Allergy Free Red Velvet Cake with Velvet Frosting


Yes, this cake is allergy-free. Really. But nobody would ever know it. I created this recipe for my son Monte, whose birthday is February 6th. He was supposed to be born on Valentines Day, and was almost named Monte Valentine. However, he came 8 days early, and was named Monte Lovell (which means “little beloved”), which he finds equally embarrassing. Monte loves Red Velvet Cake, fittingly, so this cake is a tribute to him. My little beloved.I encourage you to bake this cake. What better way to celebrate Valentines Day this year, than with an Allergen-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Red Velvet Cake that can be eaten by all your favorite sweethearts? I promise, it’s to-die-for. Eat it and weep.

Red Velvet Cake with Velvet Frosting

makes one 8-inch layer cake

My whole family goes crazy for red velvet cake. It’s so gorgeous and festive and sounds so luxe. This old-fashioned Southern favorite can be made even healthier by using Seelect Natural Food Coloring, which I order online. That way, you can let them eat cake without the slightest tinge of guilt.

  • 2 3/4 cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring
  • 1 recipe Velvet Frosting (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, line with cutout parchment paper, grease again, and dust with a little cocoa powder.

2. Whisk together the flour mix, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Combine the rice milk and cider vinegar. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, sugar, egg replacer, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the food coloring and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Sift in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the rice milk mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
5. Divide the batter between the two pans, and smooth down the surface using a frosting spatula.
6. Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.
7. Let cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Cover the cake pan with a large plate, flip, peel off the parchment paper, and flip the cake back onto the rack, right side up, to cool completely. Repeat with the other cake.
8. Once the cakes have cooled completely, you may use a serrated knife to trim the tops to make them level. Frost with Velvet Frosting. Once the frosting has set, store covered at room temperature. This cake is even better on days two and three!

Velvet Frosting

makes enough to frost one 8-inch layer cake

  • 1 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and salt on medium speed for 1 minute.
2. Add the confectioners’ sugar in three batches, beating after each addition.
3. Add the rice milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

All recipes reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Chugrad McAndrews.

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

43 Responses

  1. Oh my goodness, I have been raving about this recipe for the past month! My daughter was a New Year’s baby, and I used this recipe to make her birthday party cupcakes. I followed the cake and frosting recipes veratim (something I rarely do), and they were sublime.

  2. Cybele says:

    That’s so wonderful to hear! I think this is a great cake for all of us to celebrate our little ones with!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Angie Fellers Beard, Fellers Foodservice and Cybele Pascal, Cybele Pascal. Cybele Pascal said: Check out Allergy-Free Red Velvet Cake with Velvet Frosting @ #glutenfree #vegan #foodallergy […]

  4. drelet says:

    Can we use regular flour for this? My kid has food allergies but not to wheat (amazingly enough!) and don’t have the other flour on hand. If we sub for reg. flour and leave out the xantham gum, is that okay? LOOKS SO YUMMY!

  5. Mary Lenahan says:

    We absolutely love this cake recipe! I plan on making it for Valentine’s Day. Continued thanks for all you do Cybele! Happy “early” Birthday to Monte!!!

  6. Tina says:

    I love, love red velvet cake — and since I have wheat intolerances — I’m definitely going to have to try to make this one! Thanks!

  7. Cybele says:


    Sure you can use all purpose flour. omit the xanthan gum. And just be sure to watch the cake carefully, as it will bake a little more quickly.

    all best,


  8. […] Read the full post & get the recipe » Tags: Gluten-Free Baking, Gluten-Free Cake, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten-Free Recipes Previous postGluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and a Glass Of Milk from Tartelette […]

  9. Joy says:

    This was my birthday cake this year. Mom decorated it with chocolate shavings and cherries to make it extra special. It was delicious.

  10. Sandra says:

    I never thought Red Velvet could be allergy free, that’s fantastic. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  11. Vicki @ WITK says:

    Red Velvet? Love love love! Thanks for sharing this recipe, its great for bringing to a party where you don’t know peoples allergies!

  12. wow, this cake looks fantastic. the texture looks moist and dense, which i’m surprised at considering the gluten free flour. do you have a certain brand you recommend?

    thanks for sharing. cheers.

  13. irena says:

    Cake looks amazing….love the photos and your blog too.
    Today I had guest blog post with interesting gluten free recipe…check it out and thank you!

  14. drelet says:

    Thanks! Ordered new cake pans from amazon so I can make this next weekend for the allergic kid and the rest of the famous. Weirdly excited and may have to make it twice (once as soon as the pans arrive) just to, ahem, “TEST IT” out first.

  15. Jessica says:

    Absolutely stunning cake. Can’t wait to try it. It’s perfect for V-day! 🙂

  16. Dear Joy:

    Love it! SOunds absolutely beautiful. Please share if you have a pic!



  17. Dear Veggietestkitchen:

    I use Authentic Foods Superfine Brown Rice flour to make my own mix, which is linked to above, or you can buy the Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend. This will make for the most delicious crumb. If you use these Authentic Foods products, most people won’t be able to tell it’s gluten-free.

    all best,


  18. Irena:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I love rhubarb, and amaranth. Nice combo!



  19. drelet:

    I”m a firm believer in giving recipes a test run, and then eating them!

  20. this looks beautiful and delicious! where were you when i keep asking on twitter for a gluten-free red velvet cake? 🙂

  21. […] weekend I taught a class in which I demoed my Allergy-Free Red Velvet Cake and my Allergy-Friendly Old-Fashioned Mac n’ Cheese. Many of you who couldn’t be there […]

  22. Leigha says:

    This is the best allergy free cake I’ve tasted!!! My husband loved it and so did my in-laws who never eat allergy free. It was super moist and so delicious it tasted like it had wheat, dairy and egg in it! Thank you so much for this 🙂

  23. Lindsay says:

    You are a baking GENIUS! I just had a baby two months ago who is intolerant to everything under the sun and I’ve had to do a major diet change. I’ve been DYING for something sweet and have tried countless recipes from countless blogs which all ended up disappointing me. It’s my birthday today and I decided to try and make cupcakes. I’m a foodie and baking is by far my most enjoyable guilty pleasure. I made your red velvet cake into cupcakes and they are a dream come true!!!!! The texture, the moisture….they have the same consistency and flavor of a REAL cupcake!!! I’m in heaven. Thanks for taking the time to share your recipes. I can’t wait to try more!

  24. Tramise Hines says:

    I made this wonderful cake (cup-cakes) today. I followed the receipe exactly,and the results were WONDERFUL! I have three children two of my kids have many allergies (fish,eggs, nuts, dairy, soy, beef, and some fruits) as you can read the list is long. This receipe gave them the joy of licking the cake bowl (something I enjoyed as a child) and enjoying a new favorite. The other members in the family equally enjoyed the baked goods! Thank you for this recipe and helping to build memories for my children.

    • cybele says:

      Dear Tramise:

      I’m very (VERY) behind on answering comments. Thank you so much for this lovely one.

      All best to you and your kids.


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  26. Hester says:

    I have a question. I have been waiting for weeks to make this cake (in the form of cupcakes) for my sons for Valentine’s Day. However, after reading through the recipe just one more time to make sure I had all the ingredients, I just realize that you recommend using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. I don’t have one of those and frankly can’t afford one right now. Can I use a hand held mixer with regular beaters or dough hooks for this recipe? Thank you for any information you can give me.

    • cybele says:

      Hi Hester, so sorry I didn’t respond earlier. I’ve been away in SF working all weekend, through tonight and am just reading my comments. Yes, you can use a hand held! Happy Valentine’s day.

      all best,


      • Hester says:

        Thank you so much. I used your recipe and made Red Velvet cupcakes for my sons for Valentine’s Day. We all LOVED them!! I shared some with a friend who has a son with food allergies too. She flipped!! We see why you recommend using the superfine brown rice flour. They were absolutely delicious. Thank you again. Looking forward to trying more recipes from your cookbook “The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook”, especially the cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, and the classic crumb cake. Thanks again !!!!!

  27. Melanie says:


    I was wondering if I could make the cake without the food coloring? I know it defeats the purpose of “red velvet” but it is for my allergic son’s 3rd birthday and he won’t know the difference ;-). Would I need to add some other kind of liquid instead? Also, I plan on using all purpose flour. How do you think this will affect cooking time/tempeature?

    Thanks for you time!

    • cybele says:

      Hi Melanie, yes, you can make it without the food coloring, just omit it. And if you use all-purpose flour, leave out the xanthan gum.


      all best,

  28. Desiree says:

    Your recipes look great. I have extreme sensitivity to MSG, so I can not use xanthan gum is there anything else I can use in place of it to bind the flours together in the gluten free recipes? Thank you for your help.

    • cybele says:

      Hi Desiree:

      You can use guar gum. I have never heard that there is any relationship between xanthan gum and msg. I am very sensitive to msg, too, but have no problem with xanthan gum. I would like to hear more about this. What does it do to you?

      all best,


  29. Linda M. says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I cant’ wait to try it!
    Linda M.

  30. Martha says:

    I made this cake a year ago and it was amazing, first time I used extra fine rice flour, until then didn’t even know it existed. Unfortunately we can no longer use rice flour! We are Top 8 free with no rice and no corn 🙁 Any ideas for another alternative flour blend? Thanks!

  31. […] recipes for the cake and frosting are from Cybele Pascal’s The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. I simply […]

  32. […] be just perfect. Since all cake is naked without frosting in my opinion, I added this allergen-free Velvet Frosting (basically a “butter cream”) from Cybele Pascal.  Really and truly, this was divine. I […]

  33. S says:

    Hi Cybelle. I just came across your website and would love to try this out for a friend. Can i just use normal veg shortening? Otherwise, what can i substitute it for? Coz we only have reg shortening here. Thanks in advance!

  34. Joanna says:

    Hi, any tips on how to bake flat cake layers for this recipe? Do wet towel strips work for gluten free cakes?

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