side to taste the both versions and see if the gluten free recipe measures up. "Good enough for gluten free" isn't something I ever want to share with you.

I'm thrilled to tell you that this is THE CAKE. This cake absolutely positively measures up. I've made this cake with the exact recipe below three times now and I've served it to over a dozen people. It received rave reviews from every single person and they all questioned me more than once regarding whether or not it was really gluten free. (That, my friends, is a sign of gluten free recipe success!)

COOK'S NOTE: If you are looking for a traditional white cake recipe, not a gluten free version, I recommend I Am Baker's Perfect White Cake. The recipe has received amazing reviews from everyone who has made it.

The Best Gluten Free White Cake
Yield: 16 servings
(printable recipe)

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xantham gum
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (2) 8" round cake pans with butter and line the bottom of each pan with a greased parchment circle. Stir together the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the eggs and the sugar together until creamy. Add half of the dry ingredients and beat again. Add the buttermilk, butter, vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat just until combined.

Divide the batter between the greased cake pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and let cool at least 30 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost as desired. Enjoy!

best gluten free white cake recipe


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57 comments:

  1. I can see in the photo how tender the crumb is, it's really beautiful Mary.

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  2. I am super picky about gluten free baking too, and know that I can totally trust you on this one! Beautiful cake.

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  3. I've been baking with brown rice flour lately and I have to admit it is fast becoming one of my favourite gluten free flours. I was so happy when I saw that you used brown rice flour for this cake. It sure looks moist and delectable!

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  4. Thanks, so much fore this recipe! Im really looking forward to making this, esp. for my granddaugher when she comes and visits. She loves anything pink!!!

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  5. When I saw the frosting, I searched your recipe index for the cake recipe. It's such a beautiful snow white color. Gluten free? Who knew? I've never baked gluten free, but I should open up my horizons and try it.

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  6. This looks really great. But, I'm a little confused. How did you get it to be so white when there are 4 eggs in the recipe?

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    1. I didn't do anything to the cake to affect the color. The eggs didn't change it a bit.

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  7. Have you tried making this recipe into cupcakes and if so could you advise on the baking time? I've tried 3 different recipes for GF cupcakes and all have ended up in the garbage.

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    1. Hi Erin,

      I haven't made this as cupcakes, but the cake is fairly sturdy and my guess is that it should work fine. I'd plan on baking 18-20 minutes.

      I completely understand your frustration with not wanting to waste more of the specialty ingredients! Let me know how it works for you, if you try it. (Next time I make this, I'll try cupcakes and update the recipe with the results.)

      Mary

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    2. I just made 1/2 batch as cupcakes & they were fabulous... thanks for great recipe. I substituted Disaronno (Amaretto) liquour for almond extract & worked well. I baked them same amount of time as round cake 30 minutes but that all depends on altitude of where you live (and your oven of course). I will be making more!
      Debbie

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    3. I'm thrilled that the cupcakes turned out so well! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, Debbie.

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    4. I finally made my test cupcakes and they came out fabulous! My tasting guinea pigs said it tasted like regular cake and was 200% better than the other recipes I tried. I filled mine about 3/4 full and baked for 30 minutes. At first I thought they weren't done but once they cooled completely they were perfect. My kids gave them a yum yum approval. Thank you so much for coming up with this recipe and making it possible for people like me to make something delicious for those with sensitivities!

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    5. Thanks for letting me know, Erin! That's awesome!

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  8. Hi there! I'm really excited to try this cake. I have a question for you. I will be using a Hello Kitty cake pan made by Wilton and because of its shape, parchment paper won't be an option as it would compromise Hello Kitty's face :). Crisco or cooking spray instead? I don't want to mess with what looks to be perfection so your advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    Dana

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    1. Hi Dana,

      I would grease the pan well with butter and then flour it using a mixture of approximately 2/3 brown rice flour and 1/3 potato or tapioca starch. (If it were me, would stir together about 1/2 cup of brown rice flour and 3 tablespoons of the starch.) Good luck with the cute cake. Let me know how it turns out!

      Mary

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    2. Thank you so much! I will let you know!

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  9. How is this cake a day old? Does it still stay nice and moist? Thanks! This recipe looks fantastic!

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    1. Hi Anna,

      The last time I made it, I kept it covered in the fridge for about three days before we finished it. It was great!

      Enjoy!

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  10. Hi there, looking for a nice white cake recipe for our son's 23rd birthday today. I guess he's burnt out on chocolate cakes or cookie cakes (I'm not that great a baker although I try). Can I just use a flour mix that is 1:1 if I add up all your measurements of the separate flour ingredients? This looks so good. Thank you.

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    1. It's certainly worth a try, though I've never tried that myself. Let me know how it works for you!

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  11. I made this recipe tonight, substituting the teaspoon of vanilla and almond extracts, respectively, with 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of rose water... The results were divine! I topped the cakes with a simple mascarpone whipped cream frosting, not wanting anything to heavily compete with the delicate rose flavor. This is, by far, the *best* gluten free cake batter I have ever made and I cannot thank you enough! ~Sommer, St. Paul, MN

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  12. question.. is there a reason you didnt cream the sugar and softened butter together first and then add the eggs like most cakes traditionally start? I made them youre way and i'm wondering if that small change will make a difference. just wondering if youve tried that method or not..

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    1. This recipe was created this way, because I've found that melted butter works exceptionally well in many gluten free baked goods. Feel free to try this recipe using the traditional order of ingredients and let me know how it works for you!

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  13. This is the best cake recipe I have found for gluten free! I used it for converting the Oreo cookie cake recipe I have, to gf and it turned out perfect. Woohoo! Thank you

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  14. I am doing mini cupcakes for a 70th birthday party for a friend of mine at work, who has recently went to gluten free and natural surgar only lifestyle because of fiber myalgia.
    If I wanted to make this into a dark chocolate cake w/ the strawberry icing how would recommend i adjust the recipe? Would it be okay with a 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening? I'm wanting to mini cupcakes, does gluten take longer to bake? And what about honey or stevia substitution for the sugar, any concerns?

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    1. First of all, if you are wanting a chocolate cake, this is the best (and easiest) GF chocolate cake recipe for cupcakes: http://www.barefeetinthekitchen.com/2014/04/hersheys-chocolate-cake-gluten-free-recipe.html It works beautifully with this frosting too!

      Unfortunately, I can't help you with the natural sugars. That isn't something I've ever worked with, so I don't have any way of knowing how the alternatives will work. Good luck!

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    2. Thank you very much for the GF Choc cake recipe, I will definitely try it!

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    3. I made my mini cupcakes last night and they are delicious, moist and flavorful. My husband who is a BIG chocolate fan couldn't tell they were gluten free and made with Stevia instead of sugar. the stevia substitution is 1 cup Stevia & 1 tsp of cornstarch to 2 cup of sugar. The cornstarch was an addition cause I made the granulated stevia to powder sugar first. I did add a smidgen more flour and 100% hersey's special dark cocoa and a teaspoon of almond extract to help cut the bitterness of the chocolate too. I baked for only 10 minutes at the 350°F for the mini's and 15 minutes for the std size. They are Great, thanks so much!!

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  15. Hands down best GF cake! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to make it again and use caramel icing rather than butter cream.

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  16. So... I've tried the recipe, We really liked it. Although, it didn't turn out fluffy, like your picture depicts. We made cupcakes instead of a large cake, would that of made a difference? Our cake was a little more dense, although not over dense, moist but not fluffy like yours? Any idea why?

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    1. I'm glad you liked the cake! Each time I've made this, it's been fluffy. I haven't tried cupcakes yet though, so it's possible that made a difference. Or perhaps one of the measurements was slightly off? Without being in your kitchen with you, it's hard to guess. If you scan the comments above, you'll see that some people have made this cake into cupcakes without any problems. Sorry it didn't turn out perfectly for you!

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    2. I have made this recipe into cupcakes and they turned out fluffy. Maybe you didn't mix it long enough. About 4 minutes after all the ingredients are put in helps make extra "air bubbles" and check them as soon as you smell them gf cakes can dry out pretty quick.

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  17. I was wondering if you would share the frosting recipe. It looks very good. The cake is so good too. Thanks for the constantly great recipes!!

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    1. Here's the link for the frosting: http://www.barefeetinthekitchen.com/2014/03/fresh-strawberry-frosting-recipe.html Enjoy!

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  18. Hi Mary, I would like to make this cake for a cousin of mine who just recently began having gluten issues and I have all of the ingredients except the xanthum gum, which costs $13.00 at two stores where I live. Because this recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon, will it be a big issue if I eliminate it? What could I use as a replacement? I just can't see spending a total of $28.00 for a small, 2 layer 8" round cake.

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    1. Honestly, xantham is a vital ingredient in some gluten free baked goods and in others it isn't required at all. With a layered cake, you might find that the layers are more crumbly if you skip it. You can certainly try making the cake without the xantham, however, the layers might not hold together as nicely.

      I cringed at the price initially, however, the tiny bag of xantham that I bought almost three years ago just ran out this summer. However, if you aren't planning on doing any other gluten free baking, it might be worth it to you to try making the cake without it.

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    2. I use psyllium husks, whole in a 1:1 sub. I can't eat xanthan (gives me a gluten intolerance type reaction). Most of my GF stuff I've made without anything and they are fine. I've found that it is most important in breads where you want a chew and pancakes where you want a "skin" barrier for the syrup to roll off instead of soak.

      I've made cookies, waffles, small loaves of quick breads and muffins without any of the gums/husks. You can also use chia seeds as a sub too or mix chia with psyllium. The structure it gives usually provides a tad bit higher rise so maybe just add an extra 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of rising agent and a tsp. to a tbsp. of Apple cider vinegar.

      You can find psyllium in the colon health section of your grocery store or at a health food store. I buy mine at Rollin Oats at 7.68 per pound. It is in the bin and I just fill up a brown bag with the amount that I want.

      I love the great reviews! I'm printing this cake out for birthday's next month. :)

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  19. Can you use white rice flour instead of brown? That's all I have and want to make this cake today. Thank you I would appreciate it if you could reply soon!;)

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    1. I've substituted white rice flour for brown rice flour in many recipes in the past without any problems. I haven't tried it with this cake, but it should work. Happy baking!

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    2. Thankyou for replying! I can't wait to try this recipe!

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  20. Hello, I was wondering if you can substitute all purpose GF flour instead and if so could you please recommend the amount you would use? I am making cake pops for my daughter and I'm really excited to try this recipe :)

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    1. You can certainly try it with an AP GF flour, Michelle. I'd just use a total of the same amount as all the flours listed. That said, I tested the cake multiple times and this combination of flour and starches worked best for me. If you find an AP flour that works well for this recipe, please let me know!

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  21. When you say "beat the eggs and sugar together until creamy", how long do you mix them for, and what should they look like? Do you have to beat until they double in volume or anything? This cake looks yum by the way!!:)

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    1. Beat them together until they are well combined and smooth, they don't need to double in size or anything like that. It shouldn't take more than a minute or so. Enjoy!

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  22. I made this cake today..OMG! It is the best gluten free cake I've made, and is better than some of the non gf cakes I've had. I used white rice flour instead, and used all vanilla essence. Thanks so much for this recipe - I LOVE it!

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  23. I totally agree! This tastes amazing!! I served it with other non gf cakes and this one was the the first to go.

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  24. I absolutely love this recipe. The first time made it I substituted the extracts for rum. I also did a rum frosting. I let set for 24 hours and the cake was incredible. The next time I made it I followed the recipe exactly, and made a chocolate frosting and a' la' yum! Both times I froze part of the cake a upon defrosting the cake was as good or better tasting. Thank you so much for this recipe Mary and have a happy gluten free day.

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  25. Hi, I am excited to make your cake recipe for my birthday this weekend! Just a couple questions... can you do this all in a 9x13 pan instead of two round pans? Just wondering if that would be an option. Also, for the melted butter in the cake recipe AND in the butter used in the fresh strawberry frosting, are you using salted or unsalted butter? I don't want to mess it up! Thanks for your help!! :)

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    1. This should work fine in a 9x13 pan, Lindsay. I use regular salted butter for both recipes. Enjoy!

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  26. Hi,
    Quick Question?? How will freezing affect a GF cake until time to frost. Would like to pre- make for my daughters baby shower for a time saver. By the way, I did 3 test recipes and this cake turned out FABULOUS on my test version, and is definitely the winner!!! None of my taste testers could tell it was GF at all. Thanks for the time and cost you devoted to perfect something, that is not so easy to do.

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    1. It should freeze the same as any other cake. Just wrap it airtight. I'm thrilled that you love the recipe!

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  27. I am so excited to try this! I am GF baker, and having been baking GF for years, but I have never been able to find a cake recipe that I liked! They have mixes now that are pretty good, but at $6 a box, its just way to much!! And I'm a traditionalist in that when someone compliments the cake, I like being able to say that I made it, not just mixed it together! ;)

    I have a question though, I am doing a 3 tiered cake for my sons 1st birthday this Saturday, and I'm wanting to do a 10 inch round base. Would you keep the cooking time the same, or increase it, say maybe by 10 minutes?

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    1. If you are doing (3) 10" layers, are you planning to double the recipe? I'm guessing that you'll definitely need a few extra minutes. Bake it until very lightly browned and test with a toothpick. I hope you love it as much as we do!

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    2. Okay, thank you. Actually, just the base a 10 inch, then a 9 inch and then an 8 inch, that will be carved into the shape of circus tent (I hope!). Do you think one recipe would be enough for a 10 inch round? (I would do a separate batch for the other ones as the baking time would be different.)

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    3. One recipe should be plenty for a single 10" layer. I assumed you were doing three 10" layers. The cake sounds great!

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    4. The cake turned out amazing, thank you so much for this recipe!! Everyone loved it and didn't know it was gluten free!! It is also good for craving and stacking, if anyone is looking to make a tier cake like I did. I will be using this recipe from now on!!

      The only thing I found in that making the 10 inch cake and having to bake it longer, the bottom did get a little dark. I'm going to try putting a baking sheet on the rack underneath it next time so it doesn't get as much direct heat and see if that helps.

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  28. This recipe is great. But even better if you substitute the butter for oil. The oil makes it more moist.

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