Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free

Fluffy and moist with just a hint of chocolate and deep red colouring, this gluten free red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is the perfect special treat, especially when topped with vanilla-laced cream cheese frosting.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeRed velvet cake is a little like love itself. When you first come across it, you don’t know how to categorise it. You can appreciate its beauty, the feeling of sinking into it, but try to examine it more closely and it flies apart into elements so disparate that you can’t fathom how they come together to form the wondrous whole. Luckily for us, red velvet cake proves a lot easier to examine and recreate in our own kitchens. The recipe for love, I leave to you all to figure out for yourselves. Mine involves 1 tall, geeky ginger + 1 nerdy, cookbook obsessed brunette = love. The recipe for a lush, gluten free red velvet cake with tangy, vanilla scented cream cheese frosting, that, I can help you with.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI wanted to give you a red velvet cake for Valentine’s Day. To show my love for you all, and your support here on Thoroughly Nourished Life. Like any project of love, it took some experimenting. Third time round, I figured out the formula for a fluffy, moist, tightly crumbed cake with a stunning deep red hue. Red velvet isn’t a cake for everyone. This cake walks the line between chocolate and vanilla. You will keep going back for slice after slice just to try and figure it out. I’m okay with that.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe secrets of love, those I also have no idea how to solve, the secrets of the perfect gluten free red velvet cake, those I can decode. It starts with creaming butter and sugar to pearled perfection. To that we add eggs, a decent dose of vanilla, and pillar box red food colouring. This cake uses a simple mix of three gluten free flours, and these are added to the mix along with cocoa powder, and the key ingredient in red velvet cake’s moist and moreish texture – buttermilk. Buttermilk, combined with baking soda and a touch of lemon juice, gives this cake it’s lift and the tender crumb that defines red velvet cake from merely a red-coloured vanilla cake.

After your cake is baked and cooled, then the magic happens: you whip together cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla essence, and lemon juice to create dreamy cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is the perfect dancing partner for red velvet cake. The tangy, smooth cream cheese contrasts with this cake and highlights the balance between vanilla and chocolate to perfection, like a delicious, velvety tango for your taste buds.

From me, to you, this Valentine’s Day. Red velvet perfection.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeRed Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free | Makes one 7-inch (18 cm) cake


  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food colouring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Butter and line on 7-inch (18 cm) round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the warm water and cocoa powder. Allow to cool and then mix in the buttermilk and chia seeds. Set aside until required.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the buckwheat flour, white rice flour, and brown rice flour. Set aside until needed.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat butter and sugar on medium-high until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. The butter and sugar should be very pale by this stage.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  6. Add red food colouring, vanilla essence, and salt. Beat until completely incorporated.
  7. Turn mixer speed to low and beat in flour in three parts alternating with buttermilk and cocoa mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as required. Beat until just combined.
  8. In a small bowl mix together baking soda and lemon juice so that it foams. Quickly mix into cake batter.
  9. Pour cake batter into prepared baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating as desired. Use this time to make and refrigerate the frosting.
  11. To decorate the cake, split the cake into two layers. Use a serrated edge knife to make the job easier. Place one layer of cake on a plate and spread with half the frosting. Top with the second layer of cake and spread with the remainder of the frosting. Decorate with sprinkles, or as desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting



  • 175 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 3-4 cups of icing sugar


  1. In a medium size bowl beat together the cream cheese, lemon juice, vanilla essence, and 3 cups of the icing sugar until smooth.
  2. If your mixture is too runny beat in the extra cup of icing sugar.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTell me, dear reader, are you a red velvet fan? What’s your recipe for love?

23 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free

    • Thanks Rebecca! It did turn out wonderfully 🙂 Practice makes perfect. Oh and the sprinkles? I have to hide them from my boyfriend because he just loves eating them out of the container. Good thing he’s cute!

  1. And the Chickpea family debate continues, the only thing good about a red velvet cake is the cream cheese frosting (only according to mama chickpea..everybody else scoffs it down, they are all heathens with no taste buds) Just give me the left over frosting and I’ll be happy. However, all the people at Dad’s work who were lucky enough to get some are in hog heaven, some diets and New Years’ resolutions may have been broken in the testing phase.xoxo

  2. And perfection it is!! It looks just beautiful, Amy. So glad the third time around got you what you wanted! Practice surely does make perfect. I’m sure your friends and family weren’t complaining 😉

    • Thanks Lynn! Dad’s workmates were very pleased, and I still have one of the trials in the freezer for a Valentine’s Day treat I am considering… 🙂

  3. I was never sure about red velvet cake but I had some recently and it was amazing – yours looks so rich and soft and I agree, the flavour isn’t really discernible but delicious anyway!

    • Thanks Emma 🙂
      Mum still won’t eat it – she’s just into red velvet for the cream cheese frosting 🙂
      I do love the colour though, and the slightly strange flavour suits my indecisive personality I suppose 😉

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  5. Hi there. First time I came across your blog today and think I am a fan. I love red velvet cake and haven’t found a good gluten free recipe before. Will definitely try it for Valentines!
    Could I also use this recipe for cupcakes?


    • Hi Annette! Thank you so much for visiting 🙂 It’s always so nice to welcome someone new to the Thoroughly Nourished table 🙂 I hope you enjoy the red velvet cake, let me know what you think! It should be fine as cupcakes too, just remember to adjust the cooking time. For medium size cupcakes I would think about 20 minutes should do it!


  7. Pingback: Top Ten Gluten Free Treats For Your Sweet This Valentine’s Day | Thoroughly Nourished Life

  8. Pingback: 10 gluten-free Valentine’s recipes to woo your sweetheart | The Happy Coeliac

  9. Pingback: Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Seven | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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