Yesterday was Big Tex’s 8th birthday, so, naturally, we celebrated with a special cake.

It was “vanilla” per his request.

It was “gluten-free” per my request.

And, it had fresh strawberries and whipped cream, because, really, how can you go wrong with berries and cream on cake?

I would love to show you a photo of the cake BEI {Before Eating It}, but no such luck, because once I finished decorating it with the strawberries and whipped cream, Big Tex wanted to eat it right away.  Even before he opened his presents.

So we did.

Because there is ABSOLUTELY no way you can deny a hungry 8 year old birthday boy a piece of his cake.

No way.

I’m pretty sure he liked it…

I adapted the vanilla cake recipe ever so slightly from one of my favorite gluten-free cookbooks, Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts.  Here it is…

Vanilla Birthday Cake {Gluten Free} with Fresh Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Vanilla Layer Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix {Recipe below}
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon {gluten-free} baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Position rack in center of oven.  Line bottoms of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with wax paper or parchment.  Very lightly grease and flour sides of pans with butter and rice flour.  Beat butter and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, blending each one in before adding the next.  Add flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, milk, and vanilla; beat at medium speed for 1 minute.  Pour batter into prepared pans.

{Note: Now is the time to let the birthday boy/girl lick the bowl if you are in the “it’s ok to lick the bowl…beater…spatula…camp” like I am.  Big Tex actually told me yesterday that it’s “good” for you to lick the bowl because it’s not “bad for your brain” like playing too many video games is.  Ahh…out of the mouth of an 8 year old!}

Place in center of oven and bake for about 25 minutes for 8-inch rounds (20 minutes for 9-inch rounds) or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool on rack for 7 minutes.  Use a small knife to cut around pan sides to loosen cake.  Invert cake layers onto a rack, peel off paper, and cool completely.

Brown Rice Flour Mix {Note:  Makes 3 cups of flour, but you will use 2 cups.  You can use this flour in other recipes in the cookbook.  I used a slightly different mix of gluten-free flours which are in orange.}

  • 2 cups extra finely ground Brown rice flour OR 1 cup sorghum flour + 1/2 cup finely ground white rice flour + 1/2 cup coconut flour.
  • 2/3 cup Potato starch
  • 1/3 cup  Tapioca flour

To assemble the cake:

  • 3+ cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar to taste

Chill bowl and beaters.  Pour cream in to chilled bowl and beat with hand mixer until stiff.  Add powdered sugar to taste.  Spread whipped cream over first layer and top with sliced strawberries.  Place second layer of cake on top and repeat with whipped cream and strawberries.

And, if you are celebrating a birthday, light the candles, sing “Happy Birthday” and eat the cake right away!

Happy Birthday to my {not so little anymore} birthday boy.  I love you to the universe, beyond, and back!

What is YOUR favorite birthday cake???

I would LOVE to hear from you!  Please click here to leave a comment, ask a nutrition question, or leave a suggestion for The Spicy RD.  Or, if you enjoyed the post, please share it below!

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  1. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    I cannot wait to try this! What a perfect cake for celebration!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks Maria! My best friend was at the party, and even though she’s not gluten free she loved it and want one for her b-day 🙂

  2. Me: So, what was your favorite thing about the birthday celebration? Non-stop video games?

    Son: NO!!! The cake! The cake! The cake! It was so yummy! Can you make me one for my birthday?

  3. The Spicy RD says:

    Regan-Yes, I have been to visit your friend’s blog. I love it! I just found out about the gluten free ratio rally last week, and would love to participate. I just need to buy a kitchen scale first 🙂
    Xiaolu-Thanks for your comment 🙂 You can never go wrong with strawberries and cream IMO!

  4. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    Strawberries and cream combine beautifully with cake. I made a (gluten) version a few years ago. Yours sounds really fantastic!

  5. Have you considered joining the gluten free ratio rally? [if you are already a part of it & I missed it on your site, please forgive.] My friend Gretchen of kumquat-blog is doing it… it just got started… you might enjoy? Visit Gretchen’s site if you’re interested. She’s also an RD living gluten-free.

  6. Lauren Slayton says:

    Happy Birthday to your son (cute even seeing 1/2 his face)! And I must say I love the BEI appbreviation too. Your PEI (post eating it) photo looks surprisingly pretty. I’m not a baker (and we have great gluten free bakeries in NYC) but I love Mud pie, Ice cream cake and carrot cake if life had no rules.

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks Lauren! I think he’s pretty cute too :-). Oh, yes, love mudpie, carrot cake, and ice cream cake too!

  7. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    Yum, this looks so delicious and gluten-free makes it even more perfect!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Hi Maria. Thanks for stopping by! My kids don’t need to be on a gluten free diet but since I am, and I want to enjoy cake with them on their birthdays, that’s what they get. Plus, GF tastes just as good as regular don’t you think? 🙂

  8. Oh yeah, my favorite cake is chocolate with vanilla butter cream, but chocolate on chocolate comes in a very close second. I also like mine with berries on top. Happy Birthday to the little guy!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Oh, yes chocolate with butter cream is tasty too, and another favorite of mine is a Texas Sheet cake. Thanks for the bday wishes for Big Tex!

  9. Looks great! Must have been delicious if there is no evidence of the before eating.

  10. happy birthday to your son great cake

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  11. Kristen (swanky dietitian) says:

    Glad the cake was a hit!
    I am not going to lie, I love the funfetti boxed cake so much! My mom always makes it for my birthday. I love love cakes with banana filling. Holy yum!!

    1. The Spicy RD says:

      Thanks for sharing your favorite cake! I’m not sure I’ve ever had a cake with banana filling, but it sure sounds delicious!