There are key ingredients and methods of creating a gluten free cake that is light and tender, much like boxed cake mixes containing gluten. Box cakes achieve their results by using modified starch and other unusual ingredients. This light and tender gluten free yellow cake recipe creates an amazing texture. It took me several tries, but I finally did it! Make a half or whole cake or make it dairy or dairy-free. (Photo shows dairy-free.)
The difference between yellow cake and sponge cake:
Sponge cake doesn’t contain any oil, butter, or margarine, but yellow cake does. The eggs are separated in sponge cake. Then, the egg whites are whipped and set aside. This is the main reason for its light and spongy texture. You do not separate the eggs or whip them into soft peaks or ribbons for traditional yellow cake.
To make this cake much lighter, I whipped whole eggs until they reached the ribbon stage. (You can see ribbons fall from the batter as you wave the beaters back and forth. I added additional eggs, too. So, when all is said and baked, this recipe is basically a sponge cake but with dairy-free margarine or butter.
I prefer to use water when making a dairy-free cake as so many milk substitutes contain gum. Gum will only make the cake heavier, rising less. You see, when you add additional gum, you need additional liquid to free up some of that stiffness/guminess. So, why bother. Just use water. It’s nice to use milk that is gum-free though just for the added protein. So, if you have some homemade gluten free oat milk, that would be ideal.
I baked a single layer cake in a 9-1/2-inch springform pan, cut it into two half circles, and layered it. This provides three to four servings. If you wish to bake a full cake, double the recipe as listed in the ingredients section of the recipe. If you make a whole cake, you can use two 9-inch cake pans if you choose. Just note that the cake layers will be slightly thicker.
Gluten Free Yellow Cake Recipe (Dairy-Free) (Half Cake or Whole)
This gluten free yellow cake recipe is dairy free (or not). Its tender, moist, and light crumb is irresistible! Years in the making!
For a Half Cake:
- 3 large eggs (153g) (between 1/2 and 2/3 cup*) (or 3 tablespoons extra margarine + 7 tablespoons liquid from can of white kidney beans** for egg-free)
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (168g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 gm) dairy-free margarine (Smart Balance) (or Earth Balance) (or unsalted butter + 1/8 teaspoon salt)
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (129g) Carla's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (Rumford)
- 1/4 cup (57g) homemade oat milk (or dairy-free milk without gum or water)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or gluten-free clear vanilla extract [LorAnn Oils])
For a Whole Cake:
- 6 large eggs (306g) (between 1 and 1-1/3 cups*) (or 6 tablespoons extra margarine + 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons liquid from can of white kidney beans** for egg-free)
- 1-3/4 cups (336g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (200g) dairy-free margarine (Smart Balance) (or Earth Balance) (or unsalted butter + 1/4 teaspoon salt)
- 1-3/4 cups (258g) Carla's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
- s teaspoons gluten-free baking powder (Rumford)
- 1/2 cup (114g) homemade oat milk (or dairy-free milk without gum or water)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or gluten-free clear vanilla extract [LorAnn Oils])
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. (No change is required for convection setting, which evenly cooks this cake.) Oil an 8 - 10-inch springform pan (I used a 9-1/2-inch) and generously dust with superfine rice flour and tap out the excess. If the pan is not fairly new or at least non-stick, line the bottom with parchment paper and oil the top of the parchment paper; set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the eggs until light and fluffy using the whisk attachment, on high speed. Ribbons should form and quickly disappear into itself when you lift the attachment/beaters and wave it/them back and forth over the bowl. (This can take up to 5 minutes with a hand mixer, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes with a KitchenAid.) Set the eggs aside.
- In a clean mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy, 3 - 5 minutes.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Then sift half of the flour mixture for a second time into the butter-sugar mixture. Beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the milk and vanilla while mixing on medium-low speed to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix again, just until incorporated.
- Fold in the eggs one-third at a time.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, distribute evenly, gently tap the pan on the counter a couple of time to remove any large air bubbles. Bake on the center shelf of the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pan 15 minutes.
- If needed, loosen the sides of the cake from the pan using a knife. Invert the cake onto onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Slice the cake into half circles. (This cake is easy to slice without breaking or creating crumbs) Fill and frost as desired. You have yourself half a cake (or a whole, if you made that version.)
*Rather than exactly between 1/2 and 2/3 cup, the eggs measure a little closer to 2/3 cup.
**White kidney beans are also known as cannellini beans.
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