First of all, Happy Birthday, America! And Happy Gluten-Free Fourth of July to all of us – we’ve got some great ideas to share for getting patriotic with your gluten-free food!

Luckily, Mother Nature is ready to celebrate and provides plenty of summer-fresh red and blue fruits: cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries can add a pop of patriotism to any dessert. One favorite July Fourth food is the classic “Happy Birthday America” cake. Some think it’s old news, but it’s just so easy. Plus, no matter how many times the guests have seen it, this festive cake always sparks admiring comments at July Fourth barbeques. Let’s face it – who doesn’t like an American flag that tastes like chocolate?

After you make your cake, simply top it off with some white frosting, then apply sliced red and blue berries in an American flag pattern.

You can look in the Gluten-Free Grocery Guide for gluten-free cake mixes, but if you want to make your own, homemade, gluten-free “Happy Birthday America” cake, here’s a great recipe from Allrecipes.com:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The xanthan gum is key here, in terms of texture. It’s one of the best ways to replicate the moistness and consistency of wheat-infused cake, but without the gluten. Xanthan gum is expensive, but it’s definitely worth it. Bob’s Red Mill and Ener-G both sell it in small, economical packages. (Or, if you’re looking to really compare prices, check out the xanthan gum page on NexTag). Be careful not to overdo it when adding this little teaspoon to your batter, though, or else you may find your cake a bit slimy.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and rice flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. Mix the white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.
  3. Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, milk and vanilla and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely then frost, if desired.

For a patriotic touch, try swirling some red or blue food coloring into the batter (if you’re making a light colored cake) or mixing in some red and blue sprinkles before baking.

Some other fun ideas for your Independence Day buffet include:

  • Make red, white, and blue parfaits by layering strawberries, blueberries, and vanilla yogurt in clear cups.
  • Arrange a platter of cherry and blue-raspberry flavored Jello jigglers for the kids.
  • Serve white corn and blue corn tortilla chips next to a bowl of spicy red salsa.
  • Make a thin-crust gluten-free pizza, then cut out starry “pizza tarts” with a star-shaped cookie cutter.
  • For breakfast, cut stars out of gluten-free pancakes (see Sarah’s post on King Arthur’s gluten-free pancake mix) and top them with blueberry or strawberry syrup.

Got any other easy-to-make red, white, and blue gluten-free ideas or recipes? Do share!