Cooking Verses Baking
Birthday’s always call for a celebration, which means its OKAY to splurge a little! This week is one of my closest friends’ birthdays, and for me, that gives me an excuse to bake! While I do a heck of a lot more cooking than I do baking, I do really enjoy the process of baking. It’s such a relaxing activity, in my opinion, and the results are always the best part. There’s also many more precise directions and techniques when it comes to baking, so it gives a little extra challenge to the process, which I love.
Making A Gluten-Free Cake
Baking with gluten-free ingredients is definitely different from wheat-based ingredients, as the dry ingredients tend to be finer, which can make your results crumbly and flakey. The key to making a moist, gluten-free cake is finding the right substitutes for the ingredients an original cake uses. Sometimes, that means trial and error unfortunately.
I have had plenty of baking-fails due to use of improper flours or sweeteners. After trying almost flour, tapioca flour, gluten-free flour, and many more flour-substitutes, I have found tapioca flour to be the best substitute for baking flour, as it is closest in consistency, and results tend to be the most moist of the flours I have experimented with.
Xantham Gum is one of the main ingredients that give a gluten-free cake its fluffy richness. That, and folding in whipped egg whites, rather than adding the eggs whites straight into the batter, helps to keep the cake light and fluffy.
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour (352 grams)
- 2/3 cup tapioca starch (75 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk 2% milkfat
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup egg whites plus 3 tablespoons*
Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment until they are stiff and form peaks. This may take a minute or two. Pour the egg whites into another bowl and place them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to add them to the batter.
Using the same bowl that you used to beat the egg whites, place the softened butter in and cream the butter for about 2 minutes (using the beater blade attachmenuntil it is white in appearance.
Add the sugar to the butter and beat until fluffy (about another 1-2 minutes).
In a small bowl, combine the flour, tapioca starch (measured carefully*), salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the milk and vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture alternately with the milk.
Add the stiffly beaten eggs to the cake batter. Fold the egg whites in gently. Do not overmix at this point. If you do, your cake will become more dense.
Grease and flour 2 9″ round cake pans. Pour the cake batter equally into the prepared cake pans.
Bake the cakes at 350 degrees for 25-27 minutes or until the top bounces back when you touch it.
Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges and remove them from the pans to a wire rack, allowing them to cool completely.
One the cakes are cool, frost with your favorite frosting.
As I mentioned before, the key to making a gluten-free cake fluffy and light is folding in whipped egg whites into the batter. Whip the egg whites until they fold into peaks, and then add them to the remaining ingredients. Viola! You now have the perfect, moist and fluffy, gluten-free vanilla cake!