Sunday, September 09, 2007

Gluten-Free Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah: Version 2.0

My first recipe for Gluten-Free Honey Cake (Version 1.0) was the second recipe I ever posted to this blog. In honor of how far my own culinary journey has evolved since starting this blog nearly a year ago, and to celebrate my boundless love for Rosh Hashanah fare, I have revamped my gluten-free, wheat-free honey cake recipe. Though quite delicious, my last recipe used Pamela's Ultimate Baking & Pancake Mix, which doesn't have a reliable hechsher, and was dairy and therefore useless for most festive Jewish New Year meals, which feature meat. This new and improved Honey Cake 2.0 is pareve (non-dairy) and doesn't use a mix. It is every bit as delightful in its orange-tinted honey flavor and moist texture, but it lends itself better to the traditional Rosh Hashanah dinner table.

The mini-cakes pictured were baked in adorable little individual silicone fluted cake pans that I found at the dollar store in New Paltz. However, I have made this recipe in a 9" round cake pan and a standard-sized bread loaf pan, and had terrific success both times. I have posted the approximate baking times for several sizes, so you can use whatever baking gear you have on hand. I really do recommend the miniature individual cake pans, the resulting cakelets are so cute and so easily embellished with fruit or nuts placed in the hollow center. You can try a miniature silicone bundt pan like this or miniature fluted cake pans like this. I don't normally use silicone for baking, however the high amount of honey in this recipe leads to edges getting burnt extremely quickly, so I've found that to keep the outside of the cake golden and tender, avoiding burning and crispyness, silicone is best. Nonstick metal cake pans or bread tins are the second best choice, or use parchment paper to line a regular metal pan.

I recommend using a rich, flavorful honey for this recipe, especially for the "glaze". Honey alone is a flavorful and moist enough topping for my taste, but you can also try sifting powdered sugar over the cake/s, or try any recipe for a bundt cake glaze. Boiling down some honey mixed with orange juice and orange zest would make a glaze perfectly complementary to the flavors in this cake.

I hope this cake recipe brings some sweetness to your new year. L'shanah tovah!


[ Gluten-Free / Soy-Free / Nut-Free Option /
Dairy-Free / Pareve ]

3 cups
Carol's Flour Blend
3/4 cup turbinado sugar or white sugar
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 eggs
1 /4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 cup honey
1 cup orange juice

Optional: Honey, toasted almond slivers, pecan pieces and/or powdered sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Cover the bottom of a 9" circular baking pan with parchment paper, then spray the inside of the pan lightly with dairy-free baking spray. If making miniature cakes using silicone mini-bundt or mini-fluted cake pans, place pans on a baking sheet and spray lightly with baking spray. Well-greased loaf pans may also be used.

Stir together flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.

Separate the eggs. In one large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, honey, oil, applesauce, orange juice and orange zest. In a separate medium bowl, beat egg whites with an electric beater until they form stiff peaks.

Using a whisk or hand beater, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. When thoroughly combined, fold the egg whites carefully into the batter, stirring very gently just until the ingredients are fully combined.

Immediately pour batter into pan/s and bake for approximately 20 minutes (for miniature cakes), 40 minutes (for round cakes) or 45-50 minutes (for loaves), or until a toothpick inserted into the cake's center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Watch cakes carefully to make sure that the edges do not burn. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool before carefully removing from pan/s and placing onto a cooling rack. For bundt and fluted pans, once the cakes are cool you can use a sharp serrated bread knife to gently remove the domed "bottoms" of the cakes (the side facing up when you baked them) so that they pretty cake "tops" can sit flat on a plate, if you wish.

Immediately before serving, fill bundt/fluted cake centers with nuts or fruit (if applicable) and sift powdered sugar over them or drizzle cake/s with additional honey.


marika said...

Thank you so much for the recipe! This year I'm baking gluten free for my son and myself:) Shana tova u mituka!

Melissa said...

This looks delightful! I will definitely try it. The photos are awesome. Ooohs and aaahhs for sure!

~M said...

An almost-shana tova to you! If I wanted to substitute lower glycemic flours for this recipe, which ones would you recommend, and in what proportions? The ones I currently have on hand include buckwheat, teff, brown rice, almond meal (blanched and unblanched), and coconut flour. Todah!

ByTheBay said...

M: You can use a little more sorghum than is called for and a little less potato starch, probably. The flours you listed are too dense and too flavorful for a cake recipe, in my humble opinion, except for brown rice flour. At least in significant quantity. Brown rice flour is fine if it's finely ground, otherwise it can lend a gritty quality to a cake. I wouldn't use entirely brown rice flour - Just substitute it for sorghum, don't use more than that. You'll need to still use some tapioca and/or potato starch. Otherwise what you'll get will be really dense. Almond meal is great in cakes, in small quantities. I often add it to cake recipes. Coconut flour could be okay but it will completely change the amount of liquid required so I can't guarantee how it will turn out. It also adds a chalky consistency when used in significant quantity. I would guess you could slightly reduce the potato starch, but for a honey cake again I personally wouldn't reduce it much. You have more leeway with breads and "quickbreads" (banana bread, etc), muffins, etc. For cakes I tend to be cautious about using too many of my favorite (read: low glycemic, high fiber) flours because I don't want to compromise the texture too much. It is, after all, honey cake! So it will inherently be pretty high-carb. I would focus on increasing the fiber and protein rather than reducing the sugar - So instead of replacing all the potato starch and tapioca flour, I'd substitute a tablespoon of almond meal here and a tablespoon of coconut flour there. Let me know how it turns out! Shanah tovah.

Anonymous said...

Can you please let me know if you have used metric measurements or standardised US sized cups etc.. in your recipe. (Is your cup 250ml or 230ml?) It looks delicious. Thanks so much

ByTheBay said...

I just used an American measuring cup - So whatever the standard American measurements are.

Hillary said...

Love the presentation of this honey cake! For those in need, here are some more Rosh Hashanah Recipes!

Heidi Miller said...

Fabulous! This is such a wonderful and pleasing recipe. Thank you so much for posting! (Carol's book is a regular in my rotation and it was really nice to already have that mix, mixed and ready to go!) I hope you do not mind, but I posted a link to this recipe on my blog...

MANY thanks!


Adam said...

Thanks so much for this recipe. I ended up using the Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour, as I had it on hand and it had many of the ingredients in your mix. I also used Pumpkin spice...again it was handy. And I didn't have oranges for zest (though I did have OJ) but I did have GF Orange flavoring, so I used a drop of that.

I put it all in a bundt pan and it came out great. Took a little longer than suggested. Came out moist and very tall...usually GF baked goods don't fluff up like this. I attribute this success to separating the eggs and whipping the whites.

Shana Tova from Bethesda, MD

Anonymous said...

hi, for how many standard-sized bread loaf pan these amount fit? one or two?

many thanks! planning to back on ROSH HASHANA,


Cynthia said...

I made this for the first time on 1/1/11. Must be a lucky number. This cake came out beautifully. I used the Heritage bundt cake pan from Williams Sonoma, and topped the cake with powdered sugar. For the flour I used King Arthur's GF multi purpose. I am gluten intolerant and though not Jewish, my husband and I wanted to bake this special recipe to begin our New Year. Thank You for this wonderful recipe! It is now one of our favorites, and we are eager to try more recipes from you. Cynthia, Dallas, TX