Recipe: Tree-Nut Free, Gluten-Free Birthday Cake with Marshmallow Frosting

Birthday cake perfection
I start celebrating my birthday pretty much the moment after Halloween until around Thanksgiving; that is, the better part of November. I start thinking about my birthday cake way earlier. I’m not a chocolate looooover, I’m more of a vanilla person but for some reason I do love chocolate cake with white icing and that is my recent (like last twenty years) choice for birthday cake. 

I usually make cupcakes because everyone can have their own mini-cake and they are easy to transport or set out on a pretty platter. And also, let’s get real, there's a higher ratio of frosting to cake in a bite per bite level. At least in my household.

I did a trial run of whoopie pies earlier in the month, thinking maybe that would be something fun to do but it didn’t feel celebratory enough. I wanted cake. But that marshmallow–based frosting for the middles turned into a small obsession. (More about how the Durkee Marshmallow fluff factory works here.) I decided to make cupcakes with a new frosting recipe and everyone who has tried it has gone gaga for it. One rave from my pilates instructor: “Every cake should be that cake. Every frosting should be that frosting.”

I agree. 

Is this a recipe? Not exactly.  More like semi-barely-not-really-homemade-but-I-did-use-my-mixer-and-bake-it homemade and all delicious. 

CAKE: I use King Arthur Gluten-Free Chocolate cake mix. I use their instructions on the back. It’s made in a top 8 facility, even though the package doesn’t say it anymore. They changed the label because they don’t test for those allergens and didn’t want to be unclear; they only test for gluten. I emailed with them this week to triple check. And yes, all the same. Please call them directly if you have any questions.

MORE CHOCOLATE: I add Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips to the batter, a handful or two for funsies.

FROSTING: I made two batches of this frosting recipe that I slightly altered.

Marshmallow Frosting

By Lori Karavolis and further adapted by me

1 C Domino’s confectioners’ sugar

1/2 C Spectrum organic palm shortening

1 C Durkee’s marshmallow fluff

1 t Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract

2 T hot water

Pinch of kosher salt

Mix well and try not to spoon directly into your mouth.

The result is above and here again.

It’s so easy to throw together and everyone, with dietary restrictions or without, loves. Most of all this birthday girl. 



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