Gluten Free Manhattan Bundt Cake Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on August 24, 2015

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At the risk of being kicked out of the sisterhood – I am going to admit that sometimes I fantasize about being a 1950’s housewife. Or at least a romanticized, Mad Men version of a 50’s housewife.

I like the idea of actually dressing each day (i.e. not just slipping on some yoga pants), real cocktails like martinis and manhattans (not silly drinks like Appletinis), and the idea of women getting together in the middle of the day to eat cake and chat.

I don’t think I really have it in me to be a 50’s housewife. I much prefer driving my sports car to a station wagon, the mere idea of struggling into a girdle and hose is suffocating to me, and only three television stations – come on!

I am grateful to those women of the 50’s – our mothers or grandmothers who dedicated their lives to caring for their families, who took homemaking seriously, like the job it is. I just like self-cleaning ovens, frost-free freezers, and Starbucks too much to go actually be one of them – except on days when I am feeling sort of nostalgic.

When I get that feeling I bake a bundt cake. And this boozy bundt cake is a nod to the seems-like-but-probably-not good old days. It is based on a Manhattan – filled with bourbon, sweet vermouth, and maraschino cherries.

I’m sure Betty Draper never made a Manhattan Bundt Cake (especially not gluten free!) but I am also pretty sure she drank her fair share of Manhattans.


Gluten Free Manhattan Bundt Cake Recipe


Gluten free non-stick cooking spray
2½ cups all-purpose gluten free flour plus more for preparing the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup bourbon
2 tablespoons sweet vermouth
4 dashes bitters
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 (10-ounce) jars maraschino cherries without stems, drained well and chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
2 – 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch bundt cake pan with cooking spray, sprinkle in some flour, tilt the pan around to coat with flour and tap out the excess.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate container, combine the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters.

In an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on high speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Turn the mixer to low, add half the flour mixture, then the bourbon mixture, then the rest of the flour. Mix just until combined. Add the maraschino cherries and stir them in with a spatula, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 – 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake is golden brown.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Place cooled cake on a cake platter.

Combine the powdered sugar with the orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Stir until smooth and pourable. If too thick, add a little more orange juice. Drizzle the glaze all over the cake and serve.


Serves 12 super cool modern adults

Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie J August 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm

What do you use for your Gluten free flour? Do you make your own, recipe? Or do you buy a certain brand? Just starting out GF


Carol Kicinski August 27, 2015 at 11:31 am

Hi Julie, Yes I did in fact make my own flour and now I actually sell it on my blog. Here’s the link if you’re interested. All Purpose Flour
xo, Carol


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