Vanilla Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake

A frosted vanilla gluten free dairy free cake on a cake stand

This delicious vanilla gluten free dairy free cake recipe is perfect for birthdays, holidays, or just a special anytime dessert.  It comes together quickly and easily, and is made with common ingredients.

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How to make a gluten free dairy free cake

You might be surprised that this recipe is actually made with simple ingredients.  If you already follow a gluten free dairy free diet, you’ve probably already got all these on hand already.  If not, the few “specialty” ingredients are easy to find at any major grocery store!

For the vanilla cake, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vanilla almond milk
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Vanilla
  • Egg
  • Canola oil (or another oil of your choice)
  • Gluten free all-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking soda and baking powder
  • Salt

If you’re just starting a gluten free diet, you may be wondering what type of flour to buy.  You want to look for a gluten free all-purpose flour substitute.  These are generally a blend of several different types of flour, and measure cup for cup like regular all-purpose flour.

For this particular recipe, I used NOW Foods Gluten Free Flour, which is a blend of White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Organic Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch, Potato Flour, and Cellulose.  But you can also use another blend of your choice, including a few of my other favorites – Jovial Gluten Free Flour or King Arthur Gluten Free Flour.

(Side note – NOW is a client I work with often, so if you need to order anything from them, like flours, protein powders, or anything else, you can use code CHRISSYNOW10 for $10 off a $40 purchase on their website!).

Alright, once you’ve got your ingredients, you only need a few minutes to mix up your batter.  You’ll start by making a homemade dairy free “buttermilk” by mixing the almond milk with the vinegar.  Let that sit for a few minutes.

While that’s sitting, beat together you sugar, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, egg, and oil.  I used canola oil here but you can really use whatever neutral oil you’d like, or you can also use softened dairy-free butter.

After that, stir in your flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder.  If you want to do it true baker style you can mix those in another bowl first, but honestly I always just directly add everything into the bowl with the wet ingredients and it always comes out fine.

Add your almond milk mixture, stir everything until it’s combined, and your batter is ready!

You’ll want to pour this into two greased 9-inch cake pans.  That size works best for this recipe, but if you only have 8-inch cake pans, you can use them.  You’ll need to probably adjust the baking time a little bit to bake a smidge longer.

Bake ‘em up and you’ve got yummy vanilla cake.

putting a little frosting on a vanilla cake

How to make vanilla buttercream frosting

The last step is to make the vanilla buttercream frosting.  For this, you’ll need:

  • Dairy-free butter (like Earth Balance or country crock plant butter sticks)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla almond milk
  • Vanilla extract

You want to wait to frost the cakes until they’re completely cool.  If you frost them while warm, this frosting will melt.  Heed that warning from my own past failures, friends! 😉

To make the frosting, you’ll just combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together with a stand mixer or hand mixer.  You want the consistency to be very light and fluffy, so give it a minute or two to really incorporate air and help get that texture.

Once it’s ready, you’ll frost the first cake, then layer the second one on top like this:

two cakes layered with frosting in the middle on a cake stand

Then, frost up the top and sides of the entire cake.  YUM!

Allergens in this recipe

Disclaimer:  I try to note potential allergens in all recipes – but as you know, manufacturers can change ingredient formulations or I may miss something.  Always double check ingredients and labels prior to consuming if you have an allergy.

This recipe is dairy free and gluten free.

As long as you choose a flour that is soy-free (like the NOW Foods brand that I used and mentioned above) and a vegan butter that is soy-free (like the red tub of Earth Balance) – it’s also a soy-free recipe.

This recipe does contain eggs and tree nuts.  The egg is fairly essential to the structure here, so it may be tough to try to modify that.  If you do and find a way to do it successfully, feel free to leave a comment!

Removing tree nuts from this recipe is easy though – just use vanilla oat milk in place of the almond milk, and you’ve made the recipe nut-free.

a slice of gluten free dairy free cake with vanilla frosting

More Gluten Free Dairy Free Desserts

If you want more delicious desserts that fit your dietary needs, here are a few ideas!

I hope you enjoy this dairy free cake as much as my family does!  If you get a chance to try it, be sure to leave a recipe rating or comment below.

a slice of gluten free dairy free cake with vanilla frosting
4.67 from 3 votes

Vanilla Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake

This delicious vanilla gluten free dairy free cake is perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any time you need a special dessert!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free vanilla cake, gluten free dairy free cake, gluten free vanilla cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 14 slices
Calories 432 kcal
Author Dairy Free for Baby


Vanilla Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or another oil of your choice)
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2/3 cup dairy-free butter (i.e. Enjoy Life red tub or another option; double check to ensure gluten-free)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vanilla almond milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with canola oil.
  2. Combine the almond milk and vinegar in a glass. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, egg, and oil.
  4. Add the gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Pour in the almond milk mixture, and stir everything until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 22 minutes, or until a knife pulls out clean from the center. Let the cakes cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, then place a plate on top of each pan and invert to remove each cake.
  6. When the cakes are completely cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, combine the dairy-free butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons almond milk. Beat using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  7. Spread the frosting on top of one cake, then place the other cake on top. Frost the top and sides of the layered cake. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition analysis (approximate per slice): 432 calories, 16.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 315 mg sodium, 69 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fiber, 1.5 g protein, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 9%, Iron: 1%

Share:  What’s your favorite kind of cake?  If you tried this dairy free gluten free cake, what did you think?

8 thoughts on “Vanilla Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this delightfully easy, mouthwateringly delicious recipe. Have baked this cake several times since I first tried it a few weeks back and it’s been a huge success each time!

    1. Hi Tricia! Thanks for the comment, and sorry to hear it was a bit denser than expected!

      Can you let me know what type of GF flour you used? Sometimes that can make a difference – if it wasn’t one that I mentioned in the post I’d love to retest with what you used and see if I can make any suggestions to improve it for you. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Baked it for an extra 3 minutes (used 2 eight-inch pans) because it was still visibly undercooked in the middle when the first 22 minutes were up. I also substituted in maple syrup for the honey (the cake is for my baby niece who has food allergies, but since she’s just coming up on a year isn’t supposed to have honey bc of the botulism risk) and used potato starch instead of corn starch only because the corn starch we had on hand was expired. But it came out great! Definitely the most “cake-like” gluten & dairy free recipe I found

    1. I’m so glad it came out great! Thanks for letting me know about the adjustments you made – glad they all worked and you had a tasty cake to enjoy 🙂

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