Chocolate cake Gluten free AND dairy free

I don’t usually bake without dairy but a good friend needed a birthday cake for a large event.  It is her birthday, and she is both gluten and dairy free.

This is a modification of a very basic chocolate cake recipe.  Any cake where you whip the butter, sugar, and eggs into a fluffy base will adapt well to gluten free ingredients.  I used coconut oil for this one.  The taste of it with the sugar and eggs was very similar to butter in the same recipe.  The consistency was the same as well.

No gluten free cake will be as light as one made with wheat cake flour.  This one has a nutty flavor and smooth consistency.

2 1/4 cups four bean flour.  mostly garbanzo, some sorghum, some corn starch, tapioca.  I would recommend this mix rather than any one flour.  They each make a different contribution.

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt.  Original recipe said 1/2 but without butter I though the extra was called for.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

4-6 oz good quality semi sweet chocolate.  I used a 70 % bar meant to be eaten rather than one made to be baked with.  I used 6 oz.  Original recipe called for 4.

1/2 cup hot water

Place water and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes on defrost or melt together in a double boiler.  Stir until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

1 cup coconut based buttermilk.  I bough some plain coconut ‘yogurt’ and thinned it with coconut milk.  1/4 c milk to 3/4 c yogurt. Then I added some lemon juice because it was still very sweet and the point of it is the acidity.

1 teaspoon vanilla.  I never measure vanilla. I like a lot and buy it by the gallon in Mexico.

Mix vanilla in yogurt mixture. Set aside.

1 cup coconut oil (or butter)

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

Mix coconut oil and sugar with whisk attachment on high until fluffy.  Oil must be room temp or warmer.  Even melted is better than too cold.  It will stiffen up as you mix it and the eggs can be cold when you add them.  Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.  Scrape down the sides at least once before final mixing.

Add chocolate to egg mixture slowly and allow to mix thoroughly.  Mixer on medium.

Turn mixer down to low or stir. Add flour mixture alternately with yogurt mixture in at least two additions of each.  So, half the yogurt, half the flour, half yogurt etc…

I really like silicone baking pans.  But you can also use glass or metal ones.  If they are not silicone, grease and flour the pans.  Either two 9 inch rounds or a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Bake at 350 for  45 minutes.    My cake on the top shelf was done at sooner.  The bottom shelf required another 10.  I have a quite small gas oven.  You can switch them around half way to avoid this problem.


“Grahm” Crackers

These are not entirely unlike gram crackers.  A little less delicate.  Still tasty.

2.5 cups 4 bean flour.  This batch of the mix was  mostly garbanzo.  Some corn starch, some sorghum.  Just a bean flour should work fine.

1.5 cups oat flour.  I use a certified gluten free oat meal and ran it in the food processor until it was a grainy flour.  This is to simulate the gram part.  Using a prepared oat flour would work just as well, if not better.

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon cinnimon

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl place:

1 cup butter soft

3/4 cup brown sugar. Light or dark

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Mix with the paddle beater on medium high until light and fluffy. 3-5 minutes  Add flour mix and mix on low until blended.  It is more difficult to make a gf dough tough, so don’t worry too much about over mixing.

You will need a bit more flour for working the dough.  A cup or so. Oat or bean is fine.  I do not recommend using rice flour.  But mostly because I don’t like it.

Mix your dough by hand a bit and see if it comes into a ball easily. If it is too sticky, add flour 1/3 cup at a time until it forms a ball when stirred by hand.  Turn it out on a floured surface and divide into 4 equal parts.

Cut four or five pieces of parchment paper into roughly the size of your baking sheet.

On each piece roll one part of the dough into a rectangle about 9 x 6 inches and about 1/8th inch thick.  You can roll them between two pieces of paper if you want.  Flour the paper and the top of the dough to prevent sticking.  If you decide to trim them up neatly, use the scraps to make a fifth rectangle.

You can score them into cracker shapes at this point if you want.

Stack the papers with the rolled dough on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.

Take out one at a time and bake at 350 for 11 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove and let cool a minute on the sheet then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Store in an air tight container.  All of this type of cookie will improve greatly after three days stored at room temperature.

I made these just to crumble for a pie crust.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  🙂

Variation on pound cake: Apple upsidedown pound cake

1 cup butter. soft

1 1/4 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat butter and sugar in mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.  Mix until sugar is dissolved and all is very fluffy.  Add almond extract and beat some more.  While beating mix flours.

2 1/4 cup total flour to include:

1 cup protein flour like Garbanzo/fava or Oat.  I used Oat.

1/3 cup tapioca flour

1/3  cup corn starch

1/3 cup sorghum  + 1/4 cup

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum or other binder like arrowroot flour (optional)

Sift flours and salt  into a bowl.

once butter mix is very fluffy, with mixer on low, add flour mix alternately with:

1/2 cup milk or milk substitute.  I used coconut milk.  (Sour milk or buttermilk would also work and would add a richness.  If you use sour milk add:

1 teaspoon baking soda)

Prepare pan:

smear a large cake pan with a half stick of sort of soft butter. (10 x 15  approximately. If all you have is 9×13, use fewer apples to allow room for the batter)

Sprinkle that with 1/4 cup brown sugar

Cut up and peel 4-5 medium baking apples. I like braeburn but any baking apple is good. sprinkle them with

1-2 teaspoons good quality cinnamon, and

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar and toss all together.

Spread the apples in the bottom of the pan over the butter and sugar.

Spread the cake batter over the apples making sure no apples poke up through the batter.

bake at 350 for 1 hour

This could easily be made a spice cake by omitting the almond extract and adding to the flour:

2 teaspoons or more of pumpkin pie spice


1/2 teaspoon ground clove

1-2 teaspoons cinnimon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

powdered ginger optional 1-2 teaspoons

1 teaspoon powdered turmeric will add a bright yellow colour, very little flavour and a lot of health benefits

Bake as before over apples or in a greased and flowered 9 x 13 cake pan

Neutral sweet glaze:

2 cups powdered Sugar

1/2 stick butter softened

1-3 tablespoons water or milk or substitute (I used a spicy tea but couldn’t taste it)

with a whisk, whip the butter until smooth. (This assumes you used a microwave to soften the butter)

Add powdered sugar slowly while mixing until it forms a ball around the whisk.  Add 1 scant tablespoon liquid and mix until smooth.  Slowly add more sugar until it is all incorporated, adding small amounts of liquid as needed. Sifting the sugar first will make mixing easier but is not necessary.

Spread on hot cake as soon as it is out of the oven.  Be gentle and patient.  Let the heat of the cake soften the glaze until it spreads easily.

Lemon pound cake

1 cup butter (2 sticks) soft
1 1/4 cups sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.  Scrap down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium high for several minutes.

While that is happening…

In a separate bowl place:
2 1/4 cups four bean flour (garbanzo fava, tapioca, corn starch, sorghum)
1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon xanthan gum or other thickener like arrow root flour (optional)
1 teaspoon egg replacer (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

whisk dry ingredients to blend

when egg butter mixture is light and fluffy add the flour mix alternately with

1/2 cup milk (or non dairy milk replacer)

Mix until just blended.

Grease and flour 1 9x5x3 loaf pan and one mini loaf pan

Pour batter into pans leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top.  smooth the batter down as much as possible. It will retain the shape you leave it in now with some additional height.

bake both pans 40 minutes at 325

remove smaller pan and bake larger loaf 30 minutes more.

let sit a minute or two.  the cake will pull slightly from the sides allowing you to turn them out onto a wire rack or plate to cool

make a glaze with

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice or remaining juice from one lemon

bring these to a boil and spoon over hot loaves.  It should be absorbed by the loaf.  Mine ran off a lot.