21 March 2011

Gluten-Free Recipe: Lemon Raspberry Birthday Cake

Hello, friends! It's been over three months since I last blogged. Oops! Life has continued to a constantly changing rollercoaster ride filled with surprises, disappointments and chaos. I am so happy to share that despite all the changes, I sit here typing this post a very happy, very blessed woman.

A packed social calendar, near daily snowstorms and an interesting (to say the least) dating life contributed to the mayhem. A very brief stint working as a hostess at one of the best restaurants in America taught me so much about myself and my true aspirations. I left for various reasons, but I subsequently ended up in a fantastic role at a chocolate shop, doing both retail sales but also implementing sales, marketing and social media strategies. I love it and was already even offered a promotion. I also just recently accepted a second part-time position working on a CSA at an organic farm for the season -- I wish it were June already so I can begin this endeavor.

In addition to working at the chocolate shop, I am taking two courses this semester, both not science intensive like last semester, which leaves me with time to wholeheartedly focus on ME. Just me. Not to say I am not still my usual caring, thoughtful self and purposely hurt others with my actions, but I am much more conscious of my needs as I journey through each day. 
I'm still training for my "11 in '11" (eleven half marathons in 2011), and also practicing a lot of yoga, which infinitely aids in my IT band issues. I've been doing lots of cooking and baking, devouring books and magazines, continuing to explore Boston with my friends and occasional family visitors.

My days are filled with so much goodness, my heart is truly overflowing with joy.

Last week, I turned 26. Although I am one to make a big deal of birthdays (although I love other people's), my dear friends Elizabeth (check out our Towne date) and Michelle insisted I must do something. So I said I wanted to eat cake and drink wine. So that is precisely what we did! Earlier that day I went to a terrific yoga class at Baptiste then got a pedicure at MiniLuxe, then came home to put the finishing touches on my birthday cake. 

Obviously, cake is the main reason that I was willing to celebrate the twenty-sixth anniversary of my birth. I've been eating ungodly amounts of chocolate lately, and mid-March always leads to thoughts of warm weather, so I found myself craving a lemon raspberry cake. I never made gluten-free cake from scratch  before, but I think I've found a system that works for me to adapt my favorite recipes. Below please find a terrific recipe which received rave reviews from even skeptics.

Gina's Lemon Raspberry Birthday Cake

Lemon Cake
2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1 vanilla bean, scraped 
2 teaspoon Cointreau  (note: 1 "nip" is enough for both the frosting and cake)
1/2 cup sour cream

Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1  1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Cointreau

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, guar gum, salt, and baking powder.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed. Lower the speed to medium, and add the eggs one by one, mixing until combined after each addition. Add the lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and Cointreau. Beat in the dry ingredients, and then beat in the sour cream until the batter is combined. 

Grease and line two 9″ cake pans and divide the batter between them evenly. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned. While cakes are cooling, beat together all frosting ingredients in electric mixer until smooth. Once cakes are completely cooled, apply frosting liberally over the entire cake, including a layer between the two cakes. Top with candles, make a wish, blow out candles and eat with ice cream -- Happy birthday!


  1. that cake looks amazing (heck, I was drooling via Twitter on your birthday ;)). glad you had a good birthday, love. can't wait to catch up. xox

  2. how did you make your pictures so retro?? love your life, your party and YOU!!!

  3. Yesterday my husband came home complaining about a gluten-free cake that was served for a co-worker's birthday. He said it might have been the worst cake he's ever had. I'm so happy we now have a good cake recipe for her next birthday!

  4. You wholesale ripped that frosting recipe off of this website: http://www.thecookbookchronicles.com/blog/?p=1681