The intro of Catherine Ruehle‘s crazy gorgeous new book starts with a quote from Julia Child: “A party without cake is just a meeting.” It only takes turning about three more pages to know you’ll never want to have another meeting. And if ever I wished a book was scratch-and-sniff, Let Us All Eat Cake would be it.
This is one beautiful cookbook. If you can pry yourself away from the photos and get down to baking, you’ll find gluten-free versions of all your old favorites: Boston Cream Pie, Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries, Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing, and a Mocha Coffee Cake that will have you racing to the breakfast table. There are also recipes for special occasion cakes (as if breakfast isn’t special enough), and lots of crystal clear tips and tricks on how to fill, frost, and decorate.
If, like me, you’re usually a gluten-full eater, you won’t miss a thing here despite the lack of gluten. You can even opt for vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, and nut-free versions. Don’t eat eggs? Not a problem. No dairy? No worries. Substitutions are at the ready for you.
And those “old favorites” I mentioned? Poppy-seed cake is right up there on my cake-nostalgia list. This recipe is all that nostalgia plus a tasty twist: a “luscious riff on the traditional lemon–poppy seed coffee cake substitutes the tangy-sweet flavor of clementines in both the cake and the glaze,” says Chef Ruehle. “These tiny, red-orange citrus fruits are often available from April to November, but you can also use navel oranges. The glaze recipe makes enough icing to drip down the sides of the cake, but you can also pour extra over slices.”
Extra icing for extra slices? That’s what she said, right?
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A Let Us All Eat Cake Giveaway! We have a fresh copy of Catherine Ruehle and Sarah Scheffel’s new book to give away to a lucky reader. Leave a comment below the recipe, and on Friday, September 19, we’ll choose a winner at random. We’d love to hear about your cake baking adventures, gluten-free or otherwise! (Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only)
Ten Speed Press
- 3 cups Gluten-Free Whole Grain Flour Blend (see below)
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, at room temperature
- 1½ cups organic cane sugar
- 4 eggs or Flax Egg Replacer (see below), at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed clementine juice
- 2 teaspoons clementine zest
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed clementine juice (from about 3 clementines)
- 1½ to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 10-inch-diameter Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil.
- To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour blend, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. While beating on low, slowly add the eggs. Then, increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Add the clementine juice and zest and beat for 15 seconds on medium or until well combined. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add one-fourth of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low until almost fully incorporated. Add one-third of the buttermilk and beat on low until almost fully incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk mixtures, starting and ending with the flour. When all the ingredients have been added, scrape down the bowl and beat on medium for 15 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake tests clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the juice and 11/ 2 cups confectioners’ sugar until smooth. If the glaze looks thin, whisk in up to 1/ 2 cup more sugar.
- When the cake is cool, place a parchment-lined baking sheet under the rack and pour the glaze over the cake. Allow the glaze to set up for 30 minutes before serving.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Or you can freeze it, tightly wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap, up to 2 months; thaw at room temperature before removing the plastic and serving.
- 2 cups sweet sorghum flour
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1 cup potato starch (not flour)
- In a large bowl, whisk the sorghum flour, rice flour, and potato starch until well combined. Store in an airtight container in your pantry or another cool, dark place up to 1 month.
- For longer-term 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 it in case it has settled. Sifting is not necessary if you whisk.
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons water
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the ground flaxseed and water. Set aside for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and become fluffy. Add the flax eggs to the wet ingredients in your recipe and mix well to combine. Flax egg replacer works best in cakes that call for four eggs or fewer and will yield very similar results to the “real” thing.
- Dairy-Free Buttermilk To make an easy dairy-free substitute for buttermilk, combine 1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk (from a carton) with 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Make it just before you intend to use it; it does not store well.
- Confectioners’ Sugar Powdered sugar is another name for this finely ground sugar and also an apt description of its fine texture, which allows it to “melt” imperceptibly into other ingredients such as buttercreams and glazes. Wholesome Sweeteners brand is a lightly refined brand made from organic cane sugar that uses tapioca starch rather than genetically modified cornstarch to keep the sugar from caking. I recommend using this store-bought brand for buttercreams because of its fine texture.
Reprinted with permission from Let Us All Eat Cake: Gluten-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Cakes by Catherine Ruehle with Sarah Scheffel (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). Photo Credit: Erin Kunkel.