Gluten-Free Sponge Cake

Spongey, eggy and delicious

The other night a buddy of mine texted “got a killer gluten-free sponge cake recipe?”  I did not, and told him so.  To which he replied something very snarky, questioning my Dusty Baker title.  I snarked back.  We’re really mature.

I’m a proud lady, and quite stubborn.  So the next morning I headed into my kitchen and made this.

Pretty in pink.

I can’t take full credit, of course.  I’d made a gluten-free sponge cake before but never recorded it, not being quite content with the flour combination (quinoa made it too bitter, teff too dry for some reason).  So for this I went back to the basics for my flour blend: soft brown rice, arrowroot and tapioca.  Nothing else.

And then I went back to the Cooks Illustrated recipe I’d made glutenously for a friend a few years ago, adapting it only slightly and using the same method.  Perfect.  And incredibly easy.  A flawless cake that when I asked my roommate “could you tell that was gluten-free?” she chirped back, “no, I can never tell with yours that they’re gluten-free”.

I’m never moving.

So here ya go. Gluten-free  Sponge Cake.

Oh, and I topped it with Chardonnay Blackcurrant frosting (recipe posting soon). I’m not a huge fan of frosting in general, but was short on time and this vegan frosting whips up quickly.  But this light cake would benefit more from a custard or lemon curd, so if you have a killer recipe for one, I’d say go bonkers with it instead.

Spongey Cake.



  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter or Earth Balance (butter flavored)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated beet sugar
  • 1 cup gluten-free cake flour (I used my cake flour blend but used only brown rice, which I find less grainy than white rice.  It basically works out to 2/3 cup brown rice flour, 1/6 cup arrowroot, 1/6 cup tapioca starch)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease two 8″ cake pans and line bottoms with cut parchment.
  • Separate 3 eggs. Place whites in bowl of standing mixer, and add remaining 2 eggs to the yolks in a separate bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix cake flour, xanthan gum, nutmeg and salt.
  • On stovetop, combine almond milk and butter, heat to melt, then add vanilla and remove from heat.  Allow to cool only slightly.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy, about 2 minutes.  Add 6 tablespoons of beet sugar one at a time and continue to soft, moist peaks, about 3-5 minutes (don’t over-mix to stiff, keep them soft and billowy).  Remove to a large bowl.
  • Beat remaining eggs with remaining sugar on high for about 5 minutes, or until pale yellow and creamy.  Add to egg whites (don’t fold yet).
  • Sprinkle flour mixture on top and fold in gently, trying to keep the mixture as light as possible, 8-10 folds.
  • Make a well and pour in milk mixture, continue to fold until egg mixture is combined.  Do not over-mix.
  • Pour evenly into pans and bake for about 22-25 minutes, until slightly firm and springy to the touch.
  • Use a small icing spatula or knife to loosen edges, then cool in pan for 2 minutes.
  • Invert onto cake plate to release, then back onto cooling rack.

These will cool very quickly, giving you just enough time to whip up an icing or a custard.  Because of the delicate nature of the cake, the lighter the accompaniment the better.


  1. Paula says:

    I hope you texted your buddy back and told him that not only do you have a killer sponge cake recipe but a killer icing too. Cake looks great, can’t wait to see the recipe for that frosting.

  2. Pingback: Chardonnay Blackcurrant Frosting (Vegan) | The Dusty Baker

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  5. Possum Combes says:

    Looks great – You don’t know how long I have been looking for a GF sponge type cake without cornflour…

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