This gluten free red velvet cake is incredibly moist and fluffy and is a showstopper dessert with it’s gorgeous burgundy color. Add my cream cheese frosting for the perfect traditional red velvet cake you’ve been craving.
Be sure to check out more of my gluten-free cakes including my highest rated gluten-free lemon layer cake, luscious gluten-free vanilla cake and my deliciously unique gluten-free butternut squash cake.
The Best Flour for Gluten-Free Cakes
I have tested several gluten-free flour blends in my cakes. The store-bought flour that has worked best for me is King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Blend. It works consistently well in my cakes, cupcakes, muffins and quick breads. It is also the most affordable of the flours I’ve tested.
My other favorite gluten-free flour for baking is my DIY gluten-free and rice free flour blend. The cakes, muffins and cupcakes I made using this blend are the favorites of my taste testers! I have increasingly had requests for gluten and rice-free recipes.
I have had pretty good results with Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan blend but I find it to be a bit more gummy than Measure for Measure. My cookie recipes come out VERY different when I use Pamela’s and cake batters are thicker.
Cup4Cup is a flour that many of my readers use but it is pricier and contains milk powder. Many of my recipes are also dairy-free so I prefer not to rely on it.
Bob’s Red Mill has a 1-to-1 one flour that many people have had good results with, but it is not certified gluten-free. For my readers who are super sensitive or have Celiac Disease, I test only with gf flour blends that are 3rd party certified gluten-free.
Of course it wouldn’t be a red velvet cake without buttermilk which adds that distinctive tangy flavor. Buttermilk also adds wonderful moisture to cakes. For a dairy-free red velvet cake, use my super fast and easy dairy-free buttermilk substitute.
In addition to buttermilk, the recipe includes white vinegar for extra tang. The vinegar also reacts with the baking soda to help the cake rise.
Red velvet cake gets a hint of chocolate flavor with a small amount of unsweetened cocoa powder. I love Ghirardelli cocoa powder but it does have a wheat warning on the label. Hershey’s cocoa powder is a good gluten-free option.
I prefer oil over butter for gluten-free cakes. It does a much better job of adding moisture and makes cakes fluffier than butter. Any neutral flavored oil will work – avocado, canola, sunflower.
Liquid red food coloring or red gel gives this cake its gorgeous burgundy-red color. If you use a gel food color you’ll use less as described in the recipe card below. Unfortunately the natural red food colors I have tested do not survive baking well – the cakes come out pale red or orange.
The rest of the ingredients are just the basics. eggs, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
How to Decorate Red Velvet Cake
The signature decoration on a red velvet cake is red cake crumbs but there’s no need to bake anything extra. When preparing a cake layer to stack and frost, it’s best to trim off any dome or unevenness on the top. This makes the layer cake level when stacked. Use a long serrated knife and gently saw off the dome.
Take those scraps that you just shaved off, break them up and place on a sheet pan. Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. This will dry them out enough so that you can turn the scraps into crumbs. Then, simply press them onto a freshly frosted cake.
The traditional frosting for a red velvet cake is cream cheese frosting. The sweet and tangy frosting goes so well with the buttermilk flavor. But you can never go wrong with vanilla buttercream frosting.
Super Moist Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake
- 2½ c gluten-free flour blend
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ c oil – sunflower, avocado, light olive oil, canola or other neutral flavored oil
- 2 Tbsp liquid red food coloring or 1 Tbsp gel color
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 c sugar
- 1 c buttermilk dairy-free buttermilk substitute
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line with parchment and grease two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a medium sized mixing bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, oil, food coloring, vinegar and salt.
- Add the sugar and beat thoroughly until the mixture is creamy.
- Heat the buttermilk until very warm. I heat it in the microwave in my glass measuring cup for 45-50 seconds.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until most of the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Add the warm buttermilk and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans. For even layers use a measuring cup – a little more than 2 ½ cups batter per pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes for 8 inch layers and 35-40 minutes for 9 inch layers, or until the tops are set and bounce back from a gentle tap.
- Cool the layers in the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cakes to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Top with my pipeable cream cheese frosting.