I have shared before that one of the Silver Linings of Celiac Disease has been the time that my daughter and I spend in the kitchen together.
Working side-by-side creating delicious and fun food has given us a special bond. This is when my daughter shares her feelings about her friends, her dreams for her future, her struggles with being a teenager and with the GF diet. And because of this time together, my daughter can whip up a GF roux for homemade macaroni and cheese without having to crack open a cookbook. This special time together is a silver lining in celiac disease.
And who other than a GF Teen would come up with the idea of an Ombre gluten free birthday cake! We called it The Tiffany Cake because it reminds us of the Tiffany Blue Boxes from one of our favorite stores.
Not only is this cake beautiful, it is absolutely delicious. Before going GF, I loved white wedding cake. Even at my own wedding, I waited until after the party was over to have my own piece of cake because I wanted to savor the flavor. When I took a bite of The Tiffany Cake, the memory of the me sitting on the flour of my hotel room at the Chicago Hilton and Towers more than 20 years ago, white taffeta and lace flowing around me, feet sore from a night of dancing, my new husband trying to get the veil and 100 bobby pins out of my hair as I took a bite of my wedding cake came to mind – sweet buttery taste that is melt in your mouth moist and just rich enough to make you pucker a little.
Making this cake is not for the light at heart – it was a three-hour endeavor but so worth it in the end. If you undertake it, be sure and send us a photo!
The Tiffany Cake – A Five-Tier Ombre Delight
Prep Time: 3 hours
- Shortening (to prepare cake pans)
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cup milk (use coconut milk for dairy free)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups brown rice flour
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- ¾ cup tapioca starch
- 1 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups baker’s sugar
- 16 Tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter (use Earth Balance for dairy free), softened but still cool
- Blue food coloring
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare five 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper. Simply place the cake pan on top the parchment paper, trace and cut out to make an easy insert. It will be easier to get the cakes out if the parchment paper is a little bigger than the pans.
Brush again with shortening, dust with tapioca starch and set aside.
Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla with a fork in a small bowl; measure out 1 cup of this mixture. Set both aside.
Combine the brown rice flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer.
Beat the mixture at the lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds.
With the mixer still running at the lowest speed, add the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time; mix until the butter and flour begin to clump together and look pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all the butter is added.
Add the 1 full cup of egg mixture and mix at the lowest speed until incorporated, about 5 to 10 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining egg mixture in a slow steady stream, taking about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat at medium-high speed until thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.
Divide batter evenly between five medium bowls; about 1 ½ cups batter per bowl. Add enough food coloring to each bowl until desired shade is reached. For the darkest shade we used 1 teaspoon, then stepped down the amount for each lighter shade to ½ teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon, just a few drops and then leave the last one plain.
Transfer each color to an individual cake pan (working in batches if you need to). Spread to the sides of the pans and smooth with a rubber spatula.
Bake until the cake tops are light gold and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 13 minutes.
Remove cakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack; re-invert and let cool completely.
Mix up some Cream Cheese Frosting while the cakes are cooling. For this cake, we doubled the frosting recipe and only had about 1 cup leftover.
Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place the darkest layer on the cake plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the first layer.
Repeat process adding the next lightest layer as you go up.
Cover the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting.
Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
Cover cake again with remaining frosting and decorate as desired.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
PRINT this recipe.
Enjoy the smiles when you cut the cake!