Baby Hints & Tips

Easy Gluten Free Birthday Cake Recipe – 4 Ingredient Sponge Cake

This easy gluten free birthday cake recipe will ensure nobody misses out!  Gluten free cakes can be a bit… yuck, especially if you’re a little person having a special day.  This recipe is absolutely delish, light and fluffy and 100% kid approved!

Light, fluffy, golden gluten free sponge cake – yes, it’s totally possible!

Gluten Free Birthday Cake Recipe - Easy Gluten Free Sponge with Royal Icing

The beauty of this recipe is that it gives you a light and fluffy sponge cake.  The problem with gluten free cakes, especially for kid’s birthday cakes is that they tend to be dense and thick.  These are fine if you’re an adult who likes a nice heavy chocolate mud cake dripping with almond flour goodness, but for a kid’s birthday cake, gluten free can mean “yucky cake”.  This one rises to the occasion, quite literally!   This means you can make one of those fabulously talk, beautifully iced numbers for a show stopper birthday party – or you can just make a yum “mum made” cake that ALL the kids can enjoy.

Gluten Free Sponge Cake


Gluten free birthday cake

  • 3 LARGE eggs (70 to 80 g each) ( or 4 small eggs)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4ozs (120g) caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornflour 1 dessert spoon custard powder

Gluten free royal icing

  • 4 egg whites (50 g)
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 cups (345 g) icing sugar (not icing mixture!)


Note that the beauty of this cake is the way it rises!  Be vigilant about mixing just right to ensure you reach maximum height!  If you’re adding fresh cream to the final cake, keep it separate from the royal icing (cream interferes with the binding that makes eggs light and fluffy when whipped and can cause egg whites to flop) and be sure to avoid thickened cream with gluten containing thickening agents!  This recipe does contain raw egg whites, so please be careful to handle food correctly.

Gluten free sponge

  1. Beat egg whites until firm
  2. Gradually add sugar and beat until very stiff and sugar has dissolved
  3. Remove from mixer
  4. Add yolks  and cut them through the mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined.  Avoid heavy “beating” as this will reduce the “fluffiness” of the birthday cake.
  5. Sift flour cornflour and baking powder together  3 times! (Don’t cut corners here, this makes a lovely even cake)
  6. Gently cut into the egg mix with your spatula, about a tablespoonful at a time  making sure there are no clumps
  7. Divide between 2 8 inch round tins and pop in a preheated moderate oven (180c) for 15 to 20 mins
  8. Sponge should be golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides.

Gluten free royal icing

Royal icing is best used straight away.  It’s quick and simple to make and gives your cake a “glossy” shiny appearance.  Prepare the morning of the birthday party to avoid refrigerating overnight.   If you must store overnight, place cling film over the bowl and press down until the surface of the icing is completely covered with no air pockets. This will stop “crusty” tips forming on the icing.

  1. In an electric mixer, combine egg whites, cream if tartar and sugar on low until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Beat on medium high until the royal icing is thick and glossy
  3. Drop a “dab” onto a clean plate and turn the plate on its side. If the icing doesn’t move, it’s ready!
  4. If desired, you can divide the icing and add a little gluten free food colouring at this point.
  5. Smooth over the completely cooled cake using a broad knife or spatula. Royal icing is excellent for creating textures – you’re only limited by your imagination (and the number of times you can stand hearing “is it ready yet mum”).

We love it when everyone can feel included and special.  Just because your child has food intolerance, doesn’t mean they should miss out on big childhood memories.  This gluten free birthday cake recipe is an affordable option that’s so simple even a terrible baker can make it!  We’re always looking for dairy free, gluten free, egg free, sugar free and other “free foods” to share with our community.  If you’re a mum with a special eater, please do send us your best recipes to share!

Thanks to Nanna Lefty for this recipe.  Nanna Lefty is mum to three, gran to 9 and great-grandma to 3 more.  And they all love a slice of her gluten free birthday cake!

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