This gluten free cake recipe turns out a very delicate, lightweight, yet moist, gluten free cake. One layer may be used as a coffee cake, without the heavy weight, or layer it, if you desire. It contains no oil, as the walnuts and egg supply sufficient amounts of fat. Garnish with honey or agave and top with walnuts or make 2 layers and frost with a cream cheese or white frosting. Whether serving with coffee, tea, or a glass of milk, this gluten free cake will surely hit the spot if you have a sweet tooth, and it is all free of highly refined sugar (depending upon if you use honey or agave) and is high in protein. Enjoy! And please read tips below before baking.
Flourless Gluten Free Cake Recipe: Made from Walnuts
A flourless gluten free cake recipe using walnuts, agave, eggs and leaveners. Tastes divine with a spot of tea!
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toast the walnuts by placing them on a baking sheet; bake for about 10 minutes, turning over nuts once during baking. Turn oven off and preheat again later to conserve energy. Once done, allow to cool completely.
- Oil a 9-inch springform pan with oil or oil cooking spray; line the bottom with parchment paper; and oil the top of the parchment paper. If using a regular 9" baking pan or not using parchment paper, in addition to the oil, I suggest dusting the sides and bottom with gluten-free starch: tapioca flour/starch, potato starch or cornstarch.
- Once walnuts are cooled, preheat oven again to 350°F*. (See notes below.)
- Place the cooled walnuts in the food processor or blender and pulsate, one short pulsate at a time, until finely ground, but still contains tiny pieces. (Because of the high oil content in walnuts, ensure you do not over process or you will create walnut butter.) Another option is chop them up superfine until you end up with a nut powder/flour.
- In a small prep bowl or cup, mix dry ingredients together, breaking up any lumps; set aside.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, add egg yolks, agave or honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Sprinkle the dry mixture on top, avoiding sides of bowl. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly blended, scraping bowl if any dry ingredients stick to the sides.
- Add the processed walnuts and beat on low until well blended. Pour into a large bowl and set aside.
- With your electric mixer and clean bowl and whisk, beat the egg whites on high speed. You should stop beating right before or just reaching soft peaks. My KitchenAid (more powerful than most hand mixers) took about 50 seconds.
- Fold the egg whites into the walnut mixture just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan about 4 or 5 times on the counter to bring up some of the larger air bubbles. And then with a butter knife, stir just the top to break up the bubbles.
- Bake until center rises and comes out toothpick clean, about 30 minutes. If you have an older springform pan, you may wish to play it safe, in case it leaks, and place the pan atop a baking sheet.
- Allow to cool in the pan until the pan has reached a comfortable temperature; remove ring; and allow to cool completely. The cake should have baked away from the pan, therefore, no need to use a knife to loosen it.
- With a spatula, lift the cake up from above the parchment paper and quickly and gently trafter to a serving platter, supporting it with your free hand.
- Lift a portion at a time and lay torn pieces of wax paper or parchment paper under the edges of the entire cake.
- With a frosting spatula or butter knife, spread the honey or agave on the top and sides of the cake.
- With you hands, gently pat some finely chopped walnuts on the sides and, if desired, 1" around the top edges or the entire top portion.
Because the cake rose to almost double the height you see, and then fell, I suggest to try baking it at 325°F for a longer period of time. It probably just needed to bake longer, but was becoming too brown, and probably would not have fallen if I had it at a lower temperature and baked it longer. Next time I make this, I will post updates here.
Walnuts tend be bitter. If you roast the walnuts in the oven first, allow them to cool and then grind them, some of the bitterness will be removed. Another option is to crack your own walnuts and leave them out for about a week. Then they will only have a very slight bitter taste. It's just a characteristic of walnuts. And the best option is to soak them overnight; rinse them thoroughly, several times until the milky substance is washed away; and the dehydrate them. Works like a charm!
Cakes made from egg white may fall more easily than others due to the excessive amount of air bubbles in the cake. If the lower temperature does not do the trick, perhaps mixing the egg white on medium speed may help.
Another option is to leave out the baking powder, though the cake will remain on the low side, which it should.
If your cake does fall, just note that a layer of honey/agave and nuts hide all imperfections (wrinkles from shrinkage).
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