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Author Notes: This cake is light and full of rich coconut flavor. I dressed it up with a creamy glaze that I drizzled over the top (recipe below). But you could also dust it with a little powdered sugar, or go large with frosting. The recipe uses coconut milk, so it’s naturally dairy-free (and the glaze can be made dairy-free by using Earth Balance in place of butter).
Like most chiffon cakes, it’s easy to make. I used an inexpensive angel food cake pan to bake it in. Just be sure you don’t use a non-stick pan or spray it with baking spray. Why? Because you’re going to have to turn the cake upside down while it’s still in the pan to cool (I stuck it through an empty wine bottle- of which there are always plenty in my house). You’ll find that this chiffon cake keeps well in the refrigerator when wrapped tightly in plastic wrap -- which is really nice when you want to make it a day ahead of when you plan to serve it.
Makes 1- 10 inch cake
Gluten-Free Coconut Chiffon Cake
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Brown Rice Flour Mix
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum if guar gum is unavailable
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup pure unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat or lite)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Coconut Glaze (recipe follows) or Confectioners’ Sugar
- Shredded sweetened coconut, optional to sprinkle over glaze
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Position rack in center of oven. Have ready a clean angel food cake pan or 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom. (It is best not to use a non-stick angel food pan for this cake). Do NOT grease the pan.
- Combine flour, baking powder, guar gum, and salt together in small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites in large bowl of electric mixer. Start mixer at medium speed and beat until whites are foamy. Gradually increase speed to high. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until sugar dissolves and whites form stiff and glossy peaks. Do not scrape bowl while beating. Set aside.
- Beat egg yolks in large bowl of electric mixer until lemon colored. Gradually add remaining 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue to beat until pale yellow and thick. Add oil and mix until well incorporated. Add coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut extract and beat until just combined at medium speed about 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix until smooth on medium speed about 1 minute. Mix in shredded coconut.
- Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it; gently fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into cake pan and place in center of preheated oven. Bake 45 - 50 minutes until cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Invert cake in pan on a metal funnel or narrow¬-necked bottle (an empty wine bottle is perfect); cool completely while it is upside down. Loosen cake with sharp knife and remove from pan onto a serving plate. Drizzle Coconut Glaze (recipe below) over the top of the cake or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
- Cooks notes: Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Cut cake using a serrated knife with a sawing motion. Can be made a day ahead. Store cake in refrigerator. Cake can also be covered with plastic wrap and then with foil and stored in freezer for up to three weeks. Best when eaten within three days of baking. Separate eggs when they are cold, and then let them warm to room temperature.
- Cooks Note: Brown Rice Flour Mix: combine 2 Cups finely ground brown rice flour (I recommend Authentic Foods, but Bob's Red Mill would be fine), 2/3 cup potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or Earth Balance for dairy free version)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
- Melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan and then remove from heat. Stir in coconut milk and coconut extract. Add confectioners’ sugar in two additions and whisk until very smooth. Cool to lukewarm before drizzling over cake (cool glaze until it has thickened but is still pourable).