As the name of my blog already describes, I am very crazy about travelling, need some freedom and I live gluten-free. It is often difficult to find an ideal destination for coeliacs. As a travel enthusiast, I had always thrown myself into distant adventures, although there is so much to discover here in Germany, from the beautiful Bavarian lakes to the North Sea islands. So I was very happy when my brother told me that he was getting married and that the wedding will be on a North Sea island: Juist!
I had planned to be on the island for about 1 week. Before the wedding 2 days to prepare the wedding cake and afterwards to get to know the island and relax.
The gluten-free wedding cake
I have celiac disease and lactose intolerance, a few guests were milk protein intolerant. Therefore, the bride and groom asked themselves whether they offer several cakes or whether they might take a cake that fits all. So it happened that my brother came to me and asked me if I would bake a wedding cake for them as a wedding present. I felt very honored and immediately accepted.
I immediately started my research. Finding a cake wasn’t that bad. I already knew some delicious cake recipes that are gluten and dairy free. But I wanted the bridal couple to have a wedding experience like everyone else and not have to do without a cake just because their guests have intolerances. Therefore, the plan was at least a two-tier cake and a white vegan cream for the decoration. A white sugar fondant would have been easier, but it should be a “naked cake” – suitable for a boho beach wedding.
I had never stacked a cake before. Another big challenge! Fortunately, I found Sally’s wedding cake tutorial. In the almost two-hour video, Sally explains how she planned and baked a friend’s wedding cake.
While I was researching, Lena from lenas Glutenfrei posted a vegan carrot cake with vegan frosting. That was my salvation and I tried to bake it right away. The cake tasted great, the recipe was easy and the frosting lasted and was vegan! But I wanted to offer alternatives. Lena then recommended a video from food52 about layer cakes. The video was also a tutorial with recipes and a lot of knowledge about layer cakes. The tutorial was also almost an hour long. Since I’m an absolute fan of lemons and the sour taste, I also had to bake the lemon chiffon cakes from the video.
Gluten-free wedding cake tasting
In December 2020, I did a cake tasting of the potential wedding cakes for Christmas. For the tasting I baked Lena’s carrot cake again, a Sachertorte based on an original recipe from an Austrian friend, a poppy seed cake from Sallys Welt, a passion fruit cake from Steffis Kochtrotz-Blog and the Lemon Chiffon Cake. Of course, everything is adapted to be gluten-free and dairy-free.
The tasting went very well. All the cakes were well received, so in the end you were spoiled for choice and you didn’t even notice that it was gluten and dairy-free. Since the vegan cream from the carrot cake got a grayish sheen after a few days, the bridal couple decided against this frosting. The buttercream frosting of the lemon chiffon cake consisted of egg and butter, which I exchanged for margarine. But it didn’t want to get firm. Since all the cakes were tasty, decisions were made based on things like color and stability.
The choice fell on a Sachertorte as a base and a mixture of the lemon chiffon cake with the passion fruit cake on top. The Sachertorte has also been modified. Instead of the chocolate icing around it, it should also be given a white frosting.
So, the research continued.
The vegan frosting
I started to plan when and where to prepare. I was assured that I could also use the kitchen in the mother of the bride’s holiday home on site. So, I planned to bake the cakes at home and then do the frostings, layering and decorating on Juist.
For the frosting I tried all the recipes again, the buttercream, the vegan carrot cake and a new recipe from Broccoli Bastards. A friend sent me the link to the new recipe.
The first attempt was great. Everything went perfectly, it tasted good and looked radiant white. Then I got the idea to replace the flour with cocoa powder to fill the Sachertorte with chocolate frosting. In the second attempt, the margarine flocculated so that neither the chocolate version nor the white version looked nice.
My guess was that it was too hot. Back then at Christmas, the kitchen was hot from the oven, which baked one cake after the other all day, and this time too I did the frosting parallel to the baking. In retrospect, the creams still thickened. The flaking was probably also due to the heat. So, I changed the plan that I make the cream at home and bring it to Juist chilled.
A week before the wedding, I wrote with gesund glutenfrei glücklich on Instagram and asked for a recipe. They too had used a white vegan cream on their cake. They were so lovely and gave me the recipe. But I didn’t have time to try it out in advance, as the week of wedding preparations had already begun.
So, I just made both frostings and then wanted to spontaneously decide on Juist of which one consistency and color is better. But since I was unlucky and when I arrived it was the hottest day in years, the frosting flocculated despite about 20 cool packs. On the way I bought crushed ice at the gas station. Nothing helped. In the end I had to do the frostings again on Juist.
Baking at the day before the wedding
On the day before the wedding, I stood in the kitchen of the holiday apartment most of the day. Since I wasn’t sure how clean everything was and I didn’t want any traces of gluten, I brought my baking equipment with me that had never touched gluten. Well equipped, I spontaneously decided to bake Sachertorte again so that the cake is a little higher.
For the lemon and passion fruit cake I already started layering, because the passion fruit icing has to be chilled in the refrigerator for several hours to set.
When the Sachertorte was ready and cooled down, I layered it too. Here I tried the frosting as a filling of gesund glutenfrei glücklich as it tasted like vanilla and therefore went well with the chocolate.
I made the cake rings again around the cake and brought the two cakes with the maid of honor to tomorrow’s location, the beach hotel in Juist. It was agreed with them that I could go into the kitchen and cool my cakes there. On site I then took off the cake rings and applied the frosting. Unfortunately, it ran down and didn’t want to stay on the cake. That I gave up for the time being and put everything in the cold store. I was hoping it would get thicker overnight.
The finishing touches on the wedding cake
I only put the finishing touches on when the wedding was over, the first tears of joy had gone and we had toasted to the married couple in the dome of the beach hotel.
The day before, the maid of honor and I had gotten flowers from the florist. The flowers on the cake should be like those in the bridal bouquet. The flowers had already been in the hotel’s cold store overnight. Then at some point my brother came to me and asked how far the cake was, they would like to serve it now. Together with the maid of honor, I went down to the kitchen, where the cook helped me to layer the cake and we then decorated the wedding cake with chocolates, flowers and cake topper. Without the maid of honor, I would never have made it.
The frosting hadn’t really gotten any harder overnight, so I only applied something to a few spots.
Everyone was enthusiastic and found the cake very tasty. Even the owner of the hotel asked me if I would like to start working for him and make all the wedding cakes. I was really happy that I could make so many happy. Nobody wanted to believe that this wedding cake is really gluten-free and dairy-free. Even non-intolerant people said that they tolerate this cake much better than other cakes and are therefore looking forward to another piece. Thus the top layer was eaten empty after a few minutes.
How I layered the gluten-free wedding cake
This always reads so simply “and then layer the cake.” But how does it actually work. I looked at some tutorials, as mentioned above. I think the following technique is very good and easy. For this you need a rotating cake plate and a large knife (preferably with serrations, like a bread knife).
I then place the cake on the cake plate, holding the knife so that I get the thickness of a layer. Then I start rotating the pie plate and almost don’t move the knife at all. Once I’m around and have indicated a cut at one level, I put more and more pressure on it, that with each round that the cake turns I get more and more in the middle and thus get a straight cut.
If you were to move the knife instead of turning the pie plate, you could easily end up cutting off an angled layer. Although this can still be repaired minimally with the cream. However, it is easier if it fits directly.
Sachertorte (28cm cake pan)
The Sachertorte is stable and therefore forms a very good wedding cake base.
- 140g vegan margarine
- 100g powdered sugar
- 180g dark chocolate (vegan + gf)
- 8 egg yolks
- 120g granulated sugar
- 8 egg whites
- 120g gluten-free flour (preferably a flour mix)
- Margarine for the cake pan
- 1 jar of apricot jam
- Frosting of gesund glutenfrei glücklich or broccoli bastards
Lemon and passion fruit cake (18-20cm cake ring)
Since the lemon and passion fruit cake is filled with cream and mango and should also have the passion fruit icing as a lid, this makes more sense as the top cake.
- 360g gluten-free flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 120g vegetable oil
- 160g vegan plant milk
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 8 pieces / 170g egg yolks (room temperature)
- 300g granulated sugar (divide into 200g + 100g)
- 2 teaspoons lemon peel
- 8 large / 280g egg whites (room temperature)
- 1/4 teaspoon tartar baking powder
- 80g freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 66g granulated sugar
- Frosting of broccoli bastards
- 300g lemon curd
- 1 packet of cake icing
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 250g passion fruit juice
What equipment you need
- 2x matching cake boards
- Cake supports as high as the base cake
- rotatable cake plate
- Dough card as high as the cake is
- Cake knife
- Angle cake knife
- Matching cake tins or cake rings, baking paper
- Mix the soft margarine with the powdered sugar until foamy.
- Gradually add the egg yolks.
- Heat the chocolate in a water bath and stir in as well.
- Mix egg whites with sugar until foamy and slowly fold in.
- Carefully fold in the gluten-free flour as well.
- Prepare the cake pan or the cake ring and preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
- Fill the dough into the pan or ring and bake for about 60 minutes.
Lemon and passion fruit cake
- Preheat the oven to 165 ° c. Prepare the cake ring with baking paper and grease the edges and flour.
- Put the glutenfree flour, baking powder, salt in a medium bowl.
- Mix the oil, milk, vanilla, and lemon extract together in a measuring cup.
- Beat the egg yolks with the hand mixer at medium speed until they are light white (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add 200g granulated sugar (part 1) and beat the mixture at medium to high speed until it becomes white, thick and about four times its volume (4-5 minutes).
- Reduce the speed and add the lemon peel. Beat it another minute. Gradually add the milk-oil mixture (steady flow, at a slow speed).
- Now sprinkle 1/4 of the flour mixture into the mixer bowl with the egg yolk and milk-oil mixture and mix at low speed until it is incorporated. Repeat this three more times until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
- In a clean bowl, combine the egg white with the tartar baking powder until it is foamy (approx. 1-2 minutes, medium speed). Increase the speed and add the remaining sugar (100g) (about 4-5 minutes).
- Step by step lift the remaining protein mixture under the flour mixture. It is best to start with 1/4 of the egg white mixture, then it should be easier to fold in.
- Add the dough to the prepared baking pan and bake the dough for about 50-55 minutes. The dough is ready when it springs back a little if you carefully touch it in the middle.
- When the pan or cake ring comes out of the oven, let it cool down for 10 minutes and only then remove it from the cake.
Lemon syrup / passion fruit syrup
- Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat so the sugar dissolves. Then set the syrup aside and let it cool to room temperature.
Layering the wedding cake:
- Start with the gluten-free lemon and passion fruit cake.
- Cut the odd piece off the top of the cake. Then divide the cake into 4 layers of the same height (or fewer layers, if you have chosen a different cake size).
- Set the bottom part aside (it should become the top of the cake).
- Take one layer and place it on a nice cake board that lies on a rotating cake plate. Now put some of the lemon syrup evenly on the dough, then make a circle with the frosting on the edge. Then take an ice cream scoop and add about 2-3 scoops of the lemon curd to the center of the frosting circle. If you want more freshness in the cake, spread small mango pieces on the lemon curd. Spread it evenly and add the next layer.
- Repeat point four until the entire cake is layered.
- When everything is layered, pull the cake ring around the cake again and add the last layer of frosting to the top layer. Now put the cake in the fridge for another 10-15 minutes.
- At the same time, stir the icing according to the instructions on the package, use passion fruit juice / nectar as the liquid and stir it with a spoon instead of a stirring stick so that no bubbles appear.
- Now carefully pour the casting on the top layer. It is best to use a large spoon with the curve upwards.
- The best thing to do is to put the cake in a cool place overnight (in the fridge).
- Now you can repeat points two and three with the gluten-free Sachertorte.
- Heat the apricot jam in a saucepan. When it's warm and thick, take it off the stove.
- Spread part of the warm apricot jam on the first layer of the Sachertorte. Depending on whether you also want to fill the Sachertorte with a cream, put some of the frosting on the layer and spread it on. Repeat this step until the entire cake is layered.
- Also keep the Sachertorte in a cool place for several hours or overnight.
- The next day carefully remove the cake ring from the lemon and passion fruit cake and apply the vegan frosting with a cake palette. That works very well with a rotatable cake plate. First apply a “crumb layer” and then chill for another 10-15 minutes. Then apply the smooth layer with the remaining white cream. It is best to smooth it out with a pastry card that is as tall as the cake.
- Repeat the same with the Sachertorte.
- Place the cake supports (preferably 3 pieces) in the middle of the Sachertorte. Cut to the height of the Sachertorte beforehand.
- Now the lemon and passion fruit cake can be placed on the supports along with the cake board on top of the Sachertorte.
- Now the cake can be decorated with flowers, pralines and / or cake toppers as you like.
Depending on how high you want the cake to be, you might just bake twice as much. Thank you for trying my recipe! Your Nele from travel + free ♥ ️