Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Grandma Annie's Pound Cake, Gluten Free

Gluten Free Pound Cake with Berries

Sometimes a girl needs a little bit of pound cake. And if you are a gluten free girl, finding tasty pound cake is like looking for the perfect bra. It just doesn't exist. Unless you learn how to make it yourself.

With a little help from Cooks Illustrated, we recreated a simple cold oven pound cake into a cold oven gluten free pound cake that is outrageously tasty.

Cold oven recipes are great because I often forget to preheat the oven. Finally, a recipe that serves the forgetful. Unlike dense pound cakes, this one has a light crumb, but with all the flavor of heavy duty pound cake. And the gluten free version does not disappoint!

A new gadget arrived in Lulu & Phoebe's Gluten Free Test Kitchen this past week. It is called the Sideswipe, a paddle attachment to the Kitchen Aid that actually scrapes the sides of the bowl as it mixes. To bakers everywhere, this could be the holy grail of gadgets. So much of our time using the big stand mixers is spent stopping the thing and scraping the sides. Sideswipe does it for you without stopping. You can see for yourself in the photos below. A miracle I tell you! A miracle. All except for the flour addition.

I added the flour (gluten free, of course) at the slowest speed and it hit the ceiling, my face, the dogs, and the island on the other side of the counter. Apparently all the kinks are not worked out with Sideswipe. Its little fins toss the stuff up and out as you add it.

This is going to be one of my new favorite recipes. It takes minutes to whip up (except for mopping up the floured kitchen ceiling). You can change it up with a little lemon or orange zest, tiny chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or toffee bits if you are 1 Irritated Mother. I bet berries would be great too.

Gluten Free Cold Oven Tasty Pound Cake

cast of characters


  • 3 cups of gluten free flour*
  • 1.5 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or less!)
  • 1 cup of milk plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (a bit less is fine)
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature


Grease and flour (gf) a large bundt or tube pan (16 cups).

Mix the flour, xantan gum, baking powder and salt together in a bowl until combined and set aside. Mix together the milk, vanilla and almond flavorings in another small bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer, or with a handheld mixer, on medium speed, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time on medium speed. Really! One. At. A. Time!

Sideswipe in action with the butter & sugar

Next with the mixer on the lowest setting add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture until it is all incorporated. Mix it on low until smooth, just a few seconds. You don't want to over mix the batter.

adding in the gluten free flour

and the gluten free flour flies out

Give it one more stir with a spatula or wooden spoon. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and then give it a bang on the counter top to remove any air bubbles.

pouring into the prepared bundt

ready to bake in the cold oven

Place the cake in the cold oven and turn the temperature to 325. Bake for about 16 hours until a toothpick comes out clean. Seriously, it takes a long time to bake, so be patient. Start checking at 45 minutes and anywhere from 75 to 85 minutes it should be done. Keep those toothpicks handy because you want to take it out as soon as it comes out without batter attached to it.

finally done after 85 minutes!

Let it cool on a rack in the pan for about 20 minutes and then flip it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling, if you can wait that long.

cooling on a wire rack

The cake is great the first day, even better the second and lasts for about 4 days wrapped tightly in foil. I keep mine in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature to serve.

Bon Appetit!

yes, I am eating two slices
* I like to use Authentic Brands Gluten Free flour for cakes, the gourmet featherweight blend. I use the classic blend for cookies.

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