Three layers of buttery caramel cake are slathered with salted caramel Italian meringue buttercream and topped with salted caramel sauce and almond pralines for a gluten free birthday cake that will spoil the socks off any birthday guy or gal.
NOTE: This recipe requires 3 cups of salted caramel sauce: 1 1/2 cups for the buttercream, 1/2 cup for brushing on the cake layers, and an additional 1/2 cup for drizzling over the finished cake. Use this simple recipe to make homemade salted caramel sauce while the cakes bake, or up to two weeks in advance. Alternatively, purchase 3 cups of salted caramel sauce and stir in 2 tsp salt.
- 9 oz. white chocolate chips
- 12 tbsp butter, cut into 12 pieces, at room temperature
- 16.5 oz. (3 cups plus 1 tsp) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (plus more for dusting the inside of the pan)
- 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk buttermilk, at room temperature
FOR ICING AND DECORATION:
- 1 recipe Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream – follow instructions for the salted caramel version
- 1 recipe Almond Pralines (recipe follows)
NOTE: This recipe makes a lot of batter and is best made using a 6-quart mixer. If you have a smaller mixer, you may need to mix the batter in two batches.
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans with shortening or butter. Line the bottom of each pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom exactly. Grease the parchment paper. Dust the entire inside of the pan with a few tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour. Shake out any excess flour and set pans aside.
- Add the chocolate and butter to a small bowl and melt in the microwave in 1 minute increments at 50% power, stirring after each minute, until melted. (Alternatively, melt in a small saucepan over very low heat on the stovetop.)
- Add the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt and baking soda to a bowl and stir with a wire whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until the whites begin to get foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the whites just begin to form soft peaks. With the mixer running, pour in the granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue to beat until glossy, stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the beaten egg whites to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the egg yolks, vanilla and brown sugar to the mixer bowl. (There is no need to wash it out.) Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is lightened and thick enough to form ribbons if you lift the beater away from the mixture, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chocolate mixture and the buttermilk and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whites. Be careful to not over mix. The egg whites should be incorporated, but a small streak of egg white here and there is ok.
- Add the batter evenly to the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden brown and are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the oven, set on wire racks, and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 5 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks. Prick the cakes several times with a fork, being careful to not poke all the way through to the bottom of each cake. Warm about 1/2 cup of salted caramel sauce in the microwave or on the stovetop until it’s a thin, pourable consistency. Using a pastry brush, coat the top and sides of each cake with a layer of warm salted caramel sauce. Allow to cool completely on the wire racks.
*If assembling the cake immediately, please proceed. If you need to store the cake layers for assembly the following day, cut out 3 circles of parchment or wax paper that are about 1-inch wider than the size of each cake layer. Lay the parchment rounds on a flat surface – the counter or baking sheets. Using a large metal spatula, gently slide the cakes from the wire racks onto the parchment rounds. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
- Lay one cake layer a cake platter, spread with a 1/2 inch layer of Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream. Top with another cake layer, spread with additional buttercream and top with the third cake layer. Frost the entire cake with buttercream.
- Decorate with broken pieces of Almond Pralines. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
A reader recently informed me that ground cinnamon (in the almond pralines) may also sometimes contain gluten. This is due to cross-contamination in factories where the ground cinnamon is packaged. For many people suffering from Celiac disease, the trace amount won’t be an issue. However, those with a very high sensitivity to gluten might have issues. Just make sure to read packaging and always ask the intended consumer!