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Ultimate Butter Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting: And It's Gluten-Free

April 28, 2021

This is an outstanding cake whether you are gluten free or not! I’ve made it for gatherings, and never bother to tell anyone its gluten free. It’s that good. No one would even know. It’s just good cake. And that’s what I like to talk about here, good cake!

I find that people who are not gluten free, shy away from baked goods that are gluten free. You do not have to feel that way about this cake. The beauty of this cake is that once you have made it the first time and loved it as I do, you will make it again, with different occasions in mind. Not only can you make it in a tube pan, or bundt pan, you can also make it as a layer cake or cup cakes and put frosting on it. There are so may ways to use it!

It comes from a fantastic book called Flavor Flours, where Alice Medrich chooses flour to use based on their taste, and the way they work together with other flours in baked goods. This cake uses the flavors of rice flour and oat flour to compliment each other and bring out the complexity of the butter.

I hope you seek out the ingredients, as they may not be in your pantry. Any supermarket that has a large Bob’s Red Mill section should have the white rice flour and oat flour. (You can always make your own oat flour by grinding oats in the food processor.) And the xanthan gum is often in the baking aisle. I’m telling you, this cake is worth the ingredient hunt.

Note: I use a tube pan when I make this cake. I included a delicious brown sugar frosting to dollop on each piece of cake as you serve it if you are interested. You may need to double the frosting recipe if you are planning to use the frosting for a layer cake.


Ultimate Butter Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting: And It’s Gluten Free

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Flavor Flours


2 2/3 cups (400 grams) white rice flour

1/2 cup (50 grams) oat flour

2 cups minus three tablespoons (360 grams) granulated sugar

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 cup plain yogurt (any percent butterfat) or slightly watered down greek yogurt

4 large eggs

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease the pan(s) with baking spray. As I said above, you can use a tube pan, a bundt pan, 2 - 9” x 2” cake pans (line the bottoms with parchment paper if making a layer cake), or even a cupcake pan.

Combine the rice and oat flours, sugar, butter and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until the mixture is the texture of brown sugar, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl if necessary. Add the baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes. The batter should be very smooth and fluffy.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s) of your choice. Bake a tube or bundt pan for 55-60 minutes. Bake the layers for 25-30 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean and dry. Set the pan(s) on a rack to cool completely

Slide a thin knife or metal spatula around the edges of the layers or the tube pan (and the tube) to detach the cake from the pan(s). Loosen the cake from the bundt pan by rapping all sides of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Invert each layer cake onto the rack. Turn the layer cakes right side up.


Brown Sugar Frosting (Optional - See Note Above )

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/4 cup (47 grams) dark brown sugar

2 cups (240 grams) confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-3 teaspoons milk, as needed

Beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.

Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

Slowly add confectioners sugar.

Add milk by the teaspoon and beat until you reach desired consistency.


Other Finishing Ideas

Fresh strawberries

Frozen strawberries cooked in the microwave for 1 minute. It makes a strawberry sauce

Whipped Cream


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