Gluten Free Basic White Cake

Gluten Free Ratio Rally

Baking with a cause: YOU and getting you back in the kitchen too!

I’ve written this post a million times over since I decided to host this month’s Gluten Free Ratio Rally.  Way back in the beginning, I signed up for this with high hopes – and I was being completely selfish when I chose the task:  cakes.  And white/yellow cakes.  (Sorry, chocolate cake fans..although a few bloggers appealed to you, I was really on the hunt for fabulous GF white cakes.)

I say selfishly because I do have some fabulous cake recipes.  My favorites are my sponge cake recipe and the mini-vanilla filled cupcakes.  But really, I have been longing for layer cakes due to their versatility.  My favorite cakes have always been white layer cakes.  It’s true!  Even since I started making cakes in our house when I was in elementary school. (I did a fine job of both trashing the kitchen and baking a decent cake.)  My favorite white cake recipe is still being worked on to convert it to gluten free.  I needed some help.  And some inspiration.

And (I hoped)  I can’t be the only one with an aversion to chocolate cakes. (Right??)

And I say that reluctantly because I know that some very fabulous people in my life have made some incredible flourless chocolate cakes for me (birthdays at work, etc).  I’ve eaten each slice with a smile.  But I have a confession to make:  I’ve never liked chocolate cakes.  At the age of six, I completely overindulged:  chocolate cake + chocolate ice cream + first day in new state/neighborhood/house = bad news for the future of chocolate cake in my life.  I am refraining from using details here … after all, this *IS* supposed to be a food blog.

So you see, I am selfish in my quest for the *perfect* gluten free non-chocolate cake.  I’m not the only one who realizes the beauty of a white cake – the versatility, etc.  Oh yes. A white cake is where it is at, people!  And you will see from this month’s ratio posters just how fabulously versatile it is!

I fell on a sword this month taste-testing over 9 cake recipes ideas in four weeks.  Not too pointy of a sword, mind you.  If the cake tasted great, but failed?  I have crumbled them into a baggie and made some “cake pops” for my daughter(s) and I.  We share one “cake pop” after swim lessons.  But I think I’m going to have to invest in some swim time for myself after a month of cake eating.  Ay ay ay!

I’ve discovered a few things about cake baking – especially gluten free cake baking – that I’d taken for granted previously.

  1. Watch your baking time CAREFULLY and check often – especially within the last 5-6 minutes.  An over baked gluten free cake = the Sahara Desert in your mouth.
  2. Have your eggs and butter at room temperature.  But don’t do this if you live without air-conditioning and your house is 80F.  Not cool.
  3. Add your eggs one by one and beat them in for a couple of minutes before adding the next.  (No matter how hard your child pulls on your legs/hands.  Add the eggs one at a time!)
  4. Parchment lined/bottomed cake pans are just as fabulous as dusting them with gluten free flour – and easier for me.
  5. Gluten free cake batter is definitely thicker than gluten-filled cake batter.  Don’t stress when you see it.
And most importantly:  the RATIO makes a difference.  You really do have to measure the flours by weight if you are going to change up the flours you chose to use.  If you see a cake within the several that will be shared today as part of the rally, please do take the time to use the flours they chose to use.  For each of the cakes I made, I used 228g of flour.  Sometimes this was the equivalent of 1 cup of rice flour + 1/2 cup tapioca flour OR 1 cup of rice flour + 1/3 cup potato starch OR 1 cup millet flour + 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour.  Yikes.
I wanted to make a cake that anyone could make with readily available flours that are relatively inexpensive as far as gluten free flours go.  I wanted it to be something your best friend could make for you or your mom or your colleague if they wished to.  So many times our diet is intimidating and expensive.  I just wanted to simplify it all.  (And I’m not going to tell you about my initial starts of using whole grains, less sugar, etc because <girl smacks self in head now> I was making a cake.  I gave myself permission not to think about applesauce in lieu of butter, etc.  I just wanted a cake.  And a good one at that.
I ended up with several.  From one recipe too.

GF Basic White Cake
The basic cake.  With only the primary frosting on.  I had intended to frost this further, but the Chicklet got a hold of the sprinkles and she went to town.  So, it stayed just like this:  minimal frosting and a fabulous crumb.
GF Basic White Cake with Raspberry Jam center

For these little cupcakes, we filled them with a dollop of raspberry jam – (and some with Nutella – YUM!).  No frosting was needed.

GF Basic White Cake with Strawberry Jam and Strawberry ButtercreamSimilar to the one above, filled with sliced strawberries and topped with fresh strawberry buttercream frosting.  All things pink are met with approval from the Chicklet.

The ratio for a basic cake is as follows:


Egg : Sugar : Flour : Butter

I’m not convinced that I’ve achieved the cake I dream of.  But, in looking at the titles of the cakes of my fellow GF Ratio Rally participants, I see that I have a fabulous future of cake testing ahead of me.  (Tiramisu! Confetti Cake! Lemon Tea Cake! – just to name a few!)  Maybe one of you will find a way to make it even more fabulous.  That is the beauty of being a gluten free community:  learning, sharing and growing together.

Basic Gluten Free White Cake


  • 8 ounces – 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces – 1 cup (226 grams) sugar
  • 4 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 226 grams “My” gluten free flour mix, sifted (1 1/2 cups + 2 teaspoons)
  • OR 175 grams (1 scant cup) rice flour + 50 grams (1/3 cup) potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line the bottom of two 8 inch cake rounds with parchment paper OR butter each and flour with rice flour (NOT the rice flour called for in the recipe – please use 1 Tablespoon or 2 in addition to that called for in the recipe).
  2. Beat butter in the mixer until light and creamy.
  3. Add sugar.  Beat again for several minutes (3-4) on medium until light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Add next egg and beat again 2 more minutes.  Repeat until all eggs have been incorporated thoroughly.
  5. Add extracts.  Mix in.
  6. Sift together flour(s), baking powder and salt.  Add to cake batter.  Mix in carefully so as not to lose the softness created from mixing in the eggs/sugar.
  7. Divide into cake rounds evenly.  Smooth the surface with a wet spatula.  (I found it helpful to have a glass of water nearby and I kept dipping the rubber spatula into the water to keep the batter from sticking.)
  8. Bake until the top is just golden brown and a toothpick (or cake tester) inserted comes out shiny but not sticky – about 18-20 minutes.  Check your cake as you approach the 15 minute mark at a minimum to avoid over-baking.
  9. Remove from pans by flipping on to cooling racks after removing from the oven.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.
If you want to, this recipe easily converts in to cupcakes.  Bake for 15 – 18 minutes for 12 cupcakes.  When making cupcakes, we loved adding dollops of goodness (homemade raspberry or strawberry jams, Nutella, etc) in to the center of each cupcake and then we topped them with more batter.  These additions also added moisture to the cakes as well and helped them last longer. (Well, as long as a cupcakes can last around kids.)

Please check out the other fabulous Gluten Free Ratio Rally participants and their cakes, I know I will be doing taste-tests frequently from their ideas.  In fact, my sister-in-law is coming this week for a visit… so we have another birthday cake to make.  (Great excuse, huh?)


  1. love your post, tips and recipes!! and thanks for hosting us, kate… yay for cake!

  2. Gloria Ladley says:

    OMG!! I am also an extreme white cake lover and have been waiting for something like this. I have never gotten over the love folks have for chocolate cake. For some reason chocolate cake has always ended up on our teacher’s lounge and everyone goes crazy when they come in and see that. I am always happy it’s chocolate because I know I don’t like it, but if a white cake comes in, I am always a bit wistful…. The GF yellow cake mix still doesn’t cut it for me either. I feel that it is too dense and granular for me. Why can’t I have white cake??? Well, looks like I need to get to some baking now!! I could pass up chocolate for the rest of my life if I had to by the way. Just has never appealed to me. 🙂

  3. Thanks for hosting this spectacular cake post. I’m off to check out the other great GF Ratio Rally Cakes!

  4. I made white cake too…I just love it so…yours looks fantastic!

  5. Thank you! I’ve been looking for a good gf white cake recipe.


  6. I agree with you on just wanting a good GF white cake recipe. I just made the GF yellow cake recipe from the King Arthur flour blog. I used the homemade flour mix in the notes of the recipe. We frosted the cake with a quick buttercream (also KAF”s recipe) for my little girl’s birthday. It was great! Can’t wait to have another excuse to have cake…..


  7. Hi love all your white cakes!! Thanks for hosting this awesome event. Please change my link above to:

  8. I have to say that I am in the minority as well. Have never really cared for chocolate cake or other things chocolate. Chocolate, yes. Chocolate things, no. Your cake looks fabulous (all versions). My monkey would like the one with sprinkles. 🙂

  9. I definately learned the lesson about cooking a few minutes too long. I actually baked a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for the rally and was distracted and let it go too long in the oven. Good lesson to learn! Love your creativity and ideas.

  10. I don’t mind a really rich, dense chocolate cake that is basically just like eating chocolate, but I don’t like a cake that’s called chocolate just because it’s got a spoonfull of cocoa in it. I much prefer a cake like yours- it looks yummy and has a terrific looking texture in the photo with it cut.
    I love your ratio too, how simple and I’ll be able to remember it when I’m in a hurry at work, Great job!

  11. Your cake looks wonderful, Kate. It looks like a perfect balance of moisture with a nice crumb, too, which is all important:) Thank you for hosting us this month! KateAlice.

  12. Kate, what a great post! I love the options you give and the cake looks delicious with a perfect crumb – and I like the sprinkles! 🙂 Thanks for hosting us!

  13. Your blog is simply amazing! You have given me new inspiration because I was feeling mighty lonely eating GF for the last couple of weeks. I love the variety of recipes you have and think I will have to start trying some of them soon. Thanks for the great ideas!

  14. I love having one great tasting white cake recipe – that way you can add different flavors to create different cakes, without having 40 different recipes in your book. Looking forward to trying it!

  15. rhubygirl says:

    one way to add the eggs one-at-a-time and still appease the chicklet…..

    crack them ALL into a little liquid measuring cup (or a gravy boat…something with a handle AND a spout)…they will “pour out” one at a time into the mixing bowl.

    I DO NOT MISE-EN-PLACE, except for eggs!!

    missing you, miss kate! your blog keeps me “close” to my friend!!

  16. mmm looks delicious. 🙂 Will have to think up a reason to celebrate and have cake.

  17. I was wondering if you have tried the same but with only egg whites? A true “white cake” doesn’t include yolks, so for me this is way to similar to a yellow cake. I do love it though, thank you so much for sharing. I am going to experiment with a tiramisu recipe and your cake one above, that is my kryptonite in life and I always end up paying for it, so if I can make a gluten free one with your recipe I will love you forever ❤


  19. Thank you for this post. I miss good white cake-particularly coconut frosted cake! Often, I will see one at Winco, and go visit it, and say, “I love you.” It makes my husband smile.
    I will be experimenting with this cake list.

  20. Wow your white cake looks delicious!!!

    I have a problem with baking bread.
    I´m gluten intolerant and have been trying quiet a lot of flours/recipies etc.
    But I just cannot get ANY to rise 😦
    I haven´t even tried a loaf as yet, I would like to just get some bread rolls up!!!
    If I can have some success with just the rolls it would be fantastic.
    Also I find that the bread I do bake has an aftertaste of yeast.
    And yes I have tested my dry yeast and it´s fine. Even bought more to be sure.
    I´m australian and living in Santiago, Chile.
    I cannot get all the flours, but most yes.
    Please help me down here??????
    Thank you Susan

  21. natalie says:

    I really really want to use this recipe!!! But I already bought a “gluten free all purpose flour” and I know I have to use xanthan, but how do I incorporate them to your wonderful recipe? -help please! -nat

    • Does your GF mix have xanthan gum? If yes, then you MIGHT be able to replace it cup-for-cup but MUCH BETTER would be to calculate total weight and try it. Cakes tend to use more starch than whole grain to get a lighter texture. SOOOO.. I am a bit worried that your regular GF mix is more set for things like quick breads, muffins and pancakes rather than cakes.

      Hope this helps you decide.

  22. I used the rice flour/potato starch variation of this recipe and it tastes great! It’s crumbly, like all gluten free cakes, but it’s quite moist and has good flavor. Thanks for the recipe, I love it!

  23. Forgive me, as I’m still somewhat new to this… when you say “rice flour,” what type of rice flour do you use? Sweet rice flour? Brown rice flour?

  24. I made this tonight and it turned out great! Unfortunately, I had a little “help” making it from my 2 and 4 year olds so my ingredients were a little approximate. I look forward to making it again, next time without the sous-chefs. 🙂

  25. Hey all these recipes look great, but I am looking for a really WHITE GF cake recipe–the kind that gets frosted with white fuffly frosting and dusted with coconut. . . .soft and moist. When there are egg yolks, or butter in the ingredients I know it won’t be that white (like angel food). Does anyone have a good recipe for a white angel food cake that is GF?


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