Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake with French Cream Cheese Buttercream

You don’t know it yet, but this gluten free red velvet cake with sinful French cream cheese buttercream will fast become one of your favorite cakes!!

whole gluten free red velvet cake with sprinkles and black background

I was at Walmart the other day checking out the Valentine’s area and saw all these sprinkles in their little jars. All of them were gluten free! Did you know that most of Wilton’s products are NOT gluten free? Well, they might be, but if you’re as sensitive as I am, they’re produced in the same facility as wheat so it’s a no go for me.

Anyway, those little sprinkle jars were so cute that I bought all of them and combined them into one jar. And this gluten free red velvet cake is where they went!! The moist red velvet cake with the smooth French cream cheese buttercream (TO DIE FOR!), and the crunch of the sprinkles makes one ridiculously tasty treat, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Baking Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake

I never really got a hankerin’ (southern slang!) for red velvet cake until a few years back. Growing up I don’t recall it ever being a flavor of cake that even had a boxed mix on the grocery store shelf.

The first time I ever saw red velvet cake was on Steel Magnolias (the movie about southern ladies starring Julia Roberts). In the movie, the groom’s cake at the tackiest wedding ever was a red velvet armadillo cake.

I’ve come to really love red velvet cake in the past couple of years, mainly because it’s different than all the other cakes and has that slight tang to it, but still has a hint of a chocolate flavor. The ingredients in this gluten free red velvet cake are similar to any other red velvet cake:

  • Kim’s gluten free flour blend — or any gf blend of your choice containing xanthan gum (other flour blends haven’t been tested, however).
  • Sugar
  • Neutral oil — canola or vegetable oil. Melted coconut oil would be fantastic here also.
  • Eggs
  • Cocoa powder — any unsweetened cocoa powder will do.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk
  • White vinegar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring
red velvet cake on mickey mouse cake stand

Let’s Talk About This Killer Frosting!

It’s no secret that my favorite frosting ever is French buttercream. I’ve been making it for over 20 years and it never, EVER fails to impress and get rave reviews from anyone who tastes it.

I know I’m in the minority when I say that I’ve never been a real fan of cream cheese frosting. For some reason, it seems sickeningly sweet, even more so than an American buttercream.

So when I had the idea to put cream cheese into my French buttercream, another reader beat me to it and said it was amazing! I knew I had to revamp my gf red velvet cake and cover it with a whole new frosting. And lemme tell ya, this cream cheese buttercream is like none you’ve ever had! It’s so smooth, like French buttercream always is, and it’s not overly sweet and is very stable as well.

If you have yet to try my French buttercream, check it out here. There’s even a video that shows how easy it is to make. Once you go French (buttercream), you won’t go back, haha! And once you add cream cheese to it, forgeddaboutit!

side view of slice of cake on red rimmed plate

How to Make a Heart Shape with Sprinkles

You don’t have to use any sprinkles on this cake and it’ll still be fabulous, but I love the crunch the sprinkles give and I think it looks pretty!

To make a sprinkle heart on top of your cake, there are two ways to do this. If you have a heart cookie cutter, this is the easiest. Simply put the cookie cutter on top of the frosted cake and add the sprinkles to the middle of it. When you carefully pull up the cookie cutter, there’s your heart in all its glory!

heart shaped cookie cutter filled with sprinkles

If you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, grab a small piece of waxed paper or parchment paper and fold it in half. Remember making a heart with a folded up piece of paper back in elementary school? Do the very same thing here–cut out a heart shape on the fold. Open it up and carefully place the piece of paper over the top of the cake (it’s best if the frosting is crusted slightly or cold). Use a spoon to place the sprinkles inside the heart and carefully lift the paper from the cake. Voila!

heart on top of gf red velvet cake

Sprinkles or no, this gluten free red velvet cake is sure to bring smiles to your significant other on Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year 🙂

whole gluten free red velvet cake with sprinkles and black background

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake

You don't know it yet, but this gluten free red velvet cake with French cream cheese buttercream will fast become one of your favorite cakes!!  
4.55 from 20 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices



  • cups (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 1⅔ cups (400 ml) neutral oil (canola or vegetable) (or you could try melted coconut oil)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • cups (315 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend (or any flour blend with xanthan gum)
  • 4 tbsp (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • tsp salt
  • cups (300 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • red food coloring (3 tbsp liquid or a few squirts of gel)

Cream Cheese French Buttercream:

  • 1 recipe French buttercream
  • 1 8-oz pkg (226 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (113 g) additional butter, softened, if needed


For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour (or line with parchment) three 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  • Combine the sugar and oil in a large bowl and blend.  Add eggs, red food coloring, and vanilla and mix well.  
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together gluten free flour blend, cocoa, and salt.  Add half the flour mixture, alternating with half the buttermilk, into the sugar and oil mixture.  Continue alternating until the rest of each has been added.
  • In a separate small bowl, stir vinegar into baking soda and pour into cake batter. It will bubble up so be quick about it. Mix just until combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly into each pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.  
  • Remove from the oven and place cakes on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the cake pans and allow to cool completely.  

For the Buttercream:

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the butter called for in the recipe and the cream cheese. Follow the instructions for the French buttercream, adding this mixture in when the butter is supposed to be added in the recipe. If the mixture still looks curdled, add another stick of softened butter. Fill cakes with about 1/2 cup of buttercream in between the layers and then frost the outsides and top of the cake with the rest. Add sprinkles as desired.
  • Refrigerate cake.  Remove about 20-30 minutes before serving.  
Keyword Gluten Free, red velvet cake
Tried this recipe?Tag @letthemeatglutenfreecake on Instagram so we can see!

Cake recipe adapted from Julia Baker’s Red Velvet Cake

16 thoughts on “Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake with French Cream Cheese Buttercream”

  • I tried cupcakes and they began rising and then deflated in the middle. I bake all the time. I can’t figure out what i could have done wrong. I am afraid to admit but i actually tried making these twice and the same thing happened both times. F you have any tips, let me know. This was for my daughters birthday and i was testing the recipe first.

    • It could be a number of reasons, the first of which (that I always think of) is underbaking. But overmixing, undermixing, and overfilling are some of the other reasons they could collapse in the middle.

      Try increasing the temp by 25 degrees to 375 and begin checking at 15-20 minutes for doneness (toothpick test, top springs back, domed). I haven’t tried this cake as cupcakes yet, so I can’t say for certain the temp change will work. When I’m recipe testing, I fill one cupcake liner with the batter, bake it (in this case at 375) and see what happens. If that doesn’t work, I adjust from there. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help without knowing how this batter reacts as cupcakes, but if I ever get a chance to test it, I’ll be sure to add my findings to the recipe 😊

    • This happened to me as well… I just made them today. I don’t think they were undermixed. I adjusted the temp per Kim’s suggestions, same issue. Not sure.

  • Hi Kim, these are awesome . Made them for my husbands Birthday this weekend and tried one when it was still warm before frosting them. WOW, they don’t even need frosting, my husband can’t believe there GF. Thank you for another amazing recipe. You’re the best!!

  • Can you say moist, delicious and I have not even added the frosting yet! I made this recipe in jumbo muffin pans and they turned out so good! Another excellent recipe Kim! I am so thankful for finding your site and your flour blends along with all these fabulous recipes❤️❤️❤️

  • Hi Kim, I’m sorry to send this to you from here but I couldn’t find an email address. Do you, or anyone that reads this, how I can get rid of all the adds that pop up? I can hardly read anything clearly without something on the left side or the bottom. Any ideas?

    BTW, I will have to make this cake as my husband love Red velvet cake!! You’re the best GF blog I know. Thanks for all you do to bring a smile to my face regularly!!

    • Hi, Cyndi! I’m so sorry you’re having issues with the ads. Ads are the only way I make any money to keep this blog going (you’d be surprised at how expensive it is to have a blog), but I think if you downloaded an ad blocker it would work to keep the ads at least to a minimum.

      I hope you and your family are doing well 🙂

  • Oh my goodness. I love your site!

    Do you think this would bake well as cupcakes too? What adjustments do you think I should make if I try?

    • Thank you, Megan!!

      Yes, I think they would be perfect as cupcakes! I would bake them at the same temp, but begin checking for doneness at around 15-20 minutes. When they spring back when lightly touched, they’ll be done 🙂

  • Would it be possible to swap some of the oil for butter? I’ve had good luck in the past using both in a recipe, but I’m not confident enough to make swaps right off the bat.

  • Thank you for all the recipes that you share.
    I am intolerant to gluten and láctose. What can I use instead of butter milk on the red velvet cake?
    Thank you so much

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