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slice of gluten free vanilla cake on white plate

Meaningful Eats

Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Recipe

The BEST gluten-free vanilla cake you’ll ever make! This cake is fluffy and has a pillowy-soft crumb. Topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream, it’s worthy of any celebration.
I tested this recipe dozens of times to get it just right! The secret to delicious gluten-free cake is skipping the butter and using a combination of sour cream and oil instead. Whipping the batter also makes a light and fluffy cake!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 people


Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 350 grams (I like the brand Bob's Red Mill for this cake but King Arthur Flour will also work)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar 380 grams
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 100 grams
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 120 grams (regular or light)
  • 1 cup milk 250 grams (I use 2%)

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk more as needed to adjust frosting consistency
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch salt


Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch round pans or one 9x13 pan. I also like to line the bottom of the 8-inch round pans with a circle of parchment paper then grease again.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Whip on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the oil. (You want to do this slowly so you don't loose the air that you've mixed in.) Mix in the vanilla and lemon juice.
  • With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated. Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and continue to mix. Add 1/2 of the milk followed by the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Add the remaining milk and stir until totally combined. (You want to add the dry ingredients alternately with liquid ingredients so the flour absorbs into the batter.)
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
  • If using 8-inch round pans, let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Then turn out the cakes onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Cool completely before frosting.

Make the Frosting:

  • In a stand mixer (or large bowl to use with a hand mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 4 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar, the heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. (I recommend adding 1/8 teaspoon.)
  • If the frosting looks too thick add a little more cream/milk. If the frosting looks too thin add more powdered sugar to get a spreadable consistency.
  • Frost the cake as desired. Enjoy!



Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour: This gluten-free cake turns out best when you use a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour. Look for a blend that contains xanthan gum so the cake has the structure it needs. This is my favorite brand for this recipe.
Storage: This gluten-free cake will stay moist and soft for up to 2 days. To store simply cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature. (This cake keeps much longer than other gluten-free cakes, which is another reason I love this recipe!)
Recommended Baking Pans: These are my favorite 8-inch round cake pans. They are great quality for the price! For a 9×13-inch cake I recommend this glass pan.


Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 362mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 597IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 1mg