Usually I'm not very "in tune" with my body, not really knowing what things meant, how I was meant to feel, what was "normal". I actually thought that the sore stomachs I was getting so often was from eating food with the children at work and picking up their bugs!
Fast forward a year and I'm eating gluten free spaghetti bolognaise for dinner, not thinking anything of it. I don't really miss many gluten foods any more. Sometimes I miss certain things like white bread or how easy it used to be to go to events and not worry about dietary requirements. But most times I don't even think about it, living gluten free has become second nature.
Baking is one area in my life that has changed drastically. Once I got over the depression stage (it's a thing, honestly!) of going gluten free, I was actually excited to face gluten free baking, I remember thinking, challenge accepted! I started researching gluten free baking and getting to understand the dynamics of ingredients in recipes. I started testing chocolate cupcake recipes and cookies and then all of a sudden went back to reality and got swept away with my studies.
Since then I haven't had time to do much experimenting or recipe testing in the kitchen, that was up until recently. Now I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel (that is, the end of a three year study in early childhood education) I'm finally beginning to think about real life again. I'm all amped up and ready to get into gluten free baking!
This cake was the first time I had attempted a gluten free vanilla cake and I was super sceptical but it turned out pretty darn good. I still want to give it a few more trials and see if I can fix a few things but I think it's a keeper! The only thing I found was that the cake was super sticky on the outside, so if you have any idea what that could be and can shed any light I'd be very grateful for the advice!
If you're gluten free and you've been hanging out for vanilla cake for a while (haven't we all) then give this simple recipe a go, it doesn't have to be Easter for you to treat yourself! Don't forget to use the code: YUM at the checkout when online shopping with Countdown for your $5 off voucher!
Gluten Free Vanilla Easter Cake
Makes 3 x 6" cakes approx. 4cm tall
300g gluten free flour mix (I used Healtheries)
50g corn flour
2 ½ t sp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk (or mix 1 cup milk with 1 tsp. white vinegar)
Food colouring (optional)
300g butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tbsp. milk
Food colouring (optional)
Easter eggs, meringues and sprinkles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line three 6" cake tins with baking paper.
- Mix up buttermilk (if you're making your own like I always do) and set aside, this will look funny and chunky when you go to use it later.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl, stir together and set aside.
- Beat eggs for about 20 seconds and gradually add sugar. Beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add vanilla and oil to egg mixture and beat.
- Add a third of the flour mix to the eggy mixture (make sure your beater is on a low setting or the flour will fly everywhere!) and beat.
- Add half the buttermilk and beat then add another third of the flour. Add the remaining buttermilk and then the flour and beat until combined.
- Divide batter evenly between three bowls and add food colouring, I used Americolor gel colours Electric Blue, Electric Pink and Wilton gel colour Lemon Yellow.
- Pour the cake batter in to cake tins and bake for approx. 20-30 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Cool in tin for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
- Beat butter until very light and fluffy approx. 5-8 minutes.
- Add vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add icing sugar and beat until combined, adding milk when it gets too thick.
- Beat icing for another 5 minutes until it’s nice, fluffy and light.
- Spread a layer of icing on top of the blue cake, making sure to spread to the edges.
- Place the pink cake on top and spread another layer of icing on top.
- Place the yellow cake on top and spread a thin layer of icing over the entire cake to coat all the crumbs (this is the crumb coat) and place in the freezer for approx. 15 minutes or until icing is very firm.
- Divide the left over icing into three bowls and tint with food colouring, I used Americolor gel colours Electric Blue, Electric Pink and Wilton gel colour Lemon Yellow.
- When the icing is hard on the cake take out of the freezer and place it on a lazy Susan or cake turning plate if you have one (if not you’ll just have to turn the cake as you go).
- Spread a thick layer of blue icing along the bottom line of the cake, don’t worry if it’s messy it’ll look pretty later!
- Spread a thick layer of pink icing along the middle of the cake.
- Spread a thick layer of yellow on the top of the cake and work your way down to the sides of the cake.
- Now is the fun part! Take a spatula and carefully scrape the sides of the cake, merging the layers of icing a little in between them. Keep going until you like the look of it, making sure you cannot see the white icing or crumbs through the icing.
- Place the cake back in the freezer for another 5 minutes or until the icing is nicely set and then decorate as you please. I used meringues I made earlier using the Meringue Girls recipe, Easter eggs and sprinkles.