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Houston's baking queen shows off her gluten-free dessert secrets: Let them eat (good) cake!

Houston's baking queen shows off her gluten-free dessert secrets

Aunt Bertha is gluten free. Uncle Albert is gluten free. And even your second cousin once removed, Sven, has decided that gluten is a huge evil that's the cause of world hunger and pollution — and surely the culprit for gun violence amongst youngsters.

There goes Thanksgiving dessert, kids. Unless you're from the planet that counts fruit as a suitable sweet course (so, so wrong).

Nonsensical hyperbole aside, more people than ever follow a gluten-free diet. Whether that's because of real medical conditions such as celiac disease or because of general malaise, the demand for gluten-free products has risen exponentially. A report by Mintel International says that sales of gluten-free goods in the U.S. reached $1.1 billion in 2013.

CultureMap "Up To Speed" host Nicole Hickl turns to Jodycakes owner and baking maven Jody Stevens for help in figuring out what to do to keep the peace at the Thanksgiving table. Stevens offers an easy recipe for a gluten-free spice cake smeared with you favorite topping. Perhaps cream cheese frosting?

The trick, Stevens says, is to work on a batter that's smooth and silky as some gluten-free products have a grainy consistency.

Don't mistake this version as healthy as it still has white sugar and plenty of fat. But at least Sven's picky hippie girl toy of the week won't launch into her diatribe about how gluten makes her feel inside. And those who truly have gluten sensitivities can have their cake and eat it, too. Isn't that something to be thankful for?

Follow along with the video above for step-by-step instructions. For a vegan option, try Stevens' pumpkin spice vegan cupcakes with vegan cream cheese frosting.

Gluten Free Cardamom Spice Cake Recipe by Jody Stevens

  • 2 1/2 cups rice flour (brown or white)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or few grates of fresh nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk (can substitute milk of your choice — soy, almond, coconut)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs

In a stand mixer, beat sugar and eggs with paddle attachment for at least one minute until lightened.

In a separate bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients and set aside. Then combine all wet ingredients in a separate measuring cup.

Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar/egg mixture and combine until incorporated. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add remaining flour mixture until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared two cake pans that have been prepared with nonstick spray and rice flour.

Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven, turning once during baking to ensure both pans bake evenly. The cakes are done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The tops should spring back to the touch.  

Cool completely before removing from pans and frost with icing of your choice.

Jody Stevens gluten free cake Nicole Hickl
Jody Stevens and Nicole Hickl hit the kitchen to bake a gluten-free cake suitable for the Thanksgiving table. Photo by Joel Luks
Jody Stevens gluten free cake Nicole Hickl
The trick, Stevens says, is to work on a batter that's smooth and silky as some gluten-free products have a grainy consistency. Photo by Joel Luks
Jody Stevens gluten free cake Nicole Hickl
Try a figure "s" on the icing to create a charming pattern that says, "eat me." Photo by Joel Luks
Jody Stevens gluten free cake Nicole Hickl
Jody Stevens gluten free cake Nicole Hickl
Jody Stevens gluten free cake Nicole Hickl