Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Adventures in Cake Baking

Yesterday was an adventure in cake baking! And what an adventure it was. Since Brent cannot eat anything with wheat, our family meals have required the cook and baker (me!) to learn the delicate art of gluten-free food preparation. Baking without the fine qualities of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that traps the carbon dioxide gasses that makes baked goods rise, can be quite tricky. I decided to try a new recipe for Lemon Poppyseed Cake. The recipe called for potato starch, which I did not have. I know that potato starch and potato flour are not one-in-the-same, but decided to substitute it anyway. The batter filled one large cake pan and I put it in the oven to bake. Deciding it was pretty dense and looked quite heavy, I tried again, this time substituting cornstarch for the potato starch. When placed in oven number two, this cake rose so high that it seeped all over and down the sides. Hmmmmm. At that point I decided I had to take some drastic action and went back to the old stand-bye: chocolate cake. For some reason, gluten-free chocolate cake always turns out for me. By the time all the cakes were out of the oven, I decided the Lemon Poppyseed cake wasn't so bad after all, so ended up frosting both cakes and taking them with us to meet with friends for the evening. Both cakes were good; one dense but flavorful, and the other purely chocolate delight! Here's the recipe for the Lemon Poppyseed cake (the chocolate recipe has been shared previously on my blog):

Lemon Poppyseed Cake
From: My friend, Kim (adapted by me)

2 lemons
1 cup white rice flour (or brown rice flour)
2/3 cup potato starch (or cornstarch)
2/3 cup pecan meal (or almond meal)
1 cup organic unbleached sugar
1/4 cup poppy seeds
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (next time I'll use less)
substitute for 2 eggs*
1/2 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup soy milk
1/3 cup oil
4 tsp. tahini (sesame seed butter)
2 tsp. pure vanilla
(salt; not called for in original recipe)

Finely grate lemon rind and squeeze 1/4 cup of juice. Set lemon juice aside. Mix dry ingredients together with lemon rind. Sift or stir to remove all clumps. Whiz all liquid ingredients together in blender until smooth and creamy. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients all at once and stir until blended. Place in a prepared cake pan and bake at 350 degrees F. until toothpick comes out clean (about 40 minutes). Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 container 'Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese', plain
4 Tbsp. honey
1/2 cup soy milk powder
3 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Adjust liquid if needed. Garnish as desired.**

*2 tsp. egg replacer powder and 1/4 cup water

**I used unsweetened coconut flakes and freeze-dried raspberries.


  1. I have a cousin and also a niece who are need to avoid gluten and I am going to have them check your blog for recipes.
    I made the bridal shower cake for my niece, I made a meringe torte which was the only thing I could think of.
    The cake looks really yummy to me.
    I don't imagine you will be making any of my recipes.

  2. How did you get music on your blog. I love it.

  3. The cake looks wonderful. My dad had to on a gluten free diet for awhile. My mom would have loved your site as much as I do.

  4. That looks amazing! Especially compared to my failure at making a lemon-poppyseed cake two days ago... It's nowhere near good enough to post on my blog ;-P I will try your recipe at some point.


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