I remember when gluten-free cake recipes meant flourless, grainy, or just plain sad.
Of course, there were some made with ground almonds that tasted great. But for the most part, it was slim pickings.
Luckily, more and more bakers started to realize that gluten-free isn’t just a fad, and they’ve spent hours in the kitchen perfecting these recipes.
Not to mention, there is an abundance of gluten-free flour blends available now!
So, whether you have an intolerance or just want to be more inclusive, I highly recommend you give these a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
The Very Best Gluten Free Cakes
Looking at that picture, you’d never guess this was a gluten-free cake. It looks just as light and airy as any other vanilla cake, right?
For the most tender crumb, be sure to start with room temperature ingredients and beat the sugar and butter until they’re light and fluffy.
That means they should be in the mixer for at least 5 minutes.
Finally, sift the gluten-free flour blend and add it to the butter mixture slowly. Alternate with buttermilk and stop mixing as soon as the flour is incorporated.
Flourless chocolate cake is dense and fudgy. Even though it tastes great, it’s not something you can easily stack into a giant layered cake.
Gluten-free chocolate cake, on the other hand, is light and fluffy with plenty of chocolate flavor.
Keep in mind that gluten-free flour is much more absorbent, so you’ll need to measure it carefully.
The best method is to spoon the flour into the measuring cup rather than scooping and packing it in. If you pack it too tight, you’ll have too much.
As with any other decent chocolate cake, you’ll want to add hot water to help activate the cocoa powder.
Or, make it hot coffee for an even more intense flavor.
For this white cake, you’ll only use egg whites to keep any yellow out of the mix.
Also, when making gluten-free baked goods, try to use the same brand suggested in the recipe.
In this case, it’s Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour.
The reason is, gluten-free flour blends vary quite a bit. For example, some are made with xanthan gum, which helps in moisture retention.
Chances are, if the recipe doesn’t call for xanthan gum, it’s likely in the blend already, and if you use a blend without, the cake won’t come out quite right.
Funfetti is my favorite kind of birthday cake. It’s so fun, and the best part is, you can add any flavor filling and frosting to a vanilla cake.
I think rainbow sprinkles work best because they’re bigger, so you get more color in the sponge. Although, nonpareils will work, too.
When adding them to the batter, remember that you’ll need to be quick.
So, don’t add them until you’re ready to bake; otherwise, the color will start to run and it will look messy.
Chiffon cakes are a cross between regular and angel cakes.
On the one hand, they’re leavened with eggs, like an angel cake, but they use the yolks, too, like a regular cake.
You’ll need to whip the egg whites until they’re fluffy and then add them to a mix of egg yolks, oil, and maple syrup.
Keeping yolks in the mix makes this extra rich and flavorful.
As with gluten-full cakes, chances are you’ll want to experiment a little with recipes.
I know I go back and forth between cake recipes all the time. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried “the best vanilla cake,” only to be let down.
People’s tastes and preferences are different, so don’t give up if you tried the white cake above and hated it.
Give this recipe a shot instead and see if you prefer it.
I think carrot cake is one of the easiest to make gluten-free. It’s already full of fruit and nuts, so any graininess in the texture will be much harder to notice.
You’ll see that in this recipe, you need to add xanthan gum. That’s because the flour blend used doesn’t have any.
I ended up using mashed bananas instead of applesauce because it was all I had, and this came out great.
Also, though not on the list, I added tea-soaked raisins. Just pour hot tea over about one and a half cups of raisins and let them soak up the moisture.
This recipe uses ground almonds instead of gluten-free flour, so it’s obviously not ideal for anyone with a nut allergy.
But almond flour is excellent for cakes because it helps retain moisture and adds a lovely sweet nuttiness to the mix.
Plus, you can make it yourself just by blending blanched almonds in a food processor. I like to leave it until it’s very fine, so the crumb is the most tender.
Generally speaking, almond meal has more prominent grains than almond flour, but both will work well here.
Tangerines might be smaller than regular oranges, but they’re sweeter and have less tang, making them ideal for baking.
In this cake, the flavor is prominent but not overpowering, and I love the added color it gives the crumb.
Unusually, you’ll use the whole fruit, not just the juice.
Start by washing the fruit and then boiling it in a large pot for 15 minutes. That should remove any bitterness in the peel.
Then, once they’re cool, cut open and remove any seeds before blending into a smooth puree.
Almond meal helps with moisture retention because of the natural oils in the nuts. Unlike flour, which absorbs moisture, the almond meal just adds to it.
Plus, it’s nutrient-dense, low-carb, grain-free, and keto-friendly. How’s that for inclusive?
Make your own with pre-sliced, blanched almonds, or use raw for something more rustic.
Of course, the latter will have a darker color, which you’ll see in the cake.
Just keep in mind that blending whole raw almonds will require a decent blender. Do it a little at a time, so the machine doesn’t overheat.
For this recipe, you’ll use both gluten-free flour and fine almond meal. The sweet, nutty taste pairs perfectly with lemon.
Red velvet cake is known for its dark hue and tangy buttermilk taste. But it’s also famous for its super moist and tender crumb.
With that in mind, remember that xanthan gum is vital! It helps to develop elasticity, which you would typically get from gluten, making the sponge soft.
Also, since you need to add red food coloring, try to find gel shades.
If you use liquid, you’ll likely need quite a lot to get a deep enough hue, which can change the consistency of the batter.
In contrast, gel colors are very strong, so you only need a small amount.
Marble cake was made for those indecisive few who can’t choose between chocolate and vanilla. And I can’t thank you all enough!
It’s such a fun cake to make and eat, and it’s super tasty to boot.
For the chocolate sponge, you’ll start by adding hot water to the cocoa powder. As mentioned above, this activates it and enhances the flavor.
I always use hot coffee, which makes the taste even more intense. Use espresso if you have it, or just regular instant powder will work too.
If you’ve never attempted one of these, I highly recommend you give it a go.
They’ll take a little time to create, but it’s more than worth it when you cut that first slice.
Remember what I said above about food coloring? The same is true here, where you’ll want to use gel colors.
Also, to avoid over-mixing, try adding the color to a small amount of batter, mixing until it’s thoroughly blended, then add that to the divided batter.
That way, you won’t over-work the whole batch and make the cake dry.
I love naked cakes! And no, it’s not just because they’re easier to decorate (though I do prefer not having to smooth the sides over and over).
I just like how they look and that you can make even the layers look good with a simple piping bag.
Not to mention, there should be plenty of frosting in between the layers. So does it really need more around the sides?
For this cake, you’ll make a decadent chocolate ganache and sweet raspberry filling.
Worried about the decorative layers? Don’t be!
All you’ll need to do is pipe blobs of frosting around the cake, fill the middle with buttercream and jam, then add the next layer on top.
This is probably one of the best recipes to make gluten-free, thanks to all that milk and cream.
Once the cake is baked and cooled, you’ll pour over a mix of evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and whole milk.
That will soak into the cake, infusing it with creamy goodness and oodles of moisture.
In case you’re wondering, most cheesecakes are already gluten-free. Though some will include flour to help it thicken, most use cornstarch.
What isn’t gluten-free, however, is the standard graham cracker base.
But did you know you can get gluten-free graham crackers? It’s true!
Just grab a box in the store and make the base as you normally would, with sugar and butter.
The best confetti (Funfetti) cake is made with a white sponge. The lighter color helps the sprinkles to stand out more, so it’s worth finding the perfect recipe.
For this version, you’ll need whipped egg whites and just one yolk. That combination makes this light and fluffy while still being full of rich flavor.
It also includes sour cream and milk for maximum moisture and taste.
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