Hear that huge heavy metal door clanging shut?
Yeah, that was the sound I heard inside my head/heart when the doctor told me I had to quit eating gluten. All treats locked away forever? Sentenced to a life of straw-like breads and chalky cookies? Heck, what’s the point of going on?
Then I got mad! I refuse to go down without a fight! There HAS to be a way to make food taste good again! I’ve got a food science background; I can figure this out! (I hope!)
Turns out it isn’t that hard, and in many ways, gluten-free cooking is easier than traditional gluten foods. Who’d a thunk?! The main difference between traditional baking and gluten-free baking is that gluten-free products are generally wetter before baking. As a result, when baking gluten-free goodies, it’s important to follow the directions. Eventually you will become familiar with the process and how gluten-free products behave. Today I have the perfect starter recipe for you to cut your teeth on. Not only is it easy, but it’s so damn good, you aren’t going to believe something so delicious came out of your own kitchen! You are gonna rock this!
- 12.5 oz. all-purpose gluten-free flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit of flour has xanthan gum in the mix)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground long pepper (can substitute with 1/4 t. allspice and 1/4 t. black pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup melted butter (or oil)
- 3 cups finely shredded carrots (about 1 pound carrots)
- 1, 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 – 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- The zest of one lemon, about 2 teaspoons
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray or butter the pan thoroughly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat sugars together with the butter. Add eggs and mix on medium speed until mixture is thoroughly combined (about 30 seconds.)
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add the applesauce, oil and melted butter. Mix on high for one minute until light in color and frothy (about one minute.)
- Turn off mixer. Stir dry ingredients and carrots into the mixture by hand until no loose flour remains. The mixture will be very wet. This is normal.
- NOTE: Stirring will help develop the xanthan gum so be sure to mix well.
- Pour into the prepared greased pan and spread the mixture evenly with a wet spatula. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool before frosting. (Hahahahaaa! As if, right?)
- Using a clean bowl for the stand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and butter for 3-4 minutes until soft, creamy and thoroughly combined.
- Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and beat until completely incorporated.
- Add two cups of powdered sugar, beating each until thoroughly blended.
- Add one tablespoon heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Blend.
- Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting has the desired consistency. Spread that luscious goodness all over the cake and eat it up!
- This recipe makes more frosting than you actually need for the cake, but that’s a good thing, right? Go ahead, dig into the pan and serve yourself a whopping slice. Now is that gooooood, or what? 😉