Cooking gluten-free and dairy-free is easy—and tastes better than you'd ever expect.

Chiara’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Chiara’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting

One of the goals I had when I was developing my gluten-free flour blend is that it would be 100% interchangeable with gluten-full all-purpose flour. I′m happy to report that it was a success and works beautifully  in this cake recipe. As my friend Tracey said before she directed me to her cake recipe, you will never make any other vanilla cake recipe again. Needless to say, she was right!

Make sure your butter is softened well before starting this recipe. It makes all the difference in the world in the cake′s texture. Also, while the batter is quite thick, it yields such a wonderfully airy cake. And, because the frosting is made with real (fresh or frozen) strawberries and no artificial food coloring, it can start to separate slightly. Just beat in more sifted confectioners’ sugar, if necessary, to stabilize the acidity in the strawberries. Depending on how much frosting you like between your cake layers and whether you’ll be making a two- or four-layer cake, you may want to double the quantity of frosting.

Chiara’s Gluten-Free Vanilla Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Yield: 1

Serving Size: 9-inch, 4 layer cake

The cake is adapted from my friend Tracey Seaman; here?s the original recipe with great baking and decorating tips. The frosting is based off a recipe in my book, Cooking for Isaiah.


For the vanilla cake:

3½ cups Silvana's Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups sour cream

For the strawberry frosting:

1 cup all-vegetable shortening, at room temperature

3 cups confectioners? sugar, sifted

½ cup strawberry puree

1/4 teaspoon salt

Butterfly sprinkles, for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Butter 2 (9- by 2-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms of each with rounds of wax or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.
  2. Make the cake: Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just blended. Add the sour cream, mixing until just combined, then add the remaining flour mixture, mixing at low speed until the batter is smooth.
  4. Divide the batter between pans, smoothing the tops. Bake in the middle of the oven until the cake is springy to the touch and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pans on racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, remove paper, and cool completely.
  5. Trim tops of cooled cake layers with a long serrated knife if necessary to make flat and level. Halve each layer horizontally with serrated knife to make a total of 4 layers.
  6. Make the frosting: In a large bowl and using a handheld electric mixer, beat together the shortening, confectioners? sugar, strawberry puree and salt on medium-high speed until fluffy.
  7. Put 1 cake layer on a cake plate and spread with ¾ cup frosting. Layer the remaining cake layers using ¾ cup frosting between each layer. Frost the top and sides of cake with the remaining frosting. Top with sprinkles.