Lord Keevil’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Recently the cast of Millie’s hatched a plan to throw a surprise birthday party for Paul.  Deidra commissioned me to make a birthday cake for the event.  I was honored but a little nervous — there would be thirty-some people sampling my cake.  It had to be delicious and, due to Paul’s Celiacs disease, it had to be gluten-free.
My gluten-free baking trials have taught me that combining multiple “flours” often yields the best results.  For this cake, I used white and brown rice flour and tapioca starch.  Also, I usually try to go out of my way to avoid adding xanthan gum; I often can detect a metallic aftertaste in the finished product.  However, since I was working with cocoa powder, chicory root extract, and dark chocolate chips, I decided to include it.  The result was a lovely texture with no discernible aftertaste.  Chicory root extract is commonly used as a dietary supplement.  It’s a great source of soluble fiber, and it compliments the bittersweet taste I was trying to achieve with this cake.  win-win.

Dark Chocolate Cake


12 oz room temperature butter
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. chicory root extract
1/2 c. white rice flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350, and spray two 9 in. round cake pans with pan spray.  Sift together all the ingredients from white rice flour to xanthan gum.  Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, allowing time to incorporate between each addition.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Resume mixing.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide evenly between two pans, and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Chocolate Espresso Frosting

1/2 c. melted butter
2/3 c. scharffen berger cocoa
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine melted butter and cocoa.  Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk/vanilla until smooth and spreadable.

I also whipped up some coconut rum cupcakes with the gluten-free Betty Crocker cake mix.  It was very semi-homemade, but I was worried there wouldn’t be enough cake, so I needed something quick.  The Betty Crocker mix is really great; I look forward to making more box-cake variations with it in the future.  For this one, I added a little rum to the batter, and I made a simple cream cheese frosting (with a little more rum, for good measure) and topped it off with toasted coconut.  Resident Glutard “Little Mama,” aka Katherine Purvis purpotedly ate 6 of the little buggers within the first hour of the party!  Awesome.


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