Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free cake’



This cake has become my family’s favorite easy-bake, easy-to-make, cake. It’s essentially banana bread masquerading as banana cake, but the cake shape makes it seem more special. It’s crazy moist, contains very little added sugar (because how much sugar do you need with all those bananas in there?!), and it’s a great way to use ripe and/or spotty bananas. We buy tons of bananas in Brazil because they are super inexpensive. However, I don’t even like raw bananas, so I literally buy 20 bananas a week to use in my Green Paleo Pancakes, Green Power Shake, oatmeal pancakes, breads, cakes and muffins.

I have ordered Bolo de Banana several times in Brazil, and while I’ve always found the cakes here overly sweet (not to mention full of gluten), I like how they incorporate so much banana into their recipes. So I tinkered with my gluten- and dairy-free banana muffin recipe to come up with this recipe. It uses 4-6 bananas, and instead of blending the bananas with the wet ingredients, I only mash the bananas a little with a fork so there are lots of chunks of banana in the final cake. Topping the cake with slices of banana makes the cake look more festive, and the banana caramelizes in the baking making it taste better.



1/2 Tbsp butter or oil

1 scant cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I like this brand)

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp almond flour

1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar*

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2-4 ripe bananas

1-2 yellow bananas

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup plant-based milk (I like almond or coconut)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

*I’ve used as little as 1/4 cup of sugar, and the cake is still delicious!



Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease and flour a standard cake tin. Place the tin on a piece of parchment paper, draw a circle using the base of the tin as a guide, cut out the circle and set it inside on the bottom of the tin. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until there are no lumps and everything looks thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Peel the 2-4 ripe bananas and mash with a fork until broken down but still very lumpy in consistency. You need 1-1/2 cups for this recipe, but the recipe is very forgiving if you have slightly less or slightly more. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Whisk in the oil and milk. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and using a rubber spatula, fold until combined, but do not over stir. (I’ve read and been told that you can’t over stir anything made with gluten-free flour. However, in my personal experience, particular when baking cakes, one should never over stir.) Pour the batter into the prepared tin and give the tin a little jiggle to evenly distribute the batter.

Carefully slice the remaining 1-2 less ripe bananas into strips approximately 3/8-inch in thickness. Depending on the size of your banana(s), you may only need one banana. I aim for three to four strips. Lay the strips on top of the batter, and pop the tin in the center of the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.





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I’ve been promising–at least on Instagram, to share the gluten-free version of my Winemakers Cake (see original recipe here). It’s all I’ve been making lately because it’s super easy and fast to prepare, looks nice when serving to guests, and I especially love that it’s gluten- and dairy-free since I avoid both most of the time. In fact, I like the gluten-free version so much that I’ve been favoring it over the original recipe on most occasions. The crumb seems a bit more delicate even though the gluten-free version doesn’t rise as much as the original recipe.

My local grocer keeps stocking Thomson grapes, too, which is the preferred grape for this cake, and it really feels like an “Indian Summer” dessert–lightly sweet, not too rich or heavy and using the fruit of the season.

If you haven’t already tried this recipe, please do. I know you will love it–especially how easy it is.



2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk or good-quality almond milk

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*

1/2 cup almond flour

1 tbsp coconut flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp almond extract

10 oz (about 1-1/2 cups) small, purple grapes**

Confectioners sugar for garnish (optional)

*I like to use Bob’s Red Mill “1 to 1 All-Purpose Gluten-free flour.”

**Thomson or Thomcord grapes work the best because they’re small and jammy in flavor. I’m sure this cake would taste delicious with other varieties, but I would avoid using the more common green or red grapes.



Preheat the oven to 350F.

Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow in color, about 3 minutes. Add the oil, non-dairy milk, vanilla and almond extracts, and mix until blended.

In a medium-size bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and salt until thoroughly blended. Add the lemon zest, and toss to coat. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until blended. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquids.

Stir 1 cup of the grapes into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top using a spatula or back of a spoon.

Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes before sprinkling the remaining grapes over the top of the cake. Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, and the cake has a nice light golden color.

Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the sides before releasing the removing the side of the springform pan. Serve at room temperature with a dusting of confectioners sugar. You can store the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.





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I just celebrated another birthday where I cooked for a (relatively) small group of friends in my home, and where I served this cake. (I say relatively because last year I cooked for 28 people, and afterwards felt as if I’d run a marathon.) This was probably the 9th or 10th time I’ve made this cake or a version of, and it’s always well received.

You simply can’t go wrong with this cake. It is super-moist, flavorful and nearly guilt-free. It’s also easy to prepare. But there are a couple of caveats: 1) the cake is indeed gluten-free and low-sugar, but the particular frosting I use is low-sugar because it uses flour (although just 1/8 cup instead of the tons of sugar standard buttercream frostings use); 2) the frosting requires several hours. You won’t be making it for several hours, but you need to let it sit for a couple of hours as the second of three simple steps.

Since I’m attempting to reduce the amount of gluten in my diet–not eliminate it entirely, and since my biggest concern is sugar, this cake is perfect. If you are gluten intolerant or following a strict gluten-free diet, you can easily substitute a standard buttercream or whipped frosting for the recipe posted below.

Please note: You can use butter or olive oil in the cake. Using olive oil imparts a slightly different flavor (slightly herbal), and makes the cake even moister. Now that I’ve tried it both ways, I think I prefer the olive oil version, but will probably use the butter version for the kids’ birthdays.

The following quantities are for 1 full 9-inch round. Double the recipe for two full 9-inch rounds, or three medium-height 9-inch rounds if you love fillings.


Juice of 1 orange plus plain yogurt to equal 1 cup (or you can use 1 cup of white wine, which my sister prefers to do)

Grated zest of 1 orange

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 cup good quality mild-tasting olive oil or 1 cup unsalted butter, softened


Preheat over to 350-degrees Farenheit.

Prepare 9-inch cake pans by greasing, flouring and lining the bottom of each cake pan with a piece of parchment paper. (Use the bottom of the cake pan to trace a circle on the parchment paper. Cut just inside the line for a perfect fit.)

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

If making the butter version, beat the butter in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer until creamy. Beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the orange juice/yogurt mixture and vanilla until well-blended. Stir in the dry ingredients until well-blended.

If making the olive oil version, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar then the orange juice/yogurt mixture and vanilla. Stir in the olive oil and dry ingredients alternating one-third to one-half of each until well-blended.

Pour evenly into cake pan(s).

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and the cake is springy to the touch at its center. (Mine are always golden-brown by this stage.) Cool in pans. Use a slim knife around the outer edge to loosen the cake(s) from pan. Turn out carefully and let further cool on rack(s).

Possible Fillings

My favorite during summer months is to simply macerate fresh strawberries and raspberries to which I’ve added a little lemon zest and vanilla extract. This mixture is fairly liquid and soaks beautifully into the cake layer(s).

During the cooler months I prefer to use chocolate ganache. It takes seconds to make. Here’s my recipe:

Finely chop 3 1/2 oz dark chocolate (preferably at least 70% cocoa), and place in a medium-sized bowl. Bring 1/2 cup cream to near boil. Pour over chocolate. Stir until completely melted/blended. Stir in 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. agave syrup. Let cool. (it will thicken considerably). Stir well before spreading on cake(s).

Fluffy, low-sugar frosting

(from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

This recipe makes enough to frost a 2-3 layer cake. Increase proportions if you plan to bake more layers or want lots of extra frosting for additional decorating.


3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups milk (I’ve used both 2% and 4% with great results)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces and softened to room temperature


In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt until there are no lumps. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently increasing to constantly, until the mixture bubbles/boils and becomes very thick. This takes roughly 10 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature. This step is extremely important! If it is even slightly warm, the frosting won’t come together properly. On a fall day in California, this took a little over 2 hours. You can speed up the process by putting the bowl in the refrigerator. However, if you do this, be sure to take it out in time to for it to warm back up to room temperature before proceeding to the next step.

Once the mixture has completely cooled to room temperature (you will feel no trace of warmth when you place your hands around the bottom of the bowl), beat in the vanilla using a hand-held mixer on low speed. Next, beat in the butter, one piece at a time, until fully incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat the frosting for five minutes, until it is light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes). Spread with a soft-tipped rubber spatula.

Let us eat cake!

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