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Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table
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5 from 1 vote

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake {without xanthan gum}

The Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake is made without xanthan gum and is deliciously fluffy, light and moist. It is filled and covered with a dreamy vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 882kcal

Ingredients

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 140 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 9 egg whites 270g
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 540 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 3/320°F and line and grease 2 x round 8 inch cake tins.
  • Beat together the sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed.
  • In a measuring jug whisk together the whole milk and vanilla extract and set aside for a moment.
  • Whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.
  • Add the flour mix alternately with the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  • Divide between the cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Heat egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  • Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  • Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the frosting will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • Add the salt and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Assembly

  • Place one of the cake sponges on a cake board or cake stand.
  • If you are going to be piping the buttercream flowers and leaves then set aside a small amount of buttercream for that purpose.
  • Fill a piping bag with the rest of the buttercream. Snip the very top off the piping bag and pipe concentric circles around the top of the cake sponge. Use a small spatula to smooth so it creates an even layer of buttercream.
  • Place the second cake sponge on top of the buttercream then add another layer of buttercream.
  • Pipe the rest of the buttercream around the sides of the cake and use a spatula to smooth.
  • Decorate with piped buttercream flowers and leaves if you wish.

Notes

The Cake
  • Use the best quality ingredients you can and always use vanilla extract (never essence).
  • Use room temperature butter and eggs.
  • Beat the butter and sugar for about 6 minutes, scraping down the sides a couple of times. This is how your cake will be beautifully fluffy.
  • Break eggs into a separate bowl before adding.
  • Add the flour mix alternately with the milk to ensure it is all evenly mixed.
  • Check the cake is baked by inserting a clean cocktail stick or skewer. It should come out clean with no wet batter.
  • Leave the sponges for 5 minutes to rest in their tins
  • Always leave to cool completely before covering with buttercream.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Use a sugar thermometer so you know exactly when to move onto the next step of the process.
  • The butter should be at room temperature - just slightly soft.
  • If you are doing everything right then when you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • If when you add the butter the buttercream turns to soup then your butter was too warm. Place the whole mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes then try mixing it again.
  • If the mixture seems greasy and the butter won’t fully mix in with the egg whites then the butter was too cold. Put the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, when the butter melts at the edges, remove and beat it up again.

Nutrition

Calories: 882kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 71g | Vitamin A: 1695IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 0.9mg