This Olympic Cake (made for the 2016 Rio Olympics) is bright and tasty. Made with a gluten free commercial cake mix from the Wow Cake Company by a child… It proves that anyone can bake!
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DON’T LOSE THIS Inspiration… PIN IT FOR LATER…
A gluten free Olympic Cake for Rio – Miss GF Makes
Back in 2016, the Olympics took place in Rio. And the Olympics deserve gluten free Olympic Cake… right? This post proves that whatever your baking-age, the most amazing cake can be made to celebrate.
In 2016, Miss GF was eleven. And yes… She made this cake (including the sugar work) with no help whatsoever. As a keen baker, she was always looking for new projects. So, to support her enthusiasm, she took a spot on the Gluten Free Alchemist blog, with occasional features called ‘Miss GF Bakes’, showcasing her achievements. She’s made some incredible bakes… many of them successful (if random) experiments with ingredients and no recipe… In particular, her Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, Fudgy Chocolate ‘Waterfall’ Cake and Ham and Potato Croquettes deserve a mention.
But she is also happy to embrace commercial baking mixes too… and loves to see how far she can take them.
Using a Wow Cake Company Mix to make Olympic Cake
This particular Olympic Cake was made with a cake mix from the Wow Cake Company, which we discovered while on a visit to the 2016 Allergy & Free From Show in London. Based in Lancashire, Wow Cakes specialise in gluten free, nut free cake mixes, including a plain sponge, carrot cake and brownie mix.
While at the show, Miss GF got chatting to the lovely people from Wow Cakes about her baking endeavours. Her enthusiasm was clearly noted. So, they asked if she would like to test-run a cake mix of her choosing. With free reign to decide what to do with it, Miss GF chose to receive the Wow Ultimate Cake Mix. A vanilla sponge, this would give the flexibility to make pretty much any cake she wanted.
Cake inspiration from the Olympic games
She decided to make a single two-tiered cake. And… (inspired by the Rio Olympics which had just begun), wanted a sponge coloured to represent the Brazilian flag… Yellow, green and blue… Bright and eye-catching. But the cake was also covered in vanilla butter icing to ensure an element of surprise when the cake was cut…
Still in line with the Olympic theme, the cake was topped with fondant icing Olympic rings. These were then matched for the Olympic colours with equally bright M&Ms decorating the base and sides.
Her pièce de résistance was the sugar-work triangles. These were made to go round the top of the cake to represent the Olympic stadium. Having apparently learned basic sugar work at school, (clearly part of the curriculum I missed), she made light work of the process… Simply melting the sugar and drizzling it onto baking paper into the desired shapes.
The Wow Cake Company Mixes are simple enough for children to use
Miss GF navigated her way through the straight forward instructions on the Wow Cake Company mix to whip up the sponge with minimal effort. And this included adding her own Brazilian colour touch to make the Olympic Cake she planned.
I think the cake speaks for itself (and for Wow)… These mixes really are so simple to make, that a young child can create a masterpiece with them. Miss GF’s cake was beyond expectations… Incredibly well thought-out and creative.
The final Olympic Cake and what we thought of Wow Cake Mixes
The final sponge cake was pretty good… It took on the added colour without any obvious negative impact on the bake… The crumb was light, although quite close in texture. But… this would make it a good mix for birthday cakes that need sculpting into shapes. The flavour was not over-sweet and seemed adaptable to additional extracts and add-ins.
A note of caution
The only caution is that when folding extra colour through the batter, it quickly became quite ‘gloopy’ as a result of the xanthan gum in the mix. While this is a fairly normal hurdle with xanthan-containing bakes, it needs extra care with commercial mixes as there is less choice on the order of adding ingredients. And often instructions are to ‘whisk the wet ingredients into the dry’.
Gluten Free Alchemist recipes rarely use this process as the heavy beating seems to have an adverse effect on the resulting texture, making sponges over firm, slightly rubbery and tight. For this reason, we prefer to ‘fold’ dry ingredients in by hand using a spoon. It gives greater control.
An alternative Vanilla Sponge for making an Olympic Cake
If you prefer to make your own sponges from scratch, we have an incredible Vanilla Sponge Cake recipe at Gluten Free Alchemist. It’s light and soft of crumb, and amazingly malleable to cutting and shaping. And it would be a perfect base for an Olympic Cake (or any other masterpiece).
Last word on Miss GF’s Olympic Cake
So, there you have it… The Wow Cake Company Vanilla Cake Mix tested to the hilt by an eleven-year-old… A special Olympic Cake celebrating a great sporting festival… Creative and original and a serious road-test for the mix used. We thought it went pretty well!
If you have ever used the Wow Cake Mixes, we’d love to know what you thought of them… Simply drop a comment below.
And as always… Thanks for visiting and reading Gluten Free Alchemist.
Olympic Cake – made with a commercial cake mix
- two 7-inch round non-stick baking tins
- angled palette knife
- small heavy-based saucepan
Coloured Sponge Cake – using commercial mix
- 1 Wow Ultimate Sponge Mix from the Wow Cake Company (See NOTES for home-baked alternative link)
- 225 g unsalted butter softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract for extra vanilla flavour (optional)
- blue food colouring
- yellow food colouring
Vanilla Butter Icing
- 300 g unsalted butter softened (or dairy free alternative)
- 600 g icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp milk (approx) to loosen
Fondant rings and decoration
- ready-to-roll fondant icing black, red, blue, yellow and green
- M&M’s or alternative bright sweets (colour matched for decoration)
- 250 g caster sugar (superfine sugar) – for the basic simple sugar work
- edible glitter optional
Coloured Vanilla Sponge Cake
- Base-line 2 x 7 inch/18 cm non-stick round baking tins.
- Heat the oven to the temperature as instructed on the cake mix.
- Follow the instructions to make the sponge batter, adding additional flavour extracts as preferred (we added a little extra vanilla extract).
- Before the batter is put into the cake tins, divide into 3 equal amounts in separate bowls.
- To each bowl add a little food colour and gently fold. (Add blue and/or yellow food colouring to make each batter for yellow, blue or green)
- Dollop large spoonfuls of each batter randomly into the cake tins, being careful not to stir or mix together.
- Once the batter is divided equally in the tins, use the back of a spoon to ease it into any gaps and evenly distribute and level in the tins. Be very careful not to mix the colours together.
- Bake the sponge according to the packet mix instructions.
- When baked, remove from the oven and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Butter Icing
- While the sponge is cooling, make the butter icing – Beat the softened butter until smooth and light.
- Add and beat in the icing sugar a little at a time.
- Add and beat in the vanilla extract and a little milk if necessary to loosen to a thick but spreadable consistency.
Layering the cake
- When the sponges are cold, sandwich together with a layer of butter icing.
- Next, completely cover the outside of the sponge cake with remaining icing (reserving a small amount for sticking decorations to the cake later) and smooth with a palette knife or icing smoother. (For a really neat cake, you can use a crumb-coat as an under layer chilling before adding the top coat of icing, but we didn't bother for this one).
- Set aside.
Decoration – rings and sweets
- Make the olympic rings from the ready to roll icing (check they are small enough to fit the top of the cake). Miss GF used a thin acrylic rolling pin as a mould to get good circles.
- While the circles are still soft, use a sharp knife to cut out small pieces and set together on non-stick baking paper as if they were linked. Check the link pattern for Olympic rings on the internet and replicate.
- Leave the rings on the baking paper on a tray to harden for a couple of hours.
- When the ring arrangement is firm enough to handle, carefully ease it onto the top of the cake using a palette knife.
- Decorate the base and sides of the cake with M&M’s/sweets, carefully sticking with a little reserved butter icing if required.
Simple sugar work
- Tip the caster sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently on the hob, stirring frequently, until it begins to dissolve.
- When the sugar starts to dissolve, increase the frequency of stirring until you have clear, liquid sugar.
- Turn the heat right down and continue to stir. Keep a close eye to ensure it doesn’t burn at all.
- When the sugar is golden, remove from the heat and use IMMEDIATELY.
- Place a large sheet of non-stick baking paper on a flat, heat-proof work surface.
- Using a heat-proof spoon (Miss GF used the silicone spoon used to stir), drizzle the liquid toffee into triangle shapes, wiggling the flow across the centre to join the sides together with patterns (for strength).
- Leave to go cold and hard (this only takes a few minutes).
- Use the sugar triangles to decorate round the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle a little edible glitter to finish.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
With thanks to the Wow Cake Company for sending Miss GF their Ultimate Sponge Cake mix to try. We were not paid to write the post and as always, all views expressed here are my own.