Daring Bakers: Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Party Cake Recipe with Vegan Buttercream Recipe


wholecake.jpgorangesm.jpgLast month as I was exploring some of my favorite gluten-free blogs, I stumbled across a recipe for meringue pie that had been entered in a “Daring Baker” baking event. Now, I happen to have a weakness for meringue pie, and not two weeks earlier, DH and I had made a recipe for that very thing- imagine my dismay at having missed participating in such a fun event! I immediately resolved to join Daring Bakers post haste. Daring Bakers is an interesting group that makes one (super secret, hush hush) recipe together every month and then posts about that recipe on an agreed upon day. The whole point is for everyone to follow the same recipe, but express themselves a little teeny bit in that recipe. Luckily for us gluten-free people, or for those with allergies, they do allow tweaking for reasons of health (or, also, I believe for philosophy- Vegetarians or vegans can make the recipe vegetarian or vegan). Now you all know that I am a gluten-free chef, but lately I’ve been suspecting a wee bit ‘o dairy intolerance in the mix, and eggs and I don’t always get along, so I tried to follow the recipe as best as I could, but I did convert it to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg free. I also like to make sure my readers with multiple intolerances can enjoy my recipes, so I did it for you guys, too. Our assigned recipe this month was a Perfect Party Cake, inspired by a recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours, and the event was hosted by Morven. This is my very first entry, and I just wanted to say Thank you for allowing me to participate and I look forward to many other challenges in the future! And what a great way to get this savory-obsessed girl to make something sweet and baked, at least once a month!

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Vegan Gluten-Free Lemon-Orange Buttercream Cake Recipe
For the Cake
2 1/4 cups Favorite GF flour blend (I used Bette Hagman’s gourmet blend- white rice, potato starch, tapioca starch)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/4 cups carbonated lemon soda (dairy-free alternative to buttermilk, carbonation lightens GF cakes)
3 ener-g foods egg replacer eggs (6 tbsp water, 4 ˝ tsp egg replacer, whisked together)
1 cup sugar (reduced due to sugar in lemon soda)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) earth balance vegan spread, or other GF DF butter substitute (coconut oil?) at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the “Buttercream”
3 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 cup milk substitute (soy, rice, almond)
3/4 cup Earth Balance Margarine *substitution not recommended*
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
*fresh lemon juice* (optional- test this with a small sample of the frosting to make sure it won’t cause it to separate, or can re-congeal if whisked heavily.)

For Finishing
2/3 cup orange marmalade

Getting Ready
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round (or square) cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, egg replacer, and xanthan gum.
Whisk together the egg replacer eggs in a small bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl and beat with your margarine until you have a nice, creamy texture. Add your egg replacer to the mixture and beat again until thoroughly combined. Remove the mixer bowl from the stand and gently fold in your carbonated beverage (or dairy/substitute) and any additional seasonings. *consider adding 1 tsp. cider vinegar here* Slowly sift your flour mixture into the bowl, folding in after 1/3 of the flour has been added. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, fold, and add the rest, folding until you have a nice cake texture. Consider adding 1/4 cup applesauce if the batter seems dry.

*Daring Baker Instructions to follow* Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Vegan Buttercream Recipe
*Adaption of a Vegan Cookbook recipe (La Dolce Vegan)*
Combine your milk substitute beverage and sweet rice flour in a pan and whisk until thoroughly combined. Heat on a burner and bring to a boil. Lower temperature and simmer, letting mixture thicken. Take off burner and let cool. Meanwhile, whisk your margarine, lemon extract, and sugar together in a mixer or with a hand-held mixture until combined and creamy. When the milk sauce is cool, beat into the sugar-margarine mixture and pour into a container. Cool in refrigerator until ready to frost cake (at least an hour).

To Assemble the Cake
*Daring Baker Instructions* If your cakes rose adequately, you can slice the layers in half. If not, just use the cakes as is, shaving off the bumpy top to have a nice, flat surface if desired. Spread each layer with orange marmalade and your vegan buttercream, placing cake layers together and finally topping with marmalade and then buttercream. If desired, you can place cookie cutters or biscuit cutters on the top of the cake and fill each one with a thin layer or marmalade for additional decorative pop (And flavor). Remove mold and enjoy your modern, delicious, vegan and gluten-free cake!

*Daring Baker Instructions*
The cake is ready to serve as soon as it is assembled, but I think it’s best to let it sit and set for a couple of hours in a cool room – not the refrigerator. Whether you wait or slice and enjoy it immediately, the cake should be served at room temperature; it loses all its subtlety when it’s cold. Depending on your audience you can serve the cake with just about anything from milk to sweet or bubbly wine.

The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.

The cake was a bit heavy and dry, so the recipe could use some modification. I recommend a really good, preferrably high protein GF Flour blend. Bette Hagman’s 4 flour blend might be a winner for this. If you use a blend with xanthan gum, omit the additional xanthan gum in the recipe.

To make this cake non-vegan, 3 egg whites, whisked, would be a good substitute for the egg replacer. Additionally, you can try adding 1/4 cup applesauce to the recipe for added moisture (a simple addition, you needn’t subtract any other ingredients), or using soy or rice milk with 1 tbsp or so lemon juice added instead of the soda. If dairy isn’t a problem, you could use regular milk or buttermilk instead of the soda. I recommend adding 1 tsp. vinegar to the recipe for additional moisture, or at least retention of moisture. You might add a little extra sugar, although I found it plenty sweet as is.

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13 Responses to “Daring Bakers: Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Party Cake Recipe with Vegan Buttercream Recipe”

  1. COngrats on your first Daring Bakers challenge and for the extra challenge of making your cake gluten free! Great job!

  2. Sea – Welcome to the Daring Bakers! You did a wonderful job on your first challenge. The vegan buttercream turned out beautifully.

    Congratulations on finishing your first challenge!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  3. Welcome Sea!!! Great job! I’m glad you joined the Daring Baker’s too! Wow, what an excellent job you did with this challenge!! It’s a really beautiful cake!

    Carrie @ Ginger Lemon Girl

  4. Welcome to the Daring Bakers, it looks like we’ll be learning a lot from you! My only question is – what is xanthum gum, and what does it do for your recipe? I plead ignorance!

  5. Hi Ann, Thank you so much!

    Hi Sheltie Girl, Thank you! I had fun with it and the buttercream turned out sooo tasty!

    Hi Carrie, Thank you! I look forward to seeing your cake.

    Hi Jenny, Thanks for the welcome. Xanthan Gum is a special powder ingredient developed by the University of Washington that is meant to add elasticity to gluten-free baked goods to compensate for the lack of gluten in our flours. It reduces crumbliness and just improves texture overall. Guar gum has a similar function in gluten-free baking, but I’ve always used xanthan gum. Hope this helps! Non GF Bakers shouldn’t need to use it in baking- although interestingly, Xanthan gum is in tons of regular stuff, like salad dressing, to make it more “gelatinous.”


  6. Oh my! That looks and sounds amazing. Thanks for making it gluten free, dairy free and egg free! I can’t wait to try it.

  7. Great job, with to many substitutions!!!

  8. [...] week I posted: A Vegan Gluten-Free Party Cake Recipe with Vegan Buttercream frosting a superyum Vegan Veggie Pot Pie Recipe and announced the latest installment of my Adopt a Gluten [...]

  9. Wow- I am so impressed with the lovely cake you produced!
    Perfect job!

  10. That looks amazing!
    How close is the texture to angel food cake? I’ve been trying to create a vegan recipe, and that looks pretty close.

  11. Hi, I just found this recipe via Google search, and it looks fantastic! I have a question though. The recipe calls for both “egg replacer” and “3 ener-g egg replacer eggs” – what is the difference? Is this a typo or do I need to use two kinds of egg replacers for the recipe?
    Thank you!

  12. Ali- No, not a typo. I veganized the recipe and also followed my hero, Bette Hagman, in adding extra egg replacer to improve texture. The “eggs” would need to be whisked with water but the extra replacer doesn’t need it. In both cases you use the Ener-g foods egg replacer.

    Hope this helps!

  13. Hello, I made this recipe today and the final product was looking good when I pulled it from the oven. After about 10 minutes of cooling the cake had fallen and was very gummy. Any suggestions as to what may have happened?

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