Perfect Gluten-Free Layer Cake

Calories: 257

This recipe was originally published in 2015.

As its name suggests, this dessert is perfect, ready to decorate as a gluten-free birthday cake, layer with fresh fruit or top with your favorite frosting. Garnish with whipped cream and berries for a simple, yet elegant dessert.  Cool and freeze cake layers so you can turn any occasion into a party at a moment’s notice. This gluten-free recipe can be made egg-free with good results; see instructions below.

gluten free layer cake recipe
Gluten free layer cake photo by Oksana Charla

For Egg-Free Perfect Layer Cake, omit 4 eggs. Add 1 tablespooon Ener-G egg replacer to dry ingredients in step 2 to replace 2 eggs. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons flax meal with 6 tablespoons hot water. Let cool. Add this mixture in step 3 to replace 2 eggs.

Beth’s Gluten-Free Cake & Pastry Flour Blend


This gluten-free flour blend includes sorghum and cornstarch. Sorghum is light and less grainy than rice flour. It absorbs moisture more evenly, thanks to its finer grind, and it contains valuable nutrients and fiber. Cornstarch lightens the texture and adds structure to the cake. If you’re avoiding corn, use tapioca or potato starch instead.

1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup cornstarch, tapioca starch/flour or potato starch (not potato flour)

1. Whisk ingredients together. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

Each cup contains 520 calories, 4g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4mg sodium, 116g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 0g sugars, 8g protein.

Food editor Beth Hillson is author of Gluten-Free Makeovers (DaCapo Lifelong) and The Complete Guide to Living Well Gluten Free (DaCapo Lifelong).

Associate editor Jules Shepard is author of Free For All Cooking (DaCapo Perseus), The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free (DaCapo Perseus) and Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating (CreateSpace).

Yields 16 slices


  • White rice flour, for dusting pans
  • 2 + 1/2 cups Beth’s Cake & Pastry Flour Blend
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 + 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 + 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter or dairy-free alternative, room temperature
  • 1 + 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice


1Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans that are 2 inches deep and dust with rice flour. If making Fourth of July Cake, don’t dust the pans with rice flour. If making cupcakes, line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake papers.

2Combine flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Set aside.

3In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed 2 minutes or until batter is smooth. Mix in dry ingredients. Add milk and beat until smooth.

4Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops. Place in preheated oven and bake 23 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. To make cupcakes, spoon batter evenly into cups, filling about 2/3 full, and bake in preheated oven 15 to 18 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in the pans. Turn layers out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. (If making Fourth of July cake, let layers cool in the pans.)

1 slice contains 257 calories, 10g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 77mg cholesterol, 224mg sodium, 38g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 20g sugars, 3g protein.