Serious Eats: Recipes

Gluten-Free Tuesday: One Bowl Chocolate Cake

[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

I grew up eating cake made from mixes. Of all the baked goods that came from my mother's kitchen, cake was the only one not made from scratch. When I was a student at the Culinary Institute of America, I couldn't wait to learn how to make a real cake. Boy, was I disappointed. Don't get me wrong: Sponge, two-stage, and all other forms of cake are lovely. It's just when I think of cake, I don't think, "Hey! A sponge cake soaked with simple syrup would really hit the spot!" I crave the light, moist texture that Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines fed me growing up.

Not only do I prefer the texture of boxed cake, I also love the ease. Open a box, dump in a few ingredients and in two minutes you have batter. (I've often joked that I am not just a gluten-free baker, I am also a lazy baker.) Would it be possible, I wondered, to create a homemade, gluten-free, one bowl cake recipe? Turns out, the answer is yes.

This cake, which was inspired by the classic gluten-filled Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" recipe, comes together quickly. White rice flour, cornstarch, and just a little sweet rice flour combine to create a cake that has a texture that's very similar to boxed cake—only better. This cake is moist without being wet or gummy. Oh, and it also screams, "I'm a chocolate cake!" which doesn't hurt.

To make it, simply whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (I like to do this while my oven preheats.) Add the wet ingredients and stir. You don't even need to use an electric mixer. Of course you can, but a whisk or wooden spoon works just fine. So while I've had fun making (and eating!) all kinds of cake, this one bowl chocolate cake really is the one for me.

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