Gluten-Free Strawberry Pomegranate Cake
Author: Gigi Stewart
Notes before you dig in…
To achieve the exact results I did, those pictured, follow the detailed directions, (which are not nearly as time-consuming as they appear); however, if you prefer a shortcut, simply use the cake layer recipe and add your favorite filling and frosting.
Frosting & filling:
- 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen, (If fresh, washed and trimmed)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (sub: dairy-free cream cheese alternative)
- ½ cup butter, softened (sub: dairy-free butter substitute)
- 4 cups (approximate) confectioners’ sugar
- One or more fresh strawberries, garnish, optional
The cake layers work best if mixed by hand, not with a stand mixer. The frosting is best when mixed with a stand mixer.
Oven: preheated to 350F
- Two 8- or 9-inch round baking pans, greased well.
- Large platter, plate or cutting board to accommodate both baked cake layers before assembly lined with wax paper. (Or use 2 separate plates, one for each layer.)
- Chopstick (or similar for poking holes in baked layers).
- Stand mixer (for frosting).
- Serving plate for cake assembly and storage.
Prepare the cake batter:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour blend, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir sugar and butter together vigorously until the mixture begins to form large clumps and becomes pale. Using the back of a large spoon to combine butter and sugar works well. (This takes about 2 minutes.)
3. Add yogurt, stir until combined, then add eggs and stir until mixture is uniform. The mixture may appear slightly curdled at this point, no worries.
4. Add dry ingredients and stir until almost all dry ingredients are incorporated, then add pomegranate juice, milk and vanilla. Stir until combined, then use a large balloon whisk to smooth out any remaining lumps in the batter (whisk time, about 45 seconds – no need to over-mix).
5. Divide batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans.
6. Bake 22-25 minutes, until layers appear dry on top and spring back when gently pressed in the center.
7. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool in the pans.
While layers cool, prepare filling and frosting:
1. Gently heat strawberries to break them down, about 2-3 minutes over medium heat (microwave: about 1 – 1 ½ minutes).
2. Place berries in food processor or blender, then press mixture through a fine mesh sieve, collecting the juice in a small bowl. Discard pulp and seeds. (You should end up with approximately ½ – ¾ cup juice.)
3. Add 2 cups confectioners’ sugar to the berry juice; whisk to blend until smooth. You will use half of the mixture in the frosting and half to brush over layers.
This is not a thick, stiff, pipe-able buttercream type frosting – it was meant to “drape” the cake.
1. Place softened cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your stand mixer; blend on low to combine and smooth.
2. Add half of the strawberry juice mixture and blend on low to incorporate. (Remember, you’re reserving the other half for the cake layers once they are cooled and removed from pans.)
3. Add in the remaining 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, about ½ cup at a time, blending on low after each addition. (You may need to scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl in between mixing.)
4. The frosting consistency should be thick, but not stiff. We want the frosting to “hug” and drape the layers, not completely adhere and cover (as a buttercream frosting would).
Back to the cake layers:
1. Once cooled, use a butter knife or small spatula to loosen cakes around the edges, then gently invert onto prepared wax paper lined plates.
2. Using the chopstick (or the end of the slender handle of a wooden spoon), poke holes in the cooled layers, about 2-inches apart in 4 concentric circles, beginning about an inch from the outer edge of each layer, ending in the center.
3. Pour half of the remaining strawberry juice mixture over each layer, spreading with the back of a spoon. Let the layers sit for a few minutes so the mixture can soak into the layers.
Assemble the cake:
1. Carefully transfer one layer to your serving plate (the side you poked holes in should be facing up).
2. Top with about ½ cup frosting, gently spreading to within 2 inches of the edge.
3. Top with second layer, placing the holes side down (onto the frosting).
4. With remaining frosting, spoon it into the center of the cake, gently spreading and allowing some to drape the sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh berries on top, if you like.
5. Refrigerate cake at least 1 hour prior to slicing and serving.