This gluten-free Sherry Spice Cake tastes (and smells) exactly like my house did in 1983 when company was coming, which is what I was going for.
Lord, there are times where I just can’t help but miss the times when life was easier. I mean when it was WAY easier, like when I was 6 and I used to run open-armed to the back door when I heard my daddy’s work truck come in the garage.
He always guessed what mom was making for dinner. Much later, I found out that Saint Joanie would tell him what she was making when he called to say he was headed home (no cell phones back then, but all the farmers had dispatch radios.) I spent most of my childhood thinking he was clairvoyant.
Recently I was having a series of tough days, and I decided I really needed my house to smell & taste like 1983. So, I attempted a gluten-free conversion on my mom’s Sherry Wine Cake. The smell was perfect, but the texture wasn’t. It was a very insult-to-injury moment, and I was too tired of failing to try to fix the recipe. Utter disappointment.
My life was full of ingredients that just didn’t come together correctly. My friends showed up with humor & love, and after a couple of weeks, I tried the cake again. As I went down the cake mix aisle, I realized what must have been missing: I’d used a gluten-free cake mix with less than 10 ounces in the box! I picked up the brand my mother used 30 years ago: 16.5 ounces. Could it be as easy as volume?
It was. I’ve tried the cake with several mixes now: King Arthur Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix and Pamela’s Products Vanilla Cake Mix are my favorites. You should give it a try – I love it for a group dessert, for holiday buffets and for breakfast the next morning. And I love that I got it right.
XO XO XO – KC
About Sherry Wine: you can find it at most grocery stores, because it’s often used for cooking. The difference between Cream Sherry and Dry Sherry is just sweetness – the cream style is sweeter. You can sub Dry Sherry or Brandy in this recipe and it works just fine, you’ll just get a slightly different (but still delicious) cake. Use the rest of your sherry in dishes that use mushrooms or chicken – it makes for fabulous flavor. Or just make more cake! Store opened sherry wine sealed in the fridge. It’s fortified, so it’ll last quite awhile that way.
Perfect Gluten Free Sherry Spice Cake
- bundt pan
- 1 package gluten free yellow or vanilla cake mix minimum 13.5 oz
- 1 small package dry vanilla pudding mix 3.4-4 oz, Jello brand is gluten free
- 3/4 cup cream sherry wine dry sherry or brandy will work too
- 3/4 cup butter melted (oil can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (if your oven runs a little cold, set it for 365 degrees.)
- Combine all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl, and mix at medium speed for 4-5 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Grease a Bundt pan or a 9x13 pan very well. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. If using a Bundt pan, turn the cake out 5 minutes after you've removed it from the oven.
- Enjoy with coffee or wine & good friends.
Photos: Meg van der Kruik
Sherry cake just like mom used to make. But gluten-free. Yes.