Surprise Inside Christmas Tree Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free Option)
This Christmas tree cake may look intimidating, but is actually super easy to make! A surprise inside cake that takes a simple loaf cake and transforms it into a work of art – and with no fuss or fancy equipment! This is the simple, yet impressive, Christmas dessert recipe everyone should have up their sleeves. NOTE: This recipe is suitable for a 4 1/3 x 8 1/2 inch ( 11 x 21.5 cm) loaf tin, 2 1/3 inch (6 cm) deep.
1/2stick(56 g) butter, melted(for dairy free option, replace with an additional 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
1/2cup(100 g) caster sugar
1 1/2cups(180 g) plain gluten free flour blend(I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
1/2cupmilk(dairy or non-dairy)
green food colouring(Note 1)
For plain sponge:
3/4stick(84 g) butter, melted(for dairy free option, replace with an additional 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
3/4cup(150 g) caster sugar
2 1/4cups(270 g) gluten free flour
1 1/2tspbaking powder
3/4cupmilk(dairy or non-dairy)
For green sponge:
Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºF) and line a shallow baking pan (round or square) with greaseproof/baking paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the butter, oil and sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Sift together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well until you get a smooth batter with no flour clumps.
Add the green food colouring, bit by bit, until you reach the Christmas tree colour.
Pour the green cake batter into the lined baking pan and smooth out the top.
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºF) for about 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the cake sponge feels bouncy to the touch.
Allow to cool.
For the Christmas tree pattern:
Grease a 4 1/3 x 8.5 inch ( 11 x 21.5 cm) loaf tin, 2 1/3 inch (6 cm) deep, and pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC).
Using a Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut out Christmas tree shapes from the green cake sponge.NOTE: When you’re choosing which cookie cutter you’ll use, take into account the dimensions of your loaf tin, especially the height. The cookie cutter should be at most a few millimetres higher than the loaf tin, but preferably a few millimetres lower.
Arrange the Christmas tree shaped sponge in the centre of the greased loaf tin. Make sure that the sponge pieces are tightly next to each other (see pictures above).
For plain sponge and assembly:
Repeat the process for making the green cake batter (but note the different quantities), except the food colouring part.
Pour the plain cake batter around the central Christmas tree pattern. Make sure that the level of the batter is the same on both sides of the pattern.(The plain cake batter should cover at least 3/4 of he Christmas tree stack. This will ensure that as the batter rises, the pattern will be completely hidden.)
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for 40 - 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown, the cake feels bouncy to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool and enjoy!
The surprise inside Christmas tree cake keeps well in a closed container or wrapped in clingfilm, in a cool dry place, for about 3 - 4 days.
Note 1: The amount of green food colouring used depends on the type of food colouring used. A food colour gel will require a smaller amount, a liquid food colouring a larger amount. Add the colouring bit by bit, until you reach the Christmas tree colour.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).