Recipes | Cakes & Cupcakes

Low FODMAP Red Velvet Cake with Cooked Vanilla Icing


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World’s First Low FODMAP Red Velvet Cake!

A lightly flavored chocolate cake tinted red with food coloring has long been a favorite in the Southeastern United States – but it seems like the entire world is now red velvet crazy!

Beautiful slices of low FODMAP Red Velvet Cake on a decorative white stand

While the red color might have originally developed from the reaction between the acidic buttermilk and vinegar with the cocoa, red food coloring gives it a boost. You may halve the coloring, if you like, but know that many traditional recipes use twice as much.

Red Velvet Cake Batter in cake pan.

We made this suitable for low FODMAP diets by using gluten-free flour and lactose-free milk in the frosting and to make a buttermilk equivalent.

A slice of Red Velvet Cake- moist!

Cooked Vanilla Frosting?

Many folks pair Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting, but that pairing is actually a newcomer. If you want to try a Cream Cheese Frosting, be our guest. You will need access to lactose-free cream cheese, while the ingredients for our suggestion are easy to find. By the way, the cooked vanilla frosting is typical for this cake. It is smooth, buttery and not too sweet – and very easy to make.

It also works well with other cakes that need a vanilla frosting, so give it a try.

A slice of Red Velvet Cake- moist!

For another, fancier take on this cake, check out our version with sugared cranberries.

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red velvet cake with cooked vanilla frosting
3.73 from 22 votes

Low FODMAP Red Velvet Cake with Cooked Vanilla Frosting

This is a classic Red Velvet Cake that is LOW FODMAP so even FODMAPers can enjoy this during the Elimination phase.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 1, 8-inch (20 cm) cake; 12 slices; serving size 1 slice

Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Author: Dédé Wilson



  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole lactose-free milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon apple cider or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups (290 g) low FODMAP gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • 1 tablespoon natural cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (297 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (vanilla essence)
  • 2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature


  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) whole lactose-free milk
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (40 g) low FODMAP gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob's Red Mill's 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (297 g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (vanilla essence)


  1. For the Cake: Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F/180° Coat the insides of two 8-inch by 2-inch (20 cm x 5 cm) round cake pans with nonstick spray, line bottoms with parchment rounds, then spray parchment.
  2. Combine milk and vinegar and let sit for at least 5 minutes to thicken.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl to combine and aerate; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar gradually and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla and red food coloring.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down after each addition, allowing each egg to be absorbed before continuing. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternately with the soured, thickened milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth. Divide batter evenly in pans.
  6. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick shows a few moist crumbs clinging. The cake will have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. Cool pans on racks for 5 minutes. Unmold, peel off parchment, and place directly on racks to cool completely. Layers are ready to fill and frost. Alternatively, place layers on cardboard rounds and double wrap in plastic wrap; store at room temperature if assembling within 24 hours.
  7. For the Icing: Whisk together milk and flour in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once it simmers, continue whisking and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened, smooth and glossy. It should be thick enough for you to be able to see whisk marks. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Stir occasionally until cool. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
  9. Beat in vanilla, then add cooled, cooked flour mixture and beat until smooth. Frosting is ready to use. If the frosting is not silky smooth, it is because it is too cool. Either keep beating or remove about 1 cup (240 ml), zap in microwave for 10 seconds to soften, then add it back to the main batch and beat vigorously. Repeat as needed. Trust me. This can make the difference between the frosting being just okay and truly ultra silky.
  10. Fill and frost the cake layers with prepared frosting and decorate as desired. This frosting is stiff enough to pipe, even though I chose to just use an icing spatula in the image. Cake may be served immediately or stored at room temperature for up to 3 days in a covered container.



  • The idea of a cooked flour-based frosting might seem odd but I beg you to try it! It is no too sweet and it is silky smooth and it is actually very versatile!
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American


Calories: 675kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.4mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.

Enjoy a moist slice of Red Velvet Cake- Monash University Low FODMAP Certified Recipe