Cake Challenge: Gluten, Dairy, and Sugar-Free Cake

I love food.  My friends love food.  And I love my friends.

One of my friends is having a birthday and to show her just how much I love her, I am baking a cake.  The thing is, amongst my circle of friends, there are a lot of dietary restrictions, preferences, and politically informed food choices.  We are a very particular bunch of eaters, and we know good food when we taste it.

My challenge, this week, is to make a decadent, delicious, and gorgeous cake that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and (cane) sugar-free.   This presents a challenge, from a baking standpoint, but certainly not one I can’t overcome.

As a Natural Chef, my culinary tool belt includes some amazing alternatives to the conventional ingredients in Standard American Diet.  Who needs white flour when you can enjoy the rich, sweet flavor of coconut flour?   And white sugar doesn’t stand a chance against the full flavor of maple syrup.  My cake won’t spike blood sugar or induce guilt, and it is sure to please a crowd.

The recipes are simple and elegant, one of our guiding principles here at Bauman College. Trust me. Try it at home.  After all, who doesn’t like birthday cake?

Kasey Caletti
Culinary Curriculum Coordinator
Bauman College

Coconut Vanilla Cake
Coconut flour lends a nice sweetness to this rich cake.  The monounsaturated fats in tea seed oil keep the cake moist.
3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup tea seed or grapeseed oil
1 1/2 Tbs vanilla extract1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two 6″ cake pans with parchment and grease the sides with oil.
2. In a small bowl, combine the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda.
3. In a separate large bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla.  Blend with a hand mixer for 3 minutes at medium speed.
4. Pour batter into pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: two 6″ cake pans


Vegan Chai Frosting
Filled with warming spices, this vegan frosting is as aromatic as it is delicious.  Coconut oil is full of healthy fats which help prevent blood sugar spikes.2 cups palm sugar
1 3/4 cup arrowroot
1 cup coconut oil, chilled
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2  tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs hot, strongly steeped Rooibos Chai tea
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Grind the palm sugar in a spice grinder until finely ground.  Combine and whisk 1 3/4 cups of finely ground palm sugar with the arrowroot to make a powdered sugar mixture.  Measure out 3 1/3 cups of this mixture to use in the recipe.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the coconut oil and powdered sugar mixture until soft.  With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining ingredients.  Continue to beat on high for 2-3 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally, until light and fluffy.

Yield: 3 cups