This gluten free Halloween cake is what happens when a checkerboard cake meets a spooky ghost cake. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and it will certainly be the centrepiece at any Halloween party. The perfect gluten free Halloween treat, with a dairy free option!
4 1/2cupsplain gluten free flour blend(I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
1 1/2tspbaking soda
2 1/2cupscaster sugar
3tspturmeric powder(for red sponge only)
For swiss meringue buttercream (Note 2):
1/4tspcream of tartar
1 3/4sticksunsalted butter, softened(use vegan/dairy free alternative for dairy free option)
For marshmallow meringue:
pinch ofcream of tartar
You will also need:
6 1/4ozdark chocolate, melted
piping bag with a big round nozzle
6 1/2 inch round cake tin
For gluten free sponge (see Note 1):
Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and grease round cake tins with butter (I've used 6 1/2 inch cake tins). You can also line the bottom of the cake tins with greaseproof/baking paper.
In a bowl, mix together all wet ingredients.
Sift together the dry ingredients (leave out the turmeric powder for the white sponge) and add them to the wet ingredients. Mix well until you get a smooth batter with no flour clumps.
Transfer the batter into the greased (and/or lined) cake tins, until ~3/4 full.
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden on top, springy to touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool.
For swiss meringue buttercream:
In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, mix together egg whites, caster sugar and cream of tartar. Heat until the mixture reaches 150 ºF (65 ºC), at which point the sugar should have dissolved and the egg whites are safe to eat.
Immediately after the mixture reaches 150 ºF (65 ºC), transfer it into a stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer) and whisk the mixture on high speed until it cools down to room temperature. It will become white, fluffy and will greatly increase in volume. The marshmallow meringue is done when it forms stiff, glossy peaks.
Once the meringue reaches room temperature, add the softened butter, ~1 tbsp at a time, all the while whisking at medium-high speed. After all butter has been added, whisk for a further 5 to 10 minutes, until you get a soft, smooth buttercream that holds it shape well.
For marshmallow meringue:
Follow the instructions for making the swiss meringue buttercream up to the step where you add the butter,
Using the template (get it above – if you're using a different cake tin size, adjust it accordingly), cut out rings of the sponges.
Place the cut out rings inside one another, alternating the colours. Repeat until you have 6 sponges with rings of alternating colour.
Place the first sponge layer on a cake stand and spread a thin layer of swiss meringue buttercream on top.
Add the second sponge layer, cover with a thin layer of buttercream, and repeat until you have a cake 6 sponge layers thick.
Use the rest of the swiss meringue buttercream to frost the outside of the cake, creating a "naked cake" look.
Chill the frosted cake in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Drizzle the sides of the cake with melted chocolate, so that you get a "dripping cake" look. Use the rest of the melted chocolate to create a smooth chocolate top.
Using a piping bag with a big round nozzle to pipe marshmallow ghosts on top of the cake. Decorate them with candy eyes.
That's it! Tuck in and enjoy!
The gluten free Halloween cake keeps well in a closed container (or covered with cling film) in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.
Note 1: I made the gluten free sponges in 3 batches (I had 2 cake tins on hand). One batch of white sponge, one batch of red sponge and one mixed batch. Adjust depending on the number of cake tins and the size of your oven.Note 2: Increase the amount of buttercream by ~50% if you want to completely frost the cake for a "cleaner" look, instead of the "naked cake" look.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).