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Vanilla birthday cake with chocolate icing

Birthday cake recipe

For this birthday cake recipe, you just toss the coconut flour and baking soda in the food processor, then add the wet ingredients – eggs, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. That’s it!

To learn more about the main ingredient, coconut flour, check out my Ultimate Guide to Coconut Flour.

How to make a cake big

After that, transfer the batter to two 6-inch greased pans. If you want your cakes to be the size of mine, be sure to use the 6 inch pans.

If you’re using an 8 inch pan, the batter won’t fill the pan properly, which in turn will cause your cake to be sad and flat.

bake a cake

When you need to know how to bake cakes, it’s even easier. Place your cake tins with the batter on a baking sheet, put it in the oven, and off you go.

Icing cake

Now let’s talk about frosting cakes. There is one basic step in making sure that the results of icing the cake are great.

Let the cake cool for at least two hours after it comes out of the oven. I get the best results with frosting the cake if I bake the cake the night before and then let it cool overnight at room temperature.

gluten free birthday cake

Make-Ahead Birthday Cake Recipe

If we’re having a birthday party that requires a lot of preparation, I make Vanilla Birthday Cake a few days in advance.

I bake the cakes and cool them in the pans overnight. The next morning I take them out of the pans and then wrap them in foil one by one. Store vanilla birthday cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

I frost the cake with my homemade icing on the day of the birthday party.


My homemade chocolate icing recipe really takes the cake here, no pun intended. I’m one of those who like a cupcake with my frosting.

Homemade chocolate buttercream frosting

Use double the amount of chocolate buttercream frosting for this birthday cake. You can see that in the photo.

I serve my cakes on cake stands because they have a huge wow factor and that way they look incredibly special. More on the best cake stands below!

Dairy-free frosting recipes

If you don’t eat dairy products, try my dairy-free chocolate icing recipe for an all-round dairy-free birthday cake.

elana amsterdam book signing palaeo cook barnes und noble

Birthday Congratulations

Did you know I launched Elana’s Pantry in 2006? This year is our fifteenth birthday! I love this community so much.

We’re a colorful crew when it comes to food allergies and I work to develop recipes that meet the needs of each person here.

Food allergies

I want you to be able to break bread and cakes with friends and relatives. If a recipe doesn’t meet your food allergy needs, experiment and use substitutions to customize it for you.

That includes replacements for that vanilla birthday cake with chocolate icing recipe.


I wish I had a crystal ball when it comes to knowing how to make perfect recipes. Unfortunately not. That said, I test every recipe a dozen times.

The only way to know if a substitution will work is to try! Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Cake stand

Here are some of my favorite cake stands! Use them to create a stunning presentation when making chocolate iced vanilla birthday cake or any of the following cake recipes from scratch:

Cake recipes

While these cakes may not be labeled birthday cakes, I’ve received several comments that they have become family favorites for birthday parties.

Low-carb strawberry shortcake

Low-carb strawberry shortcake

Most strawberry shortcake recipes from scratch are complicated. My homemade low-carb Strawberry Shortcake recipe is incredibly easy to put together.

I love it because the vanilla cake consists of six ingredients in total. My family loves it too and tell me it’s one of the best fruit cake recipes they’ve ever had.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Homemade coffee cake is one of my favorite foods, and my gluten-free coffee cake is super healthy.

Cream cheese frosting

Nut-free carrot cake

This nut-free coconut flour carrot cake recipe is another cake recipe from scratch that is healthy and super easy to assemble. Throwing a party is enough work, why make the cake difficult?

Paleo cup cake

Cup cake

My cup cake is the perfect single size treat. It consists of a total of five ingredients – almond flour, cocoa powder, an egg, maple syrup and baking powder.

Do this when you’re craving a dessert but either don’t need time to bake a full cake or want to allow everyone to add their own toppings. That would be so fun with a group of friends.



When the boys were growing up, this strawberry cupcake recipe was the perfect nut-free treat for school!

The recipe is exclusive to my book Gluten Free Cupcakes, but I’ve also shared the recipe with our Elana’s Pantry community here on the website.

Get the book! Gluten-free cupcakes

Speaking of cupcakes, gluten-free cupcakes are a great investment when looking for birthday cake recipes.

And I have a vegan chocolate cupcake recipe in the book for all of my egg-free, dairy-free readers!

Orange cake

Gluten-free orange cake with almond flour

Because I loved growing up chocolate-covered orange peel, I’ve always wanted to choke orange cake in my chocolate buttercream frosting recipe, the same frosting used in my vanilla birthday cake recipe here. I got a lot of readers to do it and they all tell me it’s amazing!

Cake recipes from scratch

Vanilla birthday cake with chocolate icing is one of my favorite cake recipes from scratch. Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite is!

This post is an oldie, but a goodie from the archives. I first shared this vanilla birthday cake with Chocolate Frosting in September 2016.

Buy my books!

Paleo cooks from Elana's pantryGluten-free almond flour cookbook

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