This simple gluten free strawberry cake has been my favorite summer cake as long as I can remember. A moist gluten-free vanilla cake topped with a luscious whipped cream frosting and fresh strawberries (or any berries you like) - summer can't get any better than this. It reminds me of a Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake which features fresh whipped cream and strawberries. So it's kinda like a Strawberry Shortcake Cake.
Simple cakes like this gluten free strawberry cake are very common in Austria. My Mom would make a cake just like this easy recipe for dessert during the strawberry season on repeat. It's light, refreshing, and easy to make.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- Tools needed to make a Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
- How to make an easy gluten free vanilla cake
- Whipped Cream Frosting
- Strawberry Topping
- How to assemble the gluten free strawberry cake
- FAQ about Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- More Gluten Free Cake Recipes to try
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I have tested this cake recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure, Bob’s Red Mill 1-1, and my own gluten-free flour blend. Every blend produced a beautiful, light crumb. All those gluten-free flour blends are considered multi-purpose blends and do contain xanthan gum.
Almond Flour: The addition of almond flour gives this gluten-free strawberry cake its beautiful crumb and structure. It also keeps the cake moist. If you prefer to keep this recipe nut-free, please substitute the almond flour with the same amount of gluten-free flour. This recipe will NOT work with only almond flour.
Neutral Oil: the tenderness of these gluten-free vanilla cupcakes comes from the vegetable oil since it stays liquid even after cooling. Cakes made with butter normally should be brought to room temperature before serving. I use grapeseed oil in my baking but a neutral oil such as vegetable oil will work just fine. I do not use coconut oil in my baking.
Milk: In my test bakes I used whole milk as well as dairy-free milk such as Almond Milk. I was not able to tell a difference in taste or structure but the gluten-free vanilla cake made with almond milk has a lighter color (due to the lack of casein which will help with the browning of the cake)
Heavy Cream: The whipped cream frosting is made with heavy cream (also often labeled as heavy whipping cream).
Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: The added vanilla pudding mix is a stabilizer and sweetener for the whipped cream frosting. I use the Instant Vanilla Pudding found at Aldi (it is gluten Free) but have used Jello Instant Pudding in the past (which is gluten-free as well).
Tools needed to make a Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
To make this delicious gluten-free strawberry cake you will need a handful of kitchen tools. There is no need for an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to make the cake batter but you will need a mixer to make the whipped cream frosting. You will need a large mixing bowl, a sifter, a small offset knife as well as the following tools:
An 8x8 pan: This cake can be baked in an 8x8, 9x9, or 9" round cake pan. Please be aware the cakes baked in the 9x9 or 9" inch cake pan will be thinner and will bake faster. Adjust baking time accordingly.
Cake Strips: If you happen to have cake strips, I recommend using them. These nifty fabric bands help the cake layers to bake evenly.
How to make an easy gluten free vanilla cake
This delicious gluten-free vanilla cake comes together in no time. Make sure the eggs and the milk are at room temperature. While you measure out all the ingredients needed, place the large eggs in a bowl with warm water. By the time you need them, they will be at room temperature.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment paper. Make sure to spray it with nonstick cooking spray for easy release.
Step 2: In a small bowl sift together the gluten-free multi-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set the flour mixture aside.
Step 3: In a large bowl combine the granulated white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and oil. Whisk until the mixture is light and the sugar is fully dissolved. Whisking the eggs, oil and sugar helps to create light and fluffy gluten free vanilla cake.
Step 4: Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk to the oil mixture and whisk together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Adding the wet ingredients and dry ingredients alternately to the batter helps to reduce the amount of mixing needed to make a smooth batter.
Step 5: Transfer the gluten free vanilla cake batter to the prepared pan. Using an offset knife, or the back of a spoon, smooth out the top evenly. Gently tap the cake pan against your countertop. This will remove some of the air bubbles trapped in the cake batter.
Step 6: Bake the gluten-free cake at 350F for 27-32 minutes until golden and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
Step 7: Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
Whipped Cream Frosting
This lightly sweetened whipped cream frosting pairs perfectly with the fresh berries and tender gluten free vanilla cake. If you ask me, it is the best frosting there is.
To make the whipped cream frosting, combine the cold heavy cream, vanilla pudding mix and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk at a medium speed until medium-stiff peaks have formed. Adjust the sweetened if you like. The juices of the strawberries will contribute sweetness to the Gluten Free Strawberry Cake.
The topping for this gluten free strawberry cake can be made ahead of time (up to one day). If you start with very sweet, juicy strawberries remember to cut back the sugar to not overpower the natural sweetness and the strawberry flavor.
Add the cleaned and sliced strawberries to a medium bowl and toss with granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a few teaspoons vanilla extract. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Allow the strawberries to macerate for at least 30 minutes to release their delicious juices.
If you like, you can use a mix of berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
How to assemble the gluten free strawberry cake
This single layer cake is very easy to assemble. Once your gluten free vanilla cake has fully cooled, place it on a serving platter or plate. Top it with the whipped cream frosting and using a small offset or spoon, smooth it out evenly. Top with the macerated strawberries. Make sure to drizzle some of the juices the strawberries have released over the cake.
Place the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before slicing - this will allow the whipped cream to set up and make it easier to slice. I am not gonna lie, this cake is a bit messy to slice to begin with. I recommend using a serrated knife and carefully cut through the strawberries. Alternatively, you can slice the cake BEFORE topping it with the strawberries.
Store any leftovers you may have of this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. I don't recommend to freeze the frosted and garnished cake.
FAQ about Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
If you prefer to keep this recipe nut-free, please substitute the almond flour with the same amount of gluten-free flour.
Reasons for the cake layer sinking include overmixing the batter, underbaking the cake layer, or a measuring error. Make sure to check the cake layers with a toothpick before removing them from the oven.
The gluten free vanilla cake can easily be made dairy free by using non-dairy milk. Clearly, for the whipped cream topping, I recommend using your favorite vegan whipped cream such as whipped coconut cream.
In general, people with celiac disease can eat most fruits, as fruits are naturally gluten-free. However, it's essential to be cautious with cross-contamination, especially when consuming pre-cut or processed fruits. Always read labels and check for any potential gluten-containing additives or cross-contact risks.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
More Gluten Free Cake Recipes to try
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
- 140 grams gluten-free multipurpose flour
- 45 grams almond flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- 140 grams granulated white sugar
- 100 grams neutral oil
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 125 grams milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Frosting
- 250 grams heavy whipping cream
- 30 grams Instant Vanilla Pudding Powder
- 20 grams powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 350-450 grams of fresh strawberries
- granulated white sugar as needed
- zest and juice from ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8×8 rectangular cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl sift together the gluten-free flour, almond flour. baking powder, and kosher salt and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the granulated white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and oil. Whisk until the mixture is light and the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk to the oil mixture and whisk together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Transfer the gluten free vanilla cake batter to the prepared pan. Using an off-set knife, or the back of a spoon, smooth out the top evenly. Gently tap the cake pan against your countertop. This will remove some of the air bubbles trapped in the cake batter.
- Bake the gluten free cake at 350F for 27-32 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
Whipped Cream Frosting
- To make the whipped cream frosting, combine the cold heavy cream, vanilla pudding mix, and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Whisk at a medium speed until medium-stiff peaks have formed.
- Add the cleaned and sliced strawberries to a medium bowl and toss with granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Allow the strawberries to macerate for at least 30 minutes to release their delicious juices.
Assemble the Gluten Free Strawberry Cake
- Once your gluten free vanilla cake has fully cooled, place it on a serving platter or plate.
- Top it with the whipped cream frosting and using a small offset or spoon, smooth it out evenly. Top with the macerated strawberries. Make sure to drizzle some of the juices the strawberries have released over the cake.
- Place the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before slicing – this will allow the whipped cream to set up and make it easier to slice.
Store any leftovers you may have of this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Almond Flour: If you are allergic to nuts, please substitute the almond flour with equal amounts of the same gluten-free flour blend you are using in your cake.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 450
Calories are a guestimate.