The Much-Anticipated Castle Cake
My daughter has been asking for a castle cake for her birthday since shortly after her third birthday party was over. Finally, her fourth birthday came around this month and she was so excited to have a castle cake. My mom’s hobby is cake decorating so she flew down from Seattle for a long weekend to celebrate and decorate the much-anticipated castle cake for us. Behold, the castle cake!
I was in charge of baking the cake ahead of my mom’s arrival for the decorating. I decided to try out two different gluten free chocolate cake mixes (with a bit of doctoring to increase the moisture and enhance the flavor). The two I chose to try were Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix and Namaste Foods Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix. The Bob’s package made one 9″ cake, which was used for the top of the three cake layers. The Namaste package made two 9″ cakes, used for the middle and bottom cake layers.
The Bob’s cake baked with a rounded top that had to be cut off to create the flat top of the cake. It also had the recognizable flavor of garbanzo bean flour, which is not my favorite. The instructions call for 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup milk, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 large eggs, 1/3 cup hot water, and 2 tsp. vanilla extract. Instead, I used 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup oil, 3 eggs, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. salt.
The Namaste cakes rose properly but baked much flatter, not creating a dome on top like the Bob’s did. The Namaste mix does not have garbanzo bean flour and instead relies on sweet rice flour. This improves the flavor, in my opinion, but it does have a more grainy texture due to the rice flour. The instructions call for 3 eggs, 2/3 cup oil, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Instead of that, I used 3 eggs, 2/3 cup oil, 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup plain yogurt. I also added 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. salt.
While I would recommend either one of the mixes to someone who wanted to use a cake mix, I definitely preferred the Namaste mix. I’m just not a big fan of garbanzo bean flour. That was the only issue I had with the Bob’s mix. If the flavor of garbanzo bean flour doesn’t bother you, then either mix would be a fine choice.