Delicious soft golden cake surrounded by layers of fudgey frosting make this Gluten Free Birthday Cake a crowd favorite! Perfect for any occasion, not just birthdays, it is simple to make and easy to assemble! Best of all, it’s gluten free, nut free, egg free and easily vegan!
Guys...this beautiful Gluten Free Birthday Cake is soft, sweet with a slight richness from the frosting. It's the perfect cake for those that like chocolate or vanilla!
Growing up, my favorite cakes were Entemann’s Fudge Iced Golden and Pepperidge Farm’s Rich Golden Layer Cake because my family didn't bake; this beautiful golden layer cake is my spin on both of those cakes...only way more delicious!
REASONS TO LOVE This Cake
- Allergy Friendly- This cake is gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be dairy free (vegan).
- Soft & Fluffy- This cake is super soft and delicious.
- Fudge Frosting- Layers of fudge frosting ensure you get chocolate in every bite.
FOR THE CAKE
- Gluten Free Flour- If you also have nut allergies, make sure to use a brand that’s made in a nut free facility. I really love to use this one because it’s nut safe but it does contain dairy.
- Milk of choice- If there are no dairy allergies or if you’re not vegan, you can use regular whole milk. For non dairy, use a non dairy milk of your choosing.
- Pure Vanilla Extract- Make sure the vanilla you use is pure and gf.
- Vegetable Oil- Adds moisture into this cake; there is no butter or vegan baking stick.
FOR THE FROSTING
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
SMOOTHING THE BATTER
Many gluten free flour batters have a way of staying exactly as they are placed, when baked.
If you leave it misshapen, that’s how it will remain when baked.
When the batter is in the cake tins, gently smooth the tops with a butter knife.
USING TWO TYPES OF COCOA POWDER In the Frosting
People ask how I get my chocolate baked goods to be so dark. The secret is in that bit of dark cocoa powder.
Using two types of cocoa powder creates a richer color and flavor, which I am obsessed with!
However, keep in mind that cocoa powder is quite dry. Dark is even drier than Dutch or Natural Unsweetened.
If you only used the dark cocoa powder, your baked goods would be way too dry and bitter.
Therefore, if you don’t have both types of cocoa powders on hand, just use either the Dutch or Natural Unsweetened.
If you only use the one type, keep in mind that your frosting won’t be as dark as mine.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS WITH PICTURES
Here are the steps to make this cake!
STEP 1: WHISK TOGETHER THE DRY INGREDIENTS
In a large bowl whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
STEP 2: MIX TOGETHER THE WET INGREDIENTS AND BROWN SUGAR
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk of choice, light brown sugar, vegetable oil and the vanilla.
STEP 3: ADD THE WET INGREDIENTS INTO THE DRY
Slowly add the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. It if gets too thick, switch to a spatula but it should be fairly liquidy.
STEP 4: SCOOP THE BATTER
Using a spatula, divide the batter equally between two greased and parchment lined 8 inch cake pans; smooth the tops with a butter knife.
STEP 5: BAKE THE CAKES
Bake the cakes in the center rack at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes until golden on top and slightly springy when carefully touched.
STEP 6: CUT THE CAKES
Remove cakes from the oven and let them cool in the cake pans.
Once the cakes have cooled completely, take them out of the pan and slice them in half horizontally to create 4 thinner layers of cake.
If the tops of your cakes have domes, you can very carefully slice them off to make the tops flat.
STEP 7: MAKE THE FROSTING
For this cake, I use my chocolate fudge frosting recipe.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE TIPS
STEP 1: DIVIDE THE FROSTING
Separate the frosting into 5 equal sections.
STEP 2: FROST ONE LAYER
Place one layer of cake on a cake plate/stand. Scoop ⅕ (about 1 cup) of frosting on top of the layer and use an icing spatula to spread it around.
STEP 3: REPEAT THE PROCESS
Place another layer of cake on top; repeat this same process. Do this with 3 layers of cake.
STEP 4: Frost the top and sides
Once you get to the top layer of cake, place it bottom (or flat) side up so the top of the cake is nice and flat.
Use an icing spatula to frost the top and the sides. You should have some frosting left over to pipe decorations if desired.
DECORATE THE TOP
STEP 1: MAKE SWIRLS
Put the remaining frosting into a piping bag.
Make swirls all around the edge of the top of the cake.
STEP 2: ADD Sprinkles
Sprinkle some gluten free/nut free/vegan nonpareils or sprinkles on top of the frosting swirls.
HOW TO MAKE THIS VEGAN
Follow these simple steps to make sure the cake is vegan:
- Use a gluten free flour that’s free from dairy.
- Only use a non dairy milk of choice.
- Make sure to follow the steps in the frosting recipe on how to make that vegan as well.
- Read the label on your sprinkles to ensure they’re gluten free, nut free and vegan.
Most gluten free baked goods are best made the same day, but you can make this cake the night before and then pipe the extra frosting deocorations in the morning.
If making the night before, keep the cake in the fridge under a dome or wrapped in foil until ready to decorate.
Yes this recipe makes 18 cupcakes.
Bake them at the same temperature for 24 minutes until tops are golden and springy when gently and carefully poked.
To decorate the cake, if you don’t have a piping bag you can use your icing spatula or butter knife or the back of a spoon to make swirls or marks all over.
You can look at my Vegan Vanilla Cake for inspiration.
Yes! You can make the frosting the night before.
Store it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
When ready to use, bring the frosting to room temperature and rewhip if you want to regain that creaminess.
STORING AND FREEZING
Since gluten free and eggless baked goods are best the first day, we want to try to keep this gluten free birthday cake as fresh as possible.
Once the cake is cut into, it’s best to cut the entire cake into slices, wrap each slice in foil and store in a zip top bag in the fridge.
This is if you will be eating all the slices the next two days.
When ready to eat, let the slices sit on the counter, in the foil for about an hour or until the cake is room temperature and soft.
I like to warm each slice in the microwave for 10 seconds.
If not eating all the extra slices in the next two days, take the slices wrapped in foil and in the zip top bag and freeze them.
You can keep the slices frozen for up to 30 days.
When ready to eat, put the slices in the fridge the night before or leave them out on the counter for 2 hours prior to eating or until the cake is room temperature and soft.
Warm each slice in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Other Cake Recipes To Try
Please leave me a star review below!
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @laneandgreyfare if you make my recipes and follow along on Pinterest! Enjoy!!!
Gluten Free Birthday Cake
For the cake:
- 2 ¼ cups gluten free flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups milk of choice
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- Frosting: Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk of choice, the light brown sugar, the vegetable oil and the vanilla.
- Slowly add the milk mixture into the flour mixture and use a spatula to combine as it gets thick.
- With a spatula, scoop half the batter into one pan and the other half into the other pan. Smooth the tops with a butter knife.
- Bake both cakes in the center rack for 35 minutes.
- Let them cool in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once the cakes have cooled completely, cut them in half horizontally. Now you will have 4 thinner layers of cake. If the cake tops are domed, you can carefully cut the tops off to make them flat.
- Make the Chocolate Fudge Frosting.
- Divide the frosting into 5 equal servings.
- Place one cake layer on the cake stand. Take ⅕ of the frosting and frost the top. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting. Repeat the frosting layer. Repeat this process with all the cake layers. For the top of the cake, divide the last ⅕ of the frosting in half. Use half for the top and half for the sides of the cake. Save a little bit if you want to pipe decorations.
- If you have any frosting leftover you can pipe little swirls s on top and then sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils if you desire.