May 15, 2006

Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix

I wanted a cake for Mother's Day, one with a soft rich cocoa frosting. I chose for my candidate the Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix from Arrowhead Mills. It is a white rice flour cake mix amd had the added benefit of being organic.

I wanted a sheet cake, so I used my 9 x 13 baking pan which was one of the recommended options on the Arrowhead Mills package. Since the instructions on the box didn't say otherwise and feeling pretty daring, I only used a vegetable spray to coat the pan.

Like some gluten free batters it was very runny. The batter only filled the 9 x 13 pan about 1/2 inch up the side. It was looking a bit shallow for a cake mix in this size of pan, but I thought it just might rise a bit during baking. So, I went ahead and baked it for the lowest recommended time of 25 minutes.

When I checked the cake, it had already pulled away from the sides of the pan and had a caramalized coating on the top of the cake. I tried the toothpick test on the center and it came out clean. After cooling for about 30 minutes, I removed the cake from the pan onto a cookie sheet. The cake was still about 1/2 inch high and was a little over done at the recommended cooking time. But since hope springs eternal, I went ahead and moved on to the frosting stage.

I used the frosting recipe on the Arrowhead Mills package which was a cocoa butter frosting. Following the package directions, the recipe yielded a clumpy frosting without enough butter or cream to bind in the rest of the powdered sugar. I added more cream to the mix and then more cream and more cream..... By the time I was done, I had probably used double the amount of milk or cream recommended for this recipe. I probably should have used another stick of butter. The frosting was a bit firm, so I went ahead and put it on the still slightly warm cake to help soften it.

The final result looked beautiful, but how did it taste? In come my family critics with forks ready to dive into all that lovely swirling cocoa frosting. The cake has a lovely color. The texture of the cake is grainy and firm. This mix uses the traditional gluten free flour combination. First up was my husband, who said the only reason to eat this cake was for the frosting. Next, my son didn't like that the bottom of the cake got slimy as it sat on his plate. My daughter was a little slower producing her verdict since she was totally chocolated out after licking the frosting bowl, but said the cake part was icky.

The search goes on....

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