Happy birthday to KT! Sneakily, her man-friend told me one of her favorite cakes is red velvet, so I set out on a mission to make it for her surprise party this past Saturday. The requirement for party attendance was to bring KT a homemade card. So I chose to make cake as my card.
I’ve always wanted to make a red velvet cake, but somehow never got around to it. Now they are all the rage so I feel very in. Here’s my gluten-free version.
I’ve been trying to make everything with Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour because most people, myself included, don’t want to hassle with all the spendy flour combinations. Also, this cake is meant to be a bit on the dense side, so Bob’s works well for it.
Like most recipes, I think of this as a master recipe that can be modified for whatever you want to make. So think of this as a template for Dense, Moist Cake. Instead of making red velvet, you could eliminate just the cocoa and red food coloring, and instead mix in a cup of flaked coconut and make a coconut frosting, or mix in a couple tablespoons of lemon zest and use a lemon frosting, etc. You get the idea. For my own birthday, I think I might have to make a Blue Velvet Cake (“What are you doing in my closet, Jeffrey Beaumont?” Ah, such a screenplay.)
Gluten-free Red Velvet Cake
1 c vegetable oil (I used sunflower with good results, canola would also work fine, I’m sure)
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs, room temp, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose GF flour
3/4 c tapioca flour/starch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 t salt
1 c buttermilk
1 little bottle of red food coloring, yes, the whole thing
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 cream cheese pack (8 oz)
1 stick of butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
3 c sifted powdered sugar (sift to minimize lumping, measured after sifting)
Mix all of those together to make the frosting.
And now, for your basic cake-making instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×13 sheet pan or two round cake pans. I made one sheet cake, but you might want a traditional layer cake.
- Mix your wets in a bowl (oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla).
- Mix your dries in a different bowl (flours, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt).
- Mix 1/4 c of buttermilk with the cocoa powder and the food coloring so that the cocoa powder is well mixed in, not lumpy. Set this aside.
- Now mix into your wets bowl the dries and the remaining 3/4 c of buttermilk, alternating each in three to four rounds of additions and starting with the dries. Does that make sense? Hope so! The point here is to mix things in a bit at a time, not just glomp it all in there and hope for the best.
- Now add the blood red buttermilk/cocoa goo-mix. Voila, mon ami. You have red velvet cake batter.
- Pour into your prepared pans and bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
I do wish this were MORE RED, but those boxes of food coloring are like six bucks a pop and I used a whole little bottle of red. Ah, well. A beautiful thing is never perfect, as they say.
The Big K