This gluten free red velvet cake recipe is moist and luscious. Red Velvet is known for its richness. While not everyone has the time to make a three-layer, double-frosted cake, when you wish to impress guests, this is the cake to make. When time is short, make a single frosted cake and/or make a naked cake (no frosting on the sides). The cake, as well as frosting recipes, were raved about by my cookbook recipe testers. If you usually use ready-made frosting, you may never again.
Note: Also find this gluten-free recipe in my upcoming cookbook Carla’s Best 125 Gluten-Free Recipes.
Note: This is another recipe from my upcoming cookbook, Carla’s Best 125 Gluten-Free Recipes.
Melted gluten-free chocolate, for garnish (optional)
Mini gluten-free chocolate chips, for garnish (optional)
To Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in center of the oven. Oil three 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans. Dust with cake flour. Set aside for later use.
In a bowl, sift together the self-rising flour, salt, cocoa powder, and sugar; set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, 1 - 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy, 4 - 5 minutes.
Mix in the applesauce and vanilla until smooth.
Alternate adding one-third of the flour mixture with half of the buttermilk, beating thoroughly after each addition. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
Add the food coloring and vinegar; beat until just combined.
Immediately distribute the batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Sprinkle the tops with water and smooth out the tops using a silicone or rubber spatula.
Bake on the center shelf of your oven for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Rotate cakes once midway through the baking cycle for even baking and browning.
Allow the cakes to cool on non-stick or oiled wire rack(s) in the pans for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from their pans and transfer directly to the wire rack(s), flat side down, to cool completely.
To Make the Frostings:
Whip the butter in the bowl of your mixer on medium speed until creamy. Mix in the cocoa powder thoroughly. Beat in the whipping cream. Add the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time; beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and blend on low speed. Set frosting aside.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting as directed; set aside.
To Assemble the Cake:
Line one plate with plastic wrap and leave another plate plain. Place a cake layer on each plate, flat side up. Place torn pieces of parchment or wax paper under the bottom of the cake layer on the plate without plastic wrap. (This will prevent frosting from messing up the plate.) Add a thin layer of chocolate frosting to each and refrigerate until set.
On the plate with the parchment paper, spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting over the chocolate frosting. Add the other chocolate frosted cake layer on top of the first, frosting side up. Frost it with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. Add the final layer of cake on top, flat side down. Frost the top and sides of entire cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting.
If desired, melt some of your favorite gluten-free chocolate and drizzle it over the top of the cake. Decorate with mini chocolate chips before it sets. Keep cake refrigerated until you are ready to slice and serve. Freeze leftovers by slicing individual-size servings; lay each slice on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze until frozen solid. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap and freeze. Unwrap and defrost at room temperature.
*If you prefer a strong cocoa flavor, increase the cocoa to 4 teaspoons.
To make a single frosted cake, only use the cream cheese frosting.
Wrapping cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerating them makes them solid and easier to handle. Therefore, feel free to chill the top layer as well as the frosted layers.