Gluten free, nut free cake

sally2_gwMay 18, 2012

My grandson's birthday party is this weekend, and I asked my DIL if she was planning to buy his cake, or if she expected me to make it again this year. In true fashion for my DIL, she said, "Oh, I think it would be easier for you to make it." (Last year they told me they were going to buy it, then, at the last minute, said they needed me to make it). So, I'm making it again.

Grandson wants a vanilla cake. His other Grandma has just been diagnosed with Celiac's disease, and one of the guests is allergic to peanuts, and they avoid all nuts, so almond flour is out. I know there are delicious flourless chocolate cakes out there, but since he's asked for a vanilla cake, which I've never heard of, the chocolate cake is out. DIL said I don't have to worry about gluten free, as her mother wouldn't want me to make one. She doesn't like gluten free products. But, I doubt she's had a gluten free cake from scratch, either. But, I don't make cakes very often, and have never worked with gluten free flour, so this cake could reinforce her experience of not liking gluten free products!

Any recipes or ideas? I don't have time to order anything ffrom King Arthur, but I did call around, and one store has Bob's Red Mill GF flour.

Here's a recipe from King Arthur Flour's website for yellow cake, which could probably pass as a vanilla cake to a 5 year old. It got mixed reviews.

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake

This cake's fabulous texture will make any cake lover smile. Double the ingredients for a classic two-layer birthday cake.

Note: you must use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to prepare the batter for this cake; mixing by hand doesn't do a thorough enough job.

  1. Volume

  2. Ounces

  3. Grams

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or brown rice flour blend*

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 tablespoons gluten-free King Arthur Cake Enhancer, optional

3/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons soft butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

*See recipe for this blend below.


Note: This recipe as written makes a single cake layer. To make a double-layer cake, double the recipe.

1) Preheat the oven to 350�F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan.

2) Whisk together the flour or flour blend, xanthan gum, and Cake Enhancer.

3) In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the sugar, soft butter, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until smooth. Add 1 egg, and beat for a minute or so at high speed, until fluffy.

4) Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Still using the mixer, beat in the other egg; the mixture should become quite fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again.

5) Continuing to use the mixer, beat in the milk, at low speed, alternately with the dry ingredients, adding about 1/3 of each at a time, and ending with the dry ingredients.

6) Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 25 minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes past the point where the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center, and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the middle comes out clean. The finished cake's internal temperature should be 210�F.

7) Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out of the pan to cool on a rack.

Yield: One 9" round cake. Ingredients can be doubled to make a layer cake.

I don't know enough to know if it's a good recipe or not, other than I trust King Arthur Flour.


Here is a link that might be useful: King Arthur Flour yellow cake recipe

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There's only one good answer to your question.....2 vanilla with flour and the other flourless chocolate without nuts.
Linda c

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:38AM
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There are any number of gluten-free mixes available these days - even our Wal-Mart has a whole isle of GF mixes and food items - so take a look at a health food store or "special foods" sections at stores.

If you can locate some coconut flour (check Gluten-Free foods section or Bob's Red Mill items), there are lots of cake recipes you can make with it. I use a lot of coconut flour because it's not only GF, but also low-carb. You will find a lot of GF recipes at the link below using coconut flour.

I'd also suggest the book "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife, N.D. for your future GF baking ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Coconut Flour Recipes

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 12:33PM
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That would be good, except DIL is allergic to coconut. I may just go ahead and do what Linda suggested. I don't want to make something no one would like, and the flourless chocolate cakes look quite good. I plan to go to one of our fancy grocery stores tonight. I'll see what they have in the way of gluten free flours and mixes.

Thanks for the help, as always. You all come through for me every time.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 3:35PM
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There is Williams Sonoma Cup4Cup, developed by Lena Kwak and Thomas Keller (French Laundry). You are supposed to be able to use it just as you would any ordinary flour (except you can't make yeast breads with it). Also, I've bought Betty Crocker's gluten-free cake mix and didn't find it to be noticeably different from regular cake mix.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 6:23PM
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Boston creme pie. It's got cake, it's got chocolate, and it's got pudding, which is gluten free!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 7:17PM
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It would be a crying shame to compromise the birthday boy's wishes on his birthday just because someone else has diet issues! I made a deal with some people at the picnic last year: You can't eat it? DON'T! And I won't shove it down your throat.

Nobody goes out of their way to make sure that the offerings are ALL to MY tastes! Sometimes you pass on things by choice or need but this politically correct world has conditioned us to feel guilty that some of us can eat peanuts and flour products.

I suggested that at the potlucks we go to that the celiacs bring celiac-friendly foods, the nut allergic bring their stuff and so on. Pretty simple really. And if they get sick, they have themselves to blame but there's always other options for them too but I shouldn't be compelled to worry about everyone else's problems nor them required to worry about mine. (I like peanut butter cookies, make great ones and like to share them!)

So I say make the boy's vanilla cake (one of my favorites) and have fruit for the others. Simple solution. Any complaints tell them they'll get to pick the cake on their birthday.

Wish the lad a happy birthday! :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:27PM
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Here's my go to Gluten free cake recipe. You can add extra vanilla or some vanilla bean to it for more vanilla flavor.

1 1/2 cups White Rice Flour
3/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
4 Eggs
1 1/4 cups White Sugar
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Milk
2 tsp. Gluten-Free Vanilla Extract
1 Tbs Lemon Or Orange Zest, Optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and rice flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.

2. Mix the white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.

3. Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, milk and vanilla and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pans.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely then frost, if desired.

Hope that helps. I usually flavor it with orange or lemon zest - but it would be good with vanilla bean.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 3:19AM
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Thanks again, everyone, for your input. I appreciate the recipe, too. I almost bought xanthum gum last night when I was at the store, since that recipe I saw called for it, but passed on it due to the price, $10.99. I went ahead and bought the Bob Red Mills AP gluten free flour, but didn't notice until it was too late that according to it's directions, xanthum gum is pretty much a requirement when using gluten free. I see that Bonnie's recipe calls for xanthum gum, too. I'll see if I can find a smaller or cheaper package of xanthum gum somewhere for future use, but for now, I'm going to not worry about it any more.

I'm going to make my grandson's cake tonight after work, and if I feel up to it, make a flourless chocolate cake, too. My DIL's mother didn't request a special cake, I just wanted to be able to include her. It was something I wanted to do for her, not because she was being demanding - quite the opposite. She's a very sweet lady.

Cynic, do you have a go to recipe for vanilla cake, since it's one of your favorites? Or, is yellow cake the same thing as vanilla cake?


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:44AM
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I have made this white cake for years.....but not FOR years if you get what I mean....what I mean was that it was an old favorite when I baked birthday cakes more often.

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sifted flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sifted cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
5 stiffly beaten egg whites
Cream sugar and butter together. Sift the flour, baking powder and cornstarch together. Alternate adding these to creamed mixture along with milk. Beat until very smooth. Add vanilla and then fold in egg whites that have been beaten until stiff. Bake in 2 greased and floured 8" round cake pans for 25 to 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Frost with Boiled White Icing.
Or....since he specifically asked for "vanilla cake, I might fill with a vanilla pastry cream and then top with that frosting where you mix egg whites, sugar and syrup in a double boiler and cook beating all the while until it's thick and holds it's shape

Here's what I have for a flourless chocolate cake.....came from this forum many years ago...

It is kind of like a cake textured hot fudge sauce served in slices. VERY rich
- so cut in thin slices.
Killer Chocolate Torte
2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks) cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons espresso powder
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (NOT unsweetened or semisweet)
6 large eggs at room temperature
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
powdered sugar for garnish
whipped cream (optional)
Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan with 2 3/4 inch sides. cut
parchment or wax paper to fit sides, and, and a circular piece to fit in the
bottom of the greased pan. Smooth paper against inner surfaces.
Melt 2 cups butter with the sugar and espresso powder in a heavy saucepan over
medium low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Add chocolate and stir until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted. Remove
from heat and cool slightly.
Whisk the eggs and additional yolks in a large bowl until frothy. CAREFULLY
fold into the chocolate mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan and place on a heavy baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated 325 degree oven until the edges puff and crack slightly
but the center is not quite set. Transfer to a rack and let cool.
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. to remove from pan, dip a sharp
thin knife in hot water and run it around the sides of the pan to loosen the
torte. Carefully release and remove the pan sides and the parchment. It will
have cracks in it, but this is normal.
Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar (if desired) and cut into very thin
slices with a sharp knife dipped into hot water, taking care to wipe the knife
after each cut. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Many servings.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Thanks, Linda. I've copied and pasted your cake recipes. I really appreciate your help.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 7:37PM
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