The search for the best gluten free cake mix continues.
While Dwaine is out mowing the yard on a hot August day here in Denver, I’m in the kitchen trying out a new natural product for you! The dogs look sad not to be in the kitchen with me. 🙁
Another day, another new gluten-free product to test out for you!
We’ve already read about gluten and how it can impact the lives of many people who suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerance. If you missed the details, you can find them here. So what can a celiac sufferer do when he or she is craving just a simple slice of cake? Well, you can make your own from scratch, which involves having a blend of rice, potato, tapioca and other flours on hand, along with some corn or potato starch, maybe some xanthan or guar gum, and the usual butter, eggs and sugar. Whew.
Or, you can spring for one of these new cake mixes that are hitting the market. It seems I find a new one to try every time I go to the store. They may be a bit pricey, but considering you don’t have to have 3 types of flour on hand, maybe it’s worth it. Let’s find out!
This time, it’s Arrowhead Mills’ version of gluten-free vanilla cake.
Right away, one difference is the size of the package. The Arrowhead Mills version packs in 20.9 oz of mix – enough for two, 8″ rounds. Most boxed gluten-free mixes only provide enough for one round.
The ingredients include: Organic Evaporated Cane Syrup, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Organic Rice Flour, Organic Tapioca Starch Flour, Rice Flour, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Inulin, Sea Salt, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Rice Bran Extract, Xanthan Gum.
The mix instructions call for 1 cup milk, 1 stick of unsalted, melted butter and 4 eggs. There were no high-altitude adjustments on the box, so I prepared the mix according to the directions provided.
After adding the dry mix in 3 stages as recommended, the mix formed a very thick batter:
I would normally have added more liquid to this batter, as I’ve never used anything quite this thick before. But for the sake of science, I simply scooped the batter into two greased 8″ cake rounds. The oven was warmed at 360° F for about 15 minutes before I popped in the rounds. I set the timer for 22 minutes. I tested with a toothpick and added another 4 minutes – not even close. At 27 minutes I pulled out the cakes.
Both cakes were slightly rounded at the center, though, because of the thick batter, you could still detect spatula marks. The crust was a golden brown. The cakes cooled for about 10 minutes, then I removed them from the pans. Both came out clean.
The cakes are somewhat dense. Gas holes vary in size from medium to slightly larger than that. Cell walls are medium thick. This is not an “airy” cake, but a more rustic, dense cake.
The flavor is pleasantly sweet, with vanilla and butter notes. The cake is moist, but a bit tough and slightly gummy – typical of gluten-free cake mixes I’ve tried. With the use of 4 eggs, the cake was almost sure to be tougher than most, and it is.
Overall, the cake was acceptable, but not as good as other mixes I’ve tried (see Madhava Naturally Sweet Mmmm . . . Super Yummy Yellow review.) Celiacs can definitely expect better than Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Vanilla cake mix.