Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grapetiser Layer Cake

All photos taken using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8

The following gluten-free recipe is an adaptation of Darjeeling Dream's Blackberry Champagne Layer Cake.

Instead of champagne, I used white Grapetiser, South Africa's well-known preservative-free, no added sugar-free sparkling grape juice. Any sparkling juice local to you would probably suffice.

The end-result of my baking experiment was remarkable. The cake batter (gluten-free) held together well and rose evenly. The buttermilk added a rich taste and gave a moist crumb. The cake was easy to slice and delicious to eat. A real all-rounder as far as cakes go (especially gf ones!)

Should you choose to try it, I hope it turns out as well for you as it did for me. Born-up-a-gluten-free tree!


  • 2 level cups gf cake flour (see below for my suggestion)
  • 2 level tsp baking powder (gf or see below for my baking powder recipe)
  • 1 level tsp baking soda
  • 113g + 2 Tbsp soft butter
  • 1 cup sugar (I used Huletts treacle sugar)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used Douglasdale as they don't use thickeners)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup Grapetiser (champagne/sparkling wine/sparkling grape juice)
  • Topping: jam (I used sugar-free St. Dalfour Strawberry Fruit Conserve)
  • To serve: whipped cream
  • Butter two 23 X 4 cm or 20 X 5 cm round cake pans and place circular cut-outs of non-stick baking paper on the bottom of each, which I recommend buttering for good measure as well.

  • Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar till lighter and fluffier.

  • Mix in the buttermilk.

  • In a seperate bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks, and then add them to the main bowl. Don't mix it together yet.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter-buttermilk-egg white mixture and beat until just combined.

  • Stir in the Grapetiser gently. Don't overmix as the bubbles are what's going to give the batter "rising oomph".

  • Divide the batter evenly into the prepped cake pans and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon or spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  • Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 mins, and then put them on wire racks to cool completely.
  • Spread the fruit conserve of choice onto the cake layers, sandwiching them together.
  • I served slices with imperfect quenelles of whipped cream.

My gluten-free flour of choice for this recipe is my favourite flour to bake with, namely the fabulously well-rounded Cake Flour by Nature's Choice. With its mix of brown rice flour, soya flour, sago flour, potato flour, tapioca flour and sea salt; you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one-for-one gf baking flour in South Africa.

Gluten-free/Corn-free baking powder recipe:
  • 2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 level tsp creme of tartar
  • 1 level tsp potato starch
Mix together and then use as you would (tsp for tsp) regular baking powder.