1 nasty cake! I'm so sad, my friend's daugher needs a gluten and dairy free cake and it's just awful. So is the frosting. I make the best chocolate frosting ever and I can't believe the difference it makes to remove the butter and milk. I'm used to people raving about the taste of my cakes and it's just not going to happen with this one.
I think the cake is as good as it's going to get. I used Pamela's Vanilla Cake Mix, replaced the water with oj, added good quality vanilla and added instant pudding mix. It's probably what gluten free cake tastes like. I've already decided that this is the only child I will bake gluten free for and next year I'll try a couple of scratch recipes.
I've made 2 tries at the frosting: #1 Bestlife "Buttery Baking Bars", cocoa, ps, almond milk, vanilla, #2 Crisco, cocoa, ps, almond milk, vanilla and I'm not pleased with either. In the morning I'm going to hit the grocery store for (maybe) butter flavored Crisco and non-dairy creamer to see if that's better. I'll use the best of the three, I guess.
At least it will be over-the-top pretty. SIGH. Thanks for listening .
There's a company called 1-2-3 Gluten Free that makes pretty good gluten-free and dairy-free cake mixes. I've also made really good chocolate frosting using shortening (Spectrum brand because my friend's son can't have soy either), powdered sugar and melted dark chocolate (which has no dairy).
My friend's son is on a gluten and casein (dairy) free diet and is allergic to soy. This is what I've made him for his birthday the last few years and he loves it. I've tried a bite and have to say it's pretty good.
I should add that the cake mix wasn't all that cheap, so I made cupcakes for the birthday boy and the remainder get frozen for him to have later. The cupcakes are for him, and I also make a regular cake for the rest of the party-goers.
Thanks, Chelle. I think I'll try melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa in frosting batch # 3, I already have some. I really hate that a whole bunch of people who have never had my cakes are going to have this one . On one hand, I'd like to do a great tasting cake for the other guests but I do really admire that my friends decided if one child must eat a restricted diet, the whole family would. And if you go to her birthday, you get the cake she can eat. C'est la vie, right?
I totally understand the thinking of the mom, and I kind of agree with it. The reason I did the cupcakes for the birthday boy and not the rest of the party is that the cake(s) were my gift (it's one of my best friend's sons) and the cost of making the gluten/casein free cake and frosting was quite high compared with the same amount of "regular" cake.
I would simply tell them that this is the first gluten/dairy free cake you've made and that you figured a mix would be the best way to go, and that you're working on a scratch recipe that will be much better tasting for next year. It's better that it's a friend, rather than an anonymous client, so they should understand.
We make gluten-free and dairy-free cakes just about every week, and most people can't tell that they are GF/DF. We use a proprietary cake recipe based on rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, soy milk, and eggs (eggs are optional). All our frosting recipes are dairy-free: we use shortening, soy-based margarine, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. For chocolate, you can use melted vegan chocolate chips (we use Whole Foods 365 brand) or Special Dark cocoa powder (confirmed by Hershey to be free of cross-contamination).
Making allergy-free cakes of any kind is more expensive and can take a lot of R&D to get right, but once you have good recipes and a good process, customers will happily pay a premium to get a cake for their kid's birthday party that everyone can eat instead of a special cake just for the kid.
Chelle, I'm floored at how exensive an endeavor this has has been! They do already know that I don't know how to bake gluten free and that I used a mix and they were fine with that. Now that I've slept on it, I'm starting to wonder if my expectations were just too high.
Jason, I appreciate your input. I think I'll try a mix of shortening and either the "Buttery baking sticks" I already have or read the labels on the margarines at the grocery store and choose one to mix in. Since I don't sell cakes, I'm not willing to put in the R & D required to come up with fabulous gf recipes . This cake is a favor for a friend.