Gluten Free Cherry Cake Recipe
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 – it 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 Recipe
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.
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 salt, and the baking powder 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.
This Gluten Free Cherry Cake recipe makes 10 – 12 servings.
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