Pound cake is one of the most popular desserts on any occasion. However, traditional pound cake contains all-purpose flour, which begs the question, is pound cake gluten-free?
All-purpose flour is a wheat-based flour, so traditional pound cake isn’t gluten-free. The good news is that there are gluten-free substitutes for the all-purpose flour in a pound cake.
Read on to learn more about these substitutes and how you can make gluten-free pound cake.
There are a lot of pound cake variations today. This includes many gluten-free recipes for those on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-free pound cakes use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose wheat-based flour. Luckily, gluten-free flour is easily found in the market.
Some of the best options are almond flour, buckwheat flour, and sorghum flour.
This flour is made from finely-ground almonds. If you add it to baked goods, it provides structure and a delicate almond flavor.
It’s mostly used in chocolate desserts, gingerbread, light-colored cakes, and muffins, but it also works in pound cake.
Don’t confuse buckwheat for wheat. This flour is from whole-grain buckwheat, which comes from a plant that’s like rhubarb.
It has an earthy flavor that’s usually enjoyed in crepes, pancakes, and pasta.
Sorghum flour has a mild, sweet flavor. It also has a smooth texture.
This mild, sweet, and smooth combination makes the flour popular for pancakes, as well as delicate muffins and bread. Further, it’s the flour used to make the traditional bread roti in India.
If you want a gluten-free pound cake, no worries, we’ve provided a recipe for you below!
The ingredients are:
- 5 Eggs
- Granulated sugar (200 g)
- Gluten-free flour (220 g)
- Kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
- Pure vanilla extract (2 teaspoons)
- Unsalted butter (224 g)
- Xanthan gum (½ teaspoon)
Grease a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan. Then, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Soften the butter to prepare it for creaming. To cream the butter means to mix it with sugar until you get a smooth and fluffy mixture. This dissolves the sugar and ensures that your cake has just the right texture.
Make sure that the butter has a temperature of 65°F to 68°F. Otherwise, the cake will be greasy when the butter’s too hot, or dense and heavy when it’s too cold.
There are three methods for softening butter:
- Counter Method: With this method, you can just leave the butter on the kitchen counter at 70°F room temperature. It’ll take about an hour to soften. If it’s summer, check after 30 minutes.
- Hot Glass Method: This method is quite fast. Pour warm water into a ceramic cup or a heat-safe glass, then pour it out again after 5 minutes. Right after, place the glass over the butter. Allow the butter to sit under the glass for about 5 minutes.
- Microwave Method: Look for a “soften butter” setting in your microwave. If there isn’t one, microwave it at 10-second bursts using the lowest power setting.
Add the sugar and vanilla when the butter is soft enough, then beat until it’s light and fluffy for about 5 minutes. Don’t rush this process to ensure the cake will turn out light.
Make sure you scrape down the sides and the bottom of your bowl after mixing for 2 minutes. This prevents the remaining layer of butter from blending with the batter, which causes dense spots.
Add the eggs individually. Each egg should mix well into the butter before you add the next one. After the third egg, add one tablespoon of your gluten-free flour to hold everything together.
Now, stop your mixer to combine the rest of the gluten-free flour, the salt, and the xanthan gum. Then, turn your mixer to low and begin mixing with this setting to ensure the flour won’t puff out of the bowl.
After a few seconds of mixing, increase its speed to medium and mix until the batter is fluffy and smooth.
Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until the cake turns deep brown. This should take about 50 minutes. If the cake gets dark before the center is baked, cover the cake with foil to prevent it from burning.
Once you’re done baking, place the cake on a rack for 30 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and allow it to cool.
So, is pound cake gluten-free? The answer is no. Traditional pound cake contains all-purpose wheat-based flour that contains gluten.
Nonetheless, if you still want a gluten-free pound cake, there are many recipes that substitute all-purpose wheat-based flour for gluten-free flour like almond, buckwheat, and sorghum flour.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.