Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Gluten Free Dairy Free Red Velvet Cake? I've got you covered. (vegan too)

This recipe is one of my most cherished as it has taken me many attempts to get it right.  In fact, one of my early attempts could've ruined a longtime friendship (I kid of course....right Stephanie?). Click here for the back story, otherwise enjoy the recipe below.

There are four components to this recipe: preparing the reduced beet juice, baking the cake, making the frosting and frosting the cake.  It can be done in one day but I would recommend breaking down each component over two or three days. You could always use store bought frosting too which would save time but I guarantee you will want to make this vanilla frosting.  It is delicious!

As with all my recipes for baked goods it is best to weigh the flours listed in grams instead of using cup measurements.  This will give you the best results. If you don't have a kitchen scale they are fairly inexpensive (think Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond) and worthwhile if you plan on doing a lot of gluten free baking. I also list the brands of flours I use as other brands may not give the same results. They can be bought online at Amazon.com.

Please note: Always check labels and manufacturing processes to ensure there is no evidence of any food allergens you may be sensitive to. 

RED VELVET CAKE: (gluten free, dairy free, vegan)

2/3 cup reduced beet juice (click here for instructions)
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

6 Tablespoons (90g) vegetable shortening, melted (Earth Balance)
1 cup (200g) cane sugar (use organic for vegan)
1/3 cup (100g) applesauce
2 1/2 Tablespoons (50g) maple Syrup
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon (120g) coconut milk (Native Forest)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon (100g) tapioca flour (Bob's Red Mill)
3 Tablespoons (24g) quinoa flour (Ancient Grains)
3 1/2 Tablespoons (20g) cocoa powder, sifted + extra for dusting (Dagoba or Hershey)
1 2/3 cups (196g) brown rice flour  (Authentic Foods)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease two round 8 inch cake pans and lightly dust with sifted cocoa powder.   Melt the vegetable shortening in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. In a stand mixer or using a hand held mixer, combine the melted vegetable shortening, sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut milk and vanilla bean paste in a large mixing bowl. Mix on low for about one minute. In a separate bowl whisk and combine the tapioca flour, quinoa flour, cocoa powder (sifted), brown rice flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder. In a third bowl combine the beet juice, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and set aside to add last.

Add a couple of large scoops of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix on low to medium until all of the dry ingredients have been added then mix on high for about 20-30 seconds.  Now add the beet juice mixture and mix on low until it is mostly combined. Then scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula, ensuring that the beet juice mix has fully incorporated into the batter.  Mix on high for another 20-30 seconds. 

Poor half of the batter into each cake pan.  I use a kitchen scale with the cake pan zeroed out on it, but you can eyeball it too. The batter should be loose enough that it levels out on its own.  You can also gently tap the cake pans on a counter surface to level it out. 

Bake the cakes on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes.  Then poke center of cakes with a toothpick to see if they are done.  If no batter sticks to the toothpick, they are done, if it does stick, bake for another 2 minutes.  Repeat until the toothpick comes out clean. 

Remove cakes from oven and flip out onto a cooling rack. Let cool for about twenty minutes or until they are warm to the touch.  *Optional: place each cake into a sealed container or large Ziploc bag and freeze for about 45 minutes.  Frozen cake is much easier to frost!

VANILLA FROSTING: (gluten free, dairy free, vegan)

1 cup (178g) vegetable shortening, room temperature (Spectrum Brand Palm Shortening)
3 3/4 cups (370g) powdered sugar (use organic for vegan)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup (50g) coconut milk (Native Forest)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sift the powdered sugar using a sifter or with the blunt end of a butter knife through a strainer. Combine the salt, vanilla extract and coconut milk in a small bowl and set aside. Place all of the vegetable shortening in a large mixing bowl and add one large scoop of powdered sugar. Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, mix on low and slowly add half of the wet ingredients.  Continue to slowly add the powdered sugar along with the remaining wet ingredients while scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Mix on low until the frosting is smooth. 


Frosting a cake is not really something that can be explained without a visual tutorial so I will have to defer to Youtube for this.  Here is a link that helped me.  But really all you need is a butter knife and lots of frosting!

Questions? Comments?  I'd love to hear from you!

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