The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake

This really is The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake! It tastes like the real deal, but it’s made gluten free so everyone can celebrate. It’s made with moist, tender vanilla cake layered with homemade strawberry filling, and a light, fluffy buttercream. 

Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake

Easy Gluten Free Cake Recipe

This seriously is the Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake. We took my nut-free cake and it made it even more amazing. It’s made up of three layers of a super moist and tender gluten free cake infused with homemade strawberry jam and layered with homemade buttercream. 

This delicious dessert is so decadent and perfect for celebrating! Or just for any day of the week. 😉 

What is Gluten-Free Cake Made Of?

Gluten free cake is made up of most of the classic cake ingredients, just with gluten free flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. 

In this case, we’re using a combination of almond flour and coconut flour which creates the perfect moist and tender texture. 

Ingredients Needed:

Cake

  • Butter: make sure the butter is softened to room temperature so it incorporates smoothly with the sweetener.
  • Sweetener: I use a combination of honey and maple syrup, but feel free to use one or the other.
  • Flour: our gluten-free flour blend is a combination of almond flour and coconut flour.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: keeps the cake light and fluffy.
  • Sea Salt: enhances flavor and cuts the sweetness slightly.
  • Milk: I use almond milk, but whatever you have on hand will work.
  • Vanilla Extract and Almond Extract: I love the flavor depth achieved with a combination of vanilla and almond, but feel free to leave out the almond if you want.

Strawberry Filling

  • Strawberries: you’ll need 2 cups of fresh strawberries, sliced. You can use frozen strawberries if you want, but you will need to thaw them first so they can be easily sliced.
  • Honey: naturally sweetens the filling and creates that thicker, jam-like texture.
  • Vanilla Extract: adds flavor depth.

Buttercream Frosting

  • Butter: again, make sure you soften the butter first!
  • Powdered Sugar: I recommend sifting the powdered sugar to prevent any clumps from forming.
  • Vanilla Extract: adds flavor depth and a touch of extra sweetness.
  • Milk: I like almond milk, but anything works.
  • Natural Food Coloring: check out my 5 ways to naturally color frosting!
Gluten Free Cake

How to Make Gluten Free Cake

This gluten free birthday cake is so simple yet so delicious. Just whip up three quick layers, assemble your cake, and it’s ready to go!

  1. Make the batter: Using a mixer, combine butter and sweetener until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each one, then mix in flours, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in milk and extracts, then beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Bake and cool: Divide the batter evenly between three 6” buttered and parchment-lined cake pans, then bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  3. Make the filling: In a saucepan, combine strawberries, honey, and lemon juice. Cook until reduced, then cool completely.
  4. Make the frosting: Using your stand mixer and paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add in sugar and mix until combined, then add in vanilla and milk. Finish with the natural food coloring of your choice. Blend until smooth.
  5. Assemble the cake: Place one layer of your cake onto a serving platter. Frost with a thin layer of buttercream, then use a piping tip or offset spatula to create a ½” dam of frosting around the cake. Top with jam and smooth over. Repeat with another layer of cake, buttercream, and jam, then add the final cake layer, and place it in the fridge to chill. 
  6. Finish frosting and serve: Add the rest of the frosting to the top of the cake, then use an offset spatula to smooth it over the top and down the sides. Decorate as desired, then slice and serve or store in the fridge. 

Tips and Notes

  • Butter and line the pan. Make sure you butter the sides and bottom of each cake pan, then cut parchment paper circles to line the bottom. This makes is so much easier to remove it after baking.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. Bring the butter, eggs, and milk to room temperature for the best results. 
  • To quickly bring your ingredients to room temperature, place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, microwave the butter for 15-20 seconds, and gently heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave. Remember, we want them to be room temperature, not hot!
  • Check for doneness. To make sure your cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s good to go.
  • Cool the cake and the filling completely. Make sure your cake and filling are cooled completely before you layer the cake. 
  • Apply a crumb coat. Frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting to lock in any stray crumbs.
  • To achieve a smooth finish, chill the cake again for 10 minutes after frosting. Heat a bench scraper or off-set spatula with hot water, dry it completely, then use it to make one final swoop to smooth the frosting out.
  • Use another fruit. Feel free to swap the strawberries out for another fruit. Raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries would all work great!
Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake

Tips Tools Needed to Frost a Cake Like a Pro

Now not everyone is going to frost this cake like we did. But if you want to give it a whirl, getting these tools make it easier to get an even and smooth cake!

Additionally here are some tips that make it easier to frost a cake:

  1. Temperature matters: Chill your cake layers before assembling, and chill the cake after you have built your layers as it helps keep your cake evenly stacked.
  2. Apply a crumb coat: Frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting that locks in any stray crumbs
  3. To achieve a smooth finish: Once you have finished frosting the cake, chill again for 10 minutes and then heat the bench scraper or off-set spatula with hot water (make sure to dry it off completely) and make one final swoop to smooth it all out.

Making Ahead of Time

There are a few ways you can prep this Gluten Free Birthday Cake ahead of time.

First, you can make the cake layers, jam, and frosting the day before, then store them separately in the fridge. 

You can also bake and cool your cake, wrap the layers tightly, then store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to make your cake, thaw them in the fridge, make the filling and frosting, then assemble.

Gluten Free Birthday Cake

How to Store

A fully assembled cake must be stored in the fridge. It will last for 3-5 days.

More Gluten Free Cake Recipes You’ll Love

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The BEST Gluten-Free Birthday Cake

This really is The Best Gluten Free Birthday Cake! It tastes like the real deal, but it’s made gluten free so everyone can celebrate. It’s made with moist, tender vanilla cake layered with homemade strawberry filling, and a light, fluffy buttercream.

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6” 3 Layer Cake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

Scale

For Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz. or 1 stick) butter, softened (see note)
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (see note)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups (192g) almond flour
  • 1/2 cup (48g) coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

For Strawberry Filling:

  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • Natural food coloring (follow this guide)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF and prepare three 6″ cake pans by cutting out a three parchment paper circles to fit exactly inside the cake pan. Butter sides and bottom of cake pan and place parchment paper circles inside.
  2. In a heavy duty stand mixer, or hand held mixer, add butter and honey/maple syrup to bowl and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, blending together after each one.
  4. Add almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until well blended.
  5. Add almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat on medium for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Divide batter into cake pans, about 1 cup of batter each, and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let cake cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, and then remove from pan to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

For Strawberry filling:

  1. In a medium sauce pan place strawberries, honey and lemon juice and turn on heat to medium low.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until reduced, about 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely before using in cake.

For Buttercream Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat the butter until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and mix on low speed until well blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of almond milk (or more if needed) and beat on medium speed until lightened in color.
  4. Add natural food coloring if using and blend.

To Assemble Cake:

  1. Once cake and jam is cooled completely place first layer on serving plate and frost with a thin layer of buttercream. Create a 1/2″ dam of buttercream on the perimeter of the cake layer by piping it, or using a offset spatula, to prevent the jam from leaking out of the cake. Top with 2 heaping tablespoons of jam and smooth over.
  2. Add next layer of cake and repeat with layer of buttercream, buttercream dam,  and jam.
  3. Place cake in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, to let set up and to make frosting cake easier.
  4. Once cake has chilled, add about half of frosting to the top of the cake and using an offset spatula frost cake starting with the top and moving excess down the sides of the cake and smoothing as going.
  5. Decorate as desired with additional frosting.
  6. Cake will keep 3-5 days in refrigerator.

Notes

  • We used a combination of maple syrup and honey equal to 1/3 cup together to prevent the cake from taking on the flavor too much of either one.
  • The butter absolutely must be at room temperature or it will not cream together with the honey. It is always best when making a cake if all ingredients are as close to room temperature (especially eggs and milk) as the cake batter comes together more easily and you get a fluffier textured cake. If the eggs are not at room temperature you can place them in a bowl with warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes. You can also gently heat up milk using your preferred method (stove top or microwave) to bring it up to room temperature (but make sure it is not hot).
  • Follow this guide for our post on Natural Food Coloring!
  • Sprinkles we use: We get them from Whole Foods  because they are artificial food dye free. These are also a decent option.

Keywords: gluten free birthday cake, gluten free cake, gluten free cake recipe

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Thank you for being a part of the Lexi’s Clean Kitchen family throughout these amazing 5 years. I love you all!!

64 comments
October 7, 2022

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64 Responses

  1. I made this Fri night for my hubs birthday. I left the frosting out and just topped with the strawberry jam and it was delish! We love all of your recipes!

  2. I hate to ask this, but I cannot eat coconut flour at all. Is there something else I could substitute it with? Oh, and no rice flour either. Tapioca, maybe? Thank you.

  3. This was my first time making a gluten-free cake and it got rave reviews! Perfect texture and balance of flavours. I doubled the recipe and it made 2 9″ cakes (baked 20 mins + 7 mins with foil). Thank you for the recipe, will definitely make again!

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