Today’s recipe for Perfect Gluten-Free Pound Cake is the third installment of SSS … a Suite of Sweets for Sweethearts. When I was growing up, pound cake was a family favorite. Bake a good pound cake and you were loved by all. Seriously. There was no gift I could give my grandmother (my dad’s mom) that she would have preferred over my pound cake. Grandma loved pound cake, and she said mine were the best.You see … before going gluten free, I made all kinds of pound cakes. There were classic pound cakes, orange pound cakes, lemon pound cakes, cream cheese pound cakes, chocolate pound cakes, and marble pound cakes … to name a few. Some were baked in tube pans. Some were prettiest if cooked in Bundt pans. Some were 8-inches square. Others were baked in loaf pans. Some were served plain. Some required a dusting of powdered sugar. Some needed a thin drizzle of icing. But, one thing they all had in common was how good they were.
Everyone in my family and circle of friends had their own personal favorite of my pound cakes. I’ve been gluten free for well over 6 years now. I have not baked a really good gluten-free pound cake in that time (although I’ve tried several). Until … Now. Now I have the Perfect Gluten-Free Pound Cake for you!
This pound cake recipe is another gfe recipe that uses olive oil as the shortening–in this case, light olive oil or extra light olive oil, and that’s an important distinction. (Extra virgin olive oil’s flavor is way too strong for this recipe.) The original recipe is from the Filippo Berio site, which was also the source of the Mediterranean Chocolate Cake recipe that I converted to gluten free. I made this cake dairy free by using full-fat canned coconut milk, although you can use dairy milk if you like. However, I’m pretty sold on the moisture and dense texture provided by the coconut milk in this recipe. If you consistently eat dairy, this just might be one time you want to try eating dairy free.
I made this pound cake for my dad’s birthday. Good thing the recipe made two loaves. Son was home for the weekend and ended up eating almost one entire loaf by himself, and then more later. He told me I should sell this cake in individual slices for $4 or $5 … “Mom, I’m serious. You could make a fortune.” (And, he’s mentioned his love of this cake and his entrepreneurial ideas for me several times since.)
Before he headed home, he asked me to slice the remaining part of the loaf into individual pieces as a “to-go package” for easy eating while on the road. Then, he offered to deliver the remaining pound cake loaf to Dad when he stopped by to say hello on his way out of town. Do I need to tell you what happened? He ate all of his to-go package before he arrived and then ate some more of Dad’s pound cake when it was offered. In case you need any more endorsement than that, please know that this cake is very easy to make and delightfully moist. All the previous gluten-free pound cakes I’ve made were dry the following day (if not later that same day), but that’s not the case with this one. Woohoo!
If you are a not a fan of pound cake as a dessert by itself, feel free to top a slice with some fresh fruit (e.g., strawberries for a strawberry shortcake-type dish). Or drizzle with your favorite chocolate or fruit syrup. Or make an elegant pot of chocolate fondue, cut this pound cake into squares, skewer with a toothpick, and dip into that chocolate fondue. The results will be amazing! Easy, gluten-free chocolate fondue recipes abound. Here’s an allergy-friendly one from Cook IT Allergy Free. (I am definitely craving fondue after looking at Kim’s photo!) I even found another allergy-friendly chocolate fondue recipe at Go Dairy Free. I suspect it might be easy to make a fondue using the coconut milk left over from this pound cake recipe with some dairy-free chocolate.
Enjoying fondue is such a fun thing to do for Valentine’s Day. I attended a party at Christmas where there was chocolate fondue. But, the fondue had already been cross-contaminated from folks dipping in hunks of gluten-containing pound cake, so it didn’t matter that there was fruit available for dipping. I was a bit disappointed, so I think having a chocolate fondue party for two would be something special for us to do on Valentine’s Day. I already know how special this Perfect Gluten-Free Pound Cake is!
Don’t forget to check out the previous SSS entries … Surprise Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Cinnamon-Sugar-Crusted Almond Popovers (almonds optional).
Perfect Gluten-Free Pound Cake Recipe
Perfect Gluten-Free Pound Cake
I don't use the word "perfect" too often, but this recipe really does yield perfect gluten-free pound cake! Honestly, even if you're not gluten free, this pound cake is truly perfect!
- 2 ¼ cups gluten-free flour mix (I use my Two-Ingredient Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Mix)
- 1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup light olive oil or extra light olive oil (NOT extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla extract)
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (dairy milk or another non-dairy milk can also be used)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (See notes for adjustment for high altitudes.) Grease two loaf pans or grease and flour (use gluten-free flour) a Bundt pan.
- Combine flour, xanthan gum, sea salt, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Pour olive oil into large mixing bowl, and slowly mix in sugar, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
- Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition.
- Add milk. Mix 2 minutes. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mixing well.
- Pour batter into loaf pans or Bundt pan.
- Bake for 50 – 55 minutes.
Adapted from Filippio Berio.
Reader Wendy lives at a higher altitude---6600 ft---and she adjusted oven temperature to 375 degrees with successful results.
Coconut oil works fine in this recipe, but produces a cake that's lighter in flavor. I prefer the richer taste that the light olive oil provides. (Again, please do not use extra virgin olive oil in this recipe as the flavor is too strong.) Pans can be greased with whichever oil you use.
Two loaf pans are what the original recipe calls for and what I used. Don't worry too much over the size of the pans, although you may have to adjust cooking times. The original recipe called for 6 3/4" x 3 1/2" x 2" loaf pans. I (and one gfe reader) used 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 5/8" pans.
I don't taste either the coconut milk or orange juice in this recipe; perhaps they balance each other, but all I taste is "good."
Last, I love the crunchy edges of this pound cake recipe. The end pieces are my absolute favorite.
Originally published February 10, 2010 ; updated July 24, 2017.