It’s hard not to be jealous when I see pictures of gardens coming alive, forsythia and apple trees blooming and ramps reading for harvesting. This Easter, we awoke to 8 inches of snow, which was disheartening and somehow not surprising, given that we had the exact same thing happen five years ago. On the upside, this “Poor Man’s Fertilizer” is great for the gardens and hopefully all our fruit bushes will reward us.
While the garden is slowly reawakening, our family continues to grow and thrive. I’ve had to dramatically alter my expectations of what I can accomplish in a day, never forgetting that my kids “won’t keep.” Thankfully, my daughter loves to help me in the kitchen and you can count on her to happily dump cupfuls of flour or help stir dry ingredients together. You can also expect that she’ll take the pepper mill and grind you some fresh pepper or sneak bites of raw-egg batter when your back is turned.
I made two versions of the following cake recipe and even baking with a toddler, I had both cakes ready for the oven and the kitchen cleaned within 45 minutes. Total and complete score! Since my stomach revolts when I eat gluten and baby Sam’s system seems to revolt when I eat dairy and soy, I absolutely love a recipe that’s open to dietary interpretations and this one fits the bill. The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking’s Buttermilk Cake is a gluten-free riff of What Julia Ate’s original recipe, so my adaptations are an ode to them both. I chose a rhubarb preserve to play up the tangy note of buttermilk, but a conserve with dried fruit and nuts would be really tasty. Lots of room for interpretation!
Gluten and Dairy Free “Buttermilk” Cake
1 cup gluten-free all purpose blend (I use Land O’ Lakes recipe)
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1/2 tsp baking powder and baking soda
1/2 cup sugar (I used palm sugar)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp ground vanilla powder or extract
1/4 cup any flavour jam
1. Stir dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
2. Mix wet ingredients together.
3. Stir wet ingredients into the dry and spoon into a greased 8″ pan. Smooth and even out the batter. Spoon jam over batter and smooth.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
The second cake, I followed Hip Girl’s recipe exactly, substituting organic, unbleached flour for the gluten-free blend. It came out beautifully and had more of a lunar appearance. I topped this cake with a Plum Port Preserve and offered it as a get well gift for a friend. The richness of the plum and port should pair nicely with the cake and hopefully it tastes as good as it smells!