No one will suspect this spectacularly moist and delicious gluten free coconut cake is free of gluten and dairy. Adapted from Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s book Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours, the just-sweet-enough treat uses the classic chiffon technique of folding whipped egg white meringue into a soft batter, which keeps it feather light, even when chilled.
Coconut Berry Cream Cake Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Recipe
FOR THE CAKE:
- 6 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral vegetable oil plus more for greasing the pans
- 5 large egg yolks plus 8 egg whites
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons millet flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
FOR THE CREAM:
- 2 (13.5-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, chilled at least 4 hours or overnight
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar sifted
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 pints strawberries stemmed and quartered
- 2 (6-ounce) containers raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with sunflower oil and line each with a round of parchment paper cut to fit.
Make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together 1-1/4 cups water with the oil, egg yolks, and vanilla, then whisk in the 3/4 cup sugar.
In a bowl, sift together the three flours with the baking powder and salt, adding back any bits left behind in the sifter. Whisk the flour mixture into the water mixture until very smooth; it will thicken up as it stands.
In the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add the 3 tablespoons sugar and whip until the whites are glossy and just hold a firm peak when lifted from the bowl, 1 to 3 minutes longer. Fold one-third of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites until just combined and no streaks remain. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake until the cakes are golden, spring back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour. Loosen the edges with a knife or offset spatula and invert the cakes onto a rack or board. Peel away the parchment paper.
Make the cream: Without tilting or shaking the cans, remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator and open the cans. Scoop out the firm coconut cream on the top, leaving behind the watery liquid in the bottom, and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Whip on high until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute, then beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.
To assemble, in a large bowl, toss the berries with the sugar and let stand for a few minutes. Place one cake layer on a serving plate or platter. Spread with one-third of the whipped coconut cream in an even layer, then scatter one-fourth of the berries evenly over the cream. Top with a second layer of cake and repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a mound of berries on the top layer. Chill the cake until firm for easier cutting, 1 to 2 hours, then slice into wedges and serve.
Photography Alanna Taylor-Tobin