Gluten-Free Sticky Rice Cake Recipe
I am an Air Force brat who comes from a long line of military men. With all the cross and trans-continental marriages, I am — alas — without an ancestral home.
One of the hardest questions for me to answer is: “Where are you from?” I spent my childhood for the most part in Southeast Asia, the southeastern United States and sunny California.
My taste memories are an amalgamation of coconut, mango and rice, catfish, hush-puppies, sun-dried tomatoes, and goat cheese pizza.
I wanted to come up with a gluten-free cake that would embrace my pan-cultural upbringing and decided to try a take-off on Filipino rice cake, Thai sticky rice and good old American pineapple upside down cake and came up with this Gluten-Free Sticky Rice Cake Recipe. Rather than pineapple, I used mango. And, to bump up the coconut factor, I used Wholesome Organic Coconut Palm Sugar.
- 4 tablespoons butter or non-dairy substitute, plus more for preparing pan
- 1 cup Wholesome Organic Coconut Palm Sugar (packed) plus about 1 tablespoon – divided
- 2 mangos peeled and sliced lengthwise into about ¼ inch slices
- 1½ cups sweet rice (mochi, pearl or sushi rice)
- 1½ cups water
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- Pinch sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan by greasing the bottom and sides liberally with the butter or non-dairy substitute. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Lay sliced mango on top of the sugar in a nice spiral pattern.
Put rice in a large glass bowl and cover with enough water to come up about 1 inch over the top of the rice. Soak rice for at least 1 hour. Drain off water, rinse with running water and put back into bowl with 1½ cups fresh water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Stir rice thoroughly and return to microwave for another 5 minutes. Stir again. Rice should be tender, cooked through and sticky. If not, microwave for another 3 minutes and check again. Let stand covered for 5 minutes when done. Alternately, you can cook the soaked rice in a rice cooker.
While rice is cooking, heat coconut milk with ¼ cup sugar and a small pinch of sea salt until almost boiling over medium heat. Do not cook it over too high of a heat or it will curdle. Cook until all the sugar is dissolved and it is very hot. Pour hot mixture over cooked rice; stir well and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter or non-dairy substitute over medium heat with ¾ cup of sugar until it forms a thick caramel. Gently pour over the mango slices in the cake pan. Add rice mixture and press down to pack it well in the pan. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.
Place cake pan in a sheet pan to catch any caramel that may bubble over. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is lightly browned and the caramel is hot and bubbling. Let cool for 5 minutes and then run a knife around the pan to loosen. Invert on serving plate and let cool. The more you let it cool, the easier it is to slice.
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