Tag Archives: dairy free

Cake or Cake?

A few years back my sister, Mrs. Music, introduced me to the Eddie Izzard skit, “Cake or Death?”.

The cake or death part starts at 5min, but the whole thing is funny. I’ll wait.

Back? Okay. Well, gluten free cake can be the “death” in the cake or death question, as it doesn’t really rate as cake. For the past few years I’ve been making non-cake cake. It’s a recipe off Allrecipes.com and is pretty good, but the texture still isn’t very cake-like. For SoupKing’s birthday this year I googled in hopes of finding a recipe that a) didn’t list ingredients I couldn’t find and b)was better than my standard non-cake cake.

I did, indeed, find an excellent recipe. I think I followed most of the instructions without alterations the first go around. It had better flavor, moisture and texture, but it was a tad too mushy.

Miss Drama’s birthday was yesterday and so I needed to whip up a cake. After all, a birthday without cake? Clearly death (okay, not really, but definitely a very sad birthday.) So I looked up the recipe I last used with vague notions of improving it. Turns out, I was out of coconut flour, which turned out to be serendipitous.

  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 3 cup all purpose gluten free flour (recipe at end of post HERE) *no two flour blends are quite the same so keep that in mine*
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon GF Baking Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (or non-dairy substitute– I used goat milk)
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla (I may have been more generous as I kind of just poured some into the batter)

In addition to tweaking the ingredients I ignored the instructions and proceeded with traditional cake making procedure, starting with pre-heating the oven to 350F. Then I creamed the eggs, sugar and oil together and added the vanilla. I was using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. If you add too much liquid or flour too quickly you end up wearing a fair amount. So, I alternated adding a little flour and a little milk until all of it was combined. I let it mix for 2 minutes at high speed. Then I sprayed two round cake pans, dusted with a few pinches of the flour mix, poured in the batter and cooked. I’d start with 20 min and then check every couple of minutes after that depending on your oven. One of the cakes was done in about 22min., while the other took closer to 30min as it was a bit more full.

Cool and ice and tada, almost-cake cake! It wasn’t too mushy, yet it had that great moisture you want in a cake. The texture reminded me of the best box mixes or a freshly baked cake from a bakery.

Almost-cake cake!

Mrs. Music deemed it evilly delicious and even Mr. Music commented on how good it was and he isn’t used to gluten-free baking. The remaining little bit that was left last night didn’t last through today, so I’m pretty sure this cake is a keeper. If not for the fact that I ate a rather large amount last night, I may have made another today, as it is MY birthday today. Instead, I ate a whole pint of goat milk ice cream–far less effort.

To celebrate my victory over cake death and my birthday, wander over to InkStained Succubus, comment and get a chance to win a free digital copy of my book Fated Bonds.

Buns!

I’ve done several recipes of gluten free buns. All of them tasted great, but they were usually lacking in the consistency department. There was the time I attempted my own baking rings and had bread mass versus rolls. There was another time my rolls became more of this big giant pull-apart thing. You get the idea. Wet dough = crappy roll.

I wanted to fix sloppy joes yesterday, but the store was out of gluten free buns. So, once again I turned to the internet, but I can’t help tweaking things so mine was slightly different than the one I found. I really liked this one as the process was simple. Some recipes call for multiple rises, which is more than I care to do for a quick dinner.

Gluten free buns

  • 1.5 c brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c sorghum
  • 1 c tapioca
  • 1 tbs yeast (I used bread machine yeast as that’s what I had)
  • 1 tbs xanthum (Yes, that is a lot, but you really do need a firmer dough for buns)
  • 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp thyme (optional or could use any herb mix you like)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar or honey (I used honey)
  • 3/4c warm water
  • 4 eggs (warmed to room temp)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • optional onion seeds, sesame, or poppy seeds pressed into top of buns

Mix all the dry ingredients. In a mixer bowl, crack eggs, beat well, and add the rest of the liquid ingredients. Add the flour to the liquid and mix for 2 minutes using a paddle attachment. If the dough is dry add up to 1/4 more water, but dough should not be wet, just a bit sticky.

Grease a cookie sheet or use parchment paper to line. Coat your hands in oil and scoop up roughly 1/4-1/3 cup and roll into a ball. Do this until you have ~8 buns and (redistribute as needed). Then, flatten the balls, gently pressing the onion seeds or other decorative seasoning into the top.

Let the buns sit in a warm place to rise for about 45 min. (I let them rise a good 10-15min longer than recipe called for). Preheat oven to 400 while buns are rising. When they have risen, back for 10-20 min. They are done when they are golden brown.

dough before rising

dough before rising

Buns!

Buns!

They had an excellent taste, cut well even when hot, and stood up to the massive amount of sloppy joe ground beef slathered on them.

Bake and enjoy my fellow GF peeps and if you like, here’s the original recipe!

I’m becoming my mother

Yes, I said it. It’s happening. I’m turning into my mother. I don’t mean the whole, “If you don’t quit making that face, it’ll freeze like that.” I never bought that line, so I don’t sell it. I just tell them it’s annoying or they look stupid.

No, I’m referring to recipe tweakification. (That’s not a word? I’m an author. I henceforth declare it a word.) When I was little, my mom almost never followed recipes. Oh, for baking she’d have some, but even then would add some of this and a little of that. She began cooking solo in her early to mid-teens. I didn’t break out to solo sauteing adventures until I was about  nineteen. It’s one thing to assist as sous chef and another to man the whole operation.

My first foray into cooking involved lots of Lea and Perrins. What can I say? I loved the stuff. Eat food tasting like it long enough, and even the most die-hard fans will want other seasoning. I bought some Indian cookbooks, and then ventured into tried and true American classics, and then I discovered baking. My very first baking project was a pumpkin pie. I think I ate it all myself because the ex didn’t like pumpkin pie. It turned out well, even if I was sick of pumpkin pie by week’s end. I then tried cookies, and cakes, and found that brownies were my kryptonite. I was hitting my stride when gluten intolerance struck (and dairy intolerance).

I didn’t quite go all the way back to square one, but there was definitely a learning curve in regards to the many flours and starches used in GF baking. I still use recipes, especially if it’s a new dish, but I’m not afraid to venture beyond the ingredients list.

On Easter Sunday, I made some lovely dinner rolls. Granted, I didn’t let them rise long enough, and they may have needed a bit more flour to maintain a rounder shape, but the texture and taste were lovely. A guest asked, “There’s no gluten in these? At all?”

That, my internet denizens is a sign of GF baking success. I had been worried, because I essentially cobbled together a couple of different recipes. Soup king asked what I put in it, and I started listing ingredients and the additions to the recipes. He expressed frustration that I never exactly follow a recipe anymore. I commiserate. I had the same frustration once with my mother.