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Gluten Free Birthday Cake | Gluten Free Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream |

Gluten Free Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream

  • Author: Rebecca Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 70 minutes (cake only)
  • Yield: 16 slices


Three layers of buttery caramel cake are slathered with salted caramel Italian meringue buttercream and topped with salted caramel sauce and almond pralines for a gluten free birthday cake that will spoil the socks off any birthday guy or gal.


NOTE: This recipe requires 3 cups of salted caramel sauce: 1 1/2 cups for the buttercream, 1/2 cup for brushing on the cake layers, and an additional 1/2 cup for drizzling over the finished cake. Use this simple recipe to make homemade salted caramel sauce while the cakes bake, or up to two weeks in advance. Alternatively, purchase 3 cups of salted caramel sauce and stir in 2 tsp salt.

  • 9 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 12 tbsp butter, cut into 12 pieces, at room temperature
  • 16.5 oz. (3 cups plus 1 tsp) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (plus more for dusting the inside of the pan)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 large eggs, separated,  at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk buttermilk,  at room temperature



NOTE: This recipe makes a lot of batter and is best made using a 6-quart mixer. If you have a smaller mixer, you may need to mix the batter in two batches.

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans with shortening or butter. Line the bottom of each pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom exactly. Grease the parchment paper. Dust the entire inside of the pan with a few tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour. Shake out any excess flour and set pans aside.
  2. Add the chocolate and butter to a small bowl and melt in the microwave in 1 minute increments at 50% power, stirring after each minute, until melted. (Alternatively, melt in a small saucepan over very low heat on the stovetop.)
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and baking soda to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until the whites begin to get foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the whites just begin to form soft peaks. With the mixer running, pour in the granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue to beat until glossy, stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the beaten egg whites to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and brown sugar to the mixer bowl. (There is no need to wash it out.) Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is lightened and thick enough to form ribbons if you lift the beater away from the mixture, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture and the buttermilk and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whites. Be careful to not over mix. The egg whites should be incorporated, but a small streak of egg white here and there is ok.
  8. Add the batter evenly to the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden brown and are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  9. Remove from the oven, set on wire racks, and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 5 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks. Prick the cakes several times with a fork, being careful to not poke all the way through to the bottom of each cake. Warm about 1/2 cup of salted caramel sauce in the microwave or on the stovetop until it’s a thin, pourable consistency. Using a pastry brush, coat the top and sides of each cake with a layer of warm salted caramel sauce. Allow to cool completely on the wire racks.

*If assembling the cake immediately, please proceed. If you need to store the cake layers for assembly the following day, cut out 3 circles of parchment or wax paper that are about 1-inch wider than the size of each cake layer. Lay the parchment rounds on a flat surface – the counter or baking sheets. Using a large metal spatula, gently slide the cakes from the wire racks onto the parchment rounds. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.


  1. Lay one cake layer a cake platter, spread with a 1/2 inch layer of Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream. Top with another cake layer, spread with additional buttercream and top with the third cake layer. Frost the entire cake with buttercream.
  2. Decorate with broken pieces of Almond Pralines. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.


A reader recently informed me that ground cinnamon (in the almond pralines) may also sometimes contain gluten. This is due to cross-contamination in factories where the ground cinnamon is packaged. For many people suffering from Celiac disease, the trace amount won’t be an issue. However, those with a very high sensitivity to gluten might have issues. Just make sure to read packaging and always ask the intended consumer!