rainbow monkey [recipe: GF chocolate ganache cake]

My birthday was last week.  I made my own cake.  I know that’s not traditional, but I’ve become snotty about my GF baked goods.  Even the fanciest items at the GF specialty bakeries doesn’t taste as good to me as what I make myself–and forget about mixes.  I used pretty much the same recipe for my cake as I did for my daughter’s 2nd birthday last month–hers was just 50% bigger.  You want the secret?  I used an entire pound of chocolate (for hers–this one only has 10 oz).  Hey, I said it was gluten-free, I didn’t say it was health food.  😀

A note about flours: I’m still using my version of the Gluten-Free Girl blend.  I mix 200 g white rice flour, 200 g brown rice flour, 150 g corn flour, 150 g millet, 200 g potato starch and 100 g tapioca in a big Rubbermaid and use this for everything.  Sometimes I sub ~ 50 g soy flour for some of the rice, which adds a little protein and gives a nice texture to the finished goods–but for me, even that small amount makes the batter too beany to snack on.  Which might not be a terrible thing, come to think of it. 

Here’s the recipe:

Extra-chocolatey birthday cake


Pre-heat oven to 325.  Grease two round pans and dust them with flour or unsweetened cocoa  (I prefer 8-inch for a taller cake, but 9-inch pans are fine).  Or better yet, line them with circles of parchment.  Mix together in a small bowl:

  • 2 cups flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 C sugar

In a large glass bowl, mix together until melted:

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water (weird, I know, but trust me!)
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pieces

Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a bit, then beat in (by hand is fine):

  • 1/3 C oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I used peppermint in mine instead)
  • 3 large eggs

Stir in flour mixture until well-blended.  Pour batter evenly into the 2 pans.  Bake 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out fairly clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling racks.  Cool completely.


Heat 4 oz cream to almost boiling (I use a glass measuring cup in the microwave).  Stir in 4 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate and any flavoring you want (a Tbsp of peppermint schnapps for mine).  Stir-stir-stir until all the chocolate melts.  Cool to room temperature.   Whip with an electric mixer until it holds medium peaks.


Whip together 1/2 C each butter and cream cheese, both at room temperature.  Blend in 1 tsp high-quality vanilla extracta and 1 Tbsp milk.  Add 2.5 C powdered sugar, a little at a time.  Add food coloring if you like.  Chocolate icing would be good here too, but we needed colors!


Place bottom layer on plate.  Secure with a dab of icing, if desired.  Spread a thin layer of icing over the top.  Pipe a thick (at least 1/2 inch) border around the edge (you can use a plastic bag with a corner snipped off).  Refrigerate 15 minutes or until icing is firm.  Fill with whipped ganache and refrigerate again before placing the top layer.  Continue to decorate as desired.  This cake cuts pretty well and tastes great for several days, BUT the edges do shed some crumbs when you’re icing it.  To help, spread a thin crumb coat, refrigerate until firm, then do a second, prettier layer.  Store leftovers in the fridge since the ganache will soften at room temp.

About Lissa

I love bread, cake, cookies, pasta and all other forms of wheat. One of my twin boys has celiac disease. We'll make it work. As of spring 2011, I'm the mother of one 1-year-old and two 2-year-olds. I'm a full-time math teacher and full-time parent, a liberal feminist with a traditional streak, an above-average cook but not a foodie, a native midwesterner and happy Seattleite. I'd love to feed my family local, organic food, but I'd also like to pay the mortgage.
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