Semi homemade cakes have become a speciality of mine for birthdays. Today’s gluten-free snickerdoodle cake offered the perfect celebration cake for my husband’s birthday this year and I loved that it tastes just as heavenly as our usual snickerdoodle cake and our chocolate snickerdoodle cake that I had made before going gluten-free.
Before going gluten-free I relied heavily on cake mixes for making all of our cakes (something that I mention as a pantry necessity in my book), and that ease of pre-mixed ingredients is exactly the tradition that I have continued as I have started baking cakes that are gluten-free. As we demonstrated, cooking with cake mixes is easy enough that your child can bake it for you, the cake mix can be transformed into delicious sugar cookies, and you can even put a rainbow in the center, if you want.
As we have gotten older, we need less and less. Frankly, if we really want something, we usually just go and buy it for ourselves. Special & thoughtful gifts seem harder to come by, but I was determined to make this guy’s day special.
His favorite books as a child were Ed Emberley’s drawing books. While these books have been reissued, my husband more than anything wanted the original books that he had loved as a kid. I found the three of his favorites and wrapped them in ribbon to give him for his birthday. I could not wait to see his face.
Unbeknownst to me,one of the books contained Ed Emberley’s autograph, which my husband said was the best gift he had ever received. What a happy surprise that was.
If your spouse had a series of books or a book that was their childhood favorite, imagine what a joy it is to see that original again.
To top the night off, we celebrated with a slice of this cake. While I find gluten-free cakes to be a little on the dry side, we have found that a little pudding mix really helps this cake… and a thick layer of homemade cinnamon buttercream doesn’t hurt either.
The cake is laced with cinnamon, as is the frosting, and the base is made from a simply yellow cake mix. Any gluten-free brand should work beautifully in this cake.
Happiest of birthdays to the love of my life. I still shake my head that I have been present for his birthday since he was just sixteen. A million moments shared, and I pray for millions more with my best friend!
- 1 package (15 ounces) yellow gluten-free cake mix
- ¼ cup (half of a 3.4 ounce package) vanilla instant pudding
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- For frosting: 1 stick butter, softened
- 3¾ cup confectioners sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans.
- Place the cake mix, pudding mix, cinnamon, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat until incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly between two pans and place in oven side-by-side.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool.
- For the icing, beat butter until fluffy. Add all other ingredients.
- To assemble cake, place one layer on your cake stand. Spread the top with the cinnamon frosting.
- Place the next layer on top and cover the top and sides with frosting.
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