I think that the word vanilla has gotten an unfair reputation. It has come to mean plain, common, boring. But this gluten-free, dairy-free vanilla cake is anything but boring. It is light, fluffy and in fact it is one of my favorite cakes of ALL TIME. I think you might agree. I love a good gluten-free chocolate cake, lemon cake or gluten-free coconut cake but this vanilla cake is sublime.
I have used several different gluten-free flour blends for this cake and they all worked well. My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours with potato and tapioca starches is my favorite. See the notes in the recipe for a super simple DIY gluten-free flour blend or my blog post on gluten-free flours and flour blends.
Here is my special flour blend that I love for this cake recipe and many more of my gluten-free recipes:
- 1 c sweet white sorghum flour
- 3/4 c millet flour
- 1/4 c brown rice flour
- 2/3 c potato starch
- 1/3 c tapioca starch
If you prefer a store bought blend, I like King Arthur Flour All Purpose Gluten-Free flour the best. Omit the xanthan gum in the recipe if you use a flour blend that already contains it.
The ingredients in this cake are pretty simple. You should have most of them on hand.
Vanilla-Vanilla extract is pretty much the standard for getting vanilla flavor into baked goods. When I was looking for a way to get vanilla into frosting without tinting it a pale shade of beige, I discovered vanilla powder. It’s pale, it’s sweet and it has no alcohol. I highly recommend Cooks Vanilla Powder for this cake too.
Dairy-Free-Any unsweetened non-dairy milk substitute will work in this recipe. I have used coconut (beverage, not canned coconut milk), almond, macadamia, rice and soy “milks” all with great results.
This gluten-free vanilla cake recipe is so versatile. With some simple additions, it can be turned into a different cake flavor. Vanilla is a great flavor enhancer so it stays in the recipe regardless of the cake.
- Add 3 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger for a cake with wonderful zing!
- For a Gluten-Free Spice Cake, add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 pinches each of nutmeg, ginger and ground clove.