Gluten Free Vanilla Cake: Tender and delicious gluten free vanilla cake layers with mixed berry buttercream and mixed berry compote.
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
I’m so excited about this gluten free vanilla cake with mixed berry buttercream! When I set out to make a gluten free cake several years ago, I wanted to make sure the texture and flavor of the crumb were just as tender and delicious as any non GF cake of mine.
I sampled a lot – A LOT – of gluten-free flours and landed on a couple I love and think create a cake that tastes just as scrumptious as my regular ones.
This is definitely the most delicious and easy to make gluten free cake I’ve ever had.
What Is The Best Gluten Free Flour?
Going into my testing years ago, I had heard the brand Cup 4 Cup, which makes an all-purpose gluten free flour. As I read reviews, I was excited to learn that it was apparently a great alternative to regular all-purpose flour.
I was intrigued and tried it in some chocolate chip cookies first. The result? Very impressive substitution, in my opinion! I had tried almond flour, coconut flour, and several other gluten-free alternatives and didn’t think any of them came close to the texture and flavor of good ol’ all-purpose flour.
Gluten Free Flour in Vanilla Cake
The next step was to try Cup 4 Cup in one of my cake recipes. With my Peach Crisp Cake being my latest obsession, I decided to use the vanilla cake from that recipe as the test run with Cup 4 Cup. I followed the recipe almost exactly, just substituting the Cup 4 Cup flour for my regular cake flour.
I made the cake exactly as if I was using cake flour and found the batter to be just as flavorful and tasty as the regular version. The one difference I noticed was that the batter was somewhat sticky. I feared this meant the texture of the cake would be rubbery, but I was wrong. (Yay for being wrong sometimes!). The cake bakes beautifully and tastes delicious. The layers are tender, moist and full of that wonderful vanilla bean flavor.
Other Favorite Gluten Free Flour
Over the years, I’ve played around with Bob’s Red Mill One-for-One GF Baking Flour and several others. For me, Cup 4 Cup and Bob’s Red Mill are my favorites to sub in my cakes when I need to make a gluten-free cake.
Many of you have also mentioned you love King Arthur Flour GF Flour. I found that one to be slightly grainy, but if you love it, use it.
With these GF flours, you don’t have to add anything else to the cake.
NOTE: you may want to reduce the amount of GF flour by ¼ cup when subbing it for cake flour. It’s not a must, but I notice my cakes come out just a tad fluffier when I do.
Importance of Baking Time
As with any cake, you want to watch the baking time closely. For me, this cake was perfect at 23 minutes. I like to see a little crumb on my toothpick when I give it a poke. I’m always worried I’ve over-baked my cake if the toothpick comes out totally clean. You can also tell that your cake is about done baking when the edges of the cake start to pull away from the pan. Just remember that your cakes continue to bake for about 5 minutes while they are cool in the pan.
Having just made the peach filling for my Peach Crisp Cake, I stuck with fresh fruit for this cake as well. This time I made a mixed berry compote and used it for my filling and in my frosting. But don’t feel limited to pairing this cake with fruit. This vanilla cake would be just as yummy with a chocolate buttercream!
Can’t wait to hear your reviews!
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (72.6 g) canola oil
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
- 1 test (6 g) salt
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 3 cups (444g) Cup 4 Cup Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
- 2 spoons (8 g) baking powder
- 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 test (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
- 1 . (12.6 g) vanilla bean paste
FOR THE COMPOTE
- 2 cups (250 g) fresh blueberries
- 1 cup (125 g) fresh raspberries
- 4 s tablespoon (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 test (2.5 g) cornstarch, dissolved in 1 teaspoon cold water
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
- 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
- 1/3 cup (80.6 g) strained mixed berry juice (from compote above)
- 3 s tablespoon (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
- 1 test (4.2 g) vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.
FOR THE CAKE
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch pans with non-stick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, oil, sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy, and smooth in texture.
Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Add the vanilla and turn mixer to medium-high and beat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour and baking powder with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until combined.
Mix on low until combined.
Evenly distribute the cake batter in the three pans, about 16 to 17 ounces of batter in each 8-inchpan or 12 ounces in each 6-inch pan. The cake batter will be sticky. Smooth it out with an offset icing spatula or back of a spoon.
Bake the cakes for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with only just a few crumbs on it.
Cool the cakes on wire racks for about 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cakes onto cooking racks to cool completely. If you don’t plan to stack and decorate the cake right away, level the cakes if needed and then immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap or tin foil and freeze.
About an hour before assembly, remove the cake layers from the freezer.
FOR THE COMPOTE
Combine the berries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture while bringing it to a boil and occasionally breaking up the berries to release their juices.
Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until combined. Bring to a boil and then simmer for another 5 minutes.
Strain ⅓ cup of the mixture and reserve for frosting. Refrigerate the strained berry mixture and the remaining compote for at least 4 hours before using.
FOR THE BUTTERCREAM
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, followed by the mixed berry juice, heavy cream, vanilla extract and a dash of salt.
Continue to beat the frosting on medium-high speed for an additional 5 minutes.
Before frosting your cake, mix the frosting by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets. This will also help the frosting pull back together if it looks separated from adding the berry juices.