Gluten Free Strawberry & Vanilla Cake

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I’ve wanted to try my hand at gluten free baking for a while now, so when a request popped up for me to bake a gluten free birthday cake, I was more than happy to oblige. There are so many food intolerances cropping up nowadays, and there’s no reason why those unfortunate enough to have one shouldn’t to be able to enjoy the same delicious treats as everyone else!

So this is my very first gluten free recipe, and the end result is my Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge Cake sandwiched with jam, iced with the very best whipped vanilla buttercream and topped with the delectable pairing of fresh strawberries and white chocolate. YUM.

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For those of you who aren’t sure what gluten is, I’ll help you out. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other similar grains which means that those who have an intolerance can’t eat anything with wheat flour in it. Unfortunately, a lot of food contains wheat flour but there are some great companies like Doves Farm making great gluten free baking products like the flour I used in this recipe that are helping out those who can’t dive mindlessly into cake and biscuits like some of us do!

I used the creaming method to make this cake which I don’t normally do, I just felt I should stick to traditional methods for my first time trying out a new recipe! If – like me – you’re more fond of the all in one cake mixing method, it would probably still work very well, so don’t be afraid to try.

Firstly, preheat your oven and grease/line two 8-inch cake tins.

Place your margarine and caster sugar into a large bowl or food mixer and beat together until light and fluffy.

Add your eggs in one at a time beating thoroughly between each addition until you have a smooth mixture. If the mix splits at this point, don’t panic, the flour will soon sort everything out!

Sift in your flour and beat into the mixture until smooth and combined.

Stir in the vanilla and milk and pour the cake mix equally into your tins. Pop them in the oven to bake until golden and springy to touch.

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I’ve found that the gluten free flour produced a slightly paler sponge than a cake made with normal flour. As long as the cake is springy and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean then it will be perfect.

Once baked, remove your tins from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cakes and cooling completely on wire racks. Meanwhile, whip up your buttercream. Your luscious, whipped vanilla buttercream.

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It’s like a lovely, sweet, vanilla-seed-flecked cloud…

This buttercream recipe makes quite a large quantity to allow you to decorate the cake however you like, and hey, there’s no such thing as too much icing!

First, place your softened butter and sift half of your icing sugar into a large bowl or food mixer and beat together until smooth and combined.

Sift in the remaining icing sugar and pour in your vanilla extract. Slice open and scrape the seeds out from the centre of the vanilla pod and add them in too. Beat together until combined again.

If you have a food mixer, this stage is much simpler, if not then you just have to try really hard to attain the right consistency! Beat the icing vigorously until light, fluffy and much paler in colour, this will make your icing extra delicious! If you need to add a little milk to soften the buttercream, feel free.

Once you’ve made the icing and your sponges are cooled, place one sponge flat side up on a plate or serving board and spread on a nice layer of strawberry jam.

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I used my favourite strawberry jam that I bought from a lovely farm shop the other day.

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On the flat side of your other sponge, spread on a generous layer of the vanilla buttercream and then sandwich the two sponges together.

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Now to unleash your creativity! Time to ice up your cake however you like!

I chose to give mine a quick crumb-coat, which is just a thin layer of buttercream all over, and then use a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle to ice little spikes all over the cake. It’s a nice way to jazz up a cake without making it too girly. Don’t worry if your icing is a little messy, it all adds to the homemade charm!

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Once you’ve iced up your cake, decorate it with your favourite white chocolate sweets – I chose Milky Bar buttons – and some gorgeous fresh strawberries.

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The final step? Lick the icing spoon clean of course.

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And that’s all there is to it! A delicious gluten free sponge with scrummy vanilla buttercream, white chocolate and fresh Summer strawberries. What more could you want?

Gluten Free Strawberry & Vanilla Cake

Yield: 8-10 slices

Gluten Free Strawberry & Vanilla Cake

Deliciously light and fluffy cake filled with strawberry jam and iced with perfect vanilla buttercream!

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 210g butter/margarine
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 210 Doves Farm gluten free self-raising flour blend
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk
    For the filling and buttercream:
  • 300g softened unsalted butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1/2 a vanilla pod
  • Few tbsp strawberry jam

Instructions

    For the cake:
  1. Preheat your oven – 180 degrees for conventional and 160 degrees for fan – and grease/line two 8-inch cake tins.
  2. Place your butter/margarine and caster sugar into a large bowl or food mixer and beat together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add your eggs in one at a time beating thoroughly between each addition until you have a smooth mixture. If the mix splits at this point, don’t panic, the flour will soon sort everything out.
  4. Sift in your flour and beat into the mixture until smooth and combined.
  5. Stir in the vanilla and milk and pour the cake mix equally into your tins. Pop them in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and springy to touch.
  6. Once baked, remove your tins from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cakes and cooling completely on wire racks.
    For the filling and buttercream:
  1. Place your softened butter and sift half of your icing sugar into a large bowl or food mixer and beat together until smooth and combined.
  2. Sift in the remaining icing sugar.
  3. Slice open and scrape the seeds out from the centre of the vanilla pod and add them in too. Beat together until combined again.
  4. Beat the icing vigorously until light, fluffy and much paler in colour. If you need to add a little milk to soften the buttercream, feel free.
  5. Once you’ve made the icing and your sponges are cooled, place one sponge flat side up on a plate or serving board and spread on a nice layer of strawberry jam.
  6. On the flat side of your other sponge, spread on a generous layer of the vanilla buttercream and then sandwich the two sponges together.
  7. Now to unleash your creativity, time to ice up your cake however you like! (I chose to give mine a quick crumb-coat, which is just a thin layer of buttercream all over, and then use a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle to ice little spikes all over the cake)
  8. Once you’ve iced up your cake, decorate it with your favourite white chocolate sweets and some gorgeous fresh strawberries.
http://maverickbaking.com/gluten-free-strawberry-vanilla-cake/

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