In episode 08 learn how to make the best gluten-free pound cake, guaranteed to be moist and tender and only using a handful of simple ingredients! What is the secret to making an old fashioned pound cake taste just like the homemade recipes you grew up with? Join Melissa Erdelac, gluten-free cookbook author, as she shares her easy ingredient secret, along with many more pro GF baking tips. This audio recipe for gluten-free pound cake is ideal for those new to a gluten-free diet or with celiac!
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Hello all. I’m Melissa Erdelac, host of the Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge podcast and creator behind the gluten-free website, MamaGourmand. Here we take beloved recipes you thought you’d never enjoy again and transform them into easy copycat versions, just as good as the originals. So here in the Midwest, I’m in northwest Indiana.
The weather has been really schizophrenic. It’s been super nice and then super awful of snowing and everything. But the other day I looked out my window and I noticed my strawberry plants are making a resurgence in my garden. Then this sent me on a, if you give a mouse a cookie tangent. I started to think about all the things that I can make with the strawberries, which led me to think about macerated strawberries.
And then what a strange word macerated is. And if you don’t know that strange and fancy word, it basically means when food softens. So when you make strawberry shortcake or anything like that, you add sugar to the strawberries and then eventually they soften and break down. But then when I started thinking about the macerated strawberries, I started thinking about all the ways I could enjoy them besides strawberry shortcake, which led me to where we are now.
A good ass pound cake. Good news about making an old fashioned pound cake gluten-free. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it only uses a handful of ingredients. Bad news, you can’t use any old school pound cake recipe and just swap out gluten-free all-purpose flour, because then you’ll have the opposite of a good ass pound cake, which is, you guessed it, a badass pound cake, but like not in the tough, intimidating way.
Just horrible. So why can’t you just swap out the flour? Because I did try that. It has to do with the super basic, simple list of ingredients in traditional pound cake. Traditional pound cake has butter and a pound of it is what it was typically made with, which is how it got its name. Sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, and salt.
The high butter ratio in the recipe is really what threw things off. Gluten-free starches can’t absorb all that fat. When I tried it with just swapping out a gluten-free flour and a regular recipe, the results were overly greasy and kind of gummy and dense. My family said it was fine and it tasted good, but they’re all sugar fiends, and they will ignore a lot of glaring flaws to get their fix.
I found it, although it tasted good, kind of like I said, overly greasy and too dense. Since it was greasy, I knew I had to do something about the butter, but I couldn’t swap out the butter for another fat because then it would lose that essential taste. That’s characteristic of poundcake. So I turned to a tactic that I learned about from my favorite trustee, gluten-free baking resource, which is America’s Test Kitchen: How Can It Be Gluten-Free? And I will link to that in the show notes if you guys wanna get yourself a copy and something that. I did for another heavily reliant butter recipe, which is gluten-free biscuits. In the gluten-free biscuits recipe, I use less butter, but then you have to replace that butter with something that still has a similar structure in flavor.
So in the biscuits case, I use yogurt, or sometimes you could substitute sour cream, but that wasn’t gonna work in the pound cake recipe because it has too much liquid content. Another option was cream. Because like the yogurt or sour cream, it adds that structure to the recipe, but it also adds flavor.
And in this case, I needed something a little bit more solid to replace the butter. To make the pound cake it wasn’t just as simple as replacing some of the butter with softened cream cheese. What I did was a two-part process. First, I melted the butter, and I did this because melted butter does a better job of absorbing and emulsifying with the starches, and then I also replaced some of that butter with the cream cheese.
It’s still a super simple list of ingredients. It just needed a little something else for that texture boost. What else are you going to need for this recipe? First, gluten-free flour, which I use and recommend. Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. Since this recipe already has dairy in it, I didn’t worry about a dairy-free substitute because Cup4Cup does have a little bit milk powder in it.
And Cup4Cup consistently mimics the texture of regular recipes. So that’s what I used again in this recipe. You need granulated sugar. And this was kind of another way that I varied a little bit from a traditional recipe. Traditional recipes have a lot of sugar. I found you didn’t really need that much.
For this recipe, I use a cup and a fourth. You need four eggs, which is a higher amount for a cake, but it really adds a rich flavor and moisture. You also need vanilla, and since this is such a basic, list of ingredients. I would use the good stuff here. I wouldn’t use the imitation vanilla flavoring.
Use true vanilla extract. You also need baking powder, and this is a little unconventional from traditional recipes as well. They don’t use baking powder, at least like grandma’s pound cake doesn’t use baking powder, but with gluten-free baking, I needed something to kind of boost and air rate that crumb.
So a teaspoon was the trick. And then just a little bit of salt. The recipe was developed using a loaf pan, but then I tested it further and I. You could bake it in a bundt cake pan as well as long as you did one and one half times the recipe. If you go to the recipe post, I put all the ingredient amounts for both the loaf cake adaptation and the bundt cake adaptation, so you don’t have to do any hard math or anything like that.
Okay, so let’s make the recipe. You begin by preheating your oven to 350, but this is a little weird. You start baking it at 350 and then after it bakes for 15 minutes, then you turn down the oven to 325 and finish baking it at 325. Why I do this is because baking it all at 325 didn’t give enough lift to the recipe.
It kind of was flat and didn’t rise as well as I wanted it to. So you start the recipe at 350, which gives a boost of the leavening, and then you finish baking it at 325 because it does bake for a long time and you want it to cook through without drying out. Okay, next grease. Either your loaf pan or your bundt cake pan.
For my loaf cake pan, I just use non-stick cooking spray, but then I also put a cut to size piece of parchment on the bottom just so it released easier for the bundt cake. You also wanna grease that well, especially if your bundt cake pan is older and is kind of lost that non-stick finish. The best way to grease a bundt cake pan is you melt a little butter.
And then brush it in to get kind of in all those grooves and stuff, and then dust it with a little bit of gluten-free flour or sugar, and tap out the excess over the sink to make the cake beat together. The melted butter, the cream cheese, and I just cubed it en large chunks just so it mixed easier and sugar, and you beat that until it’s uniformly combined.
First, you’ll see like streaks of cream cheese, and then eventually it’ll come into one solid uniform mixture, but then keep beating it for about one to two minutes until the mixture gets pale and fluffy. Add four eggs one at a time. So you put one egg in, mix it. Once that’s combined, put the next egg in, mix it, and then after all the eggs have been combined, Add the vanilla extract and mix that as well.
Now you add your dry ingredients, put in the gluten-free flour, the baking powder, and the salt, add that to the bowl, and then just mixed it until it just comes together. For this recipe, you don’t want to overmix it and air rate the batter. You just wanna mix in the flour until you don’t see any more flour pockets.
That’s it for making the batter. Now you just pour into your prepared pan, so either your loaf cake pan or your bundt cake pan, and you put it in the oven for 15 minutes. If you’re doing a bundt cake, put it in for 20 minutes. After the timer has gone off for 15 or 20 minutes, you leave the cake in. Don’t open the oven, and just turn down the oven temperature to 325.
Then continue baking it for about 48 to 50 minutes when you test if the loaf cake or your bundt cake is done. This is where I recommend this handy little cake tester that I have. It’s made by NordicWare. And it’s thicker than a toothpick, and it’s a lot longer. So you can get down and see if it’s really baked through, which is essential for bundt cakes because they’re rather thick cakes.
And then this NordicWare cake tester also has the tip changes colors. So you put it in there for five seconds, and if it turns from blue to red, then you know the cake’s done. So it’s really snazzy.
Once your cake is done, just leave it in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
So I also wanted to share some variations for those recipes and kind of creative ways that you can serve it. First of all, instead of vanilla extract, you can replace some of that extract with almond or coconut extracts, but uses a tablespoon of vanilla extracts. So for that, if I was gonna replace some, I would use two teaspoons of vanilla.
Maybe a teaspoon of almond extract or a teaspoon of coconut extract. The other thing you could do is after the pound cake cools completely, you can make a glaze for it. And for the glaze, you would just mix together a cup of powder sugar with two tablespoons of liquid. And for the liquid you can use milk.
You could use cream, you could use coconut milk, or you could use any freshly squeezed citrus juice like lemon or orange or lime. Which is another way you can make this into a different version. You can make a citrus pound cake and add to the recipe two tablespoons of citrus , so lemon, lime or orange, and then also a tablespoon of citrus juice.
And you would add that when you’re mixing the butter in the cream cheese and sugar together. For an orange or lemon pound cake. You could also do that trick of substituting a little bit of the extract as well, and replace it with a teaspoon of orange or lemon extract. Okay? So like I mentioned at the beginning of the show, you could serve it with macerated fruit, like strawberries, but then there’s a lot of other ways that you could serve poundcake.
You could use lemon curd honey ricotta. With some chopped pistachios would be good. You could use it for sundaes and serve it with ice cream and a hot fudge sauce. You could use fruit sauces like strawberry or raspberry or blueberry sauce. You could top it with nuttella, candy nuts. And then the other way I like to serve it in the summer is you slice it, heat up your grill.
And over indirect heat. That means the side of the grill that doesn’t have the flames coming out. So you turn on one side of your grill with flames. The other side you leave off. On the off side you just grill the slices for about one to two minutes per side, and then you could also serve it with grilled or roasted stone fruits like peaches or nectarines.
Then even if you put ice cream on it. Oh my God. Amazing. Oh my gosh. Why didn’t I mention whipped cream? You have to have whipped cream with pound cake. Please don’t forget the whipped. Add that to the serving suggestions as well. For storing poundcake first, let the cake cool completely for at least two to three hours.
This is something that is denser, so it’ll feel cooler on the outside before the interior has cooled completely, and you do not wanna wrap it up before it hasn’t completely cooled, or the heat will condense and it’ll be a big old mess. Make you sad. Just wrap any leftovers, I just wrap it up securely with plastic wrap, like all the way around.
If you have a loaf, I wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap and you could store it at room temperature for up to two days. This actually, I was pretty impressed of how well this stays at room temperature. Usually with gluten-free baked goods, they’re like horrible the next day and really dry. That’s why I freeze the shit outta everything but this pound.
Stayed good at room temperature for up to two, even three days. If you do plan storing longer than that, I’d recommend freezing it. You could wrap up individual slices and plastic wrap and just transform that to an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag. Or you could just wrap up the whole loaf cake or bundt cake and plastic wrap cover with foil, and then freeze up to two months.
Okay, so that’s it for this recipe. Those are all the magical things I need to tell you. Remember, you can always find the full printable recipe on the show notes page. To get to that, just look on whatever podcast app and click the linked page, or go to my website, mamagourmand.com and click on the podcast tab.
In the show notes page will include the direct link to this recipe as well as any equipment or ingredients that I’ve mentioned. And remember, if you’re liking the show to subscribe to it, and I always love to hear from you. So leaving a comment or a rating is very appreciated.