Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gluten Free Vanilla Cake


      We've had requests for gluten free recipes and I had to make a gluten free cake for close family friends who are moving, so it worked out nicely for this week's post.  This is really my first encounter with gluten free recipes.  I talked with one of my co-workers who I know buys special items for baking and found out that there are several stores in Evansville that carry gluten free items.  Elbert's Natural Food Store sells the rice and tapioca flour, xanthan gum, gluten free vanilla cake mix and more.  I looked at Walmart and found several flavors of gluten free cake mix that only made one layer and cost about $5. 
      I wanted to make a gluten free vanilla cake from scratch so I bought all the ingredients that I needed at Elbert's.  I also bought the gluten free vanilla cake mix, just in case the from scratch recipe didn't taste good or vice versa.  This stuff is very pricey!  It cost $25 for rice flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum.  All the other ingredients that I needed were gluten free.  I used a recipe from allrecipes.com.  When I tasted the batter, it didn't taste good.   It had a peculiar flavor.  I tasted the rice flour and it tasted fine.  The tapioca flour was the culprit that had the bad flavor.  I sprayed the pan with Bakers Secret which does contain flour but I didn't realize it until later.  I don't know if this small amount of flour would affect someone, but since it didn't taste very good, I didn't think I would serve it anyway. 
     Since I wasn't thrilled with the taste, I made the packaged gluten free vanilla cake mix.  This cake batter tasted much better.  It is made just like a regular cake mix with adding the eggs, oil, and water.  I baked it a little longer than the time suggested on the sack but wish I had gotten it out sooner.  The texture was a little different than regular cake mix and my toothpick didn't come out very clean, even right before I took it out.  I think it's just a stickier cake mix and the toothpick may not be the best way to tell if it's done.  I sprayed the pan with regular cooking oil spray and just added some rice flour and shook it around the pan so that the cake would come out cleanly. It didn't rise as much as a regular cake, but I iced and decorated it with my usual vanilla "birthday cake" icing.  I would not have known that it was gluten free by the taste because it did taste good. I'm going to put up another gluten free recipe later in the week, since this wasn't really a recipe. lol

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