A tender, vanilla-scented gluten-free buttermilk cake that’s especially great for birthday celebrations.
Gluten-Free Buttermilk Cake
A tender, buttermilk and vanilla-infused cake that also happens to be gluten-free? Sign me up. This cake is a gluten-free version of a simple buttermilk cake I made several years ago. The girls and I did a lot of baking together during the stay-at-home stays of covid, and this cake was one of our favorites.
I love using buttermilk in gluten-free cakes. It brings a tenderness that can help balance any potential grittiness from the gluten-free flours. It’s also acts as a great leavener, something we need to be particularly conscious of when creating gluten-free recipes. This is a simple, flavorful, very versatile cake recipe that can be used with a variety of frostings and fillings. In the photos shown, we made a vanilla buttercream frosting and colored it with food coloring (Elsie’s choice). You could fill it with jam or lemon curd, fill and frost with chocolate buttercream , or just serve one-half of it with some whipped cream and freeze the other half for another time.
What You’ll Need for Gluten-Free Buttermilk Cake
- Oat flour: This delicious whole grain gluten-free flour makes cakes fluffy
- Sweet white rice flour: Works as a binder in gluten-free cakes
- Tapioca flour: Brings lightness and binding to gluten-free cakes
- Baking powder
- Fine sea salt
- Sugar or maple sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Pure vanilla extract
Tips for Success
- Let batter rest for at least 15 minutes before baking. Gluten-free flours really benefit from a rest to let them absorb liquids.
- Bring ingredients to room temperature before using.
- To make dairy-free: sub your favorite non-dairy butter for the butter. Make homemade buttermilk using your favorite non-dairy milk plus vinegar.
- See “Notes” section following the recipe for substitution suggestions.
How to Store
To store, keep cake, well-wrapped in the fridge, for 3 days.
Gluten-free Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups sugar or maple sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups/180 g gluten-free oat flour
- 1 cup/150 g sweet white rice flour
- ½ cup/100 g tapioca flour
- 1 tbs baking powder
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk at room temperature
- Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time; add the vanilla.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt. With mixer on low, add half the flour mixture to the butter and egg mixture and beat until just combined. Add the buttermilk and mix well to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Pour batter into the prepared pans and rest for at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° F, place cake in the oven, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and edges are starting to come away from the edge of the pans. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool for 30 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
- Fill and frost with your favorite frosting of choice. Cake will keep, well covered in the fridge, for 3 days.