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Gluten Free Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

A tender, vanilla-scented gluten-free vanilla buttermilk cake that’s especially great for birthday celebrations. A few simple gluten free flours are all you’ll need to make this special cake.

Gluten-Free Vanilla Buttermilk Cake Recipe

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 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. This cake is wonderfully versatile, so adapt it however you like!

What You’ll Need for Gluten-Free Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

I’ve outlined what you’ll need to make this cake below. The full ingredient amounts are in the recipe card lower down.

  • 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
  • Buttermilk
  • Sugar or maple sugar
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter
  • Pure vanilla extract
Gluten-free buttermilk cake

Tips for Success

Follow a few tips and substitution suggestions below to help you make this cake perfectly:

  • 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. In most baking recipes, you’ll see a note to bring the ingredients to room temperature. It will help them to better incorporate into the batter.
  • To make dairy-free: Substitute your favorite non-dairy butter for the butter. To make homemade dairy-free buttermilk combine your favorite non-dairy milk of choice with 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes before using.
  • Oat flour substitute – Try sorghum flour by weight.
  • Sweet white rice flour substitute- Try almond flour.
  • Tapioca flour subsitute – Try arrowroot.
  • Swap all the flours – Keep life easy and swap in a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. Might I recommend my DIY homemade gluten free flour blend?

Storage Options

You can keep the cake in the fridge or the freezer, following these methods:

  • Fridge – Wrap the cake in plastic or foil and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving it for the best texture.
  • Freezer – To freeze your cake, let it firm in the fridge, then wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake completely in the fridge before serving it.

More Gluten Free Cake Recipes

Gluten-free buttermilk cake

Gluten Free Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

Nicole Spiridakis
A tender, vanilla-scented gluten-free vanilla buttermilk cake that's especially great for birthday celebrations. A few simple gluten free flours are all you'll need to make this special cake.
4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 226 kcal


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free oat flour (180 grams)
  • 1 cup sweet white rice flour (150 grams)
  • ½ cup tapioca flour (100 grams)
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspon 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.


Substitution for oat flour — sorghum flour by weight
Substitution for sweet white rice flour — try almond flour
Substitution for tapioca flour — try arrowroot 
Butter substitute — use your favorite non-dairy butter of choice or coconut oil at soft room temperature
Buttermilk substitute — combine your favorite non-dairy milk of choice with 1 tbs + 2 tsp vinegar, let sit for 15 minutes before using


Calories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 157mgPotassium: 44mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 473IUCalcium: 69mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know in the comments how it went!


  1. 5 stars
    This is the best gluten-free cake I’ve made! It’s moist and tender. Thank you!

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