By Catherine Ruehle
The secret to the intense berry flavor in this melt-in-your-mouth cake is the use of freeze-dried strawberries. They punch up the flavor intensity without adding excess moisture.
Makes: one 8-inch layer cake (12-16 slices)
Free of: gluten and all top allergens
- 3 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp strawberry jam
- 9 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
- 3 cups Cat’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Flour Blend (see recipe below)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dairy-free rice or coconut milk beverage, room temperature
- 1/2 cup cooled strawberry puree (above)
- 3/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free margarine (such as Earth Balance)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
Icing, Filling and Garnish
- 2 13.5 oz cans (398 mL) original full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 1 1/2 cups freeze-dried strawberries, processed to a powder in blender or food processor
- 1/4-1/2 cup powdered confectioners’ sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
- For the strawberry puree, combine frozen strawberries, freeze-dried strawberries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened and fruit can be easily mashed with a spoon.
- Transfer mixture to a shallow dish and let cool 15 minutes. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Add jam and blend again. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cooled, at least 30 minutes. Puree may be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.
- For the cake, preheat oven to 350° F and lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans.
- In a small bowl, whisk water and flaxmeal until smooth; let sit 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. In a small bowl, mix milk beverage with 1/2 cup cooled strawberry puree.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat margarine and sugar on medium for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl. While beating on low, slowly add reserved flaxmeal gel. Increase speed to medium for 20 seconds then scrape down bowl. Add one-fourth of flour mixture and beat on low until fully incorporated. Add one-third of milk beverage mixture and beat on low until almost fully incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and milk beverage mixtures, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape down bowl and beat on medium 10 seconds.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in center of oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake’s center tests clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes, and then invert cakes onto racks to cool completely.
- For the icing and filling, scoop all thick coconut cream from coconut milk into the bowl of a stand mixer with whip attachment. Add strawberry powder and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Beat on high until thick and whipped. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
- To assemble a four-layer cake, cut each layer in half horizontally with a long serrated knife. Drizzle 2 tablespoons strawberry puree over one layer and evenly spread. Smoothly spread 1/2 cup filling on top of puree, and then top with a second cake layer, pressing down firmly. Repeat with second and third layers and then ice cake top and sides.
- For the garnish, slice strawberries and arrange on top of cake in decorative pattern or center cluster. Finished cake can be stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Cat’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Flour Blend
Sorghum is an ancient grain that adds protein and fiber, but its subtle flavor does not throw off the balance in sweet baked goods the way many other whole grain flours do.
Makes: 6 cups
Free of: gluten and all top allergens
- 2 cups sweet sorghum flour
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1 cup potato starch (not flour)
- In a large bowl, whisk sorghum flour, rice flour and potato starch until well combined.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place up to 1 month. For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator up to 6 months or in the freezer up to 1 year.
- Before using, bring to room temperature. Just before measuring, whisk the flour blend to aerate. Sifting is not necessary if you whisk.
Find more recipes from Catherine Ruehle at www.catruehle.com.