With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been seeking sweet recipes to honor the occasion. And what could be more fitting, in both color and indulgence, than a decadent Red Velvet Cake. But this isn’t any old cake recipe. This is a gluten-free vegan red velvet cake from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal. We originally featured this recipe in 2010, but are giving it a big update!
Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake from the Allergen-Free Baker
Cybele is the founder of the amazing cookie company, Cybele’s Free to Eat, and she definitely knows her way around sweets. According to Cybele:
My whole family goes crazy for this gluten-free red velvet cake. It’s so gorgeous and festive and sounds so luxurious. This old-fashioned Southern favorite can be made even healthier by using Seelect Natural Food Coloring, which I order online. That way, you can let them eat cake without the slightest tinge of guilt.
Unlike most recipes, this gluten-free red velvet cake has a creamy dairy-free “velvet” frosting. But you can make a dairy-free cream cheese style frosting, if preferred. Either way, it’s a wonderful dessert that you can make without dairy, egg, gluten, nuts, sesame, and soy.
Special Diet Notes: Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.
- 2¾ cups Basic Gluten-Free Flour Blend
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ cups plain rice milk (or milk alternative of choice)
- 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 4½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons rice milk (equivalent of 3 eggs)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring (preferable natural)
- 1 recipe Velvet Frosting (recipe follows)
- 1 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons plain rice milk (or milk alternative of choice)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, line with cutout parchment paper, grease again, and dust with a little cocoa powder.
- Whisk together the flour mix, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine the rice milk and cider vinegar in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the food coloring and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Sift in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the rice milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Divide the batter between the two pans, and smooth down the surface using a frosting spatula.
- Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.
- Let cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Cover the cake pan with a large plate, flip, peel off the parchment paper, and flip the cake back onto the rack, right side up, to cool completely. Repeat with the other cake.
- Once the cakes have cooled completely, you may use a serrated knife to trim the tops to make them level.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and salt on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar in three batches, beating after each addition.
- Add the rice milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Frost the cake with the Velvet Frosting.
- Once the frosting has set, store covered at room temperature. This cake is even better on days two and three.
I made this recipe twice and it did not turn out. The first time I followed the recipe exactly. The second time I doubled the vanilla hoping that that would improve the taste. It didn’t. Both times the dominate flavour was flour. I won’t take a chance again, but if I did, I would increase the sugar and triple the vanilla.
Can coconut flour be used? would it be the same measurement?
No – coconut flour is an extremely dry flour that sucks up much more moisture than other flours. It can’t be substituted 1:1 for flour or a flour blend, and usually requires more eggs to aid in binding.
Have you ever tried mashed beets instead of food dye?
Yes, we have this red velvet recipe that uses beets:
and this recipe that uses both beets and cranberries:
Pingback: Un-Beet-able Dairy-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe
Can this be made with regular flour?
Yes, omit the xanthan gum.
Hi! Could one use dairy-free butter instead of shortening in the cake making?
Hi Steph, I couldn’t guarantee the results on that swap, but you could try it!
Should the batter taste bitter? I just made this an dit’s currently in the oven.. I did a quick taste after I mixed everything together and it seemed almost as if the vinegar was the dominant taste. I added some sugar but it didn’t do much. Should this be the case or did I do something wrong?
I don’t think so, that is odd Casey. Did it taste bitter once baked?
Update – I learned that some food dyes can cause bitterness when used in quantity. Try to stick with a natural version.
Instead of the egg replacer, how many eggs of what size would this use? My daughter and I are excited to try this recipe soon! Possibly for her birthday!
Hi Amy, I haven’t tested this recipe with eggs, but the equivalent would be 3 large eggs. Please do let us know if that amount works well for you.
What can you substitute for potato starch? Lots of us are allergic to nightshade plants.
Corn starch, arrowroot starch, or more tapioca starch. The results will vary slightly with each starch (i.e. potato starch tends to be heavier and more “moist” than tapioca starch), but they can be used relatively interchangeably.
Can I make the frosting ahead of time before I make the cake? If so, how long would it last in the frig?
Yes, but you will want to re-whip it prior to using. It will keep a few days, but is still best when used as soon as possible.
Excited to try for my niece! Do you know cooking time for cupcakes? And do you have another recipe like this that doesn’t require Cocoa?
I do not. But at 350ºF I would start checking the cupcakes at around 20 minutes.
Oh, and no I don’t have one without cocoa. Most red velvet recipes are cocoa-based. You could try carob or another “powdered” ingredient as a sub.
Thanks she loved the cake ,she has a lot of food allergies so I was looking for other cake recipes besides this one but she told me this was a keeper ☺
Glad you enjoyed!
Pingback: Basic Gluten-Free Flour Blend Recipe - Just 3 Ingredients!
Pingback: 46 Delicious Gluten Free Cakes Recipes | Daily Healthy Tips
What are your thoughts on using almond milk instead of rice milk in the frosting? Looks great! Thank you!
Should work just fine!
Can you sub coconut oil for the shortening in the cake mix? Thanks!
This might work well, though we haven’t tested coconut oil specifically.
Pingback: Favorite Dairy-Free and Vegan Valentine Recipes - Go Dairy Free