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Blueberry “Boy Bait” Cake {Gluten Free}

blueberry cake

I have a new favorite gluten-free flour! This is very exciting for ME because for the last few years since my son Kell was diagnosed with celiacs disease I have tried MANY gluten-free baking mixes and flour blends but none of them have left me overjoyed. However, since I discovered Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour at Costco about a month ago I have been baking like a fiend! It’s almost like the “old days” when I would bake cookies for the kids when they came home from school. Well, OK, I didn’t do that very often, but I did it sometimes! :-)  Since our celiacs diagnosis however, I’d pretty much abandoned the practice altogether. Until now.

Before I shared it on the blog I decided I had to try it out in several different recipes to make sure it really WAS all that. I have now made 2 cakes, 4 batches of cookies and cornbread with it and all have been great successes!

The very FIRST recipe I tried was this delicious recipe with the funny name….Blueberry “Boy Bait” Cake. How cool is that? :-) I’ve since made it two MORE times! It’s that good!

Pillsbury Grand National

A little background to the cake with the funny name:  it was created by a teenage girl for the Pillsbury Grand National Baking Contest back in 1954. It apparently won the prize AND helped her catch some boys! I may not be a BOY, but it sure caught me! It’s a deliciously moist, not-too-sweet cake with a yummy streusel topping (that I adore!)

The original recipe, and the adapted version (which I used) from America’s Test Kitchen were not gluten-free. All I did to make it so was substituted the wheat flour for Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour and added the recommended amount of xanthum gum that was printed on the Bob’s package. Oh, and I increased the amount of blueberries because I really LOVE blueberries. :-)

blueberry boy bait cake

Blueberry “Boy Bait” Cake {Gluten Free}

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, originally published in the Chicago Tribune, 1954

  • 2 cups plus 1 teaspoon Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost)

Topping

  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or gluten-free cooking spray.

blueberry cake

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl with a whisk and set aside.

blueberry cake

With an electric or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.

blueberry cake

blueberry cake

Reduce speed to medium and beat in half of the flour mixture until incorporated, then beat in half of the milk. Beat in the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk.

blueberry cake

Toss 1 cup of the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter. (Tossing the berries in a little bit of flour is supposed to help suspend them in the batter better. Didn’t seem to work that well with fresh berries. Didn’t affect the taste however. It was still delish!)

blueberry cake

Spread into the prepared baking dish.

blueberry cake

Scatter remaining 1/2 cup blueberries and the mixed topping ingredients evenly over the top of the batter.

blueberry cake

Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

As you can see, the cake turned out beautifully! In the past, all the cakes I have made with a gluten-free baking mix have sunk in the middle. They still TASTED pretty good, but they were quite flat and dense. This flour held up MUCH better!

blueberry cake

So just how good IS this cake? Well, see the photo above? I’m pretty sure most of the missing pieces were eaten by moi. :-/  I could not stop eating it!  The second time I made it I took it to a church potluck/picnic and almost every morsel was gone!

blueberry cake

I highly recommend giving this recipe a try, whether you make gluten-free or gluten-filled. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed! (And who knows, you might even catch a boy!)

bluberry boy bait cake

BLUEBERRY "BOY BAIT" CAKE {GLUTEN FREE}

Jill Nystul
I have a new favorite gluten-free flour! This is very exciting for ME because for the last few years since my son Kell was diagnosed with celiacs disease I have tried MANY gluten-free baking mixes and flour blends but none of them have left me overjoyed. However, since I discovered Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour at Costco about a month ago I have been baking like a fiend! It’s almost like the “old days” when I would bake cookies for the kids when they came home from school. Well, OK, I didn’t do that very often, but I did it sometimes! :-) Since our celiacs diagnosis however, I’d pretty much abandoned the practice altogether. Until now.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 275 kcal

Ingredients
  

2 cups plus 1 teaspoon Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 16 tablespoons Butter softened
  • 3/4 cup Light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 cup Whole milk
  • 1 cup Blueberries

TOPPING

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or gluten-free cooking spray.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl with a whisk and set aside.
  • With an electric or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy, about two minutes. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
  • Reduce speed to medium and beat in half of the flour mixture until incorporated, then beat in half of the milk. Beat in the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk.
  • Toss 1 cup of the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour and gently fold into the batter.
  • Spread into the prepared baking dish.
  • Scatter remaining 1/2 cup blueberries and the mixed topping ingredients evenly over the top of the batter.
  • Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 363mgPotassium: 180mgSugar: 28gVitamin A: 565IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 0.4mg

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • My mom just made this cake- well, with AP gluten-filled flour- last weekend! I loved how flavorful and moist it was, and not too sweet. And blueberries? When aren’t they good in dessert? :)

  • Looks amazing!
    Have you tried Jules Gluten Free flour? It is phenomenal! Tastes just like ap flour, and you don’t have to add xanthum gum! Just use it measure for measure in place of ap flour!

  • I was diagnosed with Celiac almost 11 years ago, and so I’ve tried LOTS of products. For me, this one bakes up nicely, but I just REALLY don’t like the bean flour after taste. The best option I’ve found is Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Gourmet Flour from this recipe:

    3 c. rice flour
    1 c. potato starch (NOT potato flour)
    1/2 c. tapioca starch

    Mix well.

    It substitutes very nicely for regular flour in most recipes, in tandem with xanthan gum. I worked at a fantastic gluten-free bakery and this is what she built her entire product line/recipes off of. Not intentionally trying to steer anyone away from Bob’s, as I love that they offer a GF product line. I just don’t care for this particular product.

  • I have been baking GF for quite a while. The gem that I have found is Arrowhead Mills All-purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix. I use it as a Flour Substitute in recipes and do not have to switch up the measurements in the recipe at all. Everything has come out moist and extremely tasty. No one can tell the difference, even those Anti-GF baked goods people. (I just don’t tell them.)

  • Thanks for posting this Jillee!! I am so addicted to your website! You are awesome! I have myself and three other family members that have celiacs. When we gather for an occasion, my daughter and I make sure there are things that “we celiacs” can have. Also, my husband is a pastor so there are many occasions that include food. I recently made a blueberry cobbler with Bisquick GF and no one knew it was GF. I have not used much of Bob’s GF baking mix yet, although I do have some. I recently read someone puts a generous pinch of salt to counteract the aftertaste in GF. I am just trying that with a dessert that has GF Betty Crocker cake mix, so we will see what that does. GF can be quite the challenge but we just have to keep trying things and sharing it with the community of celiacs. I love to cook, so this is right up my alley. I recently bought GF bisquick and GF Betty Crocker yellow cake mix on Amazon for a pretty good price, so I am trying those out.

  • Have you tried Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour? It’s developed by the reknown chef Thomas Keller.

    I’ve baked a few times with it and it’s quite good. It’s available at Williams Sonoma but is pricey ($19.95 for 3lb bag) and has very good reviews.

  • Totally agree about the weird flavor of Bob’s, mentioned above. I’ve got many GF family members and used Bob’s Red Mill first since it was the most easily accessible. All the GF folks liked the baked goods I made with it, but I always got that aftertaste. I actually think it might be the garbanzo bean flour they use since that is a very strong flavor. I did a lot of research on the various flours and made my own blend with the Xanthum gum already mixed in–use brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet rice flour, and tapioca flour. I’ve been using my blend for months now for many different baked goods, and so far no failures and no weird aftertaste.

  • Thanks for all of your gluten free recipes! Would you mind posting all of your other recipes you have had success with using this flour? I have had more failed attempts with this flour than success’. Sometimes it just has an odd taste and sometimes it doesn’t.

  • This cake sounds awesome! But while I can see Bob’s Red Mill working for it, as it does with banana bread and such, I’ve found that anything that doesn’t have a strong, masking flavor should be made using another flour. Bob’s has a very strong metallic taste that overwhelms things like pancakes, breads, and plain cakes. At first I thought it was just me, but after talking to many, many people, it seems to be the overwhelming consensus. Which stinks because the price for it at Costco is rather nice!

    As for knowing when you’re celiac, my advice if you don’t have insurance is to go with the elimination diet. Just cut out the gluten for a month or so and see if those symptoms that make you wonder if he has it goes away. One word of caution, though: if you decide to do this and then decide to do the test, you’ll have to re-introduce gluten into his diet first or it will come up negative regardless of whether he really has it or not.

  • Hi Jillee!

    Looks delish! Just a question how did your son Kell get the celiacs diagnosis? I have a 4 year old that I believe may have this but we are uninsured as of now. Any clues to look for? I love your blog and feel like you are a long time friend because of the way you write! So blessed to have found this.
    Thank you!

    • There is a blood test that may or may not show positive. The “gold standard” is a biopsy of the small bowel via endoscopy. I never bothered to get any testing done on myself, just went ahead and eliminated gluten. The response in terms of my gut was all the proof I needed, and I wouldn’t go back even if I had tests that were negative. Unfortunately going gluten=free can be quite onerous and is definitely expensive. Good luck.

    • Hi Chrissy,
      Just wanted to comment, most states have ‘All Kids’ insurance programs for children and / or pregnant women. (stopgap measure waiting for socialized insurance nationwide). Ask your local school district for information or contact your local dept. of public health for information on applying. It is not dependent on income in Illinois, and we are required to provide that information in schools. won’t help your family but you can access healthcare for your child.

    • You can also have a blood test done to check to see if your son carries the celiac gene. He might just be Gluten sensitve if he doesn’t have the gene. You must have the DQ2 or DQ8 genes to be celiac.

  • I can’t wait to give this a go!!
    Do you think it would still work if coconut oil were substituted for the butter ??
    Because of you, I’m hooked on Nutiva !! :)

  • instead of blueberries do u think it would work to use peaches…(well drained) my husband was diagnosed with celiac disease and he loved peach cobbler before he was diagnoses.. and this sounds like it might be a great substitute…

    • For cobbler I melt 1 stick of butter in either a large bread pan or a bundt pan. In a separate bowl mix together 1 cup gluten free all purpose four of your choice (I use Jules) 1 cup sugar, 3 TBS baking powder, add 1 cup milk and stir. Add to the melted butter. Add a can of fruit pie filling evenly on top (whatever you like, we have used blackberry, cherry and peaches…all yummy) Bake at 350 for about 45 min. Your hubby can have cobbler again. This was originally a Gluten full recipe but it is wonderful with the GF all purpose flour,

    • James, xanthan gum acts as a sort of binder, keeps certain particles from gumming up and binds the ones that are supposed to be together, in a gluten free recipe. Basically, it acts like gluten does in regular flour.

  • Hi there! Do you mind mentioning how much you paid for the flour at Costco, and whether that’s a 5-lb. bag? I can’t seem to find anything larger than 2 lbs.

    Also, what are your thoughts on xantham gum vs. guar gum? I heard that one is possibly a GMO product. What do you think?

    Thanks!

    • Guar gum is used in cold foods like ice cream or puddings, xanthan gum is for baking.

      Regarding your GMO question, here is Bob’s answer: Regarding corn in xanthan gum: The microorganism that produces xanthan gum is actually fed a glucose solution that is derived from wheat starch. Gluten is found in the protein part of the wheat kernel and no gluten is contained in the solution of glucose. Additionally, after the bacteria eats the glucose, there is no wheat to be found in the outer coating that it produces, which is what makes up xanthan gum. The short answer here is, there is no corn used at all in the making of xanthan gum. <—-this is why some people are concerned about it being GMO, is the corn, which as you see, is not a problem.

      For a more complete explanation, go to: http://blog.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free/guar-gum-vs-xanthan-gum/

      You can also buy gluten free baking mix with the xanthan gum already added. It's not always necessarily more expensive.

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