Friday, September 5, 2008
My son, Jacob, recently turned 2. Though I usually have only made sugar-free honey cakes in the past (wheat, dairy, and egg-free for my husband), I decided to do something different this year. I decided to make two cakes: one with milk, butter, eggs, white flour, and sugar, and one with buckwheat (gluten-free), coconut milk, coconut, no eggs, only 1/3 c. sugar, and maple syrup. We were having a birthday party, and some kids couldn't have eggs, others needed gluten-free, all were allergic to nuts, some allergic to dairy. I wanted everyone to feel included and have a good time.
I put a lot of thought into the cakes...what would kids like eat? should I use food coloring? should I use sugar (cane sugar/powdered sugar)? should I use a cake mix? After seeing the price on "natural" food coloring at WF, and deciding that it would be too much work to make mine myself (like out of beets), I decided to just have two white cakes. I figured a little sugar would be fine for the occasion, and the cakes with honey did turn out to be a bit runny/squishy. Dear old grandma always used to use a cake mix, but for fear there would be soy or some other strange ingredient in there, I figured I'd just use a cake recipe from my Better Crocker cookbook.
I was happy that the cakes looked basically the same (except when you cut into them of course, the buckwheat one looked more like chocolate).
Here are the recipes:
Starlight Yellow Cake (from "Betty Crocker's New Cookbook")
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar (I used a minimally processed sugar)
1/2 c. shortening (I used Spectrum)
1 1/4 c. milk
3 1/2 t. baking powder (aluminum free - another reason to not use a mix)
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla (I used alcohol-free from Trader Joe's)
3 large eggs
(1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & lightly flour bottoms of two round pans.
(2) Beat all ingredients together on low for 30 seconds, then high 3 minutes. Pour into pans.
(3) Bake about 30-35 minutes, cool on wire racks completely before frosting.
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. stick butter, softened
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1-2 T. milk
(1) Beat with electric mixer until smooth, adding one T. milk then more if you need to.
Allergy-Free Buckwheat Cake
2 c. buckwheat flour
1 c. sorghum flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. xanthan gum *secret ingredient*
(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two round cake pans as follows: cut a piece of wax paper in a circle to fit in the bottom of the pan. Grease the pan with shortening (vegetable, no soy), and place the wax paper down, and grease again over the paper. Mix the above together in a large mixing bowl.
1/2 c. safflower oil
2 c. coconut milk
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. maple syrup
2 t. vanilla
(2) Mix the liquid ingredients together with a wire whisk.
(3) Add the liquid ingredients to dry, whisking until smooth.
(4) Fold in 2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut.
(5) Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean and you see the sides of the cake pulling away from the pan a little. Cool completely.
Coconut Frosting (from "Vegan with a Vengeance"):
1/2 c. vegetable shortening (Spectrum)
1/2 c. coconut milk (maybe a little less)
2 t. vanilla
4 c. confectioner's sugar
1 c. unsweetened coconut
(1) Beat all but the coconut together, adding the milk a little at a time. Fold in the coconut at the end.