This was my first time ever attempting a naked cake, or more accurately, half-naked cake.
Being gluten and dairy free means that going to cafes and celebrating special occasions can be that slightly bit more awkward.
I was in a lovely cafe over the weekend and they had this gorgeous green cake on display. I asked what it was and my mouth watered. Pistachio rose cake. OMG. But – I can’t have dairy, can’t have nuts and can’t have milk. Not unless I want to break out in a rash the next day.
Really what I was hoping they would say is – it’s a gluten free & dairy free matcha cake! I know, even I’m laughing as I type this.
Work has been busy and I didn’t get much time off this week, so the idea of Netflix and chill was very alluring. But, I said to myself, to heck with it, I’ll spend a couple hours baking instead and I’m gonna get myself that dreamy unrealistic matcha cake!
There are a few special occasions coming up over the next few weeks and I know I won’t have time to bake then. Also, I’m the type of person that thinks we should celebrate every day. So for all the reasons and for no reason at all, here is my almost naked matcha cake!
Gluten & Dairy Free Matcha Naked Cake
I made the cake with two tiers, one slightly bigger than the other (22 and 20cm wide), but used the same recipe. Here is the recipe I used for each layer.
- 150g sunflower spread
- 125g brown sugar
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 225g rice flour
- 2tsp gluten free baking powder
- 3tbsp hot water
- 1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
- 400g icing sugar
- 200g sunflower spread
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- Blackcurrant jam
Combine the sunflower spread, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer/food processor. Then add the eggs, one at a time. I find it very difficult for the sunflower spread not to break apart in the process, but it didn’t affect the consistency of the cake for me.
Pop the mixture into a large bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder and matcha powder. Combine it all together and then add the hot water.
Spray your baking trays with some oil and line with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to a 160C. Fill the trays with the batter and with a tea spoon, even out the surface and make sure all the edges are filled in well. Pop into the middle of the oven and bake for about 30mins or until the pick comes out dry when dipped in the middle.
When you’re taking them out, make sure you have a hold of the entirety of the bottom of the cake. Gluten free cakes tend to be a little bit more on the crumbly side! Once cool, place on a cling film – it’s easier to store and flip that way without coming apart! You’ll be facing the bottom layer of the cake up as it looks more even and is easier to decorate.
I had a little bit of practice with dairy free buttercream when I made these Red Velvet Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes. Making it with sunflower spread does make it that bit more challenging. I have a few tips on how to succeed!
First of all, always have double the amount of icing sugar as sunflower spread. Second, add the icing sugar, by sifting and always in two goes – no more no less. Combine it gently with a wooden spatula – do not beat, whisk or take a long time with it as you will loose the texture. Most importantly, when you’re finished, put it into a fridge for a few hours or overnight – it will make it ten times easier to apply!
Joining the Layers
I started by adding the icing to the surface of the larger bottom layer first with the bottom of the sponge facing up.
I then added a generous amount of blackcurrant jam to the top side of the smaller layer. While still on the cling film, I flipped it and joined the jammy side with the larger layer. Don’t worry if the top layer comes apart a little – you can always use buttercream as a ‘glue’! I then proceeded to cover the rest of the sponge with the remaining buttercream. I don’t like it to look to perfect, messy is nice!
For that finishing touch, I’ve been really obsessed with edible and decorative flowers lately, as you might have seen in my Smoothie Bowls post. I decorated the cake with some pansies, sprinkle of matcha powder and some frozen fruit. I love the matted look of fruit straight out of a freezer! I think next time, I’ll use fresh fruit as the thawing of the ice makes the water seep into the sponge a little. The dark berries compliment the flavour of the matcha so well!
I love the Solaris Matcha Vanilla powder, I’ve been hooked on it a for a couple of years now. If you’re reading this and have no idea what matcha is, you need to get onto it, stat. It’s essentially green tea powder, that contains lots of antioxidants, beta carotene and is the perfect energy booster. It’s not only great in baking, but in smoothies and lattes too! It’s the only thing I’ve found to be a worthwhile replacement for coffee.
The joy of this cake is it’s delicious and moist and can be enjoyed even by the non ‘free this and that’ folk!
Ten out of ten, will defo make again!