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Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake

August 15, 2015

Have the happiest birthday with soft and moist vanilla bean flecked cake with vanilla bean buttercream frosting!

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeSweet baby Caitlyn turns 2 years old this month! In fact this weekend was my actual due date with her, and of course all 3 of my kids taught me the philosophy of a “due month” to the max and this little one arrived 2 weeks later ๐Ÿ˜‰ Caitlyn is my sweet rainbow baby, surprising us with joy in a season of life that I could barely pick myself up to go on. Her name, Caitlyn Faith means pure, trusting faith, and every day that I was pregnant with her, her name gave me confidence things would be ok.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeCaitlyn is a third baby to the core, super laid back, goes with the flow in our big kid schedules, and always has a smile on her face. I kind of feel like I blinked and she turned two, and I find myself staring at her sweet baby curls savoring every moment of her ending babyhood.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeWe celebrated Caitlyn’s birthday this weekend since her actual birthday falls just before school starts. I found some beautiful vanilla beans at a local shop and decided they were perfect for cake! There’s really nothing like using real vanilla bean in your baking. Those little flecks of vanilla bean pack an amazing vanilla flavor profile!

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeI kept things super simple since I am not even close to a baker – and even further away from a cake decorator! I think the elegant simplicity of vanilla beans worked well with my keep it simple theme. This cake really would be perfect for an occasion and any age big or small.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake And, oh the flavor! And the texture! Super soft and moist with a real vanilla flavor!

So here’s to the “terrific two’s!” I’m in for a *busy* year so I might just go celebrate making it this far with an extra slice of cake tonight ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean CakeProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of โ€œwhat brand do you use?โ€ Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldnโ€™t use on my own family.

Gluten Free Vanilla Bean Cake

Have the happiest birthday with soft and moist vanilla bean flecked cake with vanilla bean buttercream frosting!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free vanilla cake, gluten-free vanilla cake recipe, vanilla buttercream
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Renee -





  • Butter two 8 inch cake pan rounds, and fit parchment paper to the bottom of each pan sticking to the butter.
  • Blend the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, sugar, butter, vinegar, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, and almond extract) in a large mixing bowl for a couple minutes until well combined.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (the dry ingredients) right into the bowl, and blend to combine until creamy.
  • Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans evenly and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let the cakes cool about 20 minutes before taking them out to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
  • Once the cakes are cooled completely, you can frost them. Just blend the vanilla bean frosting ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl until well combined and frost your cake how you want.

For more real food treat ideas you can follow my Treat Ideas board on Pintrest!

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Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream :: Refined Sugar Free with Dairy Free Option


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  • Reply Mary August 15, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Looks great, Renee! Happy Birthday Cait! I can’t believe she’s two already.

  • Reply Jessica August 16, 2015 at 10:23 am

    This is beautiful, Renee!

  • Reply Megan Stevens August 16, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    That cake is so so beautiful~ the cake and the frosting! And I agree- the vanilla bean specks are so subtle and yet so powerfully delicious!! Well worth it. What a happy celebration.

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish August 18, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Happy Early Birthday sweet girl … you’re so lucky to have a mommy that loves you so much and makes super beautiful cakes too. Okay, so that was really to Cait, but Renee … this cake is so lovely. And that frosting, yes please! I love how thick it is, I’m a huge frosting fan. Looks like you had a lovely little party.

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 18, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Thank you Emily! You are so sweet – Caitlyn says thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Reema August 20, 2015 at 10:41 am

    This sounds amazing. What can I used as a egg substitute? Chia seeds? Banana? Apple sauce?

  • Reply Reema August 20, 2015 at 10:41 am

    This sounds amazing. What can I used as a egg substitute? Chia seeds? Banana? Apple sauce?

  • Reply Reema August 20, 2015 at 10:41 am

    This sounds amazing. What can I used as a egg substitute? Chia seeds? Banana? Apple sauce?

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 20, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Reema! I think flax or chia eggs will work for the bind but the cake will probably not rise quite as much as the eggs not only bind but help with the rise. I should still work though!

  • Reply Melissa @ My Darla Clementine August 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Looks so pretty and delicious! Do you think it could be made with alternate flowers or starches? Like coconut or arrowroot? Have you tried substituting those in cake recipes before?

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Melissa! Grain free cakes are tough but do-able. Coconut flour is super dry and absorbs everything. It really would be a totally different recipe. I would recommend just searching out google for some grain free cake ideas if that is what you need to do ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a first birthday cupcake that is grain free if you search in the search bar it should come up ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Reply Kimlee October 11, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Anything that can be subbed for the potato starch? My little guy can’t do nightshades.

    • Reply Renee Kohley October 11, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Kimlee! Can he have arrowroot or tapioca starch? I’m not familiar if those are nightshades but those should swap pretty good.

  • Reply Bay March 22, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Do you think a pre mixed gluten free flour blend would work ok in this. I am new to gluten free baking and have just started trying out the simple truth organic gluten free all purpose baking mix which includes white rice flour,corn starch corn flour, tapioca starch, cream of tarter,sea salt,guar and locust bean gums and sodium bicarbonate.

  • Reply Lisa March 25, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I’d love to be able to pin this on pinterest. Is that possible?

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 27, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Hi Lisa! There are pin it buttons on each image and on the right there is a floating share button for pinning you will find!

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  • Reply Katie May 14, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    2 cups butter for the icing seems like a lot, it’s a full pound. Is that correct? I am so looking forward to making this cake!

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  • Reply Erin December 14, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Just wondering what the result would be to use white rice flour instead of brown rice flour? My son is on a grain free diet temporarily, exception white rice occasionally to try and get some health issues under control. (So far we are having great results!) I’d love to try and stick to this diet even for his birthday but would love to try something other than an almond or coconut flour based baked good! This classic birthday cake looks awesome! I’m newer to Gf/grain free baking and don’t want a flop especially in from of the inlaws. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply Renee Kohley December 17, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Hi Erin! I think that would be fine. Brown Rice flour sometimes leaves a softer finish but I think in this kind of baked good it should be fine! Happy birthday to your son!

  • Reply Melana Bucher January 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I used this recipe this last weekend for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party! It was a hit!! No one belived that I had actually made the whole thing myself! Thank you, I have left overs and am loving it!

    • Reply Renee Kohley February 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Melana that is great! Thank you for coming back to let us know! Happy birthday to your little one!

  • Reply Leslie September 12, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I read the comments and you said using a gluten free flour blend will be fine. The one I have , has brown rice flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, and xanthan gum in it. How much do I use in place of all the separate ingredients you have listed? Thanks!

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 13, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Hi Leslie! Go ahead and use it cup for cup – it should be fine. And leave out the xanthan gum from my recipe since your recipe has it already!

  • Reply Emily Bierma July 30, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Hello! Second birthday party this weekend. Do you think this will work fine as cupcakes?

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