Enjoying the Festivities with Gluten Free Cake
Being diagnosed with a gluten-free diet can be a bit overwhelming at first, and you might not even be worried about how to bake a gluten free cake; however, you will eventually wonder about how it’s done. Once you start brainstorming on how to bake that birthday cake, you will realize that it’s easier said than done because so many products we use contain gluten—however, it’s easier done after it’s said, too, because there are so many replacements and alternatives to those products! For example, when baking, instead of using wheat flour, you could use a variety of different flours, such as ground almonds, corn flour, quinoa, or brown rice flour.
When planning for a birthday, you may find it easier to bake your own cake than to seek out who will bake you a cake and whether or not it’ll be good—not to mention that most of these specialty bakeries overcharge. Depending on how many ingredients are in your gluten free birthday cake, you should be careful with which one you choose as the flavor of the flour might take over the cake—my two cents would be to use the ground almonds, when mixed with vanilla it can be delightful! If, on the other hand, you’d rather keep the flavor of your flour to a minimum, then you could always simply blend a gluten free flour mix and use this as the base to all of your baking needs!
The Easy Route to a Gluten Free Cake
It’s definitely understandable that you wouldn’t want to go through the motions of relearning how to bake when there are so many available options to avoid it. For example, almost all grocery stores now carry gluten free cake mix next to the rest of the cake mixes and baking supplies; these come in a variety of flavors, including the classic vanilla and chocolate! With a little extra searching for a specialty store, you might find a few different flavors if you aren’t ready to take on making a cake from scratch.
You could even use the cake mix as the foundation of your cake and build onto that, molding it into the cake of your dreams. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but once you have the breading, the sky is the limit. You could bake the cake mix on a cookie sheet to make a roll cake, or you could bake it in separate smaller pans and then layer them on top of each other, or you could even fill the batter with fruits or chocolate chips (or both) and make a bundt cake! After you’ve decided what type of cake you want in terms of shape, settle on the flavors and whether you’re using fruits, spices, or baking chips and you’ll be set with your gluten free birthday cake. Why not make some gluten-free birthday cupcakes?
Baking a Moist Gluten Free Cake
Although there are hundreds of gluten free cake recipes, some basic math will help you use your old favorite cake recipes instead of hunting for a new one! The “issue” with gluten free flour is that, aside from the stronger taste, it weighs more than regular all-purpose flour, and so when you’re substituting gluten free flour into a recipe, the proportions might be off! It would be impractical for me to list all of the weight proportions here, but if you purchase a kitchen scale then it’ll be simple enough for you to determine how much coconut flour is equal to all-purpose flour.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you do plan on working on your own homemade gluten free birthday cake recipe, one of them being temperature! Before you start mixing all of your dry ingredients together, bring out your eggs and butter to ensure that they reach room temperature (If they haven’t, or you forgot, then simply nuke the butter for a couple of seconds and run the eggs under warm water). Gluten free baking is generally drier than other cake recipes; to counteract this, try adding applesauce to your recipe. In fact, add applesauce to any recipe for baked goods—I add it to all of my cakes and even substitute all of my butter for applesauce, not only is it good for you but it also makes for a really moist cake! Although lesser known…chocolate quinoa cakes are especially decadent, and perfect for any birthday!
Since these cakes are already more prone for being dry, you need to be extra careful with the temperature and with baking times. If this is for a bigger event, then it might be safer to have a test run with a smaller size of the cake to see what the perfect temperature and time for it was (then scale up for the bigger cake). If you’re uncertain, then it would be safest if you simply removed the cake from the oven roughly 5-10 minutes before the suggested “done” time. It’s better to have an undercooked cake and return it to the oven for a couple of extra minutes than an overcooked, dry, and burnt cake…and your guests will likely agree. The simplest test here would be to insert a toothpick into the cake when you take it out earlier; if it comes out clean, then the cake is done (unless you have baking chips in it, in which case it’s hard to say). Do keep in mind that the cake will keep on cooking itself after it has been removed from the oven, so unless it’s completely gooey on the inside you should be fine. And if the worst thing that happens is a very moist gluten free cake, maybe a little under baked—this is actually a delicacy in Sweden, so if you happen to stumble upon this problem then just claim that you’re trying different cultural recipes!
written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd