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    The Emergency GFCF Birthday Cake

    February 25, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Baby Q. had a birthday bash that was beyond simple. Besides the fact that I hadn’t really perfected a gluten-free/casien-free cake recipe {which really must also be soy-free and free of all artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors…now you see why it is difficult}, I was also in the peak of my morning sickness. This doesn’t exactly incline me towards cooking.

    So anyhow, eventually we sent out an evite and said we were having an evening, no-frills birthday gathering. There had been murmurings amongst family members about our neglected third child, you see. So the cake was inevitable.

    And here she is:

    Okay, so let’s talk recipes and decorating.

    Those are real flower petals on the cake, by the way. The older children had gone for a walk with their great-grandfather and came home with handfuls of purple flowers. This was helpful for an emergency cake!

    First, the cake.

    This cake is from the back of the Ener-G Foods box of pure tapioca flour. It is actually a decent recipe, modified by yours truly:

    Tapioca White Cake
    4 eggs, separated
    1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
    1 cup olive oil
    2/3 cup sugar
    2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract {make yourself a month ahead using potato vodka and vanilla beans}
    1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    2 level cups tapioca flour

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Set aside. In large bowl, mix oil and sugar together. Beat in vanilla and egg yolks. In medium bowl, sift together baking powder, baking soda and tapioca flour. Thoroughly mix dry mixture into oil mixture. Fold in whipped egg whites.

    This is equivalent to one box of cake mix, so think accordingly when baking it. For the cake in the photo, I baked it in two 9-inch rounds at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Like all cakes, make sure a tester comes out clean before removing from oven.

    Allow to cool about 10 minutes before turning out on a rack. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

    So now we are on to the frosting! But I’m going to give you the recipe for the frosting I now use, not the frosting in the photo. I wasn’t happy with that frosting. The kids had a reaction and it turned out that the shortening I used had traces of soy. Kimbrah introduced me to a far superior shortening, and I now suggest it for all frostings.

    A note about frostings: the recipe adds vanilla extract. This, naturally, makes vanilla flavored frosting. If you would like a different flavor, add a different extract. If you would like a different color, add food coloring. If your child is allergic, there are natural colorings available. I do not have a favorite yet, but when I do, I will announce it! If you want brown, like I used as an accent color on the cake pictured above, just pull some of the vanilla frosting and add unsweetened cocoa powder until you get the color you like. It’ll taste like chocolate frosting. I do have a chocolate frosting recipe, but I wouldn’t suggest it for accent colors because it is labor-intensive. For accents, just add the cocoa powder to a reserved portion of the white to save you time!

    This recipe is based on the Wilton icing recipe, but I try to specify the exact ingredients we use for our sensitive children.

    Basic GFCF White Frosting
    1 cup Spectrum Naturals Organic Shortening
    1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
    1 lb. box powdered {confectioner’s} sugar
    2 Tb. water

    In large bowl, cream shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add water and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using. Note: If it is too dry, add more water, a tiny bit at a time!

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Kimbrah February 26, 2008 at 2:41 am

    That is so pretty! Good job!


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