FeaturesAug/Sep 2011 Issue

Gluten-Free Celebration Cakes

Allergy-friendly fancy cakes are easy and delicious

As owner of an allergy-friendly bakery, I associate cake flavors with the changing seasons. When summer wanes and fall is in the air, light, airy cakes make way for the deeper, richer flavors of autumn.

I’m particularly tuned in to the wonders of seasonal ingredients. Glastonbury, Connecticut, where my shop is located, is filled with orchards and farms and I gather inspiration from the local growers and their fruit. Nothing tastes better than tree-ripened apples and peaches or berries picked the same day. My bakery creations are a tribute to these exceptional resources.

These four easy cakes are my favorites for this time of year. They’re particularly delicious showcasing fresh, local produce but they’re worth making in any season. Gluten free and dairy free, they’re guaranteed to turn any moment into a reason to celebrate.

 


 

Photo by Oksana Charla

Photo by Oksana Charla

Chocolate Raspberry Torte (front), Apple Spice Cake (back).

Rich and Flavorful

Gluten-Free Chocolate Raspberry Torte

SERVES 18

With berries in the batter, filling and on top, this torte packs a triple raspberry punch. It’s the perfect dessert for a special celebration or to impress guests at your next dinner party. Tortes are traditionally served as very thin wedges. To serve, cut the torte down the middle; then cut into 1- to 2-inch slices. This recipe can be made egg free with good results (see Baking Tips)

2½ cups fresh raspberries or 1 (14- ounce) bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1 cup rice milk or milk of choice, very warm
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 cups gluten-free Pastry Flour Blend
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 large eggs
⅔ cup canola oil or vegetable oil
2 cups sugar or organic evaporated cane juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (12-ounce) jar seedless raspberry jam, fruit sweetened
1 cup Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, for filling
6 cups Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, for frosting
1 cup fresh raspberries, for filling and decoration
-Grated chocolate, optional

1. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and dust with gluten-free flour. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Place 2½ cups fresh or thawed raspberries in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding seeds. You should have 1 cup puree. Set aside.

3. Combine warm milk and vinegar. Set aside.

4. On a piece of waxed paper, sift together Pastry Flour Blend, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum. Set aside.

5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs, oil and sugar at medium-high speed for 3 minutes.

6. Add milk mixture, raspberry puree and vanilla extract to egg mixture and mix for 1 minute.

7. Add sifted dry ingredients to wet ingredients in mixer and blend on low speed just to mix. Then increase speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix for an additional 30 seconds.

8. Spoon batter equally into two prepared cake pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 55 minutes. Cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Time will vary depending on oven and pan size). Remove from oven and cool cake in pans for 20 minutes. Then turn cakes out of the pans onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

9. To assemble and decorate torte, cut each layer with a knife horizontally to create a total of 4 layers. Place the bottom layer on a flat cake plate or on a 9-inch cardboard circle. Spoon half the jam onto the layer, spreading evenly to cover.

10. Place 1 cup Vanilla Buttercream Frosting in a small bowl and add 8 to 10 raspberries. Blend together with a spoon until berries break up and are mixed into the frosting.

11. Place the next cake layer on the torte. Spoon all the raspberry frosting onto this layer, spreading evenly over the surface. (Alternatively, reserve some frosting for decoration. See step 12.) Add the next layer of cake and spread the remaining jam over it. Place the final cake layer on the torte, top side up.

12. Frost torte with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. To finish, pipe a border of raspberry frosting (from step 11) around the base of the torte. Then pipe rosettes around the top of the torte, placing a fresh raspberry on top of each rosette. For a final touch, sprinkle shaved chocolate lightly over the top of the torte, if desired.

Each slice without frosting contains 288 calories, 10g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 23mg cholesterol, 418mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 3g protein.
Each slice with frosting and jam contains 694 calories, 38g total fat, 13g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 36mg cholesterol, 531mg sodium, 89g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 3g protein.

 


Photo by Oksana Charla

Photo by Oksana Charla

A frosting acorn with leaves adorns this slice of Apple Spice Cake.

Moist and Yummy

Apple Spice Cake

SERVES 16

This cake is one of the best reasons to head to the orchards for apples. Filled with fresh, shredded apples and spices, it will last several days refrigerated. To forgo frosting, bake it in a large bundt pan (75 minutes in 350° F preheated oven) and top with a dusting of powdered sugar. This recipe can be made egg free with good results (see Baking Tips).

5 large eggs, room temperature
1½ cups canola oil or vegetable oil
2 cups sugar or organic evaporated cane juice
3½ cups gluten-free Pastry Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 cups grated apples

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans and dust with gluten-free flour.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs, oil and sugar at medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Mixture will thicken and appear pale yellow.

3. On a piece of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and xanthan gum.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix on medium-low speed just until blended, approximately 30 seconds. Squeeze grated apples in between paper towels to remove some of the juice and add apples to mixture. Blend just until smooth.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Time will vary depending on oven and pan size.) Cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then turn it out of the pans to cool completely before frosting.

6. Cake layers will be 2-plus inches high. Frost as a two-layer cake or cut each cake horizontally into two layers for a four-layer cake. Frost the cake with either Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or Spiced Buttercream Frosting.

Each slice as a bundt cake without frosting contains 439 calories, 23g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 66mg cholesterol, 353mg sodium, 56g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein.

A Reader Favorite

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

MAKES 8½ TO 9 CUPS

This frosting is not too sweet. The “buttercream” will fill most of a 5-quart mixing bowl.

6 cups powdered sugar or organic powdered evaporated cane juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup boiling water
2½ cups vegetable shortening
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) dairy-free margarine of choice, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine powdered sugar and salt.

2. With a whisk attachment, add boiling water and whip at low speed until smooth and cool, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Add shortening and margarine to the sugar mixture and whip at medium speed until smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until light, fluffy and increased in volume, approximately 10 minutes.

Each serving (2 tablespoons) contains 120 calories, 9g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 4mg cholesterol, 36mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g protein.

For Spiced Buttercream Frosting, place 6 cups Vanilla Buttercream Frosting in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Blend well by hand.

 


Photo by Oksana Charla

Photo by Oksana Charla

Moist and Luscious

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

SERVES 12

Simple to make, this carrot cake looks and tastes special but you don’t need a special occasion to whip it up. It pairs well with Spiced Buttercream Frosting. This recipe can be made egg free with good results (see Baking Tips).

4 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup canola oil or vegetable oil
2 cups sugar or organic evaporated cane juice
2½ cups gluten-free Pastry Flour Blend

1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 cups grated carrots
1 (14-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained with ½ cup juice reserved
6 cups Spiced Buttercream Frosting + more for carrot decorations

1. Grease two 7- or 8-inch round cake pans and dust with gluten-free flour. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, oil and sugar at medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Mixture will thicken and look pale yellow.

3. On a piece of waxed paper, sift together the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and xanthan gum.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix on medium-low speed just until blended, approximately 30 seconds. Add grated carrots, pineapple and reserved pineapple juice. Mix until blended, another 30 seconds. Scrape sides of the bowl well with a rubber spatula and blend by hand until all ingredients are incorporated.

5. Divide the batter evenly between two prepared pans. Place pans in preheated oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour. (Time will vary depending on oven and pan size.) Cake is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then turn cake out of pans to cool completely before frosting with Spiced Buttercream Frosting.

6. To create carrot decoration, tint ½ cup Vanilla Buttercream Frosting with orange food coloring and ¼ cup with green food coloring. Place orange frosting in a disposable decorating bag fitted with a #3 Wilton cake tip (or into a plastic sandwich bag with one corner cut) and pipe carrots onto the top of the cake. Place green frosting in a separate decorating bag fitted with a leaf tip to create a leaf at the top of each carrot.

Each slice without frosting contains 421 calories, 16g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 70mg cholesterol, 454mg sodium, 67g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein.

 


Photo by Oksana Charla

Photo by Oksana Charla

Peach Upside Down Cake

SERVES 12

Peach slices take the place of traditional pineapple rings for seasonal flavor. This beautiful cake requires no fuss in frosting or decoration. It’s the ideal end to a meal or addition to a brunch table. It rises very high while so use a pan with at least a 3-inch high rim. Placing a parchment or aluminum foil collar around a shorter pan will not work. This recipe can be made egg free with good results (see Baking Tips).

2½ cups gluten-free Pastry Flour Blend
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar or organic evaporated cane juice
½ cup vegetable shortening
4 large eggs
1 cup rice milk, very warm
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup vegetable shortening, melted
⅔ cup organic brown sugar
3 cups fresh peaches, peeled, cut into ¼-inch slices, or 1 bag frozen peach slices
2 tablespoons peach or apricot jam (fruit sweetened) + 1 tablespoon water

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease one 9-inch cake pan with a 3-inch rim or a 9-inch springform pan. If using a springform pan, place the pan on a sheet of aluminum foil a few inches larger than the pan. Form the aluminum foil up the sides of the pan. This will prevent the pan from leaking.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, xanthan gum, salt and sugar four times. Do not skip the sifting process as it creates a light batter. Place mixture in a large bowl.

3. With fingers, work ½ cup shortening into dough until shortening resembles small peas.

4. Whisk eggs, warm milk and vanilla together. Add wet ingredients to flour and shortening mixture and mix vigorously by hand with a large spoon for 1 minute.

5. Mix melted shortening and brown sugar together and spread over the bottom of prepared pan. Fan peach slices over the brown sugar mixture, covering the bottom of the pan. Pour batter over the peaches.

6. Place in preheated oven and bake for at least 1 hour or until done, checking with a toothpick until it comes out clean. (Time will vary depending on oven and pan size.)

7. Let cake cool for 30 minutes. Place a dessert platter over the top of pan. Put one hand on the bottom of the cake pan and another on the top of the dessert platter and flip the pan over, inverting the cake onto a serving platter.

8. After cake has cooled completely, heat jam and water together in the microwave for 1 minute. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the jam glaze over the peaches, which will make them glisten.

Each slice contains 442 calories, 17g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 70mg cholesterol, 293mg sodium, 72g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein.

Professional baker Diane Kittle owns Dee’s One Smart Cookie (deesonesmartcookie.com), a gluten-free, dairy-free, allergy-friendly bakery in Glastonbury, Connecticut.

 


 

Pastry Flour Blend

MAKES 3 CUPS

Brown rice flour contains more flavor and nutrients than white rice flour.
2 cups fine brown rice flour
¾ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
¼ cup tapioca starch/flour

 

1. Sift ingredients together. Store in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bring to room temperature before using.

Each cup contains 551 calories, 3g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 8mg sodium, 123g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 8g protein.

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