Berry Cake, Gluten-Free

Greetings!  We’re gearing up for the 4th of July weekend here at Four Chickens.  Our block usually has a fun all-day gathering.  We block off the dead-end, the kids bike, scooter, play foursquare, and climb the tree while the adults hang out, eat and drink.  When it’s time for the fireworks, we walk a block over and watch them from the next street (we have a great view in our neighborhood).  All of this is my perfect way to spend this holiday.  I’m not a big fan of huge crowds and crazy drivers.  We get both in the neighborhood since we’re so close to the lake over which the fireworks are shown.  And, if we drive anywhere that day, we won’t be able to get back in for hours.  So hanging out on our own block is heaven for me!

Everyone contributes to the food portion of the show.  We set up a couple of barbecues.  One for veggies, one for meat.  We have popsicles galore.  Chips and dips, of course.  Homemade ice cream (I’ll be making strawberry this year).  And, I try to bake.  This year I’m also making a simple strawberry butter cake.  The recipe can also be used for other berries like blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.  Or all mixed together.  It’s easy to make and is always a hit.  I’ve had several meetings this week, so I’ve already baked it two of them and will bake another one for Sunday.

The reason strawberry cake is my cake of choice right now is that we have an entire freezer full of strawberries.  And not just any strawberries, Shuksan strawberries.  Girlfriend and I had the good fortune of being invited on a promotional tour of  Skagit Sun Farms on Monday.  Girlfriend and I picked our weight in strawberries (or so it seemed).  The Shuksan variety is arguably one of the sweetest and most delicate strawberries around.  They are much in demand around here.  I was thrilled to finally get a chance to taste them.  By the time I heard about them last year, they were gone.  When we got home from our outing, Girlfriend and I ate a bunch of our haul and then I froze the rest.  We have been eating them all week, and I have taken every opportunity to bake with them.  I’ve also given away a couple of bags.  Sigh.  I always feel like a wealthy woman when I have a freezer full of fresh, in-season produce.

I brought one of these cakes to our Canning Across America meeting last night, where someone declared it to be my best fruit-containing cake yet!  Wow, high praise from a room full of foodie-types.  One of the terrific things about this cake is that it is versatile and easy.  Not a lot of fuss needs to go into making this and the payoff is pure deliciousness!

Berry Cake, Gluten-Free (edited to add appropriate baking temp 8/13/10)

1 cup (140 g) plus 1 1/2 tsp Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (the big-crystal salt)
1/2 cup (4 oz; 1 stick; 115 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (190 g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
2 cups (475 ml) chopped strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or whole blueberries (make sure to drain any juice from these–I often use semi-frozen berries so they’re not mushy)
extra butter and tapioca flour for the pan

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.

Prepare a 9 in/23 cm springform pan: place a parchment paper round in the bottom.   If using a regular 9 in/23 cm round cake pan, just place a parchment paper found in the bottom–no need to butter and flour the sides.

In a small bowl, combine 1 C of the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy–about 3 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract, beat to mix in.  Add the eggs, beat for a few minutes more.  Add the flour mixture, beat until just combined.  Carefully spoon into the prepared pan (it is a thick batter, so you will need to stabilize the parchment paper so it doesn’t shift to one side).

In a medium bowl, combine your berries and the remained 1 1/2 tsp of flour.  Spoon the berry mixture over the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  If using a springform pan, run a knife around the sides to release the cake from pan.  Then remove outer ring and set cake on rack to cool.  If using a cake pan, turn over onto a rack, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.

I usually serve this as-is, but you can serve it dusted with powdered sugar or with a side dollop of whipped cream.


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  1. Marcia says

    Sorry, but I see a reference to 8-inch pan will have longer baking time. Don’t see what the suggested pan size is for the baking time given. Guessing 9″?

  2. Eden says

    This recipe made me a last minute super star. We had a bucket of fresh blackberries, and company arriving in an hour. This recipe came together so easily! I made this with 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose mix, 1/4 c. coconut flour and 1/4 c. almond meal. It came out of the oven just as our friends knocked on the door. Dessert was such a hit that I handed over the recipe printout to one of the guests. It wasn’t until they started reading the ingredients that they realized it was gluten free. :-)

  3. Elle says

    I see your recipe requires tapioca flour as do most gluten free flours, however, I have a sensitivity to it. Can you recommend a good substitute?


  4. Jenine says

    I just made this and can’t believe how delicious this was. I was afraid that this was going to be heavy and crumbly like most gluten free foods are and was pleasantly surprised at how light and moist this cake is. Thank you for the time you took to find a delicious gluten free flour mix. I’m looking forward to trying your other recipes.

  5. Morgan says

    Thank you! Made this yesterday and, of course, it is goner than gone! Soooooooo good.
    I made it with fresh raspberries and frozen strawberries. Just nuked the frozen strawberries till they were ‘medium-frozen’ and squeezed the majority of the water/juice out of all the berries.
    You are a genius! And I’m so so grateful for your AP flour receipe! You were right. Bean flours taste like… beans!
    This is such an easy cake. Thank you from this gluten free family and her newly gluten free friends who loved it, too!

  6. sharon says

    oh this looks so good! fresh blueberries in merry ole London are mostly as expensive as a second mortgage. Usually frozen is more accessible and more in line with my budget. What is your experience of using frozen berries? Do you thaw them, do you dust them in flour or sugar? How does the extra moisture effect the cake? Thanks for you work

  7. Destiny says

    Thank you for this recipe. I recently picked and prepared 3 gallons of strawberries. Least to say I am looking for a recipe just like this one. I cannot wait to try it. Thank you for your flour mix recipe. It definitely simplifies life!

  8. Elaine says

    I was looking for a recipe to make for our Canada Day celebrations that used fresh local strawberries ~ thought this one looked interesting, so gave it a try! It was fantastic!! Even though it is just my adult son who must eat gluten free, we all enjoyed it. Thanks you so much for this wonderful recipe!!


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