My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Strawberry Summer Cake

Strawberry Summer Cake! Nothing says SUMMER like this lovely cake! I love the taste of yummy butter cake that is moist (almost like a sponge cake) with fresh strawberries and glaze. Everyone in my family loves this dessert so I just had to convert it to gluten free! (Of course if you don't have a gluten allergy then you can make it with regular flour!) My sister-in-law Barb made a cake similar to this many years ago for a family get together and we just loved it. For her recipe you could use a cake mix but since gluten free cake mixes are so expensive....I prefer making this recipe from scratch. It reminds me of the yummy fruit desserts in Germany that use fruit instead of frosting! You can also make this with ANY fruit instead of strawberries. My mom used to make similar German style cakes with fresh peaches, blueberries, gooseberries, rhubarb or raspberries. I liked them all! (Blueberry & Strawberry mixed is pretty for July 4th or a military homecoming party! It gives the red, white & blue theme!) I prefer using fresh fruit but you can use frozen fruit... but the fruit will not look as perky!

My husband is a chocoholic but some of our family members aren't crazy about chocolate desserts so this is one of my favorite summer recipes. It is great for mother's day, father's day, BBQs, and just weekend casual dinners with friends. You can even drizzle melted chocolate or white chocolate on top for an elegant touch. I generally serve it with Cool Whip or Vanilla Ice cream. It doesn't require refrigeration if you are going to eat it within a day or two. Left overs freeze great also.

Strawberry Summer Cake Recipe:
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix (I like Trader Joe brand or my recipe below). I do not like to use any flour mix that contains sorghum in my sweet baked goods. It gives it a weird after taste.
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum (only use this if your flour mix does not contain it or guar gum)
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. custard powder or vanilla pudding mix (this gives the gluten free flour a nice heavy texture similar to regular flour for baked goods)
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 2/3 cup melted butter or Crisco (if you substitute margarine: make sure it is 65% fat or it won't rise correctly!). Make sure the melted butter is slightly cooled.
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (you can substitute rice milk, soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk). Water can work in a pinch but the milk will give the white cake a nice moist texture and flavor that water can't. Even diluted non-dairy coffee creamer will work!)
  • 2 tsp. butter vanilla flavor baking emulsion. (I get it at Hobby Lobby in the cake decorating department or sometimes I can find it at Home Goods or TJ Maxx in their food section). This will give the cake a fabulous flavor. However, if you don't have the butter vanilla baking emulsion then just substitute vanilla extract. (Don't forget to go online to and print out your 40% off coupon to use on the baking emulsion!)
  • 2 eggs or 4 egg whites 
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds of fresh strawberries, sliced (or substitute your favorite berry or fresh fruit)
  • 3 tbs. cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 4 tbs. sugar or stevia
  • 2 cups water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9x13 pan OR two 8 or 9" cake pans. Combine the gluten free flour, xanthan gum if it isn't already in your gluten free flour mix, baking powder, salt, custard powder or pudding mix and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add milk and melted butter (or Crisco or margarine). Add the butter vanilla emulsion. Beat for 2-3 minutes on high speed. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake until cake springs back when lightly touched or toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs). Bake two 9" pans for 22-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. (Oven temperatures and altitude can affect baking times so check at the lowest cooking time and adjust. You may need to bake longer). 9x13 pan you will need to bake 35-45 minutes. You can also bake these individual in cupcake lined pans and serve fruit on top for individual shortcakes. 

Strawberry Glaze:
Bring water, cornstarch or tapioca starch & sugar to a full boil. Cook about 1-2 minutes stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. After cake is cool, slice the strawberries and place on top of cake. Pour glaze evenly over strawberries & cake. (If you are using fruit that was previously frozen and a little mushy then it is easier to mix the cooked glaze and fruit together and then pour over the cake).

My Homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour (I used sweet rice flour for this batch)
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour (made from sticky rice, gluten free)
  • 1 cup potato starch (not flour)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk, make sure it is very fine in texture
  • 1 cup corn starch or tapioca starch (I used corn starch for this batch)
  • 3 tbs. xanthan gum
Combine all ingredients together well. You can put it in the blender for an extra smooth texture if desired. I store mine in a glass container and use it in place of regular flour in all my recipes. This particular blend I really like for baked sweet goods. (A friend of mine that has a dairy problem used non-dairy creamer powder in place of the powdered milk and said it worked just fine!)

I hope you enjoy this super delicious summer dessert! :)

Gluten Free Casually


  1. For Memorial Day, July 4 and Veteran's Day parties, I add a handful of blueberries with the strawberries to give me the red, white & blue theme! :)

  2. There are a lot of gluten free cake mixes that are pretty decent these days. You can always use a gluten free cake mix (like Pillsbury yellow cake mix) to save time if you don't want to make the cake from scratch.