Tag Archives: cake

Gluten-Free Almond Spice Banana Cake Recipe

Photo: by Great British Chefs via Flickr.

Chef Renee had a group of gluten-intolerant friends come for dinner a couple of weeks ago.

“I’m not really a gluten-free baker,” she told me, but being the professional that she is, she set to work to create this banana bread for her friends. 

Everyone loved it, she reports.

“There were also some folks there who do eat gluten, but they loved the GF cake, so everyone ended up eating it and not eating the chocolate spice cake I had made with wheat flour for the regular eaters,” she recalls.

To add some pizazz to this dessert, slice off the top of the cake and spread it with strained yogurt which has thickened or with softened tofu cream cheese.  You can sweeten either of these toppings with a little brown sugar or honey to taste.

To amp things up further, serve the cake with a shot of your very best bourbon.

Gluten-Free Almond Spice Banana Cake

© Renee Marton

Preheat oven to 350F.

Liberally butter or spray loaf pans—I recommend 2 or 3 disposable small loaf pans, rather than the traditional loaf pan, which is too wide.


1 ripe banana

1 cup gluten-free flour

1 cup almond flour

½ cup sweet butter, very soft or melted

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon bourbon

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons xanthum gum

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon salt


Step 1

Mix both flours together with xanthum gum, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.  Make sure there are no lumps (push through a strainer, or process briefly in a food processor).

Step 2

This step, as well as step 3, is easier to follow if you use a standing mixer, but you can also use a hand held mixer, or even mix by hand using a wooden spoon. Blend the banana, butter, bourbon and sugar together until everything is well blended and somewhat soupy. There should be no lumps.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well.

Step 3

If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.  If using a hand held mixer, use the beaters, and if mixing by hand, use a wooden spoon supplemented by a whisk.  Slowly add the flour mixture until completely incorporated.  The batter will be thinner than a batter using wheat flour.

Step 4

Pour the batter into the two loaf pans, about ¾ of the way up.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, on the center shelf.  Use a toothpick to make sure the cake is fully baked.

Cool on a rack for 30 minutes.  Unmold and finish cooling on a plate.



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Halloween Recipe: A Rum and Pecan Spice Cake Adults Will Crave

Photo: By wayneandwax via flickr.

Photo: By wayneandwax via flickr.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in New Orleans at a food writers conference. We were treated to many incredible New Orleans food delights, but one of the most scrumptious was Louisiana Chef John Folse’s Rum and Pecan Spice Cake.

Trust me, there is nothing like this in New York, anywhere. Rich, moist, and impossibly buttery—and very southern—this cake won praise all around.

So for Halloween, forget the candy corn and Twizzlers. (Folse’s recipe would also make a great Thanksgiving dessert,) For the sweetest Halloween possible, dive into this luscious cake instead.

Recipe provided by chef John Folse of Chef John Folse & Company, Gonzales, LA.

Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Yields: 10–12 Servings

The old fashion spice cakes were often the base for wonderful tasting yet creative desserts in Creole Louisiana. Cakes were flavored with aromatic spices combined with brown sugar and chopped pecans then moistened with syrup made from brandies, ratafia or rum from Hatti. This is one version of that sweet Creole treat.

2½ cups cake flour
1½ tsps baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp clove
1½ cups chopped pecans
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup rum
roasted pecan halves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 2 (9-inch) cake pans with 2-inch lips. Line bottom of pans with buttered parchment paper or spray well with vegetable spray. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until light yellow and ribbony. Continue until all eggs are added. Blend in vanilla. Slowly blend in all dry ingredients in three equal additions alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend in cinnamon, clove and chopped pecans. Divide batter equally between 2 pans. Place cakes in center of oven and bake 30–35 minutes or until tester inserted into center of cakes come out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and peel off parchment paper. Cool completely. To make a rum syrup, combine remaining water, ¼ cup sugar and rum. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved completely and syrup coats the back of the spoon. Syrup should be reduced by 25%. Cool slightly. Using a toothpick or skewer, insert at 10–12 intervals around the cake and brush with syrup. The holes will allow the syrup to reach the center of the cake. To serve, you may wish to cut into serving pieces or using a 2-inch pastry cutter, cut into circles, or frost whole cakes with your favorite icing to create a layer cake. Top with roasted pecan halves (optional).

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Election Night Cake

Do what our forefathers and mothers did, and prepare this cake for election night.

If you’re wondering what voters are eating while they watch the returns Tuesday night, read my story on Huffington Post.   What to Eat and When to Eat It on Election Night

Election Day Cake

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups dried fruit, including cranberries, golden raisins, and blueberries
1/2 cup American whisky
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1 package (3/4 ounce) rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, sifted
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) soft unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 eggs
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Combine 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the dried fruit in a large bowl. Add the sugar mixture and whisky; stir and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine warm water and milk.
Combine yeast with 1 cup of whole-wheat flour and combine it with the milk mixture. Sprinkle the remaining whole-wheat flour on top. Set aside to allow the yeast to ferment until the yeast breaks through the surface of the flour, approximately 30 minutes.
Lightly spray and flour an 8-inch tube pan.
Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and set aside.
Drain the fruit mixture; reserve the syrup for later use as a glaze.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar until light in texture. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the sponge (flour and yeast mixture); mix until fully combined. Add the remaining sifted dry ingredients. The batter will be stiff. Stir in the drained fruit.
Place the batter in the pan, cover, and set in a warm area to allow the cake to rise, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of the syrup reserved from the drained fruit. Stir until smooth and set aside.
Bake cake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer cake to a wire rack to cool. When cool, lightly brush with reserved syrup, and top with glaze.
Makes one 10-inch cake
From The Culinary Institute of America.

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Recipe: Teddie’s Apple Cake for Rosh Hashanah or Any Time

Photo by By jensteele via Flickr.

One of the great desserts of all times, Teddie’s Apple Cake is perfect for the High Holidays, and especially for Rosh Hashanah. In fact, you’ll love this cake even if you’re not Jewish. It’s moist and filled with nuts, apples and raisins. Perfect with a cup of tea or for Sunday brunch.

Click here for the the recipe, which first apeared in the New York Times in 1973. If you don’t like things too sweet, cut the sugar to 1 cup. The raisins and apples add a dose of natural sweeteners so two cups of sugar is overkill.

Who’s Teddie? No one knows, but you’ll quickly gobble up this mystery baker’s creation.

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