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Gluten-free Lemon Blueberry Cake

A number of gluten-free recipes have been gathering dust in my books and binders. Gluten-free baking can be expensive and cumbersome since you need various flours and xanthum gum to create a suitable blend that can sub for all purpose flour. Several companies have worked to take the hassle out of gf baking by offering prepackaged flour blends. After learning about these blends, I decided to use King Arthur Flour‘s Gluten-Free Measure for Measure flour blend. This blend includes rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, a couple starches, and xanthum gum. What does this all mean? It means that this is the only thing you need to buy when adapting a non-yeast recipe to be gf (Note: always check your other ingredients to ensure that they are also gf).

For my first adapted recipe, I went with the lemon blueberry pound cake, which you may remember from the Portal cakes post. The only substitution was the gf flour instead of the ap flour.

The good news first: The flour swap was great! I’m really happy with how the cake turned out with the gf flour.

The bad news: The cake was 90% inedible. Why? I forgot about my blueberries until I started pouring the batter into the pan. In my scramble, I completely forgot (once again) to dry them and toss them in some of the gf flour. This resulted in a lot of extra moisture in the cake. The blueberries all gathered in the same section of cake and those sections did not bake fully. I had already glazed the cake before slicing, so I wasn’t able to toss the slices back into the oven to finish them up.

Fortunately, there were some parts that were baked that I was able to taste. I’m now chomping at the bit to try another recipe using the gf flour. While I have not tried any other brands, I do recommend King Arthur Flour’s gluten free blend, as do many others (shout out to those who commented on Facebook and Instagram!).

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Mirror Glaze

I finally built up the nerve to try a mirror glaze and I am so glad I did. The recipe for this experiment is from Sugar Geek Show and I definitely recommend it. For the cake, I made a devil’s food box cake replacing the water with milk and oil with butter. After taking the cake out of the oven, I popped it out of the pan and wrapped it several times with plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer for at least an hour. Then, it was time to try for some magic.
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Mirror Glaze

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp water (first quantity)
8 tsp gelatin powder (4 – 0.25 oz packets)
1/2 cups of water (second quantity)
2 cups (360 g) of high quality white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate premium baking bars)
Food coloring (I used Wilton icing colors)

Add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and the first quantity of water to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

While waiting, pour the second quantity of water into the powdered gelatin and mix with a spoon. Leave to fully absorb for a few minutes.

When the sugar, milk, and water mixture begins to simmer, remove from the heat and add the bloomed gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

Pour the hot liquid on top of the chocolate and leave to sit for 5 mins to melt.

Use whisk to stir the glaze until the chocolate has completely melted.

Separate the glaze into separate containers (keeping the containers the same type will help keep cooling time around the same. Metal bowls will retain heat resulting in a much longer cool down time). Add desired food coloring to each container of glaze and stir until well-mixed.

Leave the glaze to cool. (Now is a good time to take the cake out of the freezer.) Once the glaze cools to 90F*, pour it over the frozen cake which is on top of a cup or cooling rack which is sitting on a tray lined with plastic wrap to catch the drippings. Transfer the cake to the fridge to set for a few hours before serving.

*94F worked fine for me. I got a bit impatient because I made the metal bowl mistake. To remedy the mistake, I transferred the glaze to a plastic bowl.

Stir cooling glaze when ready to pour to ensure good consistency. If one or more containers of glaze get too cool, you can reheat the glaze in a pan or by using a baking torch and stirring.

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Portal Cakes

When I decided on my bundt cake theme, I knew I had to do an orange portal and a blue portal. Portal and Portal 2 are funny fun puzzle adventure games by Valve. If you’re not familiar, you have a gun that shoots two portals, an orange one and a blue one. You can enter an orange portal and come out a blue portal or vise versa. The portals help you solve your way out of sealed rooms as you work your way through a facility. No spoilers here, but I really enjoy the games and their characters.

For the orange portal, I decided on doing the maple pecan cake with cinnamon glaze that I’ve posted on here before.

For the blue portal, I tried a lemon pound cake recipe and added blueberries. This recipe comes from Tarteletthttp://www.tarteletteblog.com/search…

While I didn’t get to do a sample cake for this one to taste, it smelled delicious and came highly recommended. I will make it again in the future for tasting.

Just like the sarlacc cake, I made a vanilla buttercream to fill the center hole of the cake. I made black sugar cookies using the no fridge recipe and ninjabread men cookie cutters. Then, I cut one sugar cookie man in half and placed each half in the buttercream so it would stand up. Once they were set, I poured the colored glaze around the cake and made sure it filled in the center evenly. For the maple cake, I used the cinnamon glaze as before and colored it orange. For the lemon blueberry cake, I used a vanilla glaze and colored it blue.
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Ultimate Lemon Pound Cake (with blueberries)

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 sticks of butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 package fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 300F.

Butter and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.

Rinse blueberries. Coat blueberries with some extra flour so they won’t sink in the batter.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Cream the butter and 1 3/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the lemon zest. Fold in the coated blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 mins. Poke holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer.

Meanwhile, bring the lemon juice and remaining sugar to a boil over medium high heat in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Invert the cake onto a rack positioned over a baking sheet which is lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Slowly pour the syrup over the cake. It will seep through the holes and into the cake. Let cool to room temperature.

 

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Sarlacc Cake

The sarlacc cake! This is the cake that set me on a run of geek-themed bundt cakes. If you’ve watched the original Star Wars trilogy, you may recognize this monster as one who almost made a snack out of the Millennium Falcon. The recipes and construction come by way of Yummy Crumble. She took inspiration from other recipes and those are all cited in her original post. She also has a plethora of monster and creepy themed desserts that look like a blast to make and eat. This sarlacc cake is easier to construct than you’d expect and there are some work around if a part doesn’t work out. I had two failed attempts at making the madeleines (both human error, not recipe error) and ran out to purchase a small pack at my local Starbucks.
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Caramel Bundt Cake

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour your bundt cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

With an electric mixer and paddle attachment, beat the softened butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until each is well mixed. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and mix some more.

On low, add the flour mixture alternating between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Pour into the bundt pan and bake for 35-45 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (mine went for 40 mins). Cool in the pan for 20 mins before transferring to a cooling rack.

Biscoff Cookies Madeleines

2 large room temperature eggs
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 1/4 vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground Biscoff cookie crumbs (grind up an 8 oz package as you’ll use the rest for decoration)
1/4 tsp baking powder
A pinch of cinnamon
8 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Set oven to 375F.

Lightly grease and flour madeleine pan. Place parchment on a regular baking sheet.

In a food processor, blend a package of Biscoff cookies into crumbs. Keep a 1/2 cup ready and put the rest aside.

Beat eggs and sugar together until thick. Beat in vanilla.

Sift flour, cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and baking powder into the bowl. Fold together until mixed.

Stream in melted butter while mixing on low. Spoon a Tbsp of batter into each cavity on the madeleine sheet. Bake for 12-14 mins or until lightly golden brown. Be careful not to over-bake. Allow to cool for a few mins before removing from sheet. Make sure the pan has cooled before making the next batch.

For the tentacles, place a small amount of batter into a baggie or piping bag. Pipe a thin line of batter onto the parchment paper. The batter spreads while baking. Bake at 375F until golden brown (just a few mins).

*My first batch didn’t work out because I got distracted and threw my cookie sheet and tentacles in at the same time and never checked on them. The entire batch burned black. During my second attempt, I ran into an issue with my flour and had to wait for a new bag. Once it showed up, I forgot to add the flour to my dry ingredients. Then entire batch spread as far as it could go while baking. I was able to salvage two crunchy pieces for the tentacles for my cake. I went and bought some madeleines to finish the cake.

Decoration

Rest of the Biscoff cookie crumbs
Your favorite salted caramel sauce (I used a jar of HERSHEY’S sundae topping)
Your favorite vanilla frosting (I used a basically vanilla buttercream and Yummy Crumble uses a caramel buttercream)
Handful of slivered almonds

Once the cake has cooled, drizzle the entire cake with caramel sauce.

Cover the cake with the cookie crumbs.

Using the raw almonds, create the teeth on the interior wall of the pit (the inside of the cake).

Fill the pit with frosting and cover the frosting with cookie crumbs. This will cover many of the almonds.

Using a small piping tip (no. 4), create teeth by piping small drops around the outside edge of the madeleine cookies. (I did two rows of teeth for fun). Place the two madeleine cookies inside the pit, pushing them slightly into the frosting so that they stand. Place the tentacles around the madeleine beak.

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Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake – Box Mix

Box cake mixes do not hold mix-ins well. No matter how many times I try this, I refuse to learn my lesson. The result is all of the fruit or nuts sinking to the bottom of the pan/top of the cake. This experiment included adding blueberries and lemon zest to a boxed cake mix. Very simple, very tasty, but would be better if the berries were better distributed.
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Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 lemon
1 box of blueberries

Take a small amount of the dry cake mix and place it in a small bowl. Rinse and dry the fresh blueberries. Toss blueberries in small bowl of cake mix until they are coated.

Prepare the rest of the dry box mix as directed on the box. For a bump in flavor, use an equal amount of milk instead of water and an equal amount of butter in place of oil.

Zest one lemon. Add zest to the cake batter and mix until combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Grease and flour a bundt pan. Follow the oven temp and baking time listed on the box. Start with the minimum bake time and increase time as needed until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Turn the pan upside down to get the cake out into a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

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Box cake mix typically isn’t dense enough to hold up fruit, so it sinks to the bottom of the pan, creating a blueberry crown in the finished cake.
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Maple Pecan Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

A neighbor recently had a birthday and had one request for me: one of my baked goods and maple flavor. Maple is a favorite of mine so I happily looked up several different maple desserts before finding a drool-inducing cake recipe from Betty Crocker: https://www.bettycrocker.com/…/7b978598-581f-4e07-9485-2e9f…. I knew I had to match the perfect glaze to this cake and found a cinnamon version of a glaze I had done before on Gonna Want Seconds: https://www.gonnawantseconds.com/…/pumpkin-cake-with-cinna…/. The feedback on this cake was amazing! It’s quick and easy to make with flavor that will put a smile on any maple-lover’s face.
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Maple Pecan Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

Cake:
1 box of yellow cake mix (regular or super moist)
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup (or maple-flavored syrup)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

To toast pecans – Place pecans on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for about 5 mins. Take them out when they become fragrant. Be careful not to over-bake as they burn easily.

Preheat or keep oven at 350F.

Generously grease and lightly flour a bundt pan. In a large bowl, beat cake ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds then on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour batter into pan and bake for 47-53 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine was good after 47 mins). Cool for 10 mins before removing from the pan. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack for about 2 hours.

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp whole milk (1.5-2 Tbsp depending on desired consistency)

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Drizzle over cake.