Monday, August 13, 2012

Yes! Gluten-free Yellow Cake!

Summertime in our home is usually pretty busy, like most homes we morph into summer routines that are a modification of our normal daily schedule which we discussed on this post earlier in the summer. Kids out of school and visits to friends, family, visits from McLeod's kids and visitation schedules make the summer something of a challenge to work through. Throw into that buying a new home and all the insanity that goes into just getting to closing and you have yourself one heck of a summer. Thankfully, we are closing on the home this week and then get to start the next steps,moving, fixing up and unpacking. The moving. I hate moving, its probably one of the things that would be awaiting me in the netherworld should I end up at the wrong gate at the conclusion of my life. I can just see it: stacks of moving boxes and piles of stuff- clothing, kitchen wares, kids stuff, all waiting for me to pack and move to another location to unpack. Then I would immediately need to repack and move the stuff to another location and unpack and so on. Yes, that would definitely be my version of hell. In any case, this should be our last move for a long time, so I am foolishly optimistic about it all.

A midst all the craziness of packing and other scheduled routines, we have Lil Sis' birthday to arrange and celebrate. Our current home is packed to the nines with boxes and not exactly suitable to partying so as requested by the birthday girl, her party would be held at a local pottery painting shop. Originally she had wanted to have an animal themed party and was hoping to do something at a zoo or something along those lines. Alas, we live about an hour and a half from any zoo and all the traveling petting zoo's prices were insanely astronomical. Aside of the price though, we currently live in an apartment and as you might guess, they don't exactly welcome zoo animals with open arms here. So we rested on the backup plan for pottery and decided on a jungle theme for the affair. 

The week before her birthday a friend, who still exults me as a professional baker (which I was at one point but am no longer), needed a cake for her co-worker's birthday. She needed it to be a combination of coconut and lemon. So I decided that I would try to tackle a cake flavor which has yet been unattainable to me gluten-free. In my professional baker days, I used a modification of this recipe by Cooks Illustrated. Of course it calls for lots of butter, cream and gluten-full flour. For my friend's cake I decided I would try the recipe our with my gluten-free substitution. With slight changes to the recipe size and ratio of liquids to solids,  the resulting cake was amazing (after the second bake, the first bake was a little dry so I had to modify the liquids a bit more). 

So when my birthday girl asked for a two tier cake, if you read this post you might remember my kiddos bar is set pretty high for birthday cakes, I told her a two tier chocolate cake may not appeal to everyone. So she settled on having the top tier chocolate and the bottom tier yellow cake with a triple berry filling. 

Now anyone who knows me knows that I am incredibly modest when it comes to my cake making. I am my worst critic, so at the end of the baking and decorating all I can see are the things I wish I had done better. However at Lil Sis' party after cutting the cake and serving it, I actually decided to have a piece of cake. I took a small slice of yellow cake and a small slice of the chocolate cake. Folks, I hate saying it, but this birthday cake was amazing. Not one person at the party knew that they were gluten-free cakes and I didn't mention it. McLeod sometimes likes to do a big reveal like we are tricking people into eating gluten-free, but I told him that my goal was for there not to be a taste difference at all. I want the cake to taste like a regular cake and if they think its great without knowing then I have done my job. Everyone raved about how delicious the cake was so I think I achieved just that. 

Of course my next step will be trying to make this tasty cake not only gluten-free but dairy free as well and possibly trying a number of different flour blends, so keep posted!

Gluten-free Yellow Cake (not dairy free) 

2 C unrefined granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C Plain yogurt, room temperature

Triple Berry Filling

1/2 C Fresh Raspberries, washed
1/2 C Fresh Blueberries, washed
1/2 C Fresh Strawberries, washed and de-stemmed
1/3 C water
1/2 C unrefined sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two round 8-inch pans with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour blend, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, eggs and yolk, vanilla and yogurt. Blend a medium speed until combined about 1 minute.

4. Slowly add dry ingredients one cup at time, blending until combined after each addition. Repeat until all dry ingredients are added. Blend on medium-high speed for 1 minute.

5. Divide batter evenly into the two pans and place in oven to bake for about 25 minutes.

6. While cake bakes, prepare filling by combining all ingredients in a small sauce pan. 

7. Bring berry combination to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. 

8. Allow berry mixture to simmer until the liquid has reduced and the mixture resembles a compote, about 30 minutes

9. Remove filling from the pan and refrigerate until completely cooled.  When cake springs back to touch in the center, the cake is ready to come out. Cool on rack. 

10. When cake is cooled, level cake by cutting the dome off the top of each cake. With your choice of icing, make a barrier around the edge of the bottom cake. Place the filling in the center of the bottom of the cake filling until you get it level to the piped barrier. Place the top of the cake over the bottom and press down slightly to seal the barrier. Ice with your choice of icing like this dairy free vanilla


  1. Can I ask what the "GC flour blend" included? I'd like to try and make this cake but don't know what flours to use. Thanks!

  2. Sari,

    Sorry the link to the flour blend isn't there! I am about to do a totally revamp through the site to check errors (there is another in this recipe!) Here is where the flour blend is:

    The one other thing that is missing in this particular recipe is the ONE EXTRA EGG YOLK... which makes it "yellowy." You just add that yolk when you add the eggs.

    Aside of that , I hope it works for you! I am making this recipe for a strawberry shortcake for this weekend! Good luck and thanks for visiting!

  3. Thanks so much for getting back to me. One other many layers does this recipe make and what size? I typically bake in 9" rounds and just want to make a standard 2 layer cake but not sure if this recipe will yield too much batter or the right amount!

  4. It should make 2- 9" rounds pretty nicely (about 2" depth on each). I usually go for a deeper cake, so I double the recipe to get a 4" deep round making some tall cakes. That is kind of to your preference. But this recipe is definitely enough for 2-9" rounds.