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Gluten Free Cake Mixes: Chocolate & Vanilla

Gluten Free Cake Mixes: Chocolate & Vanilla

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for classic chocolate and vanilla cakes and cupcakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll always be able to celebrate a birthday (or a day ending in “y”) in style!

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!

Below are the Make-Your-Own Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix and the Make-Your-Own Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix from my second book, Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy. They’re so useful! Not only can you can use them whenever you need a quickie gluten free chocolate cake or gluten free vanilla cake or cupcake. But they’re perfect for recipes that call for a gluten free cake mix, like my Gluten Free Blueberry Dump Cake and my super rich and chocolatey Gluten Free Earthquake Cake.

I bet these gluten free cake mixes would even work in other, conventional recipes that call for a cake mix.

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!

Each of the recipes is formulated to work by adding water, not milk, to the dry ingredients, along with either oil or butter and eggs. The result is a moist, tender cake with a perfect crumb every time, whether you bake cupcakes, a cake or a dump cake.

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!

Chocolate cake made with cocoa powder, not melted chocolate, lends itself especially well to being made with oil in place of butter. You can use whatever neutral oil you like best: liquid coconut oil, vegetable oil, canola, grapeseed—you name it.

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!

I haven’t tried these recipes with an egg replacer, but my favorite egg replacer is a “chia egg,” not a flax egg and definitely not applesauce or water. You need to replace not only the moisture of eggs, but also the structure that the egg white provides.

Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix Recipe Image

If you’d like to replace the butter in the vanilla cake mix with something dairy free, I recommend trying butter-flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum brand) as a 1 to 1 replacement by weight. The buttermilk powder in the vanilla dry mix can also be replaced with finely ground blanched almond flour, again 1 to 1 by weight.

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!

I do have to be honest with you, though, about the vanilla cake mix: If you’re making gluten free vanilla cupcakes, this mix is amazing. The cupcakes have the most tender, perfect crumb (more tender with the buttermilk powder than with almond flour, but still) and perfect vanilla taste. If you’re making a straight-up vanilla cake, though, I really prefer my recipe for The Very Best Gluten Free Vanilla Cake. Creaming the butter and sugar first, as we do in that cake, plus sifting the flour is really the only way to get a perfect vanilla cake.

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!

Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!
Easy gluten free cake mix recipes for basic chocolate and vanilla cakes. Keep them on hand and you’ll never be without the perfect birthday cake!

These incredibly versatile cake mix recipes will come in handy time and again. You’d be surprised how often you want to make some quick cookies from a cake mix. And when my gluten free son was in grammar school, it seemed like there was a birthday party 8 days a week. It was incredibly helpful to have a stash of chocolate cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes in the freezer at all times, for just such an emergency!

Simple buttercream frosting

Wondering how to make a quick and easy buttercream frosting? Just use exactly half as much room temperature unsalted butter, by weight, as confectioners’ sugar. For example, 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, and 4 cups (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar. Beat them together, along with a splash of pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, until light and fluffy. Add milk by the half-teaspoonful and beat until it holds its shape when you scoop it but is smooth and creamy. Want to make a chocolate version? Replace some of the confectioners’ sugar with cocoa powder!

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16-ounces dry mix

Ingredients

For The Chocolate Cake Mix
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (157 g) all purpose gluten free flour

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

7/8 cup (70 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/8 cups (225 g) granulated sugar

For The Vanilla Cake Mix
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour

3/4  teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

Scant 1/2 cup (43 g) cultured buttermilk blend powder (I use Saco brand), or 1/3 cup (43 g) whey powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

Directions

  • For either mix, place all of the ingredients for that mix in a large bowl and whisk well. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

  • To make gluten free chocolate cake or cupcakes, preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin or 9-inch cake pan and set it aside. Transfer the dry ingredients to a large bowl and create a well in the center. Add 6 tablespoons (84 g) of neutral oil, 3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten) and 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) lukewarm water, mixing to combine well after each addition. Fill the wells of the cupcake pan 2/3 of the way full, or transfer the cake batter to the prepared 9-inch pan. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached (about 19 minutes for cupcakes; about 28 minutes for the cake). Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes one 9-inch cake or about 18 cupcakes.

  • To make gluten free vanilla cake or cupcakes, preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin or 9-inch cake pan and set it aside. Transfer the dry ingredients to a large bowl and create a well in the center. Add 8 tablespoons (112 g) of melted and cooled unsalted butter, 2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) and 1 egg white (25 g) at room temperature, beaten, and 2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) lukewarm water, and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, mixing to combine well after each addition. Fill the wells of the cupcake pan 2/3 of the way full, or transfer the cake batter to the prepared 9-inch pan. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached (about 19 minutes for cupcakes; about 28 minutes for the cake). Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes one 9-inch cake or about 18 cupcakes.

  • Reprinted from Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love—Fast!

If you liked this recipe, you'll love this book!

People who follow a gluten-free diet don’t always have the quick and cheap food options that their friends do…until now.

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy contains 100 new quick-prep and make-ahead recipes for dinners, yeast-free breads, baked goods, snacks, breakfasts, and more. These unique timesaving recipes take advantage of readily available gluten-free ingredients and kitchen shortcuts.

Learn More

  • Linda Quimby

    And then what? When I decide to make a Choc. cake, how do I do it?
    Thanks, Darlena

  • Anneke

    These are basically the only chocolate and vanilla cakes or cupcakes I make. So easy and delicious!

    • Really, Anneke? I’m trying to figure out why that surprises me somehow! I guess just because I know that you and your kids are pretty adventuresome bakers. 😘 But if you’re going to pick one set of cakes, this is the one to pick!

  • Stacia

    Would it be appropriate to store the mix in the freezer to keep it longer??

    • Hi, Stacia,
      Sure! It will likely clump, especially the vanilla mix, so you’ll just need to let it come to room temperature before using it.

  • Kat reeves

    I’m using your home made gluten free flour mix.Rice,potatoe tapioca. Tapioca flour replaces Xanthum isthat correct .Otherwise cake recipe should be made as recipe states,is that right.

    • Hi, Kat,
      Tapioca flour does not replace xanthan gum, no. They are completely different.

  • @agilby19

    Have you ever tried full fat coconut milk for a non dairy milk?

    • This recipe doesn’t call for a liquid milk, agilby19.

  • Jennifer S.

    I love these too! But for chocolate, your devils food cake recipes take the prize!!!

    Making twix bars today by request from my boys! I love that feeling when they ask me, can you make “blank” ? And I know you have me covered!!!

    • I try, Jennifer! Thank you for always being here. :)

  • Jo Lynn Ganann

    I love and use a lot of your GF recipes. I’m just wondering what the shelf life is on these dry cake mixes. Thanks.

    • Hi, Jo Lynn,
      The shelf life of these mixes is as long as the shelf life of your most perishable ingredient. You can certainly help extend it by storing the mixes in the refrigerator or freezer, as I discuss below with Stacia.

  • Eula M Garrie

    I love your recipes and I use your flour blend made wh. Rice , potatoe, and tapioca flour etc, I just printed out your recipe for. g f. Chocolate and white cake mixes. My problem is I.m. not only gluten intolerant I.m also diabetic so can the sugar in these recipes be subed wh. Trivia or stevia, or some other natural sweetner.

    • Hi, Eula,
      I have had good luck substituting granulated sugar with Truvia baking blend, in general, but I haven’t tried it with these mixes specifically. It’s definitely worth a try! I would not suggest Stevia, no.

      • Andy

        Hi
        I prefer to use only natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup – can I replace sugar with honey when I make your baked recipes?
        Thanks

  • Vayden

    What is the best way to store all of the gf mixes and the items to make the gf mixes ?

  • Pat
  • Sarah Pflueger

    If I wanted to use a 9×13 pan, would I just double the recipe?

    • Hi, Sarah,
      Depending upon how deep the pan, you might actually just want to multiply the recipe by 1 1/2, which should be pretty easy if you’re measuring by weight. Even the eggs can be multiplied by 1 1/2 by beating multiple eggs in a bowl and then measuring out the precise amount by weight.

  • Winter Woods

    I made the chocolate today for my son’s 8th bday…I had just ordered your recommended ingredients last week and received them yesterday, just in time! This is the 1st recipe of yours that I’ve tried, and it was such a BIG hit at our house! My husbands 1st bite response was, “Wow! That’s good!” Everyone agreed this was THE BEST gluten free baked good we’ve had since transitioning to gluten free last year. I spent a lot of time on your website last week, and you convinced me that I could be confident in your methods, but I am super stoked about it after today’s success :) My gf daughter is highly anticipating your Hawaiian sweet rolls, which is next on our agenda! Although my daughter is the only one gluten intolerant in our home, I do my best to cook/bake everything gf. I’ve had a lot of expensive disappointments over the last year, mostly in the baked goods area, but I just saw the tide turn! Following your gf methods is going to take the guesswork out of this journey for me…I’m not good at guesswork. I believe I can finally be confident in my cooking skills again. It’s been a while. Thank you so much for all of your time and energy put into sharing this info with us. Really appreciate you!

  • Laura Tosney

    Just made the chocolate cupcakes for my non-gf husbands birthday as a surprise (he has to have gf surprise bakes or I wouldn’t be able to test them to check they’re okay 😁) and they’re *so* good. May have eaten two while they were warm out of the oven… So soft and springy – delicious!! Can’t wait to try them iced tomorrow. Thanks for having the best GF recipes – they never fail me!

  • @agilby19

    Which one of your gluten free blends do you recommend for the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes?

  • Karen fry

    I made the chocolate cupcakes with the Better Than Cup4Cup blend and they were amazing! This is now my go to cupcake recipe – and believe me, I’ve tried a lot!

  • Michelle Woods

    Why do you prefer chia egg substitute over flax?

  • Lil’ L

    For the chocolate cake recipe I tweaked it a little: 1 1/2 cups of gf oat flour, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder (still very chocolate-y), 2 fiber capsules instead of xanthan gum (better for you and cheaper), 1/2 cup of warm water, and added a tsp of vanilla extract. Also, this took over 30 minutes to bake, not 19 minutes. Turned out delicious!

  • Lil’ L

    For the chocolate cake recipe I tweaked it a little: 1 1/2 cups of gf
    oat flour, 1/3 cup of cocoa powder (still very chocolate-y), 2 fiber
    capsules instead of xanthan gum (better for you and cheaper), 1/2 cup of
    warm water, and added a tsp of vanilla extract. Turned out delicious!

    • Patti Cakes

      how COOL! i love to here tweaking of recipes and them being successful. This is the 1st time i have heard this about fiber capsules :D neato! Lil’ L i just got a laugh off of your private account saying “Deal with it” too funny but your mixtures are interesting & what recipe were you making these substitutions from?

      • Lil’ L

        Hi, PC: I didn’t go by any other recipe, just got lucky, I guess! Next time I might try cutting the oat flour with rice flour, and/or some other gf flour (no garbanzo flour, tho) so its not so oat-y. I tend to o.d. on oats at times and don’t need another food allergy. I saw my friend baking with fiber and I asked her why. I had no idea what xanthan gum was made from; kinda scary. Do not use the fine white fiber powder like citrucel, use psyillium husk. Good luck and glad I could help!

  • Lisa Neumann

    Could I use regular powdered milk instead of the powdered buttermilk?

  • suzeyg3

    I use skimmed milk powder and it works perfectly.

  • Doreen Boone-Pitcher

    What else can I use instead of the powered buttermilk or whey? I don’t have any and SO WANT to make the apple dump cake!

    • Hi, Doreen, you can try using nonfat dry milk. That should work fine.

      • Doreen Boone-Pitcher

        Thank you for the reply – can’t wait to make it!

  • Nat

    I tried this recipe out today. Unfortunately they turned out more like lava cupcakes as my daughter called them. I think possibly I used the wrong flour mix I used your better than cup for cup which suggested could be used for cakes. Anyway they were edible just not my favourite because yes they were sponge like but also a bit gummy due to the high starch content or the xanthan maybe? Anyway btw I do love so many of your g/f recipes …thanks

    • Did you measure the ingredients in your flour blend by weight, Nat? And did you use superfine rice flours in the blend? It sounds like an issue with your flour, for sure. You can definitely use that blend in these cupcakes, but you must build the blend by weight, and use a superfine rice flour. I honestly find that, for most recipes, it’s cheaper and more convenient to just buy Better Batter and use that.

  • Kylah Arias

    With either the vanilla and devil’s food GF cake recipes, I’m looking to make a 12×18″ sheet cake and a Wilton cross cake (which states it takes any two layer cake batter/recipe). How much should I increase the ingredients by for each cake? How about the buttercream frosting?

    • Kylah, I’m afraid I really don’t know offhand. You’d have to calculate the volume differences and then adjust the recipes from there.

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