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.
Store-Bought Gluten-Free Flour Blends
If you prefer a store bought blend, I like King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure Flour. It works well in many of my recipes and is widely available in grocery stores. Be sure to check out my collection of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour recipes.
Gluten-free flours for baking are quite expensive compared to wheat flour. But King Arthur, is the most affordable of the of all the ones I’ve tested.
Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan blend is similar and works well in this recipe too. Cup4Cup is a another option but contains milk powder so I have not tested it in this recipe. All of these are certified gluten-free and contain binders like xanthan gum, guar gum and inulin. So no need to add extra if your flour blend contains it.
DIY Gluten-Free Flour
My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours is my favorite. I prefer for the taste and texture is creates in cakes and muffins. 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.
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.
Oil is my preferred way to make a cake moist. It does a much better job than butter. Use avocado, sunflower, canola or any neutral tasting vegetable oil.
The remaining ingredients are just the basics – eggs, baking powder and salt.
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.
Cake Frosting Recipes
This cake is perfect frosted with my pipeable cream cheese frosting or vanilla buttercream frosting, vegan chocolate frosting, chocolate buttercream frosting, or my vegan chocolate cream cheese frosting. For something new and different, try my creamy sweet potato frosting without powdered sugar (no cane sugar at all)..