Beautiful Gluten-Free Charlotte Cake
Dating to the 1800s, Charlotte cakes or Charlotte Russe cakes are a work of culinary art. Typically, these cakes are lined with bread, sponge cake, or ladyfingers and then filled with a creamy, decadent fruit puree or custard. This cake is light and won't "weigh you down" like other traditional cakes. However, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser and can be enjoyed by those with celiac disease and without! Grab a fork and plate, and dig into this delicious dessert!
Servings: 12 servings
Gluten-Free Ladyfinger Cookies
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup gluten free 1-1 flour mix
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup each of powdered sugar & white sugar used for dusting the cookies
- 4 large eggs
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ⅔ cup gluten free 1-1 flour mix
- ¼ tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer,, whip 2 egg yolks and 1/3 cup of white sugar until increased in volume, pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whip the 3 egg whites to a soft peak and then add the other 1/3 cup of white sugar until you get a stiff-peak meringue. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites until just incorporated. (Make sure you don't knock out to much air during mixing!)
Sift the gluten free flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into the egg mixture. Fold everything together until no flour clumps remain, but make sure not to lose too much air during mixing. Transfer the cookie batter into a piping bag with a medium round nozzle (the diameter of the nozzle will determine the thickness of your cookies, so choose appropriately depending on what size of cookies you want), and pipe about 4 inch (10 cm) long lines of batter onto the lines baking sheets. (Make sure to leave about 3/4 inch (2 cm) space between the cookies.)
Mix together the powdered and granulated sugars and, using a sieve, generously dust the piped ladyfinger cookies. Bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300º F (150º C) and bake for another 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool fully before using.
Grease an 8" round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. In the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed, beat 4 eggs for 1 minute. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar and continue beating on high 7 min until thick and 3 to 4 times in volume.
Stir together flour and baking powder then sift flour into whipped eggs in 2 additions, folding to incorporate between each addition. Scrape from the bottom to catch any hidden pockets of flour and fold until just incorporated – don't overmix. Bake at 350˚ F for 23-25 minutes or until top is golden and springs back when poked lightly.
Once it's out of the oven, remove cake from pan by sliding a thin edged spatula around the edges. Transfer to wire rack, peel back parchment and cool to room temp. Then slice cake layers in half horizontally.
In a large bowl beat the Simply Delish strawberry pudding mix with 1 1/2 cups of cold milk with an electric mixer for 3 – 5 minutes or until thick. Once fully mixed set in fridge to chill until assembly.
In a small microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup, mix the water and Simply Delish raspberry jel dessert mix. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken. Put the thickened mix into the microwave, and heat until it dissolves (only a few seconds!). While that cools, in a separate large bowl, beat together the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until it forms soft peaks. While still beating constantly, pour the liquid raspberry jel into the beating cream. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Assembling the Charlotte Cake
Line a 9" springform pan with plastic wrap. Place the first layer of sponge cake into the bottom of your springform pan. Trim about 1/2" off of one end of all ladyfingers to make a flat base. Place lady fingers in an upright, tight ring, cut-side-down, around the cake base (like building a wall). Pour 1/2 of the berry mixture over the cake layer and smooth out. Spread half of the whipped cream on top of that. Repeat with the next layer of cake and the second half of the berry mixture and whipped cream. (Save some whipped cream for piping decorating!)
Top with piped whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Cover carefully with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, pop open the springform pan, the plastic wrap lining will have prevented any sticking to the sides. Serve chilled.