Gluten Free Cakes: Be a Diva!

Gluten Free Cakes: Tips and Hints

Cakes are an integral part of our lives. We celebrate birthdays with them, send them to school for parties, rejoice over milestone anniversaries with them and watch to see if the newly married couple will be nice or not! Of all the desserts, learning how to make great gluten free cakes would be the first thing I would master. And these tips will help you get there.

Tip #1

Always line with parchment paper (here I go again). I know I keep singing the praises of parchment paper. That’s because it’s so great! Want to never worry that your cake will get stuck on the bottom? Line with parchment paper.

To line your pan, turn it upside down on the paper and trace around the outside edge with a pencil. Using scissors, cut out the shape. Grease the bottoms and sides of your baking pan and then place the paper in your pan. The grease will help it stick and stay down until you pour your batter in. Then you can dust with gluten free flour for the sides.

Tip #2

Make sure you place your cake pans in the center of the oven. They need the heat to be evenly distributed on all sides in order to rise and bake properly.

Tip #3

If your cake recipe calls for a longer bake time than 40 minutes, go ahead and tent the top of your cake with greased foil when you reach 40 minutes of baking so the top of your cake doesn’t get too brown. To “tent” your cake, take a piece of foil big enough to cover the cake with about a 2″ inch overhang. Crease it down the middle and gently set it over your cake.

Tip #4

Using superfine sugar (sugar that has been ground to a very fine texture) works great in cake recipes because it allows for more air to get into the batter. To make your own superfine sugar, take regular granulated sugar and place it in a blender. The power and size of your blender will determine how much sugar you can whirl up at one time. Place the sugar in the blender container and whirl into fine crystals. Take a look at some superfine sugar at the grocery store so you have an idea of the texture you are looking for.

Tip #5

Remember to stagger your layer cake pans in your oven so that enough hot air can circulate all around them. Do not allow the pans to touch each other or the walls of your oven.

Tip #6

You followed everything to the letter and still had trouble. Here are five common problems and causes:

Peaked top, crackers or large tunnels in your cake: oven was too hot or your batter
was over mixed.

The center sank on you: oven was too cold, too much baking powder, your batter
was under mixed, you opened the oven door too soon

Cake looks like a large stone: Old Baking Powder ( check your dates), cold liquid
ingredients like eggs or butter ( make sure they are room temp.).

The bottom burned or the cake was undercooked: not enough air circulation
Remember tip #5

Tip #7

You are now a master cake baker and want to send your culinary creations out to the world. Seriously, sending a home baked gluten free cake to someone you know who either doesn’t bake or is afraid to would make them mention you in their will. 

How to package up your cake: Pick the right ones for traveling. Fruitcake, chiffon or sponge cakes (like angel food), applesauce cakes, date cakes, or some other fruity cake seem to travel the best and arrive more intact.

If you think ahead, bake your cake in those disposable pans. Pack the cake still in the pan so it has more protection for the journey. Wrap it in plastic wrap and cushion with popcorn or very tightly crumpled tissue paper to keep it from jiggling.

Send them a birthday cake in-a-box! Wrap up an unfrosted angel food cake that you have made along with a can of gluten free frosting from the store (Betty Crocker makes good ones), small bags of candy, sprinkles or nuts ( whatever they can eat) and a package of birthday candles. Pack it all up with the directions “Needs Assembly” and send it out!

Tip #8

High Altitude changes. Follow these guidelines to help you make adjustments in your recipes. Where you see a range of changes, start with the smaller amount first.

                                    3000 feet             5000 ft          7000 feet

Liquid:add for
each cup
1 to 2 Tblsp. 2to 4 Tblsp 3 to 4 Tblsp
Baking Powder:
Decrease for each
1/8 tsp. 1/8 to 1/4 tsp 1/4 tsp
Sugar: Decrease
for each cup 
 0 to 1 Tblsp 0 to 2 Tblsp 1 to 3 Tblsp

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