Friday, April 20, 2012

The Quest for Gluten-Free Cake

    In my attempt to make a GF light cake for celebrations, I've tried to make it from scratch and I've used cake mixes (hoping for a lighter cake). The mix for my daughter's birthday was still quite heavy. I took a break from making cake for a while. Then I needed to make a cake for Easter this year, since there are a bunch of April birthdays in my extended family and everyone would be together. So, I started making cake recipes again.

I leaned a few things. Using beaten egg whites seemed to help make the batter lighter. Over beating seemed to make the cake tougher. I decided to make a cake using cupcakes since smaller portions of GF dough seem to rise better. And in the end the Easter birthday (cupcake) cake was a success and I now have a couple of cupcake recipes I really like. I didn't try them as a cake yet, but that should work.

I found some great recipes at The following cupcake recipe was adapted from her gluten-free Orange Creme Cupcake recipe. It's a cross between angel food and sponge cake and is airy and light. The original recipe is also vegan.

Lemon Cupcakes

3/4 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. potato starch
3/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
1 t. zanthan gum
1/4 c. egg whites, room temperature
2 T. canola oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
3/4 c. coconut milk
     (or other non-dairy milk beverage)
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice
additional water as needed
dash of stale turmeric
lemon zest

Whisk flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and zanthan gum in a small bowl. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add oil, 1/4 c. juice and non-dairy milk and mix liquids together briefly at slow speed. Gently stir in dry ingredients and beat at medium speed just until blended.

Fill 16 muffin papers with dough and smooth tops with the back of a spoon or wet fingers. Bake at 350 degrees F for 17 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on rack.

Mix 1 T. lemon juice with powdered sugar and turmeric. Add drops of water until desired consistency. Spread on cupcakes. Remember a soft frosting will continue to spread after you put it on. Add zest on top, if desired.

Note: Stale turmeric should not change the flavor of your frosting. It is a natural way to color the frosting yellow. Food coloring can be used instead. The amount of egg does seem to matter for the texture, so I measure it. One medium to large egg white is about 2 T.

The light texture and glaze-like frosting goes great together and is a favorite here. A taste of spring!

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