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fork taking bite out of red velvet cake

Meaningful Eats

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

Meet your new favorite gluten-free red velvet cake recipe! This cake is light and fluffy thanks to a combination of sour cream, oil. It has the most perfect crumb and texture and turns out every time!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings


Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 310 grams (I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure-for-Measure Flour)
  • cup cocoa powder 35 grams
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups sugar 380 grams
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil 100 grams
  • 1 tablespoon red food dye (or 1oz red food coloring)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup sour cream 120 grams (regular or light)
  • 1 cup milk 250 grams (I use 2%)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter 226 grams (softened)
  • 16 oz cream cheese softened 452 grams (brick-style, not spreadable )
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar 780 grams


Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch round pans or one 9×13 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, cocoa powder, 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 red food coloring, vanilla and lemon juice.
  • With the mixer on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated. Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Add another ⅓ of the dry ingredients and continue to mix. Add ½ of the milk followed by the last ⅓ 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 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:

  • Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat on low then switch to high for about three minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix for another 30 seconds or so.
  • Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Slice, serve, enjoy!
  • Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.



  • Cocoa powder: It's best to use natural cocoa powder like Guittard or Ghiradelli for red velvet cake. The lighter brown color results in a more vibrant red cake, and the higher acidity reacts with the baking soda to create a more tender crumb.
  • Red Food Coloring: If you want an intensely red cake, you'll want to use red gel food coloring, rather than natural or liquid food coloring. I use Americolor "red red" or "super red") You can also 1 oz liquid red food coloring, but I prefer gel linked above.
MAKE IT A SHEET CAKE: You can easily make this cake in a 9x13 pan. You may need to add a few minutes to the bake time. 
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: Use dairy-free sour cream (I like Kite Hill) and almond milk to make this dairy-free. 


Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 106g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 90g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg