Persian Spice Cake

This is a recipe my friend Liz was making for The Gourmet Club which meets tonight. Each month we meet and someone hosts a themed 8 course dinner party. Liz chose “Spice: Journey of the senses through the Souk of Morocco.” The original recipe is from Epicurious, but my gluten free adaptation which tastes remarkably buttery. I was planning on bringing the whole thing to the party, but my kids and a playdate ate half of it at lunch with some homemade chicken soup. So I will only be bringing two pieces. My daughter said to her friend “Isn’t my Mom the best cook?” as they each ate their second piece of cardamom spice cake. I might have to make baking a cake on a Saturday a tradition.

1 cup gluten free flour mix (or 1/2 c. gluten free flour mix+1/2 cup ground raw cashews*)
14 tablespoons baker’s sugar or superfine sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons sparkling water
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil or canola oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods)

For cake:
-Preheat oven to 325°F.
-Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.
-Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment.
-Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl.
-Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth.
-Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.
-Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form.
-Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions.
-Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
-Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)

also: I like to put it in the freezer so it hardens which makes it easier to frost.

If you eat whip cream you can check out the original Persian Love Cake recipe at Epicurious. If you are gluten free and casein free, you can use a super thin layer of my coconut frosting.

*I grind nuts in a coffee grinder to make nut flour, which adds some protein and healthy fat to sweet treats.

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