top of page
  • Writer's pictureArdent For Life Magazine

Gluten-free Buttercream Red Velvet Cake

By Sarah Steffens

The holidays are a wonderful time to cook delicious meals and special treats with loved ones. I’m not a baker myself, but my niece is, so we teamed up this year. She created a beautiful gluten-free red velvet cake! What a gift to grow closer with family and friends as you cook together!

Makes 6 servings

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Red Velvet Cake


1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

3 tablespoons tapioca starch

½ teaspoon sea salt

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

¾ cup coconut sugar

2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten

¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ cup whole milk

Optional: natural red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting


16 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 cups confectioners’ sugar


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease one 5x4-inch round baking pan, and set aside

In a medium-size bowl, place the flour tapioca powder, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder, and whisk to combine well. Set the bowl aside.

To make the cake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the coconut sugar, followed by the eggs and vanilla, beating to combine well on medium-high speed after each addition. Add the vinegar and then about a scant 1/8 teaspoon of the food coloring, if using, and beat to combine very well. The mixture may look a bit curdled, and that’s fine. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk, and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter should be smooth and relatively thick.

To bake the cakes: Smooth the cake batter in an even layer with a wet spatula. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before inverting the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: In the clean bowl of a stand mixer or a clean large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and sea salt, and beat to combine. Add about half of the confectioners’ sugar, and beat on medium-low speed until the sugar has been absorbed by the butter and cream cheese mixture. Add the rest of the confectioners’ sugar about 1 cup at a time, beating on medium speed to combine after each addition. Once all of the sugar has been absorbed into the mixture, increase the mixer speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. The frosting should hold its shape when scooped, but should not be completely stiff.

To assemble the cake: place one of the cooled cake upside down on a serving platter and slice in half, lengthwise, so that you have two identical 5x4-inch cakes. Place about 1 1/4 cups of frosting on top and spread into an even layer. Invert the second cake place on top of the frosting and press gently to adhere and cover the top and sides with the remaining frosting, spreading into an even layer. Swirl the frosting around randomly with a butter knife or offset spatula. Top your cake with a festive topper (we printed an image of a deer and colored it with a bit of frosting colored with a little food coloring). Refrigerate the frosted cake for at least 15 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife into generous slices, and serving.

Calories: 160 - Fat: 8 g

Carbs: 20 g - Protein: 7 g

Sarah Steffens

Is a food stylist, lifestyle photographer and private health foods chef specializing in Paleo, Keto and Whole30 meals.


This story first appeared in Ardent

for Life Holiday 2019 issue.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page