This isn’t any regular low FODMAP cake. It’s a 3 ingredient low FODMAP cake perfect for any birthday celebration. This french low FODMAP sponge cake is made with eggs, sugar and gluten-free flour.
You’ll love how versatile this low FODMAP cake recipe is. It’s a light and fluffy yellow cake basic recipe for the books. I use this recipe regularly to make 8 different variations of this cake. Where else can you turn 1 cake recipe into 11 different cakes?
Here’s everything we’ll cover about this cake:
You don’t have to worry about this cake tasting funny because of substitutes. This is not a modified cake recipe meant to adjust to eating low FODMAP, it’s a traditional cake recipe! Read more about the origin of this cake below.
About This 3 Ingredient Cake
The original name for this low FODMAP cake recipe is, ‘Genoise.’ It’s a light and airy sponge cake that’s common in Europe. Genoise cakes are a lot easier to make compared to angel food cakes.
Angel food cakes or light sponge cakes require egg whites to be separated and beaten which is hard to do because any little bit of yolk in the egg white mix can stop egg whites from getting light and airy. Luckily, the eggs in a genoise cake are beaten whole with superfine sugar and then sifted flour is gently folded in the batter.
The cake can be eaten on its own, dipped in coffee or served with tea but it’s commonly turned into cake rolls, or layered cakes with whipped cream and fruit or buttercream fillings.
Desserts and cakes get a bad rap for being expensive and time consuming but this recipe is the opposite of that. It’s only 3 cheap ingredients that I always have in the kitchen and takes between 10-30 minutes to bake depending on the kind of cake tin used.
But before we get into transforming this single cake recipe, let’s wrap up the FODMAP notes of this cake.
Low FODMAP Cake Notes
Because of all the food restrictions, a low FODMAP cake on a IBS low FODMAP diet sounds either impossible or yucky. This cake is anything but that and you can have dessert on a low FODMAP diet. It’s all about moderation and knowing your tolerances.
This section will cover the low FODMAP notes for each ingredient in this low FODMAP cake recipe. All information provided below is based on Monash University’s FODMAP research.
This low FODMAP vanilla cake is made from eggs, (gluten-free) flour and sugar:
- Eggs: Are eggs low FODMAP? Eggs are a protein and are FODMAP free.
- Flour: Most flours are made from wheat which is high FODMAP at 2/3 cup or 100 grams. Small amounts of wheat can be tolerated but please use gluten-free flour if you’re in the elimination phase.
- Sugar: Is sugar low FODMAP? Monash recommends eating it freely and according to appetite. In fact, they updated the low FODMAP serving size in 2019 from 14 grams or 1 tablespoon to 50 grams or 1/4 cups. Sugar is the ‘D’ (disaccharide) in FODMAP. It’s made from an equal amount of glucose and fructose and according to Monash, that means it doesn’t meet the definition of a FODMAP.
Next up is the low FODMAP buttercream icing.
Chocolate Buttercream Icing
This low FODMAP chocolate icing is made from butter, melted dark chocolate, cocoa powder, confectioners sugar and some salt.
- Butter: Butter is mostly fat and has 1 gram of lactose per 100 gram serving. It is low enough in lactose to be considered low FODMAP. You can use margarine or a vegan butter as an alternative if you’re sensitive to lactose.
- Chocolate: I use melted 70% dark chocolate in this recipe. Dark chocolate is low FODMAP depending on which type you use. Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate is low FODMAP at 30 grams or 1 ounce. 85% dark chocolate is low FODMAP at 20 grams or 2/3 ounce.
- Cocoa powder: Choose cocoa powder without added sugar. Cocoa powder is low FODMAP at 2 teaspoons or 8 grams but is not high FODMAP until serving over grams or 0.7 ounces.
Because this cake serves about 8-10 people, it’s well within the low FODMAP serving. Now that we’ve gotten all the FODMAP notes out of the way, let’s get baking!
How To Make Low FODMAP Birthday Cake
This low FODMAP cake takes about 10 minutes to whip up.
Add the eggs and sugar into a stand mixer and whisk on medium high speed for 7-10 minutes.
Scrape down the bowl and sift in half the flour. Fold it in gently to avoid deflating the batter. Add the other half of the flour.
Line a cake tin with parchment paper and bake at 160 C or 320 F. and 10-30 minutes to bake depending on the size of your cake tin:
- 13 by 9-inch (33 cm by 23 cm) sheet tray = bake for 10-15 minutes.
- 8-inch or 9-inch (20 cm or 23 cm) round cake tin = bake for 15-20 minutes.
- 7-inch cake tin (18 cm) round cake tin = bake 25-30 minutes.
Bake the cake according to the directions above. Insert a toothpick into the cake to check if it’s completely baked. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to cool. After that, you can divide the cake into layers to make a layered cake.
While the cake cools, make the icing by melting chocolate in a heat safe bowl and set aside to cool. Next, whip room temperature butter for 6-7 minutes on medium high speed or until it is fluffy. Turn the speed down to low and gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add in the cooled melted chocolate and salt. Spread the icing over and in between the cakes.
Icing the cake with chocolate buttercream is just one easy way to transform this low FODMAP cake from a regular vanilla cake into a low FODMAP birthday cake. The next section will show you how you can transform this cake recipe into 11 different types of cake!
Turn 1 Recipe Into 11 Different Cakes
You’ll never need to look up low FODMAP cake recipes with this recipe in your back pocket. Here are 11 variations of this cake:
- Strawberries and cream: Regular vanilla cake with lactose free whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
- Pina colada cake: Vanilla cake with coconut extract, whipped coconut cream and canned pineapple.
- Low FODMAP chocolate cake: Remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with cocoa powder. Top it off with chocolate icing.
- Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberries: Regular vanilla cake with lactose free chocolate mousse and strawberries.
- Chocolate and Cream Cheese: Remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with cocoa powder. Topped off with lactose free cream cheese sweetened with icing sugar and topped with berries.
- Tiramisu Cake: Vanilla cake brushed with instant coffee and topped off with lactose free cream cheese icing.
- Single Serve Mousse Cake: Regular vanilla cake with vanilla mousse and raspberry jelly.
- Low FODMAP Christmas cake: Add 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Top it off with vanilla buttercream icing and orange zest.
- Citrus Cake: Add the zest from an orange and/or lemon to the cake batter before baking.
- Mixed Berry Cake: Add 1/2 cup of frozen berries to the cake batter before baking.
- Funfetti Cake: Fold in 1/2 cup of sprinkles into the cake batter and top off with vanilla buttercream.
I told you this was the only low FODMAP cake recipe you’ll ever need. 1 cake 11 different variations. All you need to do is switch out the ingredients in the icing or the cake batter and voila! Unlimited low FODMAP dessert.
Speaking of low FODMAP desserts, did I mention I have a list of them right here?
Low FODMAP Birthday Cake
This low FODMAP sponge cake makes the perfect light and airy cake perfect for birthdays. Top it off with chocolate icing or whipped cream and fruits to take this recipe to another level.
- 4 eggs
- 125g (1 cup) sifted gluten free flour * see notes: or all purpose flour
- 125g (1/2 cup) fine or superfine sugar
- a splash of vanilla **see notes for flavor variations
- This cake is perfect on it's own but you can top it off with chocolate icing too!
- Chocolate Buttercream Icing: see notes for alternatives
- 220g (2 sticks) room temperature butter, margarine or vegan butter.
- 150g (1 1/4 cup) icing or confectioners sugar
- 100g (1 cup or 3.5 ounces) dark chocolate, melted
- 35g (4 1/2 tbs) cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cake tin: The size of the cake tin will affect cooking time.
- 13 by 9-inch (33 cm by 23 cm) sheet tray
- 8-inch or 9-inch (20 cm or 23 cm) round cake tin
- 7-inch cake tin (18 cm) round cake tin
Pre heat the oven to 160C or 320F.
Line a cake tin with parchment paper or spray it with oil.
Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to a bowl and mix on medium high speed in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer for roughly 7-10 minutes until it has doubled in size and the eggs are a light pale shade of yellow.
While the eggs are mixing, sift the flour.
Fold in half of the flour with the egg mix gently.
Fold in the remaining flour. Make sure not to over mix the batter.
Fill the cake tins and bake as directed below.
Cake tin: The size of the cake tin will affect baking time.
If using 13 by 9-inch (33 cm by 23 cm) sheet tray = bake for 10-15 minutes.
If using 8-inch or 9-inch (20 cm or 23 cm) round cake tin = bake for 15-20 minutes.
If using 7-inch cake tin (18 cm) round cake tin = bake 25-30 minutes.
Check doneness of the cake by inserting a toothpick. It should come out clean and the cake should not wobble or jiggle.
Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool before icing.
Chocolate Buttercream Icing:
Melt the chocolate in a heat safe bowl and set aside to cool.
Sift the confectioners sugar with the cocoa powder to remove any lumps.
Whip the butter for 6-7 minutes on medium high speed or until it is fluffy.
Turn the speed down to low and gradually add the icing sugar cocoa powder mix.
Finally add in the cooled melted chocolate and salt.
Use this icing to decorate the cake!
All-purpose Wheat flour
- If you passed the fructan wheat challenge, you could use unbleached all-purpose flour instead of the low FODMAP gluten-free flour. The cake won’t be gluten-free anymore though. Use the exact amount in weight for the best results with substitution instead of volume measurements. Cake Flavor Variations:
- Chocolate: Measure out 105g of flour and add 20g of cocoa powder
- Autumn Spice Cake: Add 1 tbs ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Lemon or Orange Cake: Add the zest of one lemon or orange
- Mix Berry Cake: Add 1/2 cup of frozen berries
- Funfetti cake: Add 1/2 cup sprinkles Icing Variations:
- Vanilla icing: Exclude the melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Use vanilla extract instead.
- Use sweetened whipped cream and serve with fresh fruits.