When you give up grain, it can feel like you’ve seen the last of light, fluffy cakes. But I’ve found two little secrets that bring your healthy cake to a whole new level! This grain free cinnamon sponge cake is as light and fluffy as a traditional cake, even though it’s grain and dairy free. Sweetened with a little coconut sugar and some honey, it’s satisfying but not overly sweet. Add some warm cinnamon and vanilla and you’ve got a dessert that bakes up beautifully and looks as good as it tastes! You can even cut it into two layers…perfect for adding a layer of vanilla custard or whipped coconut cream.
The first secret to this cake is banana flour. This flour is so fine and soft, it bakes very much like cake flour (but it’s full of nutrients rather than gluten). I’ve found that when texture is important, banana flour is a great thing to use! There isn’t a strong banana flavor, since the flour is made from green bananas. It’s also high in resistant starch, which is great for your digestion and helps balance blood sugar.
The other secret is to use a recipe for sponge cake rather than a regular cake recipe. Sponge cake doesn’t call for much flour, which is helpful both for texture and cost when you’re baking grain free. The trick to sponge cake is in separating the eggs. You beat the yolks with your flavorings (in this case, vanilla and cinnamon) and sweetener. Then, whip the whites until stiff peaks form. Don’t over beat the whites…I’ve learned that they won’t bake up as fluffy if you whip them until they’re dry. There’s a specific order to combining the ingredients that gives the cake its light and airy texture…you combine the yolk mixture with a bit of flour, fold half the whites into the yolks, add another bit of flour, fold in the rest of the whites, and finally add flour a third time. It’s a bit of extra work, but so worth it!
You can serve the cake as is, or cut it into layers and add something in the middle. Creamy vanilla custard is delicious, or a fluffy layer of whipped coconut cream. You could even make a compote of apples, raisins and nuts and spread it between the layers! Any way you serve it, your friends will have a hard time believing that this is a grain-free, non-dairy cake. It’s a must-try recipe!
- 6 organic, cage-free eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup raw organic honey
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons banana flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut sugar and honey. Whip until the mixture is creamy and a very pale yellow.
- Add 1/4 cup of the banana flour to the egg yolks and whip again.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Be sure to wash your beaters before whipping the whites, and don't whip them too much. The cake won't be as fluffy if the egg whites are too dry.
- Fold 1/2 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture by hand.
- Add 1/4 cup of the banana flour and fold this is by hand as well.
- Fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, then add the 2 tablespoons of banana flour and fold this in as well.
- Pour the batter into a greased springform pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool, and serve...or, cut the cake horizontally into two layers and fill with vanilla custard, whipped coconut cream, etc.