Easy gluten free birthday cake for 20 people

My default is easy, emotional, rustic and quite frankly haphazard. When it, therefore, comes to making a little person’s birthday cake and ‘themes’ are bandied about, I get worried. I won’t use the weirdo icing to get the ‘right’ colours.  I won’t use strange icing pastes to get that super smooth look. It’s just not me. So, for the dinosaur theme, I got to thinking. I also had to think fast because I’d burnt a cake that morning and was running out of time.

This is the cake that was born. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s gluten free and lower carb and sugar than a regular cake, with the coconut flour components and reduced sugar icing. The icing DOES have actual cane sugar to get the white result without using stiff egg whites in a honey/egg white type combo – some parents take issue with raw egg and I respect that when I’m feeding other people’s kids. One must. If you are strictly fructose free you could use a cashew cream instead or other white sugar free icing, no trouble.

I am pleased to report there were no crazy children in sight post-cake as in the scheme of things, it’s very low sugar. There were satisfied little customers indeed who went back for seconds and didn’t just eat the icing!

Something about making treats for children takes me right back to my grandmère doing so for us as children. I have a little melancholy moment at parties like my son’s on the weekend, wishing she could be here for me to make HER delicious treats.

Enjoy the cake. Bake in a big, lined roasting tin ( I used a 30cm x 25cm tin and it came up about 4cm high once cooked).

photo (38)

So here is the little dinosaur cake. I’m almost embarrassed to show you guys. A bit of a rush job after the first cake burnt in the ‘preheated oven of 250C that never got turned down’. Such a rush job in fact that I forgot to take pics along the way and got this one at the park once it had been a bit knocked around by car trips and a couple of picnic tablecloth flyovers… The joys! A cake nonetheless. If you’re not an elaborate icing person either, all I did here was cut out the shape of a big carnivorous dinosaur (had to be carnivorous, you see) and then placed the piece of paper with the dinosaur ‘hole’ in the centre of the cake, atop the icing gently. I then sprinkled natural green sprinkles I found at About Life (easy to find online) and then peeled back the paper and resmoothed the icing where it had come up a little.

Cut to more recently, I made the chocolate version for my husband’s 40th this weekend just past – HUGE success with kids and adults alike. All you need to do to make into a chocolate cake, is instead of the 1/3 additional GF flour, switch that out to doing 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I prefer Dutch Processed cocoa for baking. Gorgeous, rich flavour and easy to digest!) Then for the icing, I did a simple coconut cream chocolate icing ganache. Bring to the boil 500ml coconut cream. Take off the heat and add in 700g dark chocolate and 100-150g organic icing sugar until it’s all melted in and thick and luscious. If you want it to not have the sugar, just increase your chocolate to 900g so that it’s almost double the cream and still sets thick as in the picture. Once it’s almost cooled, spread it over the cake and pop in the fridge to set for 30 mins. Done.

Hey, presto!

Enjoy the cake. It’s a great tea cake and it’s also great for cutting up and making shapes out of.

Easy Gluten Free Birthday Cake Recipe

Servings: 20 people



  • 100 ml coconut cream
  • 50 ml water
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 120 g butter, room temperature
  • 140 g organic golden icing sugar (you could just blitz 140g sugar into a blender on high for 10 seconds or TM for 10 seconds speed 9 for icing sugar consistency).
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or paste
  • 3 tsp lime juice


  • Preheat oven to 180C / 350F (not 250C and then forget to turn it down, as I did with the first effort of this cake. Shhhh. She’s not perfect!)
  • Melt butter in a pan and leave to cool as you get the rest of the ingredients together
  • Whisk eggs with electric beaters until light
  • Add syrup. Whisk them some more
  • Add flours, vanilla, baking powder, bicarb soda and apple cider vinegar
  • Lastly add melted butter and whisky through until creamy and let it stand for 2 minutes
  • Grease your parchment paper and line your large tin. Pour the mixture in
  • Cook on 180C / 350F for 35-40 minutes. Just do a skewer test to check if it comes out clean in the middle, then you’re done. If not, check again in 5-10 minutes.


  • Melt butter for 2 minutes on varoma, speed 1. Add everything and the EGGS LAST. Blitz on 6 for 15 seconds. Then on reverse speed 6 for another 15 seconds. Rest for 2 minutes. Ready to pour.

For the ICING

  • Warm coconut cream and water until it bubbles a little
  • Whisk in the tapioca flour until it thickens and cook for 1 minute, continuing to whisk
  • Pour into a bowl and then pop in fridge to cool
  • 1 hour later…
  • Whisk the butter until light and fluffy (thermomix speed 7, 20 seconds)
  • Add sugar bit by bit and then lastly add the vanilla paste, lime juice and coconut milk / tapioca mixutre, Whisk until smooth (electric whisker or thermomix speed 6, 40 seconds)
  • Pop in fridge to harden a little before icing.
  • Once you’ve iced the cake pop it in fridge to set a little.
  • NOTE: It has about half the sugar of a regular icing for that size of cake, so it won’t ‘set’ perfectly with a little crust as a normal icing sugar cake does. BUT it isn’t runny and it’s yummy and per slice, keeps the sugar surprisingly low at 6 grams for a little 3cm cubed piece.

Comments 13

  1. Awesome cake recipe! 🙂 I know that feeling surrounding kids parties and worrying the kids wont eat it cos its healthy. Thanks Alexx great read 🙂

  2. Hi Alexx, thank you so much for another fantastic recipe! Would almond meal work as the ‘1/3 cup other flour’? I can’t do any of the ones you mentioned 🙂

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  3. Can i make the icing with nuttelex and lemon juice, Alexx? (Only made the cake, no icing last time)
    When I made the 1/2 batch of cake I used 2 eggs from a 700g carton but I’d use 3 next time as it was a bit dry. I was worried with only 2 as it was so runny but baked up well. I’m not used to baking cakes with eggs as i can’t have them.
    Excited to make the whole recipe this weekend for my daughters 6th birthday!

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      Yay! And yes you can do that for the icing. If you think to take a pic I’d love to see, over on @lowtoxlife Happy birthday to your little lady x

  4. Despite baking in a dish not wide enough at all and resulting effects, I received several rave reviews. Used a combo of coconut oil and nuttelex for icing. I don’t have Instagram so will post a photo on your fb page. Thank you!

  5. I made the choose your own adventure cake and this icing for my son’s 1st birthday. I was really happy with the result. I only used 100g sugar and it was sweet enough. I would make this cake and icing again.

  6. Hi Alex,

    I am running low on rice malt syrup, could I sub for rapadura? If so, how much would you suggest?
    I am no baker and terrible and mixing up ingredients with success! 🙂

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      Go same same in weight but add 3 tablespoons water or milk to add that moisture lost from the syrup. Enjoy! x

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