Two years ago I made a cake for our youngest son’s birthday, and for his birthday this year he asked me if I would make him a “big dig cake” again. This time the cake was gluten-free (and safe for his allergies). The only ingredient not “safe” was the Kit Kat Bars, but those we just picked off and he was ok.
This cake I tried a chocolate cake mix from Sun Flour Mills. The mix makes 2 layers (many gluten-free cake mixes only make 1!) Their mix is made in a facility free of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and nuts. While the cake calls for eggs, it has an easy egg-free way to make it. My review of the cake? This is one of the tastiest gluten-free cakes I have eaten. It smells, tastes and looks like wheat. No off flavors from bean flours, and no odd GF texture (so many baked goods have that odd xantham gum slipperiness to the tongue).
You might ask why do I not bake a cake of my own? I’ll be honest: While I consider myself to be a good baker, gluten-free cakes are so finicky! Using a product that is rated well is just sometimes easier, and no wasting of bulk ingredients.
I baked two layers in well-oiled pans, lined with parchment paper. I have learned to never skip that step. Once cooled, it is easy to remove the parchment paper. I wrapped a piece of cardboard with foil, that was cut to fit a rimmed baking sheet. Spread a little frosting all over the foil, then place the first cake layer where you’d like. Frost the center, top with the second layer, and frost top and sides. I went for a rough look.
The “dirt” is a box of Enjoy Life crunchy chocolate cookies crumbled up. Kit Kat Bars are the “logs”. However, they are not gluten-free, so if you can find a substitute use that. Add in mini big dig vehicles (the frosting will rinse off with hot water).
But I don’t skimp on the frosting. That has to be homemade. This a frosting even the adults will love.
Double Chocolate Frosting
1 stick dairy-free margarine or unsalted butter
2/3 cup (dairy-free if needed) semi-sweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
3/4 cup milk of choice (used unsweetened coconut milk beverage)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Melt butter in a small bowl in microwave. Add chocolate chips to a stand mixer, pour butter over. Beat until smooth. Add in milk, and cocoa powder until smooth.
Add in 3 cups of the powdered sugar, and vanilla, beat till smooth.
Let cool on the counter (frosting will be a bit thin until it cools).
After frosting has cooled, beat on low-speed, slowly adding in the last cup of powdered sugar, until light & fluffy. Store any leftovers tightly sealed, in the refrigerator.