The “Gotta Work Out Twice Now” Red Velvet Cake – Gluten Free!

If I hadn’t actually made this, I wouldn’t have believed it was gluten free. To this day I have not seen a gluten free cake this big…nor this moist.  I have to give credit to one of the new cookbooks that I bought from the Culinary Institute of America called, “Gluten Free Baking with the Culinary Institute of America.”  On page 182, they list a recipe for a red velvet cake. I had never made one before, and I tend to focus on meals rather than baked goods, so I decided to give it a try.

The maddening thing about this beautiful cookbook is that its recipe was for one six inch round cake pan.  I have either 8″ pans or 9″ pans. So, I just tripled everything and used my 2 9″ pans. But I ask you? Who makes single layer 6″ cakes…ever?  Even fancy restaurants probably layer them.  Then I looked at the calories. OH THAT’S WHY. They don’t want to scare you off by basically saying that you have to work out twice the day you eat this cake…and just the bottom layer with no frosting.  Trust me on this one. Ignorance is bliss. Don’t look at the calories and go ahead and make your layered cake. It’s for a special occasion anyway if you’re going to all this trouble.

This cookbook is not for beginners…and probably not for people on a budget. I love the cookbook and am looking forward to making the eclairs, but the downfall to the book is that it lists five different flour blends with over seven different ingredients (including soy). They are probably fantastic blends and if you own a gluten free bakery, this is the way to go. But if you don’t know that soy flour goes bad out of the refrigerator and gets rancid then you’re in for a nasty surprise.  It’s just not cost effective to buy a whole bunch of different flours, store them and then use them as necessary IF you don’t bake frequently.

Which is why I prefer the gluten free blends already on the market. It’s a bit of an education to learn how the gluten free flours all interact with each other and what works best for the type of baked goods you are going for.

I  modified the ingredients by using the Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Gluten Free Flour Blend and then I used xanthun gum instead of guar gum.

This recipe took about 45 minutes to make/bake, a couple of hours to cool and then about 45 minutes to make the frosting and frost it. So, give yourself about four hours for the entire cake. Serves 6-8.

This recipe makes two 9″ cakes.

  • 12 Tbsp butter
  • 2 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend (white rice, tapioca starch, potato starch)
  • 3 tsp xanthun gum
  • 12 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp vinegar
  • One recipe of Chocolate Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F
  2. Spray two 9″ pans with Pam Original (or another gluten free cooking spray) OR use butter/oil and a little gluten free flour
  3. Beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy
  4. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix well
  5. Add egg and beat until blended.
  6. Add vanilla and continue to blend well
  7. IN A SEPARATE BOWL, combined the gf flour, xanthun gum and cocoa powder until mixed well
  8. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the creamed butter mixture, while continuing to beat on low speed. Continue to beat until blended.
  9. Take off mixer and fold in the the baking soda and vinegar until combined.
  10. *Note on step above: the “red” in red velvet cake gets its color tint from the combination of the chemical reaction in the baking soda and vinegar. If you don’t have this blended well, the cake will not look red. Many people just add red food coloring here to enhance the affect.
  11. Mix well. This is a very thick cake batter. Take care to make sure it is well blended.
  12. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20-24 minutes. It is done when you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. *These bake up very fluffy and are not “springy” to the touch like a denser cake. You’ll thank me later for trusting the toothpick and not overcooking it!
  13. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan.
  14. Turn over on wire rack to continue cooling.
  15. Cool completely before frosting (approximately two hours).
  16. For layering, you can slice these very thick, fluffy cakes in half and have four layers, or just go with the two layers as shown above.
The batter. Make sure it is well mixed.
Just out of the oven.
Right before we cut it!
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