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A bright white red velvet cake topped with a dark chocolate ganache drip and white frosting swirls on top. There is bright red cake crumbs sprinkled on top of the frosting.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake (Dairy-Free)

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  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Hands down, the best gluten-free red velvet cake recipe. Tender layers of moist cake full of classic red velvet flavor. Paired with tangy whipped cream cheese frosting, this easy one-bowl gluten-free red velvet cake is absolute perfection.


Units Scale

Red Velvet Cake

  • 2 cups (500ml) dairy-free milk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (360g) dairy-free sour cream, room temerpature
  • 2/3 cup (157ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 23 teaspoons red food color *see note
  • 3 cups (360g) gluten-free flour 1:1 baking blend
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 1 cup (227g) dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (200g) dairy-free cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 cups (720g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dairy-free milk


Red Velvet Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare three 6-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
  2. Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “curdle.”
  3. In a large mixing bowl and stand mixer combine the sugar, sour cream, oil, vanilla extract, and red food color and mix until smooth.
  4. Measure in the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and begin to mix.
  5. While mixing, slowly pour in the milk mixture and combine until smooth.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert on a wire rack to fully cool.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with electric beaters, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat together on high until light and fluffy. This should take approximately 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and salt and mix on low until combined.
  3. Turn the mixer up to high and allow it to beat for 5 minutes. 
  4. Place in the fridge if not using right away.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Combine the chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and begin to heat in 30-second intervals. Stir after each interval. Repeat until fully melted and smooth.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each fully cooled cake layer with a knife or cake leveler. Save the cake cut-offs for decor if desired.
  2. Place one cake layer on a plate, cake board, or cake turntable. Top with approximately 1½ cups of buttercream. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  3. Cover the outside of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  4. Cover the cake with a second layer of buttercream and smooth the sides and top with an offset spatula or cake smoother tool. Place in the fridge to chill for another 10 minutes. Prepare the chocolate ganache at this time.
  5. Pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and very slowly push it over the edges with an offset spatula. Place back in the fridge to chill for another 10 minutes.
  6. Fit four piping bags with tips 1M, 4B, 10, and 3, and fill each bag with frosting. Pipe large rosettes with the 1M, open stars with the 4B, and dots with the 10. With tip 3, pipe small dots within the large rosettes.
  7. Cut up the cake top trimmings from step 1 and sprinkle the red velvet cake crumbs on top. Enjoy!
  8. Leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.


*See the ingredients swaps & substitutions section for further details regarding red food color options. It can also be omitted entirely if you do not need or want a deep red.

  • Prep Time: 60 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American