I’ve written this post a million times over since I decided to host this month’s Gluten Free Ratio Rally. Way back in the beginning, I signed up for this with high hopes – and I was being completely selfish when I chose the task: cakes. And white/yellow cakes. (Sorry, chocolate cake fans..although a few bloggers appealed to you, I was really on the hunt for fabulous GF white cakes.)
I say selfishly because I do have some fabulous cake recipes. My favorites are my sponge cake recipe and the mini-vanilla filled cupcakes. But really, I have been longing for layer cakes due to their versatility. My favorite cakes have always been white layer cakes. It’s true! Even since I started making cakes in our house when I was in elementary school. (I did a fine job of both trashing the kitchen and baking a decent cake.) My favorite white cake recipe is still being worked on to convert it to gluten free. I needed some help. And some inspiration.
And (I hoped) I can’t be the only one with an aversion to chocolate cakes. (Right??)
And I say that reluctantly because I know that some very fabulous people in my life have made some incredible flourless chocolate cakes for me (birthdays at work, etc). I’ve eaten each slice with a smile. But I have a confession to make: I’ve never liked chocolate cakes. At the age of six, I completely overindulged: chocolate cake + chocolate ice cream + first day in new state/neighborhood/house = bad news for the future of chocolate cake in my life. I am refraining from using details here … after all, this *IS* supposed to be a food blog.
So you see, I am selfish in my quest for the *perfect* gluten free non-chocolate cake. I’m not the only one who realizes the beauty of a white cake – the versatility, etc. Oh yes. A white cake is where it is at, people! And you will see from this month’s ratio posters just how fabulously versatile it is!
I fell on a sword this month taste-testing over 9 cake recipes ideas in four weeks. Not too pointy of a sword, mind you. If the cake tasted great, but failed? I have crumbled them into a baggie and made some “cake pops” for my daughter(s) and I. We share one “cake pop” after swim lessons. But I think I’m going to have to invest in some swim time for myself after a month of cake eating. Ay ay ay!
I’ve discovered a few things about cake baking – especially gluten free cake baking – that I’d taken for granted previously.
- Watch your baking time CAREFULLY and check often – especially within the last 5-6 minutes. An over baked gluten free cake = the Sahara Desert in your mouth.
- Have your eggs and butter at room temperature. But don’t do this if you live without air-conditioning and your house is 80F. Not cool.
- Add your eggs one by one and beat them in for a couple of minutes before adding the next. (No matter how hard your child pulls on your legs/hands. Add the eggs one at a time!)
- Parchment lined/bottomed cake pans are just as fabulous as dusting them with gluten free flour – and easier for me.
- Gluten free cake batter is definitely thicker than gluten-filled cake batter. Don’t stress when you see it.
The basic cake. With only the primary frosting on. I had intended to frost this further, but the Chicklet got a hold of the sprinkles and she went to town. So, it stayed just like this: minimal frosting and a fabulous crumb.
For these little cupcakes, we filled them with a dollop of raspberry jam – (and some with Nutella – YUM!). No frosting was needed.
The ratio for a basic cake is as follows:
Egg : Sugar : Flour : Butter
I’m not convinced that I’ve achieved the cake I dream of. But, in looking at the titles of the cakes of my fellow GF Ratio Rally participants, I see that I have a fabulous future of cake testing ahead of me. (Tiramisu! Confetti Cake! Lemon Tea Cake! – just to name a few!) Maybe one of you will find a way to make it even more fabulous. That is the beauty of being a gluten free community: learning, sharing and growing together.
Basic Gluten Free White Cake
- 8 ounces – 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces – 1 cup (226 grams) sugar
- 4 eggs + 1 yolk
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 226 grams “My” gluten free flour mix, sifted (1 1/2 cups + 2 teaspoons)
- OR 175 grams (1 scant cup) rice flour + 50 grams (1/3 cup) potato starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of two 8 inch cake rounds with parchment paper OR butter each and flour with rice flour (NOT the rice flour called for in the recipe – please use 1 Tablespoon or 2 in addition to that called for in the recipe).
- Beat butter in the mixer until light and creamy.
- Add sugar. Beat again for several minutes (3-4) on medium until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg. Beat for 2 minutes. Add next egg and beat again 2 more minutes. Repeat until all eggs have been incorporated thoroughly.
- Add extracts. Mix in.
- Sift together flour(s), baking powder and salt. Add to cake batter. Mix in carefully so as not to lose the softness created from mixing in the eggs/sugar.
- Divide into cake rounds evenly. Smooth the surface with a wet spatula. (I found it helpful to have a glass of water nearby and I kept dipping the rubber spatula into the water to keep the batter from sticking.)
- Bake until the top is just golden brown and a toothpick (or cake tester) inserted comes out shiny but not sticky – about 18-20 minutes. Check your cake as you approach the 15 minute mark at a minimum to avoid over-baking.
- Remove from pans by flipping on to cooling racks after removing from the oven. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Please check out the other fabulous Gluten Free Ratio Rally participants and their cakes, I know I will be doing taste-tests frequently from their ideas. In fact, my sister-in-law is coming this week for a visit… so we have another birthday cake to make. (Great excuse, huh?)
GF Banana Rum Cupcakes with Rum Glaze (alcohol-free!) by Claire @ Gluten Freedom
GF Boston Cream Pie by Britt @ GF in the CityGF Busy Day Cake by Shauna @ Gluten Free Girl and the Chef
GF Chocolate Hostess Cupcake Dupes by Erin @ The Sensitive Epicure
GF Chocolate-coated, Marshmallow-topped Vanilla Cupcakes by Silvana @ Silvana’s Kitchen
GF Chocolate Pistachio Pound Cake by Amie @ The Healthy Apple
GF Coconut Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes by Gretchen @ Kumquat-Blog
GF Confetti Cake by MaryFran @ FrannyCakes
GF Czech Cherry Bublanina by Rachel @ The Crispy Cook
GF Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes by Caroline @ The G-Spot
GF Frangelico Cupcakes with Nutella by Lisa @ Gluten Free Canteen
GF Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Cake by Caneel @ Mama Me Gluten Free
GF Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins by Marla @ Family Fresh Cooking
GF Lemon Tea Cake by Kate @ KateAlice Cookbook
GF Mocha Buttercream Yellow Birthday Cake by Dr. Jean Layton @ GF Doctor Recipes
GF Nina’s Hot Milk Cake by Charissa @ Zest Bakery
GF Tiramisu Cake by TR Crumbley @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
GF Traditional Birthday Cake by Karen @ Cooking – Gluten Free!
GF Vanilla Cupcakes by Winnie @ Healthy Green Kitchen
GF White Cake with Apricots & Blueberries by Brooke @ B and the Boy
GF White Chocolate Cupcakes by Caleigh @ Gluten Freek(k)
GF Williamsburg Orange Cake by Mrs. R. @ Honey from Flinty Rocks