Making a tiered layer cake is more than just a lot of cake, it’s an actual construction project! This gluten-free vanilla cake is filled with strawberry jam, coated in white chocolate frosting, and topped with chocolate covered strawberries.
No this was not my wedding cake. However, I cannot tell you how many people asked if I was making my own wedding cake. We weren’t so much concerned with cake as we were having a spread of all the desserts we loved most. While we did have a cake, albeit a small 6-incher, we had a spread of goodies from various local bakeries and family homemade favorites (and yes I made buckeyes but that was it). But enough about my wedding, I’ll get to that in a later post.
I made this cake for one of my best friend’s weddings last summer (who happened to be my MOH a day short of exactly a year later). I had never made a gluten-free cake to this scale – heck I had never made a wedding cake period before – and she actually wanted two different kinds of cake so we had fun having our own cake tastings. I nailed the vanilla cake right off the bat, but the chocolate we waffled on, ended up settling on the first one we ever tried, and chose the second frosting. Again, I’ll share the chocolate one later. I gotta get this one out before berry season is over! Side note, making two wedding cakes uses a lot of ingredients! I had to share this aftermath photo…
So yes I made this cake over a year ago and I am just now sharing it with you. I meant to share it earlier in the summer but I was kind of planning a wedding and could barely keep up with my blog let alone write out a long recipe and assembly directions for a 3 tiered wedding cake. I was actually reminded that I needed to post this when I made their 1 year anniversary cake a couple weeks ago. I scaled the recipe down 1/4 to make just one layer (so yes you can do that too if you’re not baking for an army of wedding guests) which was still cut in half to make sure I got that homemade strawberry jam inside. And yes I even put two chocolate covered strawberries on top.
Not so funny at the time, but kind of funny now, she and I will never be able to see chocolate covered strawberries without a bit of annoyance spiking in our brains. For her wedding I finished the assembly of the cakes on site because there was no way I could transport that cake without it getting ruined. This meant all the extra chocolate covered strawberries that didn’t make it onto the cake were placed on a tray for people to enjoy prior to the cutting of the cake. What a nice idea right? Any idea where I am going with this?
About halfway through the dinner portion, I look over at the cakes and notice that the strawberry one looks like it got messed up somehow. I get closer and turns out what looked weird from across the room were the bare toothpicks all over the top half of the cake where people had been eating the chocolate covered strawberries right off the damn cake – before they even cut it! Oh my god I was so mad! I may have not-so-passive aggressively said in a loud voice “Who the hell ate the strawberries off the cake!? You don’t touch the damn cake!”. Thankfully there was the second cake to cut for pictures but of course the strawberry one was the prettier of the two… but I digress.
At the end of the day, despite the rudeness of the strawberry eaters, the cakes were enjoyed by all and everyone was surprised to find out they were both gluten-free – no one could tell! Usually the tell tale sign is a bit grittier texture but I’ve found the Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour solves that problem. I now only use that whenever I bake any gluten-free desserts. No this is not sponsored I just really really love that product and you need to know if you ever plan on baking anything gluten-free.
Two years ago: Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookies
Three years ago: White Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshakes
Two years ago: Bacon Wrapped Mac & Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
Four years ago: Carrot Cake Batter Dip
Five years ago: Strawberry Mojito
GLUTEN-FREE WHITE CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY VANILLA WEDDING CAKE
Makes 1 three-tired cake
GLUTEN-FREE BAKING MIX
8 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 baking flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking powder
2 Tbsp salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups sugar
12 large eggs
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp gluten-free vanilla
7 cups gluten-free baking mix
1 cup strawberry jam (I used homemade)
2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and dried
8 oz. white chocolate, melted
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
1 Tbsp shortening, divided
18 oz. white baking chocolate coarsely chopped
1/2 cup milk, divided
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp gluten-free vanilla
8 cups powdered sugar
1 large cake board
1 6-inch round cake board
1 4-inch round cake board
10 cake dowels (or large, sturdy drinking straws)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 4-inch, 6-inch and 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
- To make the gluten-free mix, whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl. Measure out 7 cups, set aside, and store remainder for later.
- To make the cake, in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and lighter in color. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated.
- Combine the milk and vanilla. Stir one-third of the baking mix into the mixture; stir in half the milk, another third of the baking mix, the remaining milk, then the remaining mix. Scrape the bowl occasionally throughout this process.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the middle springs back when pressed lightly – 35 minutes for the 4-inch, 40 minutes for the 6-inch, and 45 minutes for the 9-inch.
- Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
- While the cakes bake, prepare the strawberries. In two double boilers, melt each chocolate plus /2 Tbsp shortening separately, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the stems, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture, letting the excess drip off, and place on their sides a wax paper lined tray. Dip fork into remaining chocolate and drizzle opposites on top if desired. Transfer to refrigerator to solidify.
- While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting. Microwave chocolate with 1/4 cup of the milk in microwavable bowl on medium-high for 1-2 minutes; stirring halfway through the cooking time. Stir until smooth and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together shortening, butter and vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, one cup at time, beating on low speed. Add remaining 1/4 cup of milk and cooled chocolate. Beat until light and fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag (or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped off).
- Once the cakes are cool, slice each cake in half and cut off the tops to level if necessary. Place one layer of the 9-inch cake on a large cake board and pipe a ring of frosting around the edge. Spread a little less than half the jam inside and top with second 9-inch layer. Place one layer of the 6-inch cake on a 6-inch cake board, repeat the ring of frosting and a little more than half of what’s left of the jam, and top with second 6-inch layer. do the same for the 4-inch cake layers with the remaining jam. Frost all three cakes.
- Cut 6 dowels to match the height of the 9-inch cake and insert into the cake in a circle (make sure it will be underneath the 6-inch cake). Place 6-inch cake on top. Cut 4 more dowels to match the height of the 6-inch cake, and insert in a square (again make sure they will be under the 4-inch cake). Place 4-inch cake on top. Touch up frosting if needed and arrange chocolate covered strawberries on top and down the sides as desired, using toothpicks to hold in place.