red velvet redux

some kind folks have asked for the red velvet recipe and the truth is, at the time of the earlier post, i wasn’t totally happy with the end result, so i didn’t put up the recipe. my earlier attempt didn’t contain buttermilk and while it was good, i thought it could be much better. today, i set about to “make it work” (tim gunn is my idol).  IMG_0567 a few things to know about red velvet, it usually has buttermilk, vinegar and baking soda in it, which give it its distinctive taste. getting a gluten free cake to have structure and rise means adjusting the fats and acids and proteins to strike the right balance. this cake leaves out the vinegar but has cream of tartar instead which activates the baking soda (actually, for this cake i made my own baking powder which is a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar).


so, today’s experiment resulted in a cake with a nice texture and a decent rise. in future, i will level off the tops of the cakes before assembling and frosting the cake because the top was sort of bumpy and sadly i was lazy and didn’t bother, so the sliced cake isn’t as pretty as it could be. i think the cake could stand a touch more liquid, which would give it an even better rise and texture.




i frosted the cake with a traditional cream cheese frosting. yum!


Red Velvet Cake


3 cups (446 g) King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour.

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 ½ tablespoons dry cultured buttermilk powder*

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 tablespoons gluten-free King Arthur Cake Enhancer, optional

1 ½ cup (298 g) superfine sugar

½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste

4 large eggs

2/3 cup water, at room temperature

2 tablespoons Lorann Red Velvet Cake Flavor.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottoms of two 9″ round cake pans.

2) Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, buttermilk powder and cake enhancer.

3) In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the sugar, softened butter, salt, baking powder, and vanilla, until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 15 seconds between each addition, then for a minute or so at high speed, until fluffy. Thoroughly scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.

4) Continuing to use the mixer, beat in the water, at low speed, alternately with the dry ingredients, adding about 1/3 of each at a time, and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the red velvet cake flavor, stirring just until blended.

5) Divide the batter between the two pans. The batter will be very thick. Spread the batter until it’s level in the pans. Bake the cake for about 35 to 40 minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes past the point where the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center, when it’s done a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle should come out clean.

6) Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Run a thin spatula or knife around the edge of the cakes, and then turn them out of the pans to cool completely on the rack.

* do not use fresh buttermilk! i don’t know why exactly, but it prevents the cake from rising.

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