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Gluten Free Yellow Cake Recipe from Scratch

This Gluten Free Yellow Cake recipe is the best yellow cake recipe you’ll ever make! It’s moist with an amazing buttery flavor just the way homemade yellow cake should be.

A slice of gluten free yellow cake being removed from the cake

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Gluten Free Yellow Cake

I can’t even believe I’m saying this but we’ve got not one, but TWO things to celebrate today! First of all, What The Fork Food Blog turned 5 years old earlier this month. 5!

And second, TODAY is the day! The day that The Gluten-Free Quick Breads Cookbook is on store shelves! The day that you’ll finally have my book in your hands! Pinch me, I’m a published author 😱😱

I’m so proud of everything that I’ve been able to accomplish with this blog in the last 5 years. Not only has it led me to writing a cookbook (a dream I’ve always had), but it’s allowed me to help so many of you with your gluten free baking struggles. I’ve learned so much about baking gluten free and it truly makes me happy to be able to share my knowledge with you and help you be more confident in your kitchen and with the recipes you’re making.

We’ve been able to start building a great community, the Gluten Free Baking Club, and most recently I’ve been able to put together a very helpful resource with my #1 baking tip that explains why it’s important and how it will affect your baking. The free guide also comes with a gluten free baking mini-course (also free!). It’s a handy resource whether you’re completely new to baking gluten free or if you’ve been at it for a while now. 

But again, the most important thing is that I’ve been able to help support you on your gluten free baking journey by answering your questions/emails/messages and providing you with solid recipes. That’s a lot to celebrate!

Chocolate frosting on a cake to finish the gluten free yellow cake recipe

And the best way to celebrate anything, in my opinion, is cake 🍰

Which leads me to this – the best yellow cake recipe, made gluten free of course! You guys, this cake is outstanding.

Homemade yellow cake is notorious for being hard to get right. It’s never moist enough, it’s a little too dense, and it’s just never as good as a boxed cake mix so why go through the effort? Not with this cake, my friends! This cake is moist and tender (thanks to the buttermilk) and is nice and light as cake should be (thanks to the meringue). 

I’ve made this cake more than 5 times to get it right and all the trials were well worth it because the end result is better than anything I could have hoped for. 


What You Need To Know About This Yellow Cake Recipe:

You guys may have noticed that this recipe calls for beating the egg whites separately and folding them into the batter at the end. I know this sounds tedious but trust me on this – it’s totally worth it. When the egg whites are beat into a meringue then folded into the batter, they provide structure to the cake while keeping it lighter and airier. 

We’re not going for a dense poundcake here. 

The great news is that you need 4 whole eggs in this recipe – divided into 4 egg yolks and 4 egg whites. That way, you won’t have any random bowls of extra egg yolks or egg whites hanging out in your fridge that you’ll forget about. It’s the little things!

You’ll notice that this recipe also calls for a combination of melted butter and oil. Butter gives the cake flavor but using some oil in place of all butter gives the cake that moisture without making it too rich. 

This gluten free yellow cake recipe from scratch is unlike any homemade yellow cake you’ve had! Homemade yellow cake is notorious for being dry - not this one! It’s moist and it’s hands down, the best yellow cake recipe I’ve ever made. An easy yellow cake recipe is one you need in your arsenal for the ultimate birthday cake or for any celebration. Gluten Free cake recipe from @whattheforkfoodblog - visit whattheforkfoodblog.com for more! #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #yellowcake #glutenfreerecipe

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.


Key Ingredients for Homemade Yellow Cake

  • cornstarch
  • buttermilk
  • yellow food coloring (optional)
  • cream of tartar

Equipment Needed to Make this Yellow Cake Recipe

  • 3 8-inch Round Cake Pans
  • Parchment Paper – I always line the bottoms of my cake pans with parchment paper. They’ll come out cleanly every time.
  • Electric Mixer – I use an electric hand mixer to beat the egg whites and make the meringue. You can use your stand mixer with the whisk attachment if you prefer.
  • 3 Mixing Bowls – normally my recipes call for 2 bowls. But because this recipe relies on whipped egg whites, we need a 3rd bowl. One extra bowl is definitely a fair trade off for the best yellow cake recipe you’ll ever make!
This gluten free yellow cake recipe from scratch is unlike any homemade yellow cake you’ve had! Homemade yellow cake is notorious for being dry - not this one! It’s moist and it’s hands down, the best yellow cake recipe I’ve ever made. An easy yellow cake recipe is one you need in your arsenal for the ultimate birthday cake or for any celebration. Gluten Free cake recipe from @whattheforkfoodblog - visit whattheforkfoodblog.com for more! #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #yellowcake #glutenfreerecipe

<<. pin this recipe to your Gluten Free Desserts board .>>


How to Make Yellow Cake from Scratch

Step 1. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Step 2. Whisk together the wet ingredients.

Step 3. Beat the egg whites/make the meringue.

Step 4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together then gently fold in the egg whites/meringue.

Step 5. Transfer evenly between 3 cake pans then bake for 20-22 minutes. 

Step 6. Cool completely before frosting.


Tips for Making the Best Yellow Cake Recipe from Scratch

  • Don’t skip on whipping the egg whites. They provide structure, lift, and lightness in this cake.
  • Don’t replace the cornstarch with extra gluten free flour. The added starch gives the cake a lighter texture, similar to cake flour.
  • In order to get that true yellow hue you expect, you have to add a couple drops of yellow food coloring. I use 3 drops of AmeriColor Egg Yellow. It’s entirely optional but without it, the cake will be on the paler side.
  • Don’t over bake! Test your cake for doneness with a cake tester – if it comes away with moist crumbs, you’re good! If you over-bake your cake it’ll be dry.

What People are Saying About This Gluten Free Cake Recipe

I was looking for a cake recipe for the whole family and I stumbled on this article. I read and followed the instructions carefully and I made it deliciously! Every member of my family is so happy! Thanks for this!

This recipe was great for cupcakes! The softness of the cake and the sweetness of the vanilla was perfect.

I have been trying to find a good GF vanilla cake recipe for MONTHS… You did it!!! Several of my tasters said it was amazing, and they couldn’t even tell it was GF… the ultimate compliment! Thanks for sharing 🙂


Other Gluten Free Cake Recipes To Try

This gluten free yellow cake recipe from scratch is unlike any homemade yellow cake you’ve had! Homemade yellow cake is notorious for being dry - not this one! It’s moist and it’s hands down, the best yellow cake recipe I’ve ever made. An easy yellow cake recipe is one you need in your arsenal for the ultimate birthday cake or for any celebration. Gluten Free cake recipe from @whattheforkfoodblog - visit whattheforkfoodblog.com for more! #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #yellowcake #glutenfreerecipe

Be sure to follow me on instagram and hashtag #whattheforkfoodblog or tag @whattheforkfoodblog – I love seeing what you make!
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A slice of gluten free yellow cake being removed from the cake

Gluten Free Yellow Cake Recipe

4.66 from 83 ratings
This Gluten Free Yellow Cake recipe is the best yellow cake recipe you’ll ever make! It’s moist with an amazing buttery flavor just the way homemade yellow cake should be.
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Print Rate Pin

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup 70 g cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups 400 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs room temperature and separated
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup 4 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil see notes
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then spray 3 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups (340 g) granulated sugar. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, oil, vanilla extract, and food coloring (if using). Set aside.
  • Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to a separate, clean medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until the egg whites become thick and foamy. Slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup (60 g) granulated sugar until the meringue is shiny and holds a stiff peak. Then set the meringue aside.
  • Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add half of the meringue to the batter and gently fold in with a spoon. When it's mostly folded in, add the remaining meringue. Gently fold in until no white streaks remain. Make sure you're folding and not stirring/mixing so you don't deflate the meringue. It may take a minute or two to fully incorporate the meringue.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, making sure it's distributed evenly between the three and spread the batter evenly in the pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
  • Cool the cakes in the pan for 25 minutes then remove them from the pans and cool completely on wire racks. Once the cakes are cooled, frost them with chocolate buttercream frosting or vanilla buttercream frosting.

Notes

  1. I use my Nightshade Free flour blend in this recipe. If you use a flour blend that contains xanthan gum, omit the amount called for in the recipe.
  2. Canola oil or vegetable oil can be used in place of the avocado oil.
  3. I use AmeriColor Egg Yellow food coloring.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimers

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.

Did you make this?Mention @whattheforkfoodblog or leave a comment rating below!

Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and let me know in the comments! You can also leave a photo/comment on this pin for others to see.

5 Year Blogiversary + Cookbook Launch (KitchenAid Stand Mixer)

4.66 from 83 votes (82 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

If you made this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating when you post a comment. Star ratings help people discover my recipes online.

Sincerely,
Shay

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Recipe Rating




  1. Regina Owens says:

    I am going to make this cake. I will be using Cup4Cup . Should I add extra liquid with this flour.?

  2. Kari says:

    Can you freeze this cake and it still thaw with the taste and texture in tact?

    • This cake freezes great! You can freeze unfrosted layers wrapped well and then partially defrost at room temperature before frosting. Or you can freeze individual slices and defrost them at room temperature before eating.

  3. Debbie Lindgren says:

    5 stars
    Love this cake recipe! Is it possible to use this recipe for cupcakes? If so, how many and how long would you bake them? Thank you.

  4. Kathy Williams says:

    Can I substitute Greek Yogurt for the buttermilk? Not only can I not do gluten, I also cannot do dairy because of the whey in it. (My research tells me that Greek Yogurt has very little, if any, whey).

    • Shay says:

      I haven’t tried this with Greek yogurt. But you can use 1 1/2 cups dairy free milk of your choice (minus 1 1/2 tablespoons) PLUS 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar.

  5. Madison says:

    Have you ever simple syrup soaked your cakes? I would like to make this ahead of time. I have noticed with other recipes if I put it in the fridge it gets dry and crumbly.

  6. Meri Schroeder says:

    Made this for my husband’s bday – it was delicious. You really couldn’t tell it was GF. I used KA m4m flour. I also used veggie oil instead of avocado, I didn’t use food coloring nor xanthan gum. I made my own buttermilk b/c I didn’t want to have to buy a small container. Just found a recipe online for adding lemon juice to milk, let it sit for 30 minutes – and it worked great. I did bake for about an additional 5 minutes until the toothpick coming out was clean.

  7. Regan says:

    Finally a GF cake that’s just like a cake! My kids are so happy! I’m so happy! If anyone else can’t have tapioca I swapped it for half potato and half sweet rice flour. (Which doesn’t make it nightshade free anymore, but did work if you don’t need to skip nightshades.)

  8. Roya says:

    This recipe looks really good and about to try it.. Thank you. I plan to skip the food coloring and add some crushed pineapple to the cake. Has anyone tried such an addition?

    • Shay says:

      I wouldn’t suggest the crushed pineapple, it’s something that would have to be tested. Pineapple is tricky with gluten free baked goods because the acid reacts with the xanthan gum. Without the proper ratios, the cake will turn out gummy and dense.

  9. Sondra says:

    Can I make a rectangular pan cake with this recipe? Will it be too gummy?

  10. Leigh White says:

    Will the cake turn out okay if I make a half recipe? I don’t have enough buttermilk on hand for the complete recipe and want to make a cake to go with some strawberries. Trying not to go to the store as we are social distancing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Shay says:

      Yes, you can halve it and bake it in 2 6-inch pans. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
      For the oil, half of 1/3 cup is 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons.

  11. Katie C says:

    I have been trying to find a good GF vanilla cake recipe for MONTHS… You did it!!! Several of my tasters said it was amazing, and they couldn’t even tell it was GF… the ultimate compliment! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Emerine says:

    Hi, Can you please tell me if I can switch the corn starch with arrowroot flour. It is super fine. Thank you, Emerine

    • Shay says:

      I wouldn’t sub with arrowroot because the arrowroot here. If you can’t use cornstarch, I would try subbing it with potato starch or tapioca flour.

  13. Ariah Rajcich says:

    Is this batch big enough to do two layers? Or should we double?

  14. Beatrice says:

    I plan to make a birthday cake shaped in a flamingos for co worker ..were both Celiacs

  15. Kathy Knutson says:

    Great to use with fresh strawberries as a shortcake!

  16. Rosey says:

    Congratulations on your book being published, and Happy Blogiversarry!

  17. I was looking for a cake recipe for the whole family and I stumbled on this article. I read and followed the instructions carefully and I made it deliciously! Every member of my family is so happy! Thanks for this!