Sunday, 20 February 2011

Gluten Free Sponge Cake

My mum found out she couldn't eat wheat about 10 years ago, it took a long time to get used to her new diet and to find substitutes. For quite a few years she couldn't find cakes or any sweet treats that she could enjoy, the shops hadn't jumped on the free from bandwagon at that stage and recipe books weren't as abundant. I trawled the internet a lot and came across this recipe which I have adapted a little over the years! This cake rises a lot more than normal sponges and also tends to get less dry. It tastes so good that when I make it no one even knows it doesn't have wheat in it!!
All of the below ingredients tend to be stocked in supermarkets like Tesco in the UK. We tend to order rice flour and tapioca flour on the internet in bulk to save a bit of money and so we don’t risk not finding it.

The recipe makes 36 cupcakes (UK size or 12 big muffin size cases) or one victoria size cake.


235g rice flour
100g tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xantham gum
4 eggs
250g caster sugar
150g mayonnaise (2/3 cup)
235ml milk
2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 165°C (although all ovens are different so experiment a little)
If you haven’t already done so if you are making a victoria cake prepare your baking tins. I like to use margarine smeared around the tins. If you are making cupcakes, get the cases out now and fill the cupcake tins with the empty cases so you re ready when it comes to filling them with mix.
If you have a food processor I recommend cracking it out, if not do not worry!

1)      In large mixing bowl mix together the dry ingredients (rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and xantham gum) and set aside. Make sure that you use exactly one flat teaspoon of xantham gum. A tiny bit too much and the middle of your cake will remain gloopy and won’t cook.
2)      In the processor if you have one or alternatively in a separate mixing bowl mix the eggs, sugar and mayonnaise until smooth. 
3)      Add the flour mix to the mayo mix and add in the vanilla essence. Mix until it is all well combined.
4)      Now pour half into two cake tins or alternative spoon some into cupcake cases until two thirds full.
5)      Cook for 30 mins at 165’C.  To test whether it is ready after 30 mins I take my pointy thermometer and stick it into the middle of the cake. The thermometer should come out clean. If there is any cake mix on the thermometer then I know it need a little longer.  Keep a close eye on it if this is the case.
6)      Cool on the tins for 15 mins, then remove from the cases and place on racks to continue cooking.
7)      When cooled enough ice the cake. For this you will need:
100g butter
140g icing sugar
Drop of vanilla essence
This is enough to fill the middle with butter ice. Once you have done this you could layering some good quality strawberry jam in the middle and sprinkling icing sugar on top or for  more luxurious finish make another batch of butter ice and put this on the top!

See my coconut and lime cake icing recipe here. 

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