Friday Feature: Let Them Eat (Gluten-free, Chocolate) Cake. . .

There are two particular items which gluten free cooks seem to have trouble adjusting to fit their dietary needs: pizza and cake. (Sometimes the gluten free life is a sad life.  But I’m here to fix that. *cue heroic music*)

The America’s Test Kitchen gluten-free cookbook is a gem. I used their chocolate cake recipe for the cake layer in my sister Rebecca’s chocolate chip cheesecake cake. But I was disappointing to discover that it was downright–dry. Disappointing to get from them, to say the least. In the ATK cookbook, each recipe is prefaced by an explanation of the methods used and a little background on how they got that recipe to where it was. It delves a little into the science of cooking–a must for anyone trying to bake something without gluten.

So I took a cue from another one of their recipes and substituted full-fat sour cream for the usual buttermilk. To give it extra lift, I used the sponge cake method of whipping the egg whites and sugar into a meringue. The generous amount of fat keeps the cake from turning dry.

It’s relatively a simple recipe. don’t be daunted by the gluten free flours or the meringue. I daresay your worst enemy is over-baking. It has a moist yet light texture and a fine crumb, and it’s delicious cold.


1 1/2 cups oil

2/3 + 1/2 cups cocoa

1 cup America’s Test Kitchen flour blend (recipe within the link.)
2/3 + 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs, separated
1 1/8 tsp. Baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease, parchment and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
Into a medium size bowl sift flour blend, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
In a glass bowl separate egg yolks, placing the whites in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid. To the egg yolks add the oil, sour cream and vanilla. Whisk until emulsified.
Whip the egg whites in the mixer with whisk attachment until foamy. Slowly add the sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in egg yolk/oil mixture, then sift the dry ingredients in increments.
Divide evenly among the pans. Bake for 20-25 or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached. Note: this may need adjusted accordingly. I hit the perfect number and then I forgot to write it down. (Of course, you did Lydia, of course.)
Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks. Store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temp until use.
Frost generously with your favorite frosting/filling. (I did lavender Swiss meringue buttercream and dark chocolate ganache and topped it with lavender macarons. The ganache seized [unfortunately] and by it was all said and done and eaten I was thoroughly tired of lavender, but it was lots of fun to make. The cake layers themselves were definitely the star.)

3 thoughts on “Friday Feature: Let Them Eat (Gluten-free, Chocolate) Cake. . .

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