My younger sister just turned 21 – I am so excited! To celebrate this momentous occasion (and since I’m always on birthday cake duty) I decided to make her a cake. But being the indecisive little third child she is, she told me to “get creative and do whatever” each time I asked her what kind of cake she wanted…
So I did. And it was glorious.
She loves bananas and banana cake, so I decided to combine that with another favorite: Samoas. Yes, like the Girl Scout Cookie. The result is tender, moist banana cake layered with creamy banana coconut filling and flooded with ooey gooey caramel sauce and chocolate ganache. Needless to say, it was a hit.
Caramel. Coffee. Cake. These are a few of my favorite things — and in this yummy recipe, the three come together as one! I originally made this as my boyfriend’s post-birthday cake (his birthday falls between Christmas and New Year’s, so unfortunately I rarely bake him one of the day of because we’re pre-occupied with other plans… bad girlfriend, I know!). The “black” caramel in this recipe is actually just caramel that is flavored with coffee grounds. Grind them up as fine as you can to avoid any crunchiness (though the boiling step should remedy most of that). Though there are three parts to this cake, I wouldn’t call it labor intensive — it should take only about 30 minutes to prepare. It’s definitely more of a dessert, but for if you want a sweet something for breakfast, I won’t tell. It is a coffee cake after all ;-)
When birthdays come around it seems that, more often than not, I get put on cake duty. For the times that I don’t, I consider myself one of the lucky ones — for me, gluten-free is a choice, not a necessity, so I can partake in the celebratory cake eating if I choose to. For others, this isn’t an option. Recently, a coworker of mine noticed that she feels sick whenever she consumes pasta, baked goods, beer, etc., a clear sign of gluten intolerance. When I was asked to bake something for her birthday I knew it was my opportunity to introduce her to the world of gluten free baked goods, and these red velvet cupcakes seemed right up her alley. Both the birthday girl and my coworkers loved them, and no one would have guessed that they were gluten- and dairy-free! If you top yours with sprinkles, be sure to use a brand that’s gluten free as well. I used Let’s Do Organic Confetti Sprinkelz.
The Kitchn, though more of a “traditional” recipe site (full gluten, dairy, etc.) is one of my favorites for recipe and cooking design inspiration, and one of my favorite tools in my never-ending quest for delicious GFDF recipe ideas. This recipe was inspired by Faith’s own Cranberry Cake recipe, which can be found here. The flavor of the fresh cranberries really pop against the sweet crumb of the cake. I’ve made this cake twice now, once using spelt flour (not gluten-free, but lower in gluten than traditional flour for those that can tolerate it) and coconut sugar, which yields a slightly darker cake, and once using Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and organic cane sugar. Both turned out deliciously, so whichever flour or sugar suits your dietary needs is the one I suggest you use! To make the bread dairy-free, I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread.
Though the original recipe says it yields 10-12 cups, I’ve found it makes about 8-9, so keep that in mind when you select your choice of pans. Though titled a cake, I feel this is more of a sweetly flavored bread as it’s slightly denser than a cake. Whatever you decide to call it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
This recipe is:
• Gluten-free (with GF flour option)