My little girl is going to be 10 in just a few days – and this year the birthday cake was a bit more of a challenge with all the new allergy requirements. It had to be gluten free for me (so I didn’t contaminate my pans), soy free, dairy free and corn free for Anna…that’s a lot of “free”. Plus I wanted it to taste good. No sense in eating birthday cake if it doesn’t taste good.
This cake did take planning and I did have to order a few of the ingredients online, but it came together easily. I actually ended up making it twice because I flipped one of the layers of the first batch on to floor. Happy dogs, but not enough cake left for human consumption. It ended up being a good thing because it gave us an extra layer for Anna and her friend to decorate and for a taste test (always important!)
The recipe is taken from Annalise Robert’s book Gluten Free Baking Classics.
Makes 2 eight inch or 9 inch rounds or 24 cupcakes
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour mix (I ordered this from Authentic Foods. It is sold under the name GF Classic Blend) The secret here is extra finely ground brown rice flour. The stuff in the stores is too gritty to produce a fine crumb on baked goods.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder (Hain brand does not contain corn)
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1 cup canola oil
1 cup milk substitute (I used almond milk)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Position rack in center of oven. Line 2 nine inch round pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray (note: some cooking sprays contain soy. I ended up lightly brushing the pans with canola oil)
2. Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed for one minute. Add flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum, oil, milk, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute.
3. Pour batter into prepared pans [note: I reserved some batter and stirred in melted Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips then placed spoonfuls on top of the raw vanilla batter and swirled with a knife. Marble cake!] Place pans in oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes (40 min for 8 inch pans, 18-20 minutes for cupcakes) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
4. Cool cake layer in the pans on a rack for 5 minutes. Use a small knife to cut around the edges to loosen cake and invert the cake onto a rack, peel off parchment, and cool completely.
5. Frost as desired.
I used a recipe from Wilton for buttercream frosting. I found I needed to double this and then had some left over.
1 cup shortening (Spectrum organics makes a shortening that is only palm oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
4 cups sifted powdered sugar [note: I had to go online to King Arthur Flour to buy "glazing sugar". This is powdered sugar without the addition of cornstarch]
2 Tablespoons of milk substitute (I ended up using 3 T for a better spreading consistency. It is pretty thick)
Beat in the electric mixer until combined well.
The decorations on the cake are just melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips piped onto parchment, frozen, and applied to the cake, but you could absolutely tint the icing and do a more traditional decoration.