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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!