Gluten Free 1234 Cake or Cupcakes

Once home bakers began using volume measurements, they began to make this easy-to-remember recipe for 1234 cakes. They are so called because they consist of 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, and 4 eggs. They usually are a bit heavy similar to pound cake, but they do not contain as much butter and eggs. Therefore, they are less expensive to make. I have adjusted the method of making this cake to make it lighter. Enjoy!

NOTE: Because we are using Carla’s Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend, use 2-2/3 cups of flour instead of 3 because this flour blend weighs more than traditional all-purpose flour. You can use 3 cups of flour but they turn out lighter and moister using less.

Gluten Free 1234 Cake or Cupakes

Prep Time: 23 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Yield: Makes one 3-layer cake or 3 dozen cupcakes

Gluten Free 1234 Cake or Cupakes

A moist, buttery cake made by using the easy to remember 1-2-3-4 gluten free cake recipe.


  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature*
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (or Smart Balance dairy-free margarine or Earth Balance for vegan)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2-2/3 cups twice-sifted Carla's recipe for Self-Rising Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend
  • 1-1/2 cups milk of choice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)


  1. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; set aside in a separate bowl.
  3. Using the same or clean mixing bowl, cream the butter until fluffy.
  4. Add sugar and continue to cream for 6 minutes if using a high-speed stand mixer or up to 8 minutes using a lower-powered mixer. (You want the butter to be pale yellow, almost white.)
  5. Add the egg yolks and mix to combine thoroughly.
  6. Alternately add one-third of the flour blend and half of the milk; beat until thoroughly incorporated after each addition.
  7. Gently fold in one-third of the beaten egg whites until no streaks remain. Then fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  9. To level the batter and remove large air bubbles, slam the pans on the counter or a padded surface several times.
  10. Bake cake for 25 minutes and cupcakes for 19 or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Allow cake layers to cool in the pan for 4 - 5 minutes.
  12. Invert layers onto wire racks to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  13. Layer with your favorite gluten free filling or frosting. (I used sturdy whipped cream and a little pineapple curd.) I also used it for cupcakes filled with pineapple curd and topped with sturdy whipped cream - see below photo.)


*Eggs are easiest to separate when they are cold.

2 Replies to “Gluten Free 1234 Cake or Cupcakes”

  1. How do you create swirl icing on 1234 cake? Do you layer toppings separately then use a toothed metal pastry triangle to wave in design?

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