A friend of mine made a key lime cake last week and asked me if I could come up with a gluten-free version. I was pretty excited at the challenge, and even more excited at the result. I liberated his cake from the evil gluten, and it was really quite delicious! He used a box of lemon cake for the base, so I was a little lost at where to start. I found inspiration looking at this recipe.
Ingredients for the cake:
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup millet flour
- 2/3 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- 1 Tablespoon guar gum
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup red palm oil*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 eggs
- 2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 1 small packet of lime jello
* I use red palm oil because I believe it’s one of the healthiest oils out there. However, it’s an ingredient that is hard to find; I buy mine online. Other good oils you may use would be olive oil, coconut oil or high oleic safflower oil.
Ingredients for the glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar*
- 1/2 cup lime juice
* Powdered sugar is made with cornstarch. There are also a few brands, like 365 Organic, that make it with tapioca starch instead and that’s what I use.
Ingredients for the icing:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 80z cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar*
Now that you have all the ingredients you need, preheat the oven to 350F. You will need three large mixing bowls for the next step.
In the first bowl, mix your flours, starches, guar gum and salt.
In the second bowl, mix in the milk, palm oil, vanilla and lemon zest.
In the third and largest bowl, whisk the eggs and gradually add all the sugar, until it is smooth and not grainy.
Now, slowly add some of the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar, mix well, add some of the oil mixture, mix well. Repeat until all the flour and oil has been incorporated to the eggs and sugar, starting and ending with the flour.
In a glass, mix in the baking soda and tapioca starch. Add the orange juice and mix well so it’s bubbling. Add that to the cake batter and fold it in (baking soda, starch and an acid is what I use instead of baking powder since that is made with corn starch, which I don’t eat).
Finally, add the lime jello packet and mix well. Don’t worry if it turns a weird color. Pour the batter in two cake pans that were previously greased, lined with parchment paper and greased some more. Can’t have this delicious cake stick!
Put it in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes. At around 35 minutes, you can take it out and poke a few holes in the middle with a toothpick so it all cooks evenly.
When it’s ready, take it out of the oven, put it on a cooling rack, or two plates, and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, prepare the lime glaze. It’s pretty easy. Just whisk the powdered sugar and lime juice. Poke some holes in the cake so it soaks in the glaze really well and pour it in.
Now for the frosting! It’s also pretty easy. Just put the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar in the food processor and pulse it a few times, until it’s smooth and nicely combined. Using a spatula, generously frost the top of one of the cakes. Put the other cake on top and frost everything some more.
My only complaint about this cake is the amount of sugar going in it. It doesn’t taste too sweet; it really is a wonderful combination with the tartness of the citrus. But it’s still over 4 cups of sugar! Oh well, it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while and this cake is definitely a good way to do it.