Category Archives: cakes

SCD Doughnuts

I made Kendall Conrad’s doughnuts last night. They’re delish, like everything else in her cookbook. What’s more, they’ll make a great master recipe for things like carrot cake, lemon cake, and spice cake, all of which could be made into doughnut form factors. Which is good, because I bought two of the special baked doughnut pans.

Last night I had one topped with whipped French cream. Mmmm. Here’s a pic sans cream:

Kendall Conrad's SCD Doughnut

And in other news, I finally got a smart phone (iPhone 4)! I’m now living in 2011, late to the party as usual. It’s definitely a life-changer to have the Internet in your pocket, available anywhere, anytime. It’s going to be especially helpful for our trip to Miami and France next year. I tried to create this post from my phone, and it was all going great until I tried to add the photo, which is not possible yet through WordPress’ mobile interface. Time will fix that, I’m sure. I’m excited that this little machinery could help me to blog a lot more. Yea!

Next up, a photo diary of how we got a ten-year-old camellia bush into our backyard. Stay tuned.


Filed under breakfast, cakes, dessert, Hanukkah

Gluten-free Red Velvet Cake

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Mix your wets in a bowl (oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla).
  3. Mix your dries in a different bowl (flours, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Now add the blood red buttermilk/cocoa goo-mix. Voila, mon ami. You have red velvet cake batter.
  7. 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


Filed under birthdays, cakes, holiday recipes, Recipes

Gluten-free Buche de Noel

This holiday season The Man and I decided to learn more about other holiday (food) traditions other than our own. The reason for this is that we have never once, either of us, spent Christmas away from family. We are always visiting a family, either his or mine. Not that I’m complaining. That’s great. But. It hasn’t given us a chance to develop many traditions of our own. I think if we had kids, this might be different. But we just have Mr. Pickle, our canine-kid.

So far this year, we learned a little about Hanukkah and made some traditional Hanukkah foods. That was fun and I would definitely do that again next year.

This weekend, we are celebrating Yule, which is more a northern European/German thing so far as I can tell. We have celebrated Yule for many years, but this year I had an obsession with making a buche de noel, so I decided that I would incorporate that into Yule night (tonight!)

Buche de noel is a traditional Christmas cake served in many French-speaking countries, as well as England. The cake is a rolled and filled sponge cake in the shape of a yule log. So that fits with my love of the French language and all things French, tres bien.

I ended up incorporating a couple of different recipes and modifying from there. I used Jacques Pepin’s cake as the base, Nick Malgieri’s coffee buttercream filling, and this ganache from Epicurious. I can say that all are very good, but I broke the filling and had to rescue it with copious amounts of powdered sugar. Not sure what went wrong there.

Lessons learned:

  • Next year, I’m going to use the Epicurious cake recipe as well as their ganache recipe because the cake really does need to be chocolate/dark brown to get the color contrast of the cake against the filling ala the rolled “tree rings”. And their recipe is already gluten-free, so no modifications needed.
  • This would be something fun to do with kids if one has a good attitude and lots of patience (sadly, that does not describe me).
  • I love coffee buttercream filling a little too much.

People go all out on these things. But by December 20th, I’m already pretty holiday-crashed and can’t imagine doing meringue mushrooms and marzipan holly fru-frus on my buche. It was all I could do to complete the two-day process just to make the thing. I did put some powdered sugar (snow), pumpkin seeds (moss), and craisins (holly berries) on my buche, but that was pretty easy. I have to say I love the idea of moss and fungus on my cake. That seems fun and somehow…French. What a strange sense of humor.

This cake is RIDICULOUSLY rich and I’m so grateful I can dump it off at work tomorrow so The Man and I won’t have to eat it all. WAY too many calories!

Buche de noel cake before frosting

Here it is before I frosted it. It's a bit hard to see the "ring" effect of the rolled center.

And after adding the forest accoutrements:

Buche de noel in all its glory

Happy Yule! Happy Chocolate Log!


Filed under cakes, holiday recipes