Little M’s Gluten Free Birthday Cake

I wrote last week about how I hoped to make Little M a birthday cake for her first birthday on Tuesday; I’m pleased to say that I managed it, and it was very tasty, but it wasn’t quite what I’d envisaged last week! We’re having a little gathering at home tomorrow to celebrate Little M’s birthday with friends, so I’m going to try to recreate her birthday cake for that. I’m still debating whether or not to make a larger one in the shape of a one, as we’ve invited rather a lot of people and I’m not sure the 20cm diameter circular cake that I made for Tuesday will be big enough!

Anyway, without further ado, here is the cake that I made for Little M’s first birthday…

Gluten free first birthday cake

I’m quite proud of it really. It’s gluten free, not because Little M is gluten free, but because myself, hubby and my mother in law follow a gluten free diet, and we’d like to be able to eat it! To be honest, I’m of the opinion that if I’m putting in the effort to bake a cake, then I’m jolly well going to be eating it afterwards! After hunting around to find a successful gluten free sponge recipe, I threw that idea out of the window and went with this chocolate almond cake recipe by Paul Hollywood, which my lovely friend Laura suggested to me.

The cake has a really good consistency and is what I like to call an ‘accidental’ gluten free cake. What I mean by this is that it doesn’t contain any gluten free flour blends; the ingredients just happen to all be gluten free. These are my favourite type of cake as they usually taste better than anything involving gluten free flour or cake mix! It only has four ingredients too, which is ideal as I’m not a fan of fussy recipes! Having said that though, you definitely need an electric whisk for this as there’s a LOT of whisking involved!

gluten free chocolate almond cake ingredients

I didn’t bother with the ganache topping that Paul Hollywood suggests, choosing instead to decorate the bottom (it was flatter than the top!) with a layer of buttercream icing, strawberries arranged in the shape of a number one, giant white chocolate buttons around the edge and blueberries sliced in half to fill in the gaps. The buttercream icing was a really simple one part butter to two parts icing sugar recipe (e.g. 100g butter plus 200g icing sugar). I just got the electric whisk on the go and waited until it had reached a nice consistency. My top tip is to have the butter out of the fridge for a little while before you attempt to make the icing, otherwise you’ll end up with a cloud of icing sugar and a hard lump of butter with a slight dusting of icing sugar. I may be speaking from experience…

I did consider ‘cladding’ the sides of the cake with buttercream icing and chocolate buttons, but in the end I decided against it (mainly because I had around 15 minutes to decorate the cake before waking Little M from her nap to meet with some friends) and I think it turned out pretty well. Little M certainly seemed to enjoy it, anyway!

gluten free first birthday cake

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