Gluten Free Cherry Cake Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on June 18, 2011

Gluten Free Cherry Cake My father reminds me of a character in a Frank Capra movie, an ordinary man who does extraordinary things. Things like raising 3 daughters alone after our mother died, serving his country selflessly for 30 years, risking his life to save another when in the military and then never telling anyone. I suppose to all little girls their father is a hero but I would never have known mine was a real life hero if I hadn’t been looking through my grandmother’s bible and found a newspaper clipping.

One would think that being a career military man, a war veteran, a pilot in the Air Force and a commander of troops would make a person hard and stern. But not my father, he was always kind and patient with his daughters, something we girls took shameless advantage of. I remember once ditching school to protest against the very thing he had dedicated his life to but he wrote me a note to get back into class the following day anyway. It was enough for him to know I believed what I was doing was right, even if he did not agree.

When my Dad was four years old his appendix burst and he had emergency surgery. It was a dangerous procedure back then and his doctor told my grandmother he probably wouldn’t make it. My grandmother told the doctor in no uncertain terms that oh, yes he would make it! He pulled through the operation and then the doctor said my father would probably never walk again. Once again my grandmother refused to accept the doctor’s dire words, she kept my father at her side for months, encouraging, teaching and helping and not only did my father walk, he walked tall!

This year for Father’s Day, I am making a recipe from my grandmother’s recipe box (with a little conversion to make it gluten-free). I am celebrating not only my father but the woman who made him the man he is.

This is a charming, old fashioned bundt cake, rich with cream cheese and studded with cherries. It isn’t fancy, or complicated, there are no exotic ingredients – is just plain good. It reminds me of both my father and my grandmother – something extraordinary that comes from the ordinary.

Gluten Free Cherry Cake

Cherry Cake

Ingredients

2 ¼ cups gluten-free flour, use divided*
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup maraschino cherries, drained (juice reserved), chopped and dried
1½ cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons reserved maraschino cherry juice
1 -2 tablespoons milk

* to make your own gluten-free flour blend, combine 1¼ cup superfine white rice flour, ½ cup potato starch (not potato flour), ¼ cup tapioca starch, ¼ cup sweet rice flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10 inch bundt pan well with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, the baking powder and the salt until well combined.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla together on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mix just until combined. Combine the cherries with the remaining ¼ cup flour and toss to coat. Add the cherries and flour to the batter and fold in with a spatula. Slowly put the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 1 hour 20 – 30 minutes or until the cake is lightly browned, springy to the touch and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Combine the confectioner’s sugar with the maraschino cherry juice. Add the milk, a little at a time until it reaches a thick but pour able consistency. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake.

Servings

This gluten free recipe makes 10 – 12 servings.

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Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert
  • Donna

    What a touching post Carol. Thanks for sharing. I hope your father has a great Father’s Day!

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Donna!

  • Pingback: Weekly Gluten-Free Round Up – June 19, 2011 « Celiac Kitchen Witch

  • http://intolerantchef.blogspot.com/ InTolerantChef

    What a wonderful man! My father was very similar, a reluctant hero. The cake is such a lovely way to connect the generations and the love.

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Thanks and I love that phrase, reluctant hero, such a perfect description! We are both lucky to have great dads.

  • http://glutenfreeeasily.com Shirley @ gfe

    What a wonderful post, Carol! Happy Father’s Day to your dad! And that cherry cake looks sensational. So pretty and appealing. I know he’ll love it. You should also enter it into Go Ahead Honey this month for You Love Them, Spoil Them theme by Aubree of Living Free. :-) Just FYI, the doctor who was the medical advisor or the GIG group I belong to said that appendicitis is often the first sign of celiac disease. I’ve always known that organ issues can be related to celiac, but had never heard that specifically. I’ve known quite a few folks who’ve had appendicitis and none have ever been tested for celiac, so I don’t have any more confirmation that way, but I find it very intriguing.

    xo,
    Shirley

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Shirley. I suspect my Dad is gluten intolerant. At home he eats gluten free but he and my hubby will go out for hamburgers or fried fish every once in awhile. I find he does better when he is sticking to a gluten free diet but 87 year old men can be stubborn :)

  • http://www.sheletthemeatcake.com Maggie

    Carol this is such a great post. Sounds like you’re blessed with a wonderful Father :) This cake looks perfect.

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Maggie, I could not agree more!

  • http://www.glutenfreebiesbymiel.com/ GFree_Miel

    What a pretty cake! Your father sounds like a really amazing person (one who probably has some really awesome stories). I hope you and your family and a great father’s day.

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Thank you and yes, my Dad is pretty amazing. We had a great Father’s Day!

  • http://blog.glutenfreeclub.com Angie Halten

    Great post! Cooking for the ones we love, always makes the food taste better. This cake would look even more beautiful, decorated with a few crystallized edible flowers.

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      I agree Angie, edible flowers would be beautiful!

  • Nancy Cherven

    Carol, thank you for the lovely recipe and story.
    Along with a note I wrote, I sent this post to my Dad.
    His copied words: “THANK YOU NANCY
    YOU MADE MY DAY
    I LOVE THE ARTICLE
    CAN’T WAIT TO TRY THE CAKE”
    He can’t wait for me to visit him in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada to whip up this cake for us!
    You help make our GF world memorable.
    Love Ya!

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Oh Nancy! Thank you so much. What a lovely comment. I hope you have a wonderful time with your Dad when you get up there.
      xo,
      c

  • http://mynutritionaljourney.blogspot.com Debbie Smith

    What a lovely post–I can’t wait to make this cake this weekend! It looks delicious. I really appreciate your including the flour blend ingredients. I’ve had trouble coming up with the right blend for baking.

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Thank you Debbie!

  • Elizabeth

    Wonderfully written. I just found your site. I have an almost four year old who will be celebrating her first GF birthday party and I want to make something good enough for everyone to enjoy (and not resort to a “special” cake just for her or using a box mix). This looks like just the thing! Do you think it could transfer to cupcakes?

    • http://www.simplygluten-free.com Carol Kicinski

      Hmm, I would think that the cupcakes would work just fine. I only hesitate because of the fact I made this in a tube pan which bakes the cakes on the inside as well as the outside. But I think cupcakes are small enough that it will work just fine. Thank you for your lovely words and welcome to my blog!

  • Nancy

    Carol, what food product can I use to make this dairy free and quanity?

  • Nancy

    I just baked this cake and changed the cherries to chocolate chipits! Smells awesome…to hot to cut to taste but I will let you know later. N

  • Debbie N

    Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! I separated the batter into 6 small bundt molds and baked for an hour. I can freeze half for later. My husband and two boys loved this cake! Me too! Thank you for the recipe! I’m really enjoying your website and have recommended it to many friends.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Debbie – so happy you all enjoyed it!

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