Chocolate Chiffon Cake

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If you’re searching for a light, fluffy, gluten-free chocolate cake, look no further!  Since whipped egg whites provide the structure for the cake, the lack of gluten is not noticeable.  I can barely taste a difference from chocolate chiffon cake made with cake flour.  If you want to get a little fancy, you can crumble a couple almond crackle cookies and sprinkle the bits over the top of the cake.

Baking Notes:

  • Separate the eggs when cold, then allow the whites to come to room temperature before beating them.
  • The gluten-free cake dries out fast compared to regular cake, so frost it as soon as it cools to seal in moisture.  Then store it in an airtight container.

 

Chocolate Chiffon Cake
Inspired by Taste of Home

Yield: Two-layer 8″ cake

For the cake:

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3/4 cup+2 tablespoons gluten-free OR cake flour
  • 3/4 cup+2 tablespoons sugar (divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the whipped cream frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup marmalade

 

  1. After separating, let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together cocoa and water until smooth.  Cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside an 8″ round baking pan with 3″ sides.  If using gluten-free flour, line it with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, and vanilla.
  6. Add egg yolk mixture and cocoa mixture to dry ingredients.  Beat or stir vigorously until well blended.
  7. In another large bowl, using clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until they form soft peaks.
  8. Gradually add 1/4 cup+2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  9. Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
  10. Add the remaining egg whites in 3 additions.  Gently fold into the batter using a large wire whisk, making sure to scrape down the bottom of the bowl frequently.
  11. Gently scrape batter into pan and gently smooth top with a rubber spatula.
  12. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes without opening the oven door during this time. Increase heat to 350°F and bake an additional 15 minutes.  The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or when the surface springs back immediately after pressing on it with a finger.
  13. As soon as you remove cakes from oven, lay 2 thick wooden spoon handles (or chopsticks) across the top of each pan and place a shallow bowl upside down on top of the handles/chopsticks.  Invert each arrangement and cool cakes completely upside down.  This step is important, because otherwise the cakes will sink.  It looks like this:
    IMG_5434
  14. Unmold cake carefully, because it is fragile, and slice in half horizontally.
  15. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
  16. Scoop about 1 1/2 cups frosting into a small bowl, and fold in 1/3 cup marmalade to make the filling.
  17. Place one cake layer cut side down on a serving plate and spread with the filling.  Top with the second layer cut side up.
  18. Frost first the sides and then the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
  19. Refrigerate the cake in an airtight container if you’re not serving it immediately.

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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My friends and I loved this flourless chocolate cake.  It’s very rich and intensely chocolate-y.

Original recipe

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake
From Epicurious

Yield: 8″ cake

  • 4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus additional for sprinkling if desired)

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375°F.  Butter an 8-inch round baking pan.  Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.  Make sure the paper sticks completely to the buttered pan and lies flat, or it will make an indentation in the cake.
  2. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. (Alternatively, melt chocolate with butter in a small non-stick pot over very low heat, stirring constantly.  Be careful not to burn the chocolate.)
  3. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.
  4. Add eggs and whisk well.
  5. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust.  Don’t worry if the cake is domed when it comes out of the oven, because it will flatten as it cools.
  7. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
  8. Dust cake with additional cocoa powder, if desired.
  9. The cake can be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

Citrus Chiffon Cake

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Because chiffon cakes rely on egg whites rather than gluten to rise, they work like a dream even when gluten free.  This citrus chiffon cake is light and fluffy and tastes like you made it with ordinary cake flour.

Baking Notes:

  • Use fresh eggs, because the egg whites will fluff up more when beaten.
  • Separate the eggs when cold, then allow the whites to come to room temperature before beating them.
  • The original recipe calls for Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour, but I used the Trader Joe’s variety and it worked great.
  • The citrus flavor of the cake is subtle, so either use the marmalade filling or eat the cake plain.  Only frosting with whipped cream will wash out the cake’s citrus flavor and make the whole thing taste plain.
  • The gluten-free cake dries out fast compared to regular cake, so if you won’t finish eating it the day it’s made, you should definitely frost it with whipped cream to keep it moist.

Original recipe (for a plain chiffon cake)

Citrus Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill

Yield: 8″ three-layer cake + 1 extra layer to eat yourself OR 10″ tube pan cake

For the cake:

  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grated citrus zest (lemon, orange, cutie/clementine…)

For the whipped cream frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup marmalade
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside two 8″ round baking pans OR 10″ tube pan OR angel food pan.  If using round cake pans, line them with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup sugar.  Set aside.
  3. In a clean large bowl, beat yolks, milk, oil, vanilla extract, and zest until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to yolk mixture and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
  5. In a separate large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy.
  6. Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the cake batter and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
  7. Add the remaining egg whites in 3 additions.  Gently fold into the batter using a large wire whisk, making sure to scrape down the bottom of the bowl frequently.
  8. Divide batter between pans and gently smooth tops with a rubber spatula.
  9. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes without opening the oven door during this time. Increase heat to 350°F and bake an additional 15-20 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or when the surface springs back immediately after pressing on it with a finger.
  10. As soon as you remove cakes from oven, lay 2 thick wooden spoon handles (or chopsticks) across the top of each pan and place a shallow bowl upside down on top of the handles/chopsticks.  Invert each arrangement and cool cakes completely upside down.  This step is important, because otherwise the cakes will sink.  It looks like this:
    IMG_5434
  11. Unmold cakes carefully, because they are fragile, and slice each in half horizontally.  Use the 3 nicest layers for the cake, and save the 4th to eat yourself.  (The cake tastes just as good plain.  Alternatively, you could make a really tall four-layer cake, or 2 two-layer cakes.)
  12. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
  13. Scoop 1 1/2-2 cups frosting into a small bowl, and fold in 1/3 cup marmalade to make the filling.
  14. Place one cake layer cut side down on a serving plate and spread with 1/2 of the filling.  Top with the second layer cut side down and spread with the rest of the filling.  Top with the third layer, cut side up.
  15. Frost first the sides and then the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
  16. Refrigerate the cake if you’re not serving it the same day.

Carrot Cake

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Like most dense cakes, carrot cake turns out well gluten free.  The coconut, pineapple, and cranberries or raisins add extra flavors and texture, and help hold the cake together.  And you just can’t go wrong with cream cheese frosting.

For baking instructions for a gluten-full version, see here.

Original recipe

 

Carrot Cake
Adapted from All Recipes

Yield:  Two-layer 9″ round cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk OR buttermilk OR plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 (8-oz) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup cranberries OR raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour two 9″ round pans.
  2. Mix together eggs, milk (OR buttermilk OR plain yogurt), vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Mix in cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Stir in shredded carrots using a large wooden spoon.
  6. Stir in coconut, crushed pineapple and juice, cranberries OR raisins, and walnuts and pecans, if using.
  7. Pour batter into cake pans.
  8. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack.
  10. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Cake

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This pumpkin cake turns out to be soft and moist even when gluten free.  I personally love the combination of chocolate and pumpkin flavors, but you could also top it with cream cheese frosting.

Original recipe

 

Pumpkin Cake
Adapted from All Recipes

Yield: Bundt cake

For the cake:

  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (about 15 oz.) canned pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the topping:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil.
  3. Beat in vanilla, pumpkin, and eggs.
  4. Beat in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  5. Gradually beat in flour.  Stir in nuts, if using.
  6. Pour batter into bundt pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes if gluten free OR 40-45 minutes if not.  A thin knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. 
  8. Cool cake in pan and then turn it out onto a serving plate.
  9. Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave, pausing often to stir.
  10. Spoon melted chocolate over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides.

Ice Cream Layer Cake

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This no-churn ice cream cake is simple to make and customizable.  You can layer it with your favorite jelly or fruit preserves – a sweeter one if you have a serious sweet tooth, or a more sour one (I used marmalade) to cut the richness of the ice cream.  Because the no-churn ice cream doesn’t melt like real ice cream, you can leave it out for a few hours, making it a good potluck or party cake.

Original cake recipe

Original no-churn ice cream recipe

 

Ice Cream Layer Cake
Adapted from New York Times and Food Network

Yield: 9″ x 4″ cake

For the ice cream:

  • 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup jelly or preserves of your choice

 

Bake the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with aluminum foil and grease it well.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl, then beat in vanilla extract and eggs.
  4. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  5. With the mixer on low, beat in half the flour, followed by the milk, and then the remaining flour.
  6. Transfer batter to pan and spread it into a thin, even layer.
  7. Bake until cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly, 10-12 minutes.
  8. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Run a small thin knife or spatula around the cake, then carefully lift out the aluminum foil with the cake still on it.  Place on wire rack to cool completely.  (The gluten-free cake is fragile, so you want to handle it as little as possible.)

Make the ice cream:

  1. Whisk together condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Whip the cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until firm peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  3. Fold about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then fold the lightened mixture into the whipped cream until well blended.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Line a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 6-inch overhang on each side.
  2. Cut cooled cake into thirds, making three rectangles 9″ x 4 1/3″ each. (You want a 1/4-inch border of space around each cake layer once it’s in the loaf pan; depending on the shape of your pan, you may need to trim cake.)
  3. Add 1 1/3 cups of the cream mixture to pan and smooth into an even layer.
  4. Run a thin knife under the first third of the cake to loosen it, and carefully transfer it into the pan.  The gluten-free cake is fragile, but don’t worry if it breaks, because the ice cream will hold everything together.
  5. Press down slightly on cake layer so cream comes up and around the sides of it evenly.
  6. Spread half of the jam or preserves on the cake layer.
  7. Add another 1 1/3 cups of the cream; a cake layer, pressing down slightly so cream comes up and around sides; and remaining jam or preserves.
  8. Add another 1 1/3 cups cream, then top with final cake layer, pressing down slightly so cream comes up and around sides.
  9. Use plastic overhang to wrap cake up tightly. Freeze in the pan until firm, at least 8 hours.
  10. You’ll have some cream left over, which you can freeze in a separate container.  See here for ideas for no-churn ice cream.
  11. To serve the cake, remove from freezer, unwrap, and invert onto a serving plate.  Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Ginger Pound Cake

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This recipe is for ginger lovers!  It’s a gingery cake studded with bits of crystallized ginger.  You can personalize it for your taste buds by playing with the amounts of ground and crystallized ginger.  It’s also great for using up the leftover evaporated milk from a full bundt-pan’s worth of golden pound cake.

The original golden pound cake recipe is here:

Original Betty Crocker recipe

 

Pound Cake
Adapted from Betty Crocker and Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: One 9″ x 4″ loaf cake

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger (you can double or even triple this if you love ginger)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease and flour a 9″ x 4″ loaf pan.
  2. Beat butter until creamy, then beat in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Set mixer to high speed and beat mixture for 5 minutes.  (The 5 minutes of beating doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re using gluten-free flour, so you can skip this part.)
  4. Beat in baking powder, ginger, and salt.
  5. Beat in gluten-free OR all-purpose flour alternately with evaporated milk.
  6. Stir in chopped crystallized ginger.
  7. Pour into prepared cake pan.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan for about 20 minutes, then remove from pan onto a wire rack and cool completely (about 40 minutes).