My 16th, Gluten-Free Vanilla Birthday Cake!!

October 25th was my 16th birthday, and I decided that I didn’t want to go overboard to celebrate. My Bat Mitzvah was a few years ago, and that was enough of a big party experience to last a lifetime. Happily, I did end up having a really, really fun day. I had a volleyball game at my high school (which we won of course), and my dad brought doughnuts for after the game from Harold’s Square. My team and I all sat around chatting, munching on doughnuts, and hanging out for a little while. I was able to get my massive amounts of homework done ahead of time, so I had a fun, relaxing afternoon.

After the volleyball game, my dad and I took the train to 84th and Amsterdam, where we ate dinner at a fabulous restaurant called Jacob’s Pickles. We ordered fried artichokes as a starter and they were delicious. I ordered a warm and perfectly seasoned salmon salad for dinner, while my dad enjoyed a chicken sandwich. Obviously, being a foodie, I couldn’t have been happier to try such savory foods with a Southern flair.

On the way home from the restaurant, we stopped at Ben and Jerry’s, across from our apartment on 103rd and Broadway, to buy my beloved ice cream cake. Unfortunately, we discovered that all of the cakes ‘may contain nuts’.  We walked up to another ice cream shop on 107th and bought a java chip and dulce de leche cake that made my love for ice cream cakes only grow. After eating cake and opening presents, I ended my day by watching an episode of House MD.


The following weekend my family threw a party for me with some family friends, and I couldn’t wait to make a Halloween themed birthday cake. I wanted to try my hands at a simple white cake with lemon, cream cheese, and buttercream frosting. The cake turned out perfect – inside and out. I hope you enjoy!!!

**I added a 1/2 cup of sprinkles before pouring the batter onto the prepared pans. The finished product turned out really festive and cheery, and I recommend adding sprinkles to spice up your traditionally boring ‘white cake’ interior.


2 cups  all purpose gluten free flour blend

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 egg whites + 1 whole egg , at room temperature

1 1/3 cups (10 2/3 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature

*To halve the recipe, use 3 egg whites (75 g) in place of the 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper (trace the perimeter of the cake pan on the parchment, then cut out the circle). Set the pans aside.

  2. Into a medium-size bowl, sift the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder. Add the salt, and whisk to combine well. Set dry ingredients aside.

  3.  In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for at least 3 minutes, stopping at least once to scrape the entire mixture off the sides and bottom of the bowl. The mixture should be very light and fluffy.

  4. Separately, whisk together the egg whites, egg and buttermilk in a small bowl.

  5. Alternate adding the the dry ingredients with the buttermilk and egg mixture in 4 different parts, starting and ending with the dry. The batter may appear curdled at times.

  6. Once all of the ingredients have been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for another minute on medium speed to ensure that everything is combined. Then turn over the batter a few times by hand. It should be very thickly pourable and relatively smooth.

  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared baking pans and smooth each into an even layer with an offset spatula. To remove air bubbles, bang each pan on the counter a few times.

  8. Place the baking pans in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes rotate the pans, and continue to bake until the cakes are lightly golden brown all over, and have began to pull away from the sides. This will be around another 10 minutes, baking for a total of about 30.

  9. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes before turning out upside down onto a wire rack (and removing the parchment paper liners). Cool completely before frosting and serving.
  10. Here is the lemon, cream cheese buttercream frosting recipe. I will post my modified version at another time.(