I Need A Gluten-Free Cake Recipe That Will Hold Up

Decorating By sunflowerfreak Updated 30 Dec 2008 , 1:15am by ceshell

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sunflowerfreak Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 3:38pm
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I am looking for a gluten free cake recipe that will hold up to decorating. I just made the flourless chocolate cake on CC and it just fell apart when I cut to tort it. Does anyone have any recipe that is gluten free but will hold up to being decorated? So something that I can tort, fill and decorate. Thanks


30 replies
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Kayakado Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 6:00pm
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try the almond pound cake on this site but up the almond meal to replace the cakeability cake aid. It also needs to be refrigerated overnite before eating, it will taste better.


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sunflowerfreak Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 7:06pm
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Unfortunately I don't have time to order the cakeability stuff. It would n't be here in time for when I need it.

I'm just not sure what gluten free cakes can hold up to being decorated. I was hoping someone out there might have tried some gluten free cake recipes and could give me the recipes. Thanks.

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sunflowerfreak Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 9:41pm
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allie73 Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 9:42pm
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This cake is absolutely delicious, and I do think that, if you chill it, you could torte it and decorate it. The longer it sits, the more delicious this cake becomes, so if you need some time to decorate, this will also be a good option for you. Here is the link:


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Liz1028 Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 10:01pm
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I have made gluten free cakes with a gluten free pancake mix that I get at my local health food store. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it (don't have any on hand; don't do them that much). But if you can find one in your area's health food store it works really well. I just replace it equals parts flour from the current recipe that I am working with. My clients were very pleased and said it was the best gluten free cake that they had ever eaten. Give it a try and good luck! icon_wink.gifthumbs_up.gif

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ceshell Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 10:05pm
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When do you need it by? I'm going to try the gluten-free yellow cake recipe from AllRecipes.com - the reviews on that site say it's terrific and nobody could tell it was GF. I'm going to put those comments to the test...however I won't be able to do it till I pick up some rice flour this weekend, so of course I don't know how it holds up.

Might I ask how you tried to torte the flourless choc cake? I did it once. I'll admit it was a major PITA but I used the wilton cake leveler -the cheap wire one, made sure the cake was not cold, and then repeatedly heated the wire over my stove so that it would slice thru the clay bar--I mean, chocolate. You have to go REALLY slow - heat, saw, wipe, heat, saw, wipe...a LOT (I said it was a pita right?!) but the point is, it IS possible! Because if you made it already you know how amazing it tastes . Add a layer of whipped choc. ganache for more height too and that cake is orgasmic!! Esp. if you fill it with raspberry. You could still even ice it on top of that if you wanted to go crazy.

Edited to add: Katie yours posted while I was still typing. When you come back to post the recipe could you please give us more info about the cake too, i.e. how it tastes? Is light or dense (since the flourless one is dense like a brownie, and insanely chocolatey)? Did you think it was gritty at all/how was the texture? Would you consider it suitable for non-gf people to eat, or is it really just meant for the person with gluten intolerance? Inquiring minds want to know!

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sunflowerfreak Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 10:40pm
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Katie I would love that recipe. It sounds like something I could use for this shower.

Ceshell I used a serrated knife to cut the cake. Your way sounds like it works. This gluten free cake is going as a top tier on a 4 tier cake. It's got to be as high as the other cakes which will be about 4 inches. The pan size will be a 6 inch. I think I would have to make 3 cakes to make the 4 inches. Maybe I should try making another one and cut it like you did. It does taste delicious that's for sure. I could put the raspberry in and use the ganche too. YUMMY!!

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pastryjen Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 10:55pm
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Bob's red mill.com makes a lot of gluten free products and mixes. I was going to try one out for my friend.

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ceshell Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 11:23pm
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Oh yeah, I used a serrated knife for my test cake and it totally destroyed the cake. The wire trick really works!! Slow and steady but it works.

Although the cake is not very tall (see the round pink gift box cake in my gallery--only the bottom part was this cake), if you torte successfully and use a nice 1/2" layer of whipped ganache, I think you'll get the 4" in only two cakes. Raspberry just makes this cake POP like you wouldn't believe, esp. if you make a fresh coulis.

Thanks for the info on the taste and texture Katie, I am looking forward to seeing the recipe, I may have to try it alongside the other!

Pastryjen, please post if you try any of those! I have also posted in other threads here where others have mentioned Polly's and Cherrybrook Kitchen, and someone who made an entire wedding cake out of a Bob's Mill mix and called it "delicious". Another said that Pamela's mixes were not grainy like scratch recipes can be.

If you go for a scratch "cake-like" cake: If the recipe uses rice flour, I've read that a) soaking the rice flour in the recipe's liquid for 10 minutes before adding it in will help reduce/eliminate the graininess, and b) if you can get your hands on Thai rice flour, it is more finely ground than what you find at the health food stores, and makes all the difference in the world. But do NOT use "sweet" or "glutinous" rice flour -- sticky rice flour will destroy your recipe. Thai rice flour is cheap, but if you don't have an Asian market nearby that carries it, shipping from the internet will kill you.

Oh what the heck, here are the threads I was referencing

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kathik Posted 20 Sep 2007 , 12:08am
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Hi Katie. I'd love to see the recipe as well, since I also have some requests for gluten free cakes. Please post it when you have time.


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ceshell Posted 20 Sep 2007 , 3:55am
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Thanks, you totally rock! I especially appreciate the first-hand info on the taste. I will be curious to see if the results are as good with the flour mix as written - I already have those ingredients for the other recipe.

I'll post here again next week when I've tried the yellow (or both?) out too icon_smile.gif.

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Melvira Posted 20 Sep 2007 , 2:57pm
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Oh man, Katie! You are a lifesaver! I need to make a GF chocolate cake this weekend and I've been stressing that it's going to be gross! But I know if people here think it's good... it's gonna be good! icon_wink.gif Can't wait to try this!

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BakingGirl Posted 20 Sep 2007 , 4:16pm
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There is a brand of cake mixes for people who cannot have gluten and for other food allergies. I have used the chocolate cake with great success in the past. I was able to fill and torte just as I would a regular cake. I don't know if you can get it in a regular grocery store in the US but you should be able to find it Wild Oats or Whole Foods.


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ceshell Posted 30 Sep 2007 , 12:35am
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Okay, I'm in the midst of my gluten-free bake-off but I just had to report in because I am AMAZED that this stuff works! Right now I have the Hershey's recipe in the oven so I'll write on that later. I just finished cooling the allrecipes.com "gluten-free yellow cake". I made this cake as written except I used Thai rice flour (supposedly a finer grain than what you'd fine in the health store) and also I made 1/2 the recipe normal, and 1/2 as a chocolate cake per the instructions of an allrecipes baker.

I just tried both, with and without icing. Can I say, they really aren't kidding when they tell you you cannot tell the cake is GF. It's kind of astonishing. The cakes do NOT have a "gritty" texture at all (I don't know if that's because of the specific rice flour I used) and are actually quite good. I'd say the choc. version is basically an "OK" chocolate cake. It's a little dry, although I may have overbaked it. It's not SUPER chocolatey, nothing to write home about, yet tasty nonetheless. I really was expecting some sort of weird "gluten-free" flavor, you know? It tastes like cake.

The yellow version was actually yummy. Now mind you, it's not as good as the gourmet recipes I prefer to use, but it's definitely GOOD and not just "passable" or "I can deal with this." The only thing it was lacking, for me, was that buttery taste...now mind you most of my cakes use butter, buttermilk, or both. But I do think if I actually ice it properly with a yummy filling, my GF friend will be astounded; she really thinks she can only have the decadent "flourless chocolate cake," or mousse, etc.

Other things I noticed:
The yellow cake is a little on the sweet side. I think I would pair it with a raspberry filling, as the tartness of the rasp. should cut the sweetness. Fresh pastry cream or mousse would be delicious with this but I don't want the cake to have to be refrigerated at the party. Really, any filling that is scant on the sugar would really make this cake pop. Also perhaps a bittersweet choc. icing, whether ganache or buttercream. Definitely not a shortening/powdered sugar icing...TOO sweet.

Both cakes developed a bit of a crust so when baking "for real" I will take into account the trimming of the cake--with regard to final cake size. The crust was the only thing where I had a "texture" issue and that's really just b/c the texture was...well...crusty!

I'm going to let my taste buds rest a while and try these again tonight, alongside the Hershey's recipe. Will check back later!

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shebellas Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 2:24am
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I can't wait to try the recipe...my friends husband has a gluten allergy and they're coming for dinner next month and I wanted to bake a cake...I'm gonna try this one!

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ceshell Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 4:03am
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Whoops, I never did come back to post the rest of my taste test results! I'm just going to put it all in one post so it's easier to access...so sorry for the repeat info:

I baked three GF cakes:
1. the Gluten-Free Yellow cake from Allrecipes.com http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Gluten-Free-Yellow-Cake/Detail.aspx
2. Same cake but a "chocolate" version per one of the reviewers on that site
3. Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate cake (GF version) as posted by ellantehalima on page one of this post

1. I stuck to this recipe exactly as written, however it's important to note that I did track down some Thai rice flour as suggested by a reviewer on allrecipes. I also soaked the flour in the recipe's liquid for a few minutes as suggested.

This was surprisingly good! I really was afraid to taste it, I just had low expectations for a GF cake, but as other people say, I could NOT believe that it was GF. It was cake! It had the texture of cake, tasted like cake...cake! My only comments are that it was a bit sweeter than a normal cake (but I haven't had a boxed cake in a while so it might even compare) and a bit plain. If I make it again I might experiment with a bit more (GF) vanilla, or perhaps a splash of buttermilk. But even so, the right fillings will just work perfectly. However since it's sweet I would not want an overly sweet filling, nor would I ice it with a vanilla powdered sugar icing....I'd stick with IMBC or if you go ps, do a chocolate icing so it's not as sweet. Also as mentioned before, the top and sides did tend to crust a bit, and that was the only place I detected that "grainy" texture sometimes complained about w/ GF cakes. So I just trimmed it off. Factor that in with regard to # servings since you lose some cake.

2. The chocolate version involved adding 1/2 c cocoa and an additional 1/4c sugar. This was great too! Just tasted like a nice, light chocolate cake. Not as stunning as my favorite chocolate cake recipes, but totally workable and again, really good w/the right fillings/icing. Due to the added cocoa, it didn't leave that "sweet" tang in my mouth either. It didn't really taste dry after all, it was just drier compared to the Hershey's. (Caveat: I did my side-by-side test several days later after having frozen ALL three cakes...maybe it got moister then?) Also, for whatever reason, I did not have to trim this one.

3. The Hershey's was my favorite for two reasons: it was more chocolatey and also did not require the use of xanthan gum (not that it mattered, I'd already bought it) so that cuts out an expensive ingredient. This cake was denser than the other two, I see what others mean by saying "brownie-like" but I'd say, that means a cake-like brownie, not a chewy, fudgy brownie.It's still a cake texture, but a bit more dense and spongy. Not knowing the science of xanthan gum, I do wonder if it would be lighter if I added the xanthan. Anyway I thought it had the best flavor but then again I'm a chocoholic.

Before asking him to test all three and choose his favorite cake, I did NOT tell my husband that these were all GF. Upon eating them, he still had NO idea, and after rating them he wolfed down all three sample slices. They're that indistinguishable. He rated the Hershey's #1 for himself but he actually rated it last "for others" due to the denser texture, he just figured people would prob prefer the lighter, fluffier texture of cake 2, or else cake 1. However he also came up with this brilliant idea: pair the Hershey's with the GF chocolate version (of the yellow cake) and BANG home run. He was right! It was amazing. I don't know if I'd go to the trouble though, unless you are really dying to impress someone.

Also for whatever it's worth I used Callebaut (dutch-processed) cocoa, and I know that quality cocoa can affect your cake. Just a disclaimer. Of course none of these tops your basic "flourless chocolate cake" which to me is heaven on a plate, but that is really more of an intensely rich chocolate "dessert" whereas these are all truly cake.

For the baby shower, I am going to bake cake #2, fill it with a vanilla custard (bavarian cream type) filling and ice it with whipped chocolate ganache. If I have enough of the Hershey's cake in my freezer I actually WILL take hubby up on his suggesting adding a layer of that cake into this cake (i.e. 3 layer cake). It was a delicious fudgy addition. Otherwise I think the ganache will suffice!

Sorry so long but I hope this info helps all of you and also anyone else searching the forums in the future.

Happy gluten-free baking!

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jules06 Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 9:34am
post #18 of 31

I haven't read all of the posts yet but I recently made a gluten - free choc.mud cake just by substituting the normal flour for a gluten free flour mix , that I bought.."Orgran gluten free all purpose plain flour "

I tasted it & I couldn't tell it was gluten free !

hope this helps icon_biggrin.gif

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Melvira Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 1:07pm
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Just another vote in favor here... I tried the GF perfectly chocolate cake posted here, my GF Friend went nuts. He single handedly ate the entire cake over the process of three days!! I also made one for my family to 'taste test' and they thought it was marvelous! I did use the mixture of rice flour, potato and tapioca as outlined in the recipe. The batter has a nasty aftertaste when not baked though, so try to avoid licking the spoon! Hehehehe!

Anyway, thanks for sharing that recipe, it's a winner!

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KittyPTerror Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 11:10pm
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If the texture makes it a pita to torte, could you bake two or three thin layers? I've done that before to avoid torting regular sheet cakes- plus they bake really quickly.

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ceshell Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 11:26pm
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Isn't it kind of fun to know that you can bring yummy cake to those who thought they'd never be able to eat a cake again icon_smile.gif

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ceshell Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 11:33pm
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Oh KittyP, just saw your message. All of these GF recipes should torte fine, since they are all a "cake" texture.

The amazingly sinful "flourless chocolate cake," since it's essentially just chocolate, sugar, butter and egg, has a rather solid texture...I likened it to trying to cut a clay bar. That said, yes for SURE you could bake it in thinner layers, the only reason I personally didn't was that I didn't want to have to figure out baking time, since you can't do a toothpick test on a flourless chocolate cake. I figured the safer route was to bake as directed and then saw thru it with my hot wire. But frankly I'd prefer your suggestion!

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sunflowerfreak Posted 8 Oct 2007 , 11:50pm
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I did end up making the Flourless Chocolate Cake posted here on CC. I didn't torte it. I just made 3, 6 inch cakes and put chocolate mousse in the middle. It was sooo delicious. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a gluten free cake recipe. People who didn't have to have gluten free cake were trying it and saying how wonderful it was. It's so dense and chocolately. YUMMY.

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golfgirl1227 Posted 9 Oct 2007 , 1:45am
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I've used the mixes from Cherrybrook Kitchen before. I thought they weren't so great, but the person that tasted them thought they were really good. I guess if you are used to a gluten free diet, you are used to the way things taste................ but if these cakes taste like "real" cake, then I'm definitely giving them a try!

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ceshell Posted 16 Dec 2008 , 1:51am
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You know, this thread is over a year old but I just wanted to throw a shout-out your way regarding that first cake, the GF yellow cake I tested. Last week I made en entire cake out of this, "for real" (i.e. not as a tester) for my friend's kid's 1st bd party. The only change I made to the recipe was, I used half buttermilk half milk, and added an extra tsp of vanilla. I am telling you right now: GREAT cake! Mind you, all by itself it is still a little bland, the key is pairing it with a good filling. I used semisweet+caramel ganache, and the buttery goodness of the caramel added the perfect richness and the chocolate added just the right extra flavor. At a party of 35 people, not a single one of them had a clue they were eating GF cake. Instead, everyone was raving about the cake. (It didn't hurt that I iced it in IMBC too). The cake was moist and had a good texture, a bit like a sponge cake. But not so much that someone who doesn't like sponge-cake would dislike it (a friend was there who hates sponge cake. She liked it too.)

What a blast to make such a delicious GF cake. My celiac gf seriously had no idea she could still eat yellow cake, she thought all GF cakes tasted strange. Hooray for whoever posted that on AllRecipes!

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SugarBakerz Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 8:23pm
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thanks ceshell, going to try this out in the coming months so dd won't feel left out!

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ceshell Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 11:12pm
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You're welcome. Not only will your DD love you for it, but YOU will love you too!! icon_smile.gif

When I did the yellow one again this year, I first baked another sample cake to make sure I wasn't off base in my original review of the recipe. As mentioned, I paired it with caramel/semisweet ganache. Can I tell you, I ate the entire 4" sample cake all by myself, I wouldn't share it with anyone in the house. It was unbelievable to me that a GF cake could actually be that good. The caramel really added the buttery richness you want in a cake, I highly recommend that step!!

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SugarBakerz Posted 24 Dec 2008 , 7:18pm
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do you know where I can purchase all of the different types of flours and the xanthan gum?

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ceshell Posted 25 Dec 2008 , 8:14am
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Well...that's a tough question, only because I live in LA and you can find all of this stuff locally here. For the rice flour, I used Thai rice flour which I found at a local Asian market (not all Asian markets carried it, but one was able to get it for me). It was only like $2.00 for the 16oz bag. I know you can buy it online at http://importfood.com/fger1602.html but I don't know what shipping is...my guess is shipping is one of those stupid flat rates where you pay 3x the cost of the item just to ship it thumbsdown.gif but who really knows. According to reviewers at Allrecipes, you won't get the same results if you use the "sweet rice flour" found in the Asian food aisle in your supermarket, but I haven't actually tested that theory.

I think I also found Tapioca flour at the Asian market.

Xanthan gum I found at the health food supermarket. We have a good one called Sprouts that is not outrageously expensive. Xanthan gum is a lot of $$, although you don't use much at one time. I have seen written on the web that another gum can be substituted but I'll be darned if I can recall what that other product was. It's also supposed to be cheaper in a vitamin supplement store than in a baking aisle of a specialty market. It's only $6 on Amazon BUT then another $6 shipping!! icon_mad.gif

In our normal markets, there is an organics aisle where the tapioca flour and xanthan gum can be found, but the markup is pretty painful because it is marketed as a specialty "solution" food for GF people, you know what I mean? I know Bob's Red Mill carries it...also that same Asian food online market I just linked to above, carries the tapioca flour and it's cheap (before shipping). http://importfood.com/fgga1401.html

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SugarBakerz Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 7:25pm
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ok, so I hit a Publix while visiting my parents in Montgomery.... they had a great selection of things to choose from. I got Bobs rice flour and another brand, still no xanthan gum. Could it perhaps be quar gum you were referring to ceshell?

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