The Home Economics Bit

Did you know?

School cake is a simple vanilla sponge topped with glacé icing and lots of colourful sprinkles. Its name – School Cake / Vanilla School Cake / Old School Cake / Retro School Cake – comes from it being a favourite part of school dinners for many UK students over the years. This nostalgia, added to the fact that it’s a super simple bake, has led to a boom in the numbers of School Cake recipes online. Here’s my gluten free version!

Gluten Free Vanilla School Cake

Gluten Free Mummy
A light and moist vanilla flavoured gluten free sponge topped with glacé icing and lots of colourful sprinkles. A quick and easy recipe, perfect for baking with children.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 12 servings


  • 200 g gluten free self-raising flour sifted
  • 200 g butter softened, plus extra to grease
  • 200 g vanilla sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50 ml milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g icing sugar sifted
  • colourful sprinkles ensure gluten free


  • Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  • Use some butter to grease a 20 x 30cm cake tin, then line with greaseproof paper.
  • Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, beat together the sugar and the softened butter until pale and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract and beat briefly to combine.
  • Add the sifted gluten free flour and mix again until you achieve a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Spread to the corners and lightly smooth the surface using a spatual.
  • Bake for 40-45 mins until golden, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Then turn out, peel away the parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Mix the icing sugar with just enough water to make a thick glacé icing.
  • Spread the icing over the cooled cake and top with lots of colourful sprinkles.
  • Leave the icing to set for at least 1 hour.
  • Once set, cut the into squares.


Vanilla School Cake is often served with warm custard, but it works just as well with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream!
Keyword gluten free, school cake, sprinkles, vanilla