Banana Split Chiffon Cake

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This gluten-free banana split chiffon cake has a nice intense banana flavor and a texture similar to that of a regular, gluten-full cake.  The combination of banana and chocolate is delicious.  However, it didn’t turn out quite as fluffy as other gluten-free chiffon cakes I’ve made, so if you’re looking for the chiffon cake texture, check out the citrus chiffon cake, Earl Grey chiffon cake, or chocolate chiffon cake.

 

 

Baking notes:

  • I only have one 8″ pan with 3″ sides and one with 2″ sides, so I poured a little under 2/3 of the batter into the tall pan and the rest into the short pan.  The tall one took a total of 45 minutes to bake, while the short one took 40 minutes.
  • 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 if you won’t finish eating it the day it’s made, you should definitely frost it with whipped cream to keep it moist.

 

Banana Split Chiffon Cake
Inspired by Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible

For the cake:

  • 7 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 large, overripe bananas, peeled and broken into rough chunks
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the whipped cream frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

 

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and set aside three 8″ round baking pans.  Line them with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend bananas, oil, and lemon juice until smooth, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Add egg yolks and vanilla and bland until combined, about 10 seconds.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.
  5. Make a well in the center and pour in banana mixture.
  6. Beat on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  8. If you don’t have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.
  9. In the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until they are foamy.
  10. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when beater is raised.
  11. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until mixture is stiff and glossy.
  12. Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the banana mixture and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
  13. 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.
  14. Divide batter between pans.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. Unmold cakes carefully, because they are fragile.
  18. Again using the mixer with the whisk attachment, make the whipped cream: Beat together 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar on medium speed until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.  Scrape into a clean bowl.
  19. Without cleaning the mixing bowl or the whisk attachment, beat together 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and cocoa powder until fluffy and well mixed.  The chocolate filling will be on the thicker side.
  20. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 1/2 of the filling.  Top with the second layer and spread with the rest of the filling. The thick filling is a little hard to spread, but be patient and don’t be afraid to use your fingers to help.
  21. Top with the third layer.  Using the whipped cream, frost first the sides and then the top of the cake.  Make sure there is no exposed cake, because gluten-free cake dries out quickly.
  22. Refrigerate the cake if you’re not serving it the same day.

 

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Earl Grey Chiffon Cake

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This chiffon cake tastes like Earl Grey tea in solid form – you have the flavor of the cake layers, kept moist by the frosting, and the fluffy whipped cream melding together deliciously in your mouth.

Baking Notes:

  • 1 Bigelow teabag contains 1 teaspoon of finely ground tea, so you can skip the grinding step
  • 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 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

 

Earl Grey Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Just One Cookbook

Yield: 2-layer 8″ cake

For the cake:

  • 2 teaspoons Earl Grey loose tea leaves OR 2 teabags
  • 1 Tablespoon Earl Grey loose tea leaves OR 3 teabags
  • 6 Tablespoons hot water
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 28 grams + 57 grams granulated sugar (total of 1/2 cup minus 1 Tbsp, if you don’t have a scale)
  • 3 Tablespoons flavorless oil (such as vegetable or canola)
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the whipped cream frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line an 8″ round baking pan with aluminum foil to make cake removal easier.
  2. Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind 2 teaspoons tea leaves into a fine powder.  If you don’t have either, put tea leaves in a bag and crush them.
  3. In a fine sieve in a mug or a bowl, steep 1 tablespoon tea leaves in 6 tablespoons hot water to make a strong tea.  Cool, remove tea leaves, and set aside.  You will only use 4 tablespoons of the tea (although I found that the teabags absorbed about 2 tablespoons of liquid anyway).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yolks and 27 grams sugar.
  5. Whisk in oil, 4 tablespoons tea, and 2 teaspoons finely ground tea leaves until thoroughly combined.
  6. Whisk in baking powder and flour, making sure there are no lumps.
  7. In a separate large mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with 57 g sugar and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy.
  8. Add a large scoop of the whipped egg whites to the cake batter and mix gently but thoroughly to lighten the batter.
  9. 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.
  10. Pour batter into pan and gently smooth top with a rubber spatula.
  11. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes without opening the oven door during this time. Increase heat to 350°F and bake for about 15 minutes longer. The cake is 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.
  12. As soon as you remove cake from oven, lay 2 thick wooden spoon handles (or chopsticks) across the top of the pan and place a shallow bowl upside down on top of the handles/chopsticks.  Invert the arrangement and cool cake completely upside down.  This step is important, because otherwise the cake will sink.  It looks like this:
    IMG_5434
  13. Unmold cake carefully, because it is fragile, and slice it in half horizontally.
  14. Using a mixer on medium speed, beat together heavy cream and powdered sugar until whipped cream holds stiff peaks.
  15. Place one cake layer cut side down on a serving plate and spread with ~1 cup whipped cream.  Top with the second layer cut side down.
  16. Frost first the sides and then the top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
  17. Refrigerate the cake if you’re not serving it the same day.

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.