Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jamie!

Jamie LOVED hearing us sing "Happy Birthday" to him.

Last week Jamie turned two. A few things that have changed in the last year:

Jamie walks, but mostly runs, everywhere.

Jamie talks. In the last week or so he has even said some sentences. My favorite: "I want more mango!"

As promised to her when he was born, Jamie can now play with Kara. He even lets her dress him up in princess attire.

For Jamie's birthday we had some family for dinner and, of course, cake. Now I am not especially in favor of big birthday celebrations for little kids. (Unless as adults you are looking for an excuse to have a party.) But I am always in favor of cake. I love birthday cake. In fact, the cheaper, more industrially produced, the better in my book. Costo cakes? Fabulous. Safeway "bakery" concoctions? Yum! Duncan Hines? Perfection in a box.

Given that I am continuing the gluten free madness, I was pretty much convinced that I would be missing out on cake this year. And though I have been pretty impressed by my will power, I didn't think I could handle having a birthday cake in the house that I couldn't eat. Then I remembered that my friend Val had recently posted a recipe for her family favorite gluten free carrot cake.

After a phone consultation and a trip to the store, I made this cake (with a few adjustments) and can whole-heartedly proclaim that it is delicious. Not only yummy, it is pretty much indistinguishable for the gluten filled variety. I had my doubts when I tasted the batter and it was, well, peculiar. But after baking and slathering with cream cheese icing, it came out great.

"Ace of Cakes" I am not.

Val points out that one of the best things about this cake is that it is very flexible. You can use pretty much any kind of "flours" you have on hand. Same goes for sugars. Here is my version of Val's Best Carrot Cake Ever.

-Grate 3 cups of carrots. Set aside.
-Grease 2 cake pans or 8x11 pan
-In a mixing bowl sift together
  • 2 1/2 cups of gluten free flour (I bought a Bob's Red Mill mix. Val has used brown rice, almond, quinoa.)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
-In a separate bowl combine
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup but would reduce to 1/2 next time.)
-Use a hand mixer to beat wet ingredients. When combined add carrots.
-Beat in dry ingredients. Mix on high for 1 minute.
-Fold in 1 cup raisins and 1/2 cup walnuts if desired.
-Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
-After cakes have cooled, cover with cream cheese icing. (8oz cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 stick butter - beaten until smooth.)

 This cake, and especially the icing, was Jamie approved. Happy Birthday, baby!

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that this recipe found a good reception with your two year-old as well. (I find two year-olds to be among the more discerning in these matters.) :) I guess I could also have mentioned to you that Betty Crocker sells gluten-free boxed birthday cake now--but I wouldn't have wanted to deprive you of the satisfaction of making one from scratch!