Food & Drink

Gluten Free Cookbook Recipe: Birthday Cake

Just because your child is forced to be gluten free doesn’t mean they can’t have a tasty treat at their birthday party!

This recipe came from Carlyn Berghoff’s gluten free cookbook, reviewed here.

Yes, there can be fluffy, feather-light, tender yellow layer cake (the kind my daughter Sarah always calls “birthday cake”) if you follow this simple recipe. The layers turn out level and firm enough for frosting, but light enough to yield to the touch of a fork. The secret? Heavy cream in place of fat in another form: butter, sour cream or cream cheese.

Gluten Free Yellow Cake Recipe – makes two 9-inch round layers (or 24 cupcakes).

- 3 eggs

- 1 1/2 cups sugar

- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream

- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

- 2 cups Gluten-Free All- Purpose Flour or flour of choice with xanthan gum in the mix

- 2 teaspoons baking powder

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 2 round metal cake pans (9-inch) with nonstick cooking spray.

Line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit. Spray the parchment lightly.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until light and lemon colored. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream and beat until light and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar. Beat to mix.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to mix. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, beating well to form a smooth batter. If the batter becomes too thick for the mixer, scrape down the blades and finish mixing with a large spoon or silicone spatula.

Divide the batter evenly, spoonful by spoonful, between the 2 cake pans. Smooth and level the top with a spatula that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

When completely cool, run a spatula around the edges of each cake layer and invert onto a plate. Turn, right side up, onto a wire rack. Frost the cake. Cut into wedges.

Variation: To make cupcakes: Prepare the cake batter. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Insert paper cupcake liners and lightly spray the insides of the liners. Fill the cupcake liners two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until cooked through and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and frost the tops. Repeat until all the batter is used. You should have about 24 cupcakes.

Story by Kathryn Jones