Ironheart Gingerbread Cake – the GF version

Table set for tea time

Two winters ago I cracked baking a denser cake in the woodstove; a bundt pan works wonders and removes the issue of an unbaked centre in an otherwise perfect cake. I shared my gingerbread cake recipe in March 2012, and now I have a gluten free version that I think is even better. Gingerbread is a favourite of PetKid‘s, so he was persuaded to help out with this one.

Boy mixing together cake ingredients

I was inspired equally by my own earlier effort and by a gluten free gingerbread recipe found on Gluten Free on a Shoestring. As that recipe does not specify a GF flour blend to use, I used my trusted Sorghum/Almond Flour/Coconut Flour blend (which has made an appearance here in a muffin recipe).

Pouring cake batter into a pan

I checked the cake 30 minutes into baking and it was doing well, but still quivery. I crossed my fingers and waited another 15 minutes. At first glance, it looked a little too dark on top, and I worried that I’d waited a touch too long. But I need not have fretted.

Cake cooling on a table

Once the cake was out to cool, we headed into the garden to clear a bed and plant hardneck garlic, nearly 140 cloves in all. This is a big step up from last year, when we planted about 60, all courtesy of a friend who generously gave us a starter batch from her own harvest. Those 60 cloves turned into 60 heads. I allowed myself to cook with some of that harvest over the past three months, knowing that I’d have to reserve a good portion for replanting. If I can get a few more into the ground on another warmish sunny day like today (which may not happen), I will, but otherwise I’m happy with how much further this will hopefully put us next year. I’d like to be in the position to give away some of our harvest the following year, in order to repay that original kindness.

Bowl full of hardneck garlic cloves

After a good stretch out in the garden, we were ready for tea. When I turned the cake out onto a plate, it looked as good as I might have hoped, but the proof is always in that first bite. First I topped it with the same coconut butterscotch frosting mentioned in the original Ironheart Gingerbread Cake recipe, which has a rather nice affinity with gingerbread. And then we sat down to tea.

Gluten free gingerbread cake

Ironheart Gingerbread Cake, inspired by Gluten Free on a Shoestring

2 1/4 cups GF flour blend OR:
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs molasses
4 tbs pure maple syrup
4 tbs honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup greek yogurt

Step 1 – Get Ironheart oven to the lower end of the ‘Very Hot’ range on the dial (for conventional bakers, this is about 350 degrees fahrenheit)

Step 2 – Combine dry ingredients in a bowl

Step 3 – Melt butter and combine with other wet ingredients, including the eggs

Step 4 – Combine wet and dry ingredients

Step 5 – Pour into a prepared baking pan (a bundt pan is preferable)

Step 6 – Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until top springs back gently when touched

The resulting cake was delightfully moist – perfection, really – and, dare I say, even better than my first gingerbread recipe for the woodstove. There are just a couple of slices left for lunches this week, and so I’ll have to make it again rather soon.

Once we’ve allowed a decent break until our next little treat, I really must share my older son’s recipe for gluten free cinnamon buns. I see that my husband’s execution of a traditional cinnamon bun recipe has been pinned quite a few times over on Pinterest, and I think that the GF version that my son has already wowed his colleagues at the library with deserves a write-up here.

The parting shot today goes to Reggie, who somehow managed to score a giant carrot during our garden clear-down. Apparently, this was the best thing ever for this black lab.

Black lab with a carrot!

17 thoughts on “Ironheart Gingerbread Cake – the GF version

  1. That shot of Reggie is absolutely hilarious. He looks like the cat who got the cream (although i now think ‘the dog who got the carrot’ is a much better expression). Your cake looks amazing and I’ll definitely be sharing it with my coeliac family members. I may even bake it for the next family ‘do’. Love all the spices, and I’m always happy to have an excuse to use both molasses and maple syrup in baking.

    1. Thank you, I was so pleased to get that one! Most of the others are a complete blur and weren’t worth sharing. I really must promote this cake to non-GF folks. As someone who has loved traditional gingerbread for years, I have to say that this is one of the best I’ve ever had. I’m with you on spices in cakes, so good. I’ve been trying to recreate a wonderfully spicy beer-based pumpkin loaf from a bakery I once ate at, and am still working on it. I must be missing something from my spice blend. 🙂

  2. I haven’t made gingerbread cake in forever. It would be perfect this time of year, I’ll have to get one of the girls trained up on it. It’s one of my hubby’s favourites too, being a Newf.
    With regard to the bundt pan – I’ve been browsing the new book by Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damerosch “The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook”, and she uses a bundt pan for meatloaf, saying that it makes it easier to serve or to for self serve in a buffet situation. And to think I got rid of mine because I never use it!
    Love the action shot of Reggie. His body is going in so many different directions in that split second.

    1. I haven’t seen Coleman/Damerosch book yet – thanks for the tip! A cake or anything made in a bundt pan is easier to serve, but I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe you’ll need to allow one back in your life 🙂 Hope you enjoy whatever gingerbread cake you end up concocting in your kitchen, it’s definitely the time of year to enjoy it.

    1. I realize that I must be really pushing it if you are also finding yourself on borrowed time for planting out on the west coast! Ideally I should have had mine in a couple of weeks ago, but I’m right on time if I go by what I managed last year 🙂 My bulbs weren’t huge this year, but they were a decent enough size. Maybe next year I’ll manage to do it a bit earlier!

  3. Yes, garlic – I still must plant mine! Wednesday is my plan – I’ve heard that it’s going to be sunny and 10 degrees Celsius.
    I really must try your GF recipe! It looks SO delicious.
    And Reggie…… what can I say – gorgeous shot!

    1. Sounds like Wednesday is a good plan – sunny and 10 sounds like a ‘go’! Have you been planting garlic for a long time? You won’t regret trying this cake, and you’ve even got the woodstove to make it in! Enjoy 🙂

  4. What a lovely post – great sounding cake, great garlic and sharing the bounty story and the picture of Reggie with the carrot. Love it!

    1. Thank you! The nice footnote to the garlic is that my husband and older son are currently peeling all of the cloves that we’re keeping for the kitchen in order to mince the lot and freeze it for quick access! I’m not sure how I managed to slip out of that one, but I’m happy 🙂

  5. Great photos. I wonder how long your family waited with that cake on the table before they demanded “LET US EAT IT!”
    Our garlic went in a few days ago. We always figure Halloween to July 4th. Last year we experienced a ‘rust’ on it. Never had it before, but the bulbs don’t grow very big. We think it was due to a dry early spring and wet later. Good luck with yours.

    1. Thank you! They do complain at the best of times when I make them wait for a photo for the blog, and this was definitely no different! It was worth the wait, though 🙂 I’ve heard of rust on garlic, but fortunately have not encountered it yet. Having said that, our bulbs this year were not particularly huge and I’m wondering if I need to get them in the ground a couple of weeks earlier normally. I always feel I have a lot of time in the fall, and then all of a sudden it’s the first of November! Do you do anything particular with your garlic, or just store it for use throughout the non-gardening months?

  6. that’s a ton of garlic – amazing how much you have to process.

    that shot of Reggie with the carrot made me smile – not only do your boys have this incredible experience and joy of growing up in the country – so does your dog! what a life!

    1. I was kind of overwhelmed by the garlic, it was such a gift to have this year. You’re in our neck of the wood; if I end up with as much as hoped for this year, maybe you’d like some! (Really!) I’m really grateful that we could give a dog a home here, as it really is the perfect place, especially for a big dog who needs lots of room and exercise!

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