Saturday, December 11, 2010

Homemade Gluten Free Cake Mix Recipe

I've always been one of those "Martha Stewart" types who wants to make everything from scratch. (And I REALLY hope you can read the sarcasm in that statement! lol)

Not really. I mean I love making things from scratch, but I work full time. I attempt to keep a house clean (not one of my strong points if you know me and hopefully you love me anyway! lol). I commute to work and therefore I'm on the road a lot. With work, home life, blogging, hobbies, and even our local gluten free support group thrown into the mix... I can't imagine if & when we have kids how life could possibly be any more busy!

So needless to say we all need shortcuts. Especially when it comes to cake. I like cake. A whole lot. I probably shouldn't eat cake. But it's Christmas, which means it's Jesus' birthday and I say that calls for cake!

I've enjoyed using the gluten free Betty Crocker cake mixes, but not only are they expensive (usually close to $5 a box for a batch that makes 12 cupcakes or a one layer cake), they are also hard to find where I live.  One of  my favorite stores used to carry them, but now all they carry is the brownie mix. As much as I like baking from scratch, it is nice to just pull out a box from the pantry and make a cake.

So here's my homemade version of the gluten free Betty Crocker mix. While I will say that the homemade mix is more healthy than the boxed version... it's still not "health food" by any stretch of the imagination. This mix has much less sugar, uses whole grain brown rice flour, and calls for much less oil than the Betty Crocker version. This homemade mix is also super easy to make! Line up about 5 glass jars on your counter and measure out all the ingredients "assembly-line" style for 5 cake mixes and fill your glass jars. Voila... instant homemade gluten free yellow cake mixes!

*To make a chocolate cake mix just add the dry ingredients of my favorite gluten free chocolate cake recipe to a jar and you'll be ready to go! 

They also make really cute Christmas presents! :-)

Homemade Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix Recipe
Makes 1 (8" or 9") round cake or 12 cupcakes
Free of gluten, dairy/casein, soy, (and can be corn free using guar gum and corn free baking powder)
Created by Carrie Forbes @
Printer-friendly recipe

DRY Yellow Cake Mix Ingredients:
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon fine brown rice flour (or white rice flour)
1/2 cup arrowroot starch (or potato starch)
1/2 cup sugar
1  teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum -or- guar gum
1/4 teaspoon salt

Add all of the above dry ingredients into a 1 pint glass jar or a resealable plastic bag. Close tightly and store in a cool pantry or cupboard. Should keep for up to 6 months.

TO make a one layer cake or 12 cupcakes simply mix in:
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I like almond)
2 eggs (or equivalent of Ener-G egg replacer or egg replacers in Notes below!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions to make a cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you're making a round 8 or 9" cake, place parchment paper (cut to size) in the bottom of your baking pan and then spritz with non-stick spray or oil, or line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Pour dry cake mix in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix together all wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared cake pan or fill cupcake liners 3/4  a little over 1/2 full as they rise like normal cupcakes. Bake 8-9" round cake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cupcakes will bake in 17-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Make sure to cool completely before frosting!

Frost & decorate with your favorite gluten free frosting!

These cupcakes are very moist, so make sure to store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Carrie's Notes:
  • The dry mix works awesomely on a pumpkin dump cake or for just about any cake recipe using a store bought cake mix!
  • Egg Replacer Options:  To make this cake egg free you have several options, each of these options makes the equivalent of 2 eggs in baking: 1/2 cup applesauce + an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder OR 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 6 tablespoons hot water + an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder OR 1 tablespoon of Ener-G Egg replacer + 4 tablespoons hot water. I also think it's a good idea to add an additional tablespoon of oil per egg to replace the fat/moisture content from the egg yolk! 
  • If you can make a small label that includes the wet ingredients needed to complete the cake it looks super cute in your cabinet and also really makes a great Christmas gift!
  • Rice Flour: If you cannot tolerate rice flour, I would use millet flour in it's place since it's such a mild tasting flour!
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  1. Wow this is so cool I know so many that are changing to GF. I love to bake and am looking to change things for myself too. Thank you so much for all the hard work that went into this.

  2. I am so giving this to people this Christmas! Thank you so much!

  3. Will this possibly work with regular dairy milk also?

  4. Gudrun - yes! Absolutely it will work perfectly with dairy milk! :-)

  5. Hi Carrie, thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Just to confirm, it'll need 2 Flax eggs? Thanks!

  6. Priscilla - Yes! Use 2 flax eggs which would be 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds and 6 tablespoons of hot water along with an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder!

  7. What a wonderful idea!! We love cake at our house though don't eat it often either. :)

  8. ooooh so exciting!
    Can't wait to make this and give it as a gift!!
    Thank you Carrie, you are just a jewel!!

  9. Ohhh I am so excited by this. I don't like buying cake mix because it is sooo expensive. Not to mention, I prefer to be able to tweek a recipe and also know exactly what is in it.


  10. You are a genius! Very cool cake mix recipe, I have bookmarked it.

  11. This is brilliant my friend. It's exactly what people need - especially good for people to know you don't need to buy mixes. It's so easy to make them from scratch. Yay!

  12. Test batch of cupcakes are cooling right now! Used dairy milk and will be frosted with Betty Crocker icing (so many yummy gf flavors!)

  13. Thank you Ellen! Let me know what you think!! I bet they were DELISH!

  14. Carrie, you are a gf genius! I received a copy of The Cake Mix Doctor's gluten-free book, but have very few cake mixes available where I live (plus, like you said, they are expensive). I did a test run yesterday, using this as the yellow cake mix, and we had the best pumpkin bundt cake. SO EASY! Thank you for the work that you do! :)

  15. Thank you SO much Jeanine!!! :-) So glad to hear you enjoyed the homemade mix! I've been really pleased with it! The Pumpkin Bundt cake sounds SOOO good!! Mmmm!!

  16. I love this recipe. But sometimes it seems a bit too egg flavored for me, using ⅓ cup of egg whites instead of two eggs seemed to help with that, but obviously it also makes it no longer a yellow cake mix. :-) Still it's a fantastic recipe as a base for tweaking, and I have been tweaking it galore.

    A month or two ago I found adding three tablespoons of Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder to the mix and using egg whites (⅓ cup) makes probably one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had. (And cupcakes.) They also seemed to rise more.

    Last night I added 1 cup of blueberries, used the egg whites, and added an additional ¼ tsp kosher salt and coated the blueberries with another tablespoon of the potato starch. Very delicious blueberry muffin-cupcakes. (They needed a longer cooking time, probably about 2½ minutes more in our oven.) I'm going to try this as a quick-bread or cake sometime.

    The other day I tried making a pizza crust out of the recipe by reducing the sugar to 1 TBS but it was too oily, but otherwise well flavored. Again with egg whites. I'm going to try again sometime, but will reduce the oil or even try it with applesauce.

    Good recipe! I'm sure I'll continue to experiment with it in the future.

    They do dry out quickly though, but if I wrap them individually in plastic wrap after they cool and put them in a ziplock bag they stay moist for a few days. Usually are still best on the first day though! Without the wrap they'll be dry by the next day.

    I appreciate that the sugar is about half of what is found in the Betty Crocker mix, I honestly don't really taste that much of a loss of sweetness.

    The only real flop with these I've had was the time I forgot to add the oil. That particular batch was pathetic. My fault and by the time I realized the mistake they were half-baked in the oven. :-) They tasted fine except they stuck to the wrappers a lot more then usual so there was little to eat of them that wasn't also covered in the wrapper.

    Thanks for such an inspirationally wonderful recipe. :-)

  17. This is the best recipe ever! Combine this with the cake mix doctor bakes gluten free and you have an amazing array of options! Thank you!

  18. can we use just reg 2 % milk in this cake????????????

  19. Anonymous -- YES, you can use regular milk, that will work just fine! Let me know how it goes!

  20. Thanks for this recipe, can't wait to try it.

  21. I've made these as written, with sorghum and potato starch, and with millet and potato starch instead of the brown rice flour and arrowroot and they have been awesome every time! Thank you so much for this free and amazing recipe! It was a huge hit with my son's preschool class- they devoured them! Not one of thrm noticed these weren't conventional cupcakes :)

  22. Carrie if I want to put this in a 9x13 pan I assume that I double the recipe??

    1. yes! That's exactly what you would do! :-)

  23. This is, by far, the best gf cake recipe that i have tried! That being said, my cupcakes were pretty chewy (better than grity) and they fell flat when i left them to cool. any suggestions?

  24. Can't wait to try this. I'm going to use this mix to make a GF Upside down Pineapple Cake :)

  25. I have a rice allergy. Will sorghum flour work?

    1. YES! Sorghum flour would work great in this recipe! Enjoy!

  26. This was amazing! I made it as a lemon cake by adding lemon zest and lemon extract and a reduced the milk a little bit because I was worried it would be too wet and it turned out AMAZING! This is the first time I have been able to bake a gluten free cake and actually had a good taste and texture!

  27. I'm experimenting with some DIY cake mixes, and I was a tad disappointed in the texture of this one. It was chewy/gummy... perhaps because of the arrowroot? I wonder if it would be better using all flour, or a mix of gluten-free flours. Thanks for the inspiration, though - gave me a starting point. :)

  28. How could I make this into a chocolate cake? thanks

    1. To make a chocolate cake, simply replace 1/4 cup of the arrowroot starch with cocoa powder! That's it, make the recipe as directed. Enjoy!

    2. To make a chocolate cake, simply replace 1/4 cup of the arrowroot starch with cocoa powder! That's it, make the recipe as directed. Enjoy!