Basic Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

This is the cake I make all the time. I don’t need to look at a recipe anymore, it’s so automatic. I use this cake-base as a start for pretty much all my cakes and cup-cakes – just add other flavours – banana, dates, cinnamon, raspberry, apples or blueberries.  It works beautifully.

This cake is lovely just as it is, but is also lovely iced, or turned into a cinnamon tea cake.



125g Nutalex lite (or any other non-dairy butter/margarine)
splash of olive oil (~1-2 Dessert spoons)
1/3 cup low GI sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence (I use a specialty Mexican mix – very strong)
1/2 cup rice milk
1 tsp GF baking powder
1 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup GF cornflour
2/3 cup GF bread mix

N.B. you can use any mix of flours you like – rice flour will make it heavier, cornflour lighter (and crunchier) and bread mix makes the dough more elastic and bouncy, but as long as the total amount of flour is 2 cups, it will work. If you don’t use bread mix, I recommend 1 tsp Xanthum gum to give the cake bounce instead.


rice flour

Preheat oven to a medium heat ~ 180 degrees Celsius (our oven is hot so this translates to 160 on our dial!).

In a bowl, combine nutalex, oil and sugar. Beat with a fork until it goes light and creamy. Then add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add vanilla and beat.

Mix the baking powder and rice milk in a cup. It may or may not foam up – doesn’t matter either way.

Finished batter

Now add the flours into the bowl alternatively with the rice milk. Beat thoroughly – make sure all the flours combine. If you feel the need to sift the flours together first, you can do so, but it’s not necessary.

For cake, grease a baking tin with extra oil – I always use a cheese-cake tin, as it’s easy to get the cake out. If your tin tends to stick, line the bottom of the tin with baking paper. For cupcakes, just put  24 small or 12 large cupcake cups in cupcake trays. For small cupcakes, 2 heaped tsp of batter in each cup should do the trick.

Small cupcakes ready to go in the oven

For cake, pour the cake mixture into the tin, and give it a tap to get rid of bubbles.

Cook in the oven until slightly golden brown on top, and a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean. The amount of time depends – for cupcakes, about 12 minutes, for a cake ~20-35 minutes. Gluten-free cakes generally cook faster than ordinary cakes, so keep an eye on it.

Waiting a few minutes before taking the cake out of the tin makes it easier to remove. Let it cool and serve. Or decorate how ever you like.

For cinnamon tea cake, spread the top of cake with extra nutalex while it’s warm, then sprinkle with cinnamon and icing sugar.

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