Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Ganache


October is a month full of birthdays in our family. Lots of time spent together celebrating and eating. 2 of my 3 boys have birthdays this month. Last weekend, my little guy turned 4. Jarrett is such a sweet, adorable and funny kid. He is also major force to be reckoned with. I love his strength and ability to get right in there with his older brothers. He doesn’t miss a beat!

I made dinner for the family and a cake. Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate ganache. Truth be told, I was a little flustered throughout the process of baking and decorating the cake. I didn’t have a cardboard round for it to sit on while decorating so I ended up doing it right on the cake stand. That turned out to be a big mess. Especially when I poured the ganache on top. I wiped most of it up so there was just a little pool of ganache on the bottom. 

I then made a mistake with the lettering on the top of the cake. See that smudge under the “H”? My husband laughed and said Jarrett wouldn’t notice. I was upset it wasn’t perfect. In the moment, I forgot the true importance if this cake. It wasn’t about creating something perfect. It was about making something special to celebrate Jarrett and the 4 years of happiness he has brought all of us since he came into this world! Who cares if there is a smudge? Jarrett sure didn’t! He loved his cake, covered his eyes with his hands and wished really hard before taking many tries to blow out the candle on top! I hope whatever that little cutie wished for comes true!

So here is a recipe for a slightly imperfect cake which ultimately ended up being just perfect. Enjoy!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Ganache {Gluten-Free}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 C sugar
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 C gluten-free flour blend (King Arthur's or your favorite)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (only if gf flour blend you are using does not have it)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 5 cups confectioner's sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  1. Heat oven to 325
  2. Butter 2 9″ round pans and lightly flour them on the bottoms and sides.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom between each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum, if needed.
  7. Lower the speed of the mixer to low and add ⅓ flour. Once incorporated, add ½ buttermilk. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated and then raise speed to medium and mix together until smooth.
  8. Separate batter evenly between pans.
  9. Bake at 325 for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to rest in pans for about 20 minutes before removing from pans onto resting racks.
  11. Allow cake to cool completely (at least 2 hours) before cutting and frosting.
  12. Make frosting:
  13. Sift confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder together.
  14. Cream butter and vanilla together in mixing bowl with paddle attachment or hand mixer
  15. Add the confectioner's sugar/cocoa powder mixture in a little bit at a time, alternating with heavy cream until fully incorporated.
  16. Make ganache:
  17. Heat heavy cream in small saucepan until just boiling
  18. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until smooth
  19. Pour through fine mesh sieve to remove all lumps and allow to cool to room temperature (about ½ hour)
  20. Assemble the cake:
  21. To separate the cake into 4 layers, take each round, bottom side up and cut around the sides with a serrated knife, turning the cake in a circle until the knife slides easily through the entire cake.
  22. Place the first layer down on a cardboard round or your serving plate, spread enough frosting on top to coat the layer and repeat until last layer is placed on top. Frost the entire top and sides of the cake (an offset spatula is the best tool for this).
  23. Pour the ganache on top and gently spread with an offset spatula so it pours over the sides of the cake. Use the spatula to coat any parts on the sides that aren't covered with the ganache. (If using a cardboard round, this part will be a lot less messy. You can just place it over your resting rack with a pan underneath to catch all of the excess ganache. Otherwise, you will have to clean up around the bottom of your serving dish like I did.)
  24. Serve and enjoy!




  • In both the butter cream and the ganache,what would be a dairy free substitute for the heavy cream? Looks like a yummy recipe , i ‘m always looking for a great cake recipe!

    • I’ve made this cake dairy free, using Silk Coconut milk beverage and 1 tsp of lemon juice in place of the buttermilk, and Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the butter. Decrease the salt by half. You can do the same for the buttercream frosting- substituting for the cream with the non dairy milk, and the Earth Balance for the butter. In order to make the ganache, I’ve used the chocolate with either full fat coconut milk, instead of the cream, or coconut oil. Both have worked out deliciously. If using the coconut oil, simply 1 tablespoon into the melted chocolate will do. I use about 1/4 cup of the canned coconut milk instead of 1/2 cup of cream, but I prefer my ganache to be thick rather than thin.
      Enjoy. Jackie’s cake recipes are delicious!

  • The month of October is full of birthdays in our family and a lot of time is spent together with family eating and chilling. Two of our relatives had their birthday coming up soon so I decided to look some cake recipes online and I found the gluten-free vanilla cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Ganache on Living Foodz. Visit the website for some innovative recipes.

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