This gluten free red velvet cake is so incredibly soft and full of that classic red velvet flavor. And of course, we're topping it off with cream cheese frosting. This cake is perfect for Valentine's Day, but we make it year-round!
When I brought you my red velvet cookies, I promised that I had a gluten free red velvet cake in the works. Well, today is the day! I am beyond excited to share this one with you and I just know you are going to love it.
My mother-in-law recently sent me some of her vintage Wilton cake pans. Among them was a set of heart shaped pans that I instantly fell in love with and couldn't wait to use. I opted for the largest in the set, which is a 9" cake pan. This heart shaped red velvet cake is obviously perfect for Valentine's Day, but I think it works for just about any occasion, year-round!
While I couldn't track down the exact pans she sent me, this looks like a pretty comparable option. If you don't want to make a heart shaped red velvet cake, you can also bake this cake in a 9" round pan.
I'm calling this a pound cake recipe because, although it does NOT have a pound of butter, eggs, flour, and sugar in it, it does call for a good amount of butter. The resulting cake is dense yet still soft, similar to my vanilla pound cake.
When it came to decorating this cake, I had a ton of fun using three different colors and tips. If you consider yourself to be a novice when it comes to cake decorating, then this particular style is perfect! But I'll get into all of that shortly...
What Does Red Velvet Taste Like?
Just like the cookies I shared last month, this eggless red velvet cake contains that perfect hint of cocoa flavor. Unlike the cookies, I did also incorporate buttermilk and vinegar, which tend to be staples in classic red velvet. So, there's some beautiful vanilla flavor. There's some chocolate. And there's some tanginess. And red velvet fans will know, cream cheese frosting is the BEST way to top it all off.
Why You'll Love This Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake...
- The texture is so perfect. I think some people might think of "dense" as a bad thing when it comes to cakes, but I promise, this one is so buttery and soft.
- I mean... red velvet flavor. It's a classic, yet it's so unique in that it's not entirely chocolate or vanilla. So delicious!
- This one is so much fun to decorate. Whether you make a heart shaped cake or a simple round cake, you can really get creative with the frosting.
What You'll Need...
- The dry ingredients: gluten free flour + baking powder + baking soda + salt.
- The flavor: a bit of cocoa powder (not too much, as we don't want it to be overpowering and we don't want to dry out the cake) + sugar + vanilla extract.
- The fat: unsalted butter.
- For moisture: Greek yogurt + buttermilk.
- For a bit of lift: a tiny bit of vinegar (it will react with the baking soda).
- For color: red food coloring. I would recommend gel over liquid, as liquid is less concentrated so you will need more of it for a vibrant hue... and then that will result in adding more liquid in the cake. For a natural alternative, try a little beet powder.
- For the frosting: unsalted butter + cream cheese + powdered sugar + vanilla + salt.
How To Make Red Velvet Pound Cake...
To make my gluten free red velvet cake, start by combining your dry ingredients (including the cocoa powder) in a medium bowl. Give it a good whisk, then set that aside.
Next, cream the butter with the sugar. Add in your yogurt, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Then add your dry ingredients in, alternating with the buttermilk.
So, start with 1/3 of the dry mix, then 1/2 the buttermilk, then another 1/3 of the dry mix, then the rest of the buttermilk, then end with the remaining dry mix. Make sure to stop and mix after each addition. The last step is mixing in the food coloring. I didn't specify how much -- I usually just add a few drops of gel food coloring.
Note that the cake batter will be sticky, so you may have to grease or butter your rubber spatula VERY lightly to make it easier to spread the batter in your pan. Bake on 350ºF for just about 22 minutes, then cool in the pan completely before removing and frosting.
How To Pipe Cream Cheese Frosting...
Because what's red velvet cake without the cream cheese frosting? Cream cheese frosting can be a little challenging to pipe, because it's not as stiff as buttercream, but I have a few tips that should help.
First things first, make sure to use room temperature butter (I just set it out on the counter for around 30 minutes in this case) and COLD, cut-up cream cheese. Make sure you're using a block of full-fat cream cheese for best results. Beat the butter and cream cheese with the vanilla extract first until smooth, then add the powdered sugar and pinch of salt.
For this cake, I split my cream cheese frosting into thirds and tinted two out of the three portions, leaving the last third white. I always use this gel coloring kit, and to achieve these shades of pink I specifically used Fuchsia and Deep Pink. If you'll be piping this frosting, I HIGHLY recommend refrigerating for 20-30 minutes after mixing in your color, to keep the frosting from getting too runny.
To pipe this particular design, I used Wilton tips 1M and 4B for the pinks, and Kootek tip K28 for the white. From here, you really can get creative! Go in with a general idea of how you want the design to look, but there's really no right or wrong way to do this.
I started with some of the larger flowers, then just filled in all of the empty spaces in between without too much rhyme or reason! And it was so much more fun that way 😉
Red Velvet Cake Ingredient Substitutions...
- To make this cake dairy free, you can substitute your favorite non-dairy butter and make your own buttermilk using white vinegar + non-dairy milk. The Greek yogurt will also need to be substituted, as it's a key ingredient to make red velvet cake without eggs. I recommend non-dairy yogurt that is similar in its texture and high fat content.
- For dairy-free cream cheese frosting, substitute your favorite non-dairy cream cheese and butter.
- If you'd like to try a natural food coloring option, beet powder might do the trick. I'm unsure of the amount, but I would recommend adding gradually.
Did you make my gluten free red velvet cake? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog!
Red Velvet Pound Cake - Gluten Free, Eggless
- 1 ½ cups (222g) gluten free flour blend
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (112g) Greek yogurt room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- ⅓ cup (80ml) buttermilk room temperature
- red gel food coloring
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup (118g) unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" heart-shaped pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Add the yogurt, vanilla extract, and vinegar and mix to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk and mixing between each addition. Add gel food coloring until desired color is achieved and mix until well combined.
- Pour cake batter into the pan and use a lightly greased rubber spatula to spread. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan before removing and frosting.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese, unsalted butter, and vanilla extract for a few minutes, until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and salt, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- To tint the frosting, separate into thirds. Leave one third white and tint the other two thirds two different shades of pink. Refrigerate frosting for 20-30 minutes before filling piping bags and piping onto cake.
- If you don't have a heart-shaped pan or want to make this as a single-layer round cake, feel free to use a 9" round pan instead.
- To make your own buttermilk, mix 1/3 cup whole milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
- For the frosting, be sure to use a full-fat block of cream cheese rather than the spreadable kind.
- Cream cheese frosting can be piped or spread onto the cake. If piping, be sure to refrigerate for 20-30 minutes after mixing colors but before attempting to pipe.