The Doodlebug had a few specific requests for her 4th Birthday. All of them were pretty easy to cater to like the Princess Hat (So glad I saved that tiara from my wedding veil!) but her cake request was going to be a challenge. She wanted a Blueberry Cake. No other kind of cake would do.
I began researching and reading various gluten free cake recipes hoping to find one that suited what I was looking for. I was thinking if I could just find an awesome gluten free plain Vanilla Cake base then I could modify and tweak it into what we needed. However finding a gluten free vanilla cake recipe that was a wonderful texture proved to be a lot harder than I ever anticipated. While there are awesome gluten free chocolate cake recipes galore plain ol’ vanilla was proving hard to find. I finally found one though and proceeded to make a bunch of modifications to it. It turned out great!
Gluten Free Blueberry Cake (Vanilla Cake)
1/2 c. White Rice Flour
1/2 c. Sorghum Flour
2/3 c. Arrowroot Flour
1/3 c. Potato Starch
1 c. Finely ground Turbinado (Raw Sugar)
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 heaping tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter
3 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup Blueberry Juice (concentrate is best. Can be replaced with milk if you don’t want to tint the batter a blue/purplish color to go with the whole blueberry theme)
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease pans-this recipe makes 16-18 cupcakes, 2 6-inch round layers, 9-inch square, or a 10-inch round.
Throughly combine the first 8 dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Place softened butter in mixer bowl and beat until fluffy. Add flour mix to butter, blending on lowest setting until combined, then changing to setting “2” on the mixer until mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute.
In small bowl, lightly whisk eggs and vanilla together. Add eggs to mixer and mix until smooth and thick, about 1 minute. Add milk and blueberry juice and mix for 1 more minute.
Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick is clean. Time will depend on the shape of your pan, but should be about 24 minutes for cupcakes, 45 minutes for a loaf pan.
I should note, I think full strength or concentrated Blueberry juice would have sufficiently tinted the cake a sort of blue purple color I had a couple tablespoons of a mashed juice from fresh blueberries. My cake did not turn out anything close to being tinted a nice purple color but it had just enough I’m convinced it’s possible and plan on testing it again with a blueberry concentrated juice at some point in the future. =)
Once the cakes were baked it was time to decorate!
I made both a Buttercream icing and a Cream-cheese Icing using gluten free powdered sugar. I got mine from Whole Foods and they use Tapioca Flour instead of Corn Starch or Modified Food Starch like many brands of powdered sugar use. Once the Icings were assembled we set to work. The middle and top were done with the Cream Cheese. I put a basic layer down in the middle and then laid a blanket of fresh blueberries out over it and put another layer on top making the middle layer of the cake rich and well populated with blueberries. The sides were iced in the ButterCream.
And then came the fun part. I ran out to the yard and collected random blooming herbs from my Herb garden. We also took organic lemon rind gratings to sprinkle over the top for a touch of color. All in all I was thrilled how the fresh herb decorations turned out.
The Doodles was thrilled with it. =D
And one last image to show off the inside of the cake and the rather anemic gray color my pathetic attempts at dying it with blueberry juice produced. It looks visually a lot more dense than it actually was. I’ve never had a gluten free cake quite this fluffy before so it was definitely a triumph on that front! It got more moist and the flavor got even better after it sat a day.
If you decide to try the cake let me know how it turns out for you! Also any successful improvements or tweaks you make along the way. =)