Sweet Sundays: Amy ~ When I first learned to bake gluten-free, my choices felt limited. I didn’t know it at the time, but a world of possibilities was opening up before me. Instead of just white or wheat flour, I had buckwheat, teff, quinoa, brown rice, garbanzo bean, and sorghum flours to choose from.
Then there’s this stuff called ‘coconut flour’ that’s got a mind of its own – Delicious, tender, slightly sweet, and tons of fun. Did I mention frugal? You can really make an entire 8 inch cake with less than 1/2 cup of finely shredded coconut meat.
The options were endless, too, when I started baking without dairy. I tried hemp, almond, oat, and rice milks, each with its own taste and consistency. Cashew and coconut creams, palm shortening, fruit purees, and nutritional yeast have all been able to fool even the pickiest of eaters.
Here I use unsweetened almond milk because I like the natural sweetness it imparts. Feel free to substitute any dairy-free milk you have on hand. Double the recipe and make a frosted layer cake. Or, toss the cake concept out the window and make a batch of muffins.
Triple Berry Coconut Cake
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line an 8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and oil well.
Sift coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, agave, and coconut oil. Add sifted coconut flour and mix well, making sure there are no lumps. Gently stir in frozen berries.
Turn into prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean. Let cool on a wire baking rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely. Serve with your favorite dairy-free ice cream.
A note about coconut flour: Coconut flour has lots of fiber so a little goes a long way. It also has a natural sweetness so it doesn’t need a lot of agave. This batter will be thick but it should not be stiff. If your batter is too thick, add dairy-free milk a couple of teaspoons at a time until it relaxes a bit.
Makes one 8-inch cake, about 3/4 inch thick
Article, photos, and recipe by Amy Green, M.Ed., the author of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, a blog about eating well, eliminating refined sugars and wheat, and maintaining a healthy weight. Over the years she’s learned that eating healthier doesn’t equal deprivation. Look for Amy’s first cookbook, "Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free in 20 Minutes," which will be released in January 2011.