Friday, June 15, 2012

Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Challenge: Sculpted Vanilla Almond Cake

Once upon a time I was a pretty fabulous baker. I made beautiful cakes of fun and fanciful design that people,  for the most part loved. I thought I was pretty good at it, alas, after some outside forces made so irreversible damage, I had to hang up my apron. It wasn't something I really wanted to do, but I didn't have many options.

If anyone knows me though, they know that its just about impossible for me to stand still. Since I was not professionally baking anymore, I thought it was high time that I start to really work on my families diet and what we were consuming. With kiddo, I had wanted to try a gluten-free diet for a really long time but had never put the time into really figuring out how to do so.

So one day I walked into the pantry, grabbed my apron and wrapped that sucker around myself once again. This time I was going to bake differently, this time... it was gluten-free!

I was surfing the web on some of my favorite gluten-free blogs and came across The Daily Dietribe's Gluten-free Cake Contest to celebrate blogger Iris's 30th birthday! What better opportunity to post a new cake recipe and showcase a new favorite cake of mine?!

This year, MacLeod got to have his first ever gluten-free birthday cake. Per my old professional baking days, I had to follow a theme for the party down to the cake. The party was a Snatch theme, a movie we both love. The party was at a local bar and I went early to set up wall decor, a roulette wheel and table, a table with "Snatch wearables" that included some costume items for guests to look like Snatch characters, the cake table and a number of posters printed from the movie. It looked just FABULOUS and he was so surprised.

MacLeod loves my Bacon Cake, which I also make gluten-free now, but I wanted a cake with a little more crowd appeal, so I went with another one of my favorites, Vanilla Almond Cake with chocolate ganache filling. Making casein-free ganache was a new one for me, but I got no complaints from the cake eaters. 

Hopefully my cake is Iris-worthy! Happy Birthday lady, love your blog!

Vanilla Almond Cake with Chocolate Ganache Filling

2 ½ C GF flour blend (see recipe for flour blend)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ C Earth Balance spread
1 C unrefined sugar

1/4 C agave syrup or honey
2 eggs, or egg replacement
¾ C Rice milk
1 tsp GF Vanilla

1 tsp GF Almond Extract

Ganache Filling

2 C Ghirardelli 60% Dark Chocolate Morsels (or other Gluten-free chocolate chips)
1 C Rice Milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2- 9” cake pans with shortening and dust with flour blend. 

In a bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine margarine and sugar and mix on medium speed until grainy. Add eggs, one at a time while blade is still running. Stop machine and scrape the sides of the bowl to thoroughly combine the sugar mixture and eggs. 
Combine rice milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. On low speed, add ¼ C of flour mixture to egg/sugar mixture. Allow the flour mixture to combine and then add ¼ C of rice milk to the bowl, while still running. Alternate wet and dry until all ingredients have been added. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix for 30 seconds to completely combine. 

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans and bake approximately 30 minutes or until golden around the edges and the cake springs back when you touch the center. 

Rest 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and cook on a wire rack and decorate. 


Place chocolate chips in a heat resistant bowl with enough room to add milk. 
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the rice milk until it is hot but not boiling. Pour milk over chocolate chips and allow to set for about 5 minutes to melt the chips. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. Allow it to cool to a spreadable consistency. 



  1. Beautiful cake! Thank you so much for joining in on the cake challenge! (Just a little heads up...I'm not sure if it shows up this way on other computers, but I can't see the text of your recipe.)

  2. Ah! Thanks for telling me... it would have TOTALLY escaped me. I am usually more careful about that! Happy 30th!

  3. I love this, it is super funny and so well thought out (I don't know the movie, but I am sure it is very accurate too).

    1. Thanks so much!He really enjoyed it and I have a obsession for theme parties so it was super fun to do!

  4. If your kiddo can have coconut milk, it makes a great ganache. You pretty much use the same proportions as a dairy ganache and it turns out super thick and rich. Yum.

    Your cake is super cute.

    1. Thanks so much! I have been using coconut milk for my ganache after making this cake and it has really been much creamier and very well received! I love coconut milk, the kids insist they can taste the coconut... which they hate. Oh well.