Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gluten-free football birthday cake

In June, I always bake a birthday cake for my grandson, Eli. He LOVES cake, especially a cake that is in the shape of anything other than--a cake. This year he requested a football-shaped cake. I must admit, I was a bit relieved because a football shape is much easier than say--an angler fish--which was his request last June.

For starters, this cake didn't have to have an embedded light and it could be done with less trouble than usual. It would be easy except that his cake must be gluten-free.

I was a little concerned that his cake might be harder than a normal cake because a gluten-free cake is often crumbly. However, this time, the cake turned out fine. The cake held up to being sliced and shaped. The birthday boy really loves his cake and today, on his birthday, I think everyone will love his cake--even though it is gluten-free. It tastes much like a cake made with wheat flour.

For this cake I made a 9 x 13 rectangular layer and a 9-inch round layer. I purchased a cake board and lined it with parchment paper. I put the baked rectangular layer in the center then cut off two sides of the round layer and added them to the end. After this I trimmed the cake to look basically like a football. After the excess cake and crumbs were removed, I removed the parchment paper.

I then made a large batch of chocolate frosting and frosted the entire cake (thankfully it is only a one layer cake).

After this I used purchased white fondant that I rolled out into thin strips and cut with a knife, for the white bands and made a small amount of white frosting for the laces and the birthday message.

The grass was so easy. It is made from sweetened coconut and green food coloring, all mixed up in a bowl to the right color. I added the green coconut mixture all around the edge to simulate grass.

Here is the gluten-free recipe:

Gluten-free yellow layer cake

2-1/4 cups sticky (glutinous) rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup corn starch
3 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup oil
6 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Butter to grease pans

Grease 9 x 13 metal pan and 9-inch round pan with butter. Line with parchment paper. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Mix all flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl (first six ingredients). Mix dry ingredients well with a wire whisk, then set aside.

Mix oil and sugar together in a mixer. Add eggs and vanilla flavoring and mix on high until slightly fluffy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Mixture will be a little stiffer than a batter with wheat. Pour into the two prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 35 minutes or until cake is done. Follow the directions above to finish the cake.

Chocolate cocoa frosting

3 sticks of butter, softened
2 boxes Confectioner's sugar
1 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
Approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk

In a smaller bowl combine Confectioner's sugar and cocoa until well mixed. (I use a wire whisk.) Mix butter and Confectioner's sugar. Add enough milk to make the dough creamy and spreadable. Frost cake using this mixture.

White decorator's frosting

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 box Confectioner's sugar
Enough milk to make soft enough to put into piping bag.

Mix together until creamy. Add to decorator's bag and add laces to football and add message.

Follow directions above to frost and decorate the cake. Then kick back and put your football on display at the birthday (or sports) party!

I like to transport cakes in plastic bins. This will go to the party tomorrow in safety since the cake is in a plastic bin.


  1. OK, that is simply one of the coolest things I have ever seen you make! It is perfect! In fact, when I first looked at the photo, I thought the football cake must have been surrounded by that frilly tissue paper crinkle stuff because it looked too "perfect." I should have known better! (Plus, now that I think about it, eating paper strips is not a good thing, is it?)

  2. What a great cake - so creative! I'm sure your grandson was so excited to have it. Happy Birthday to Eli and thanks for sharing the recipe, Joanie