09 September 2011

Allergy-Free Picnic Cake - Applesauce Spice


This applesauce spice cake is free of four common food allergens: gluten, eggs, dairy and nuts. So it's perfect for a picnic or potluck where there are bound to be people allergic to at least one, if not all four, of those things. I call any cake served right out of the pan a "picnic cake"--easy to transport, easy to serve.

It is the gluten-free, larger "picnic version" of my Recession Cake Not Quite Depression Cake Vegan Applesauce Spice Cake. Now that school has started, think of it as a wholesome after-school snack or easy-to-pack lunchbox treat.

The frosting on this cake is made with butter. If you're making it for someone allergic to dairy, just make a vegan frosting or do as I often do and simply leave the cake unfrosted. It's moist and tasty enough on its own. But if you are not averse to a little butter, I think this Browned Butter Frosting is the perfect topping for any spice cake.

Allergy-Free Applesauce Spice Cake

(Makes one 13x9x2-inch layer)

1 1/8 cups sorghum flour
1 1/8 cups potato starch
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (I use one 23-ounce jar Santa Cruz Organic)
3/4 cup organic canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla, optional

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil, or spray with cooking spray, a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.

2 In large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, soda, xanthan gum, salt and spices. Stir in the raisins, separating the clumps. Add the applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Blend well. No electric mixer needed.

3 Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes or until it tests done.

4 Cool in pan on wire rack for about 2 hours. If you like, frost the top with Browned Butter Frosting once cake is completely cool.

Browned Butter (Beurre Noisette) Frosting

4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
Pinch salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1 In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter and salt over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring or swirling frequently, until butter gets foamy and bubbly and just starts to turn light tan, about 3 minutes. You cannot take your eyes off it! Remove from heat. Cool completely.

2 Add powdered sugar and vanilla to the browned butter in the pan. With electric hand mixer, beat at medium then high speed, gradually adding milk, until frosting is smooth and spreadable.

3 Spread on top of the cake in 13x9x2-inch pan. If you look closely at the photo, you can just see the tiny brown specks of browned milk solids in the unstrained browned butter.

14 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

What PERfect timing, Jean!! I'm canning [what seems like] tons of applesauce. I never add sugar or anything else when I can, so it's perfect for this recipe. I may make this over the weekend. It looks absolutely delicious!

Jean said...

Thanks, Judy! I hope you like it as much as we do. (I would love to be canning applesauce right now, instead of a doing a week-long office reorganizing!)

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I tried making this, but I started with a bowl full of raisins, and...um, well, after sampling a few of them -- and then a few more -- I was back to scratch. This seems to happen with a lot of my dessert efforts. If I want to see Stage III of something sweet, I have to rely on my Universal Recipe: go buy it at Target's. :-)

Jean said...

Eventually, Sully, I will get you into the kitchen!

Ashley@Bakerbynature said...

This looks delicious, and perfect for guests with allergies; it's never fun having to skip dessert.

Jean said...

Thanks, Ashley! That's true, and I especially like it if I can serve everyone the same dessert.

Angie's Recipes said...

Perfect for gluten-free diet! Love sorghum flour.

Jean said...

Angie, thanks!I skipped over sorghum flour for years--just didn't sound good--but now it's one of my favorite GF flours.

Jenn said...

A lady in our neighborhood always brought a spice cake to any potluck she was invited to. As a kid I turned my nose up at it.. I mean, come on, it wasn't chocolate. lol Good thing for me, I got over that as I got older. Spice cakes are wonderful.. and I love the frosting you use here! YUM!

Jean said...

I know what you mean! As a kid, I liked all kinds of flavors well enough when they were the only ones available, but if they were sitting next to chocolate ...

eatingRD said...

wow that looks wonderful for fall. I just love anything with warm spices!

Jean said...

Thanks! Isn't it funny how there are foods that we can make year round but that have more appeal in fall or winter?

Pamela Nees said...

Jean, this cake looks wonderful! Going to try it-I've got 2 grandchildren who have a gluten intolerance. Thanks for sharing it!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Pamela, thank you! I hope you and your grandchildren will like it as much as we do!

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