I love gluten-free baking, especially since discovering King Arthur’s gluten-free multi-purpose flour. I have a lot to learn about cakes, but finding just the right blend of gluten-free flours is no longer a requirement. For my non-gluten-free friends and family, crowd-pleasing gluten-free cakes are as easy as substituting the same amount of King Arthur’s gf flour blend for the regular flour called for in cake recipes. I’ve tried it now with an Alice Waters basic white cake recipe and the following adaptation of an epicurious.com recipe; both cakes were tasty, not too dry, and not too dense. I’d like to figure out how to make them even lighter and more moist, but that’s just the perfectionist in me.
I made this cake for my sister-in-law’s baby shower, inspired by my mom’s love for chocolate and raspberry, plus i heart baking‘s adorable baby shower cake. It was a blast to make, my first time playing with fondant, and made me excited for future cakes!
gluten-free chocolate raspberry layer cake and cupcakes
4 cups King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour
3.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups cocoa powder
4 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
2 cups strong, dark coffee, warm (not hot)
1.5 cups buttermilk
1.25 cups vegetable oil
1 13-oz jar raspberry preserves
make the cake and cupcakes
Make the coffee first so it has time to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 9-inch cake pans with butter. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds and grease rounds. Line 1-2 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
Sift gluten-free flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl; whisk to blend and form well in center. Whisk cooled coffee, buttermilk, oil, and eggs in medium bowl to blend. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk to blend. note: batter will be quite runny. Don’t let it worry you; the cake turns out marvelously. Measure 3 cups of cake batter into each cake pan; tap pans on the counter a few times to release bubbles and place in the oven on a middle rack (make sure there’s room for cupcakes on the rack below). Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans on a cooling rack, then remove from pans, cover with parchment paper and foil, and refrigerate until ready to decorate. Can be made one day ahead.
For the cupcakes, spoon the remaining batter into cupcake liners. Start by filling each cupcake with 2 Tbsp batter, then spoon in 1 tsp of raspberry preserves. Set preserves aside for cake layering. Top cupcakes with another 2-3 Tbsp of batter, or until liners are two-thirds of the way filled. Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
white chocolate cream cheese frosting
24 oz. white chocolate (Baker’s or Ghirardelli)
36 oz. cream cheese (I prefer Horizon Organic because it has the fewest ingredients)
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3.5 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp almond extract
Place white chocolate in a double boiler (make sure the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water) and stir until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted and smooth. Cool chocolate to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in butter. Beat in cooled white chocolate in 4 additions, then vanilla and almond extracts. If making multiple colors, divide and color as needed. I set aside approx. 2 cups of white frosting and made the rest a light yellow.
bringing it all together
2 6-oz containers of fresh raspberries, rinsed
If needed, level out cake layers as much as possible using a long, serrated knife. Place a small dab of frosting on a cake plate or serving platter. (I used yellow for the cake, white for the cupcakes and cake accents). Set the first cake layer on top of the icing. Spoon 4-6 Tbsp of raspberry preserves into the middle of the first layer and spread out, leaving a half-inch border along the edge. Arrange raspberries around the edge. I alternated the stem-end facing out and then in all around the layer, like this (picture shows frosting, keep reading for instructions):
Spread a layer of frosting over the raspberries and preserves. Top with the second cake layer, then repeat the preserves, raspberries, and frosting layer above. Add the third cake layer. To secure the cake (you’ll need it), cut 3-4 kabob skewers just short of the full cake height and insert into top layer, 1-1.5 inches from the edge. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the whole cake (a crumb layer), then cool in the freezer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from freezer and spread a second layer of frosting. Decorate as desired and enjoy!
Here are a couple of photos of my final product: