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?  This cake is 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 Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix (recipe follows)
  • 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.

Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix

makes 6 cups

The key to the very best gluten-free baked goods is Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour; it is the Cadillac, or cashmere, of brown rice flours and is worth its weight in gold. It is not grainy like other rice flours, and bakes the most fantastic cookies, cakes, pie crusts, and so on. If you can’t find it at your local natural foods market or Whole Foods, order it online. Both Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flours will also work in these recipes, but they won’t turn out quite as well. I do not recommend Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour, which I find too gritty. The brands of potato starch and tapioca flour or starch are not important; I find them all interchangeable. (Please see Resources, page 177, of The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook for more information.)

  • 4 cups superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 1⁄3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 2⁄3 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
  1. To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straightedge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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.

29 Responses

  1. In the red velvet cake recipe can real eggs and milk be used instead of the egg replacement and rice milk?

  2. […] The cake itself is dairy-free (see recipe here) though the frosting is store-bought and definitely not for those who are lactose challenged like me. [Here's another I found that I might try another day : Red Velvet Cake with Velvet Frosting] […]

  3. Penny says:

    I love your cookbook and am so grateful to have found it! My husband just discovered he has many alleriges that are at the root of his asthma and acid reflux. Your book has been a lifesaver…He is allergic to vinegar and lemon and leaf lettuce in addition to the top allergens. Do you have any suggestions for substitutions in your salad dressings? Thank you very much!

  4. […] For the crust (From the Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook) – 1.5 cups Gluten-free flour mix – 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps powdered sugar – 3/4 tsp xanthan gum – 1/8 tsp salt – 10 tbsp vegetable […]

  5. Loretta says:

    Thank you for your blog and for this recipe! I just made this cake today and it was fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception that I used two eggs instead of the egg replacer. This is the best “from scratch” gluten-free cake I have ever made and my guests, who are not GF, absolutely loved it. I was so happy with this cake I took pictures! Next time I will try leaving out the lemon juice and salt in the frosting since was a little too tart.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Loretta! Some like it tart (i tried to mimic the flavor of cream cheese frosting) some like it sweet. Let me know how it tastes w/out lemon.

      All best,


  6. Patrick says:

    You really need to format your website better. There is no reason for this page to print on 8 pages. What a waste of paper.

  7. Hi Patrick: This doesn’t have a print option, and wasn’t posted with that in mind. However, I have done better as I’ve gone along at condensing my text. IT’s a learning process. I assume you cut and pasted this into a word doc, so you should have been able to reduce the line spacing yourself, and also reduce the font size. But again, I didn’t really post this with a print option, so it wasn’t designed with that in mind.



  8. Amber says:


    I used “Natural Flavors” food coloring to make a cupcake version. Natural Flavors is part of the Seelect company. I bought their “Red”. Ingredients are hibiscus and beet extract. However, my cupcake was super yummy but was brown at best. I can’t recall the amount I used because it was quite a few weeks ago. Do you have any suggestions? What is the specific color you buy? I’d like what I already have to work if possible. I bought eight ounces of it. Thanks so much! Enjoyed reading your cookbook. You did a wonderful job! Both my kids have food allergies…

  9. Maryellen Hughes says:

    My son has numerous food allergies but he can eat gluten. May I substitute all purpose flour for the gluten-free flour mix? Should I make it a pastry flour or just the regular all purpose?

  10. Wendy says:

    I just made this for a party so my daughter would be able to eat the same thing as everyone else – it was excellent! I can’t believe I made something gluten free and eggs and dairy free that tasted so delicious!

  11. As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

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  14. Andrea says:

    Hi! As per the question above, is it okay to sub out your gluten-free flour for regular all purpose baking flour if our household can eat wheat?

  15. Karen Sarnow says:

    Hi Cybele,

    I am going to make the red velvet for a dear friend and wanted to know can you double the recipe to make a larger cake than 8 inches? And why do you refridgerate the dry ingredients before mixing?

  16. Tramise Hines says:

    I have two boys with severe allergies, I can not tell you how much my Entire family enjoyed this cake. After making this cake, I searched other articles by you and found your book titles. I purchased two of them and can not say thank you enough. You have opened a creative touch in my heart and kitchen. My children felt more included in our meals. I have made several selections out of your books and I just purchased them two days ago. I wish I could post my pictures. Again, thank you for blessing my boys with the ability to be included. They love the Blondie chocolate chunk bars.

  17. Valeria says:

    I love your book so much. My son is allergic to gluten, soy, nuts, eggs and dairy and your book enabled me to cook some treats for him. I baked this cake for his birthday and it was a winner. Everybody loved, even the non-allergic crowd. Thank you very much.

  18. Grandma Rae says:

    I have been looking for a red velvet receipe for my grandson, Anthony. He must be gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free. Your receipt seems to be perfect. I have some questions…I have Arrowhead Mills, gluten free all purpose baking mix which has ricer flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum. Can I use this as the flour mix. Also, do I still add the xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda to the receipe. I have Earth Balance Vegan Buttery sticks which contain salt. Is this good to use or should I use a vegetable or canola oil. Do I still add the salt if I’m using the sticks which also contain salt? I would appreciate some help since I hope to surprise him for Thanksgiving with this cake. Thank You!

  19. Jennifer says:

    Amazing! I made cupcakes with the recipe. It made 24 cupcakes (with frosting leftover.) I baked them for 20 minutes and they were perfect.

    Question – I have a juicer at home, so is it possible to substitute red beet juice for the red food coloring?

  20. Dear Grandma Rae:

    Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, that arrowhead mix won’t work with my recipes. They’ve been developed around my flour mix. Also, I don’t know how much baking powder and xanthan gum are in the mix proportionally, so wouldn’t know how to tell you to adjust the called for leavening and xan. If you follow the recipe as written, you’ll have a beautiful cake for your grandson, however!

    all best,


  21. […] out Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Free Red Velvet Cake here  Isn’t it gorgeous!  Hard to believe that it is free of ALL the top 8 […]

  22. Jessica says:

    Hi! I just wanted you to know how great this recipe was. Even substituting my own GF flour blend turned out well. And the icing is absolutely the best icing recipe ever. I did use butter instead of shortening but still…fantastic recipe!!!

  23. Jen says:

    Cybele, thank you for your beautiful recipe! My boyfriend of a few months has gluten and egg allergies and is (mildly) dairy intolerant, and this looks like such an amazing way to spoil him for his birthday!

    I’m curious to know what you think about using chia seeds as an egg replacement in this recipe, seeing as I have them on hand? I’ve heard they’re a good replacement, but I don’t know how they’d do for baking.


  24. […] Cybele Pascal.  I used her recipe for Velvet Frosting, which can be found at her website here.  It tasted fantastic and worked perfectly!   Thanks, Cybele!! […]

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