Baking | Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered Cake … & thoughts for Japan!

“The present is the ever moving shadow that divides
yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope.”

Frank Lloyd Wright”

Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered CakeIt’s heartbreaking and leaves you numb. Hell hath no fury like nature scorned, but what happened in Japan on the 11th of March was nothing like anything ever seen before. In school, our first lessons on Japan were about  ‘the land of the rising sun‘… a country so beautiful, a culture and people among the best … and then this? WHY? Like the rest of the world, I too am devastated by the force of  natures fury, the helplessness of man, the surreal videos that I watch time and again trying to find a sense in the madness. Rising sun...These days more than ever, I gently chide the kids when they squabble over trivial things, ask for second helpings etc. It is unnerving and then you see the faces of the survivors. Still so resilient, so composed, so accommodating. Hope the trauma will end soon for you sweet nation. You are a brave, resilient country. I salute your brave spirit! Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered CakeI almost didn’t blog this cake because it didn’t look very nice. Then after the turn of events over the past few days, I felt ashamed that I was affected by something as piffling as how it looked. It’s well worth sharing just for how good, wholesome & delicious it was! Always up to challenge my baking skills, this very successful gluten free chocolate granola has had me thinking alternate flours and gluten free food of late. Having been a silent witness to many of Gluten Free Girls tweets, the idea has always sounded  intriguing, yet it’s almost like guarded territory.Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered CakeWith food, once you reach your comfort level, it’s almost natural to venture towards unknown territory. My push came from a tweet from a local follower asking where we could buy gluten free cakes in the city … I suddenly had the urge to explore GF recipes. As a matter of coincidence, my Blueberry & Lime Buttermilk Cake got a pingback from the gorgeous Marla @ Family Fresh Cooking {gosh, you have to love WordPress for being so dynamic}. My senses were awakened when I saw the beautiful photographs of  her Gluten Free Very Blueberry Cake.Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered CakeYes, here was a good starting point because both basic alternative GF flours mentioned in the recipe are available in India, namely oatmeal and cornmeal. I made oatmeal by whizzing rolled oats in my Thermomix, my trusted companion in the kitchen though for oatmeal, a food processor works just as well. I also whizzed the cornmeal {makki ka aata} to make it finer. The rest of the recipe was just with ‘over the top of the head measures’, and viola, we made a GF cake!! The filling, homemade quark with roasted balsamic strawberries was luscious good and low cal as compared to a cream or cream cheese filling. Both quark and strawberries are very good on their own, and  together, absolutely divine!!Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered Cake

Celiac disease is a chronic systemic autoimmune disorder induced by ingestion of gluten contained in wheat, barley and rye. The offending protein causes damage to the small intestine in genetically susceptible individuals. At present, the only effective treatment is a life-long gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale.

Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered Cake There was no electricity that morning, so the strawberries were roasted in a pan. Yummy delicious and just too good to resist. This is my first attempt at a gluten free cake, a recipe which I shall play around and try to perfect in the future. It’s a GREAT beginning though. My heart burst with pride when both kids gave it a high five, and asked for seconds. The downside is a very tender crust, a little crumbly, nothing that a little TLC can’t help. The cake is healthy & delicious; even tasted great the next day too after the flavours matured and the crumb tightened a bit in the fridge. This has been a great year for healthy and alternative flours for me, especially after this GF Chocolate Granola. I even baked mincemeat oat bars the other day which were delicious too.
Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered Cake My question to you dear readers… Does GF food inspire you to push your limits? I don’t have dietary restrictions in the family, but I enjoy GF bakes because they seem a lot healthier to me because of the alternative flour in there. Have you experience baking GF cakes etc? Would you know if GF crumbs are always a bit delicate, almost crumbly?

your picture
Recipe: Gluten Free Strawberries & Quark Layered Cake
Inspired by Marla @ Family Fresh Cooking

This is my first attempt to make a gluten free cake, inpsired by Marla. I am trying to push my boundaries and explore alternative grains.
Baking time: 60 minutes | Diet: Gluten free | Number of servings: 8 | Meal type: Dessert

1 cup oatmeal {1 cup gluten-free oats powdered in processor}
1 cup cornmeal {fine}
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
70gm unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 cup vanilla sugar
1 egg
150ml buttermilk
Quark Cream
350gms homemade quark {hung for 2 days in the fridge so it’s nice & thick}
3 tbsp powdered sugar
2/3 cup roasted balsamic strawberries {recipe follows}
Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
200gms Strawberries {fresh/frozen}
1 tbsp water
2-3 tbsp sugar
1/2  vanilla bean, scraped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 180. Line the bottoms and sides of a 7″ spring-form tin with parchment.
Blend the oatmeal, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda & salt in the bowl of your processor {or sift }
Toss 1 cup chopped strawberries in 2 tbsp of this flour mix.
Blend the butter, sugar, egg & vanilla extract.
Add the buttermilk & whiz. The mixture might appear to curdle slightly.
Fold in the flour mix on low speed. The batter will be thickish.
Fold in the tossed strawberries. Turn into lined baking tin and bake at 180C for about an hour. {Loosely cover the top with foil if the top begins to brown too fast}. begin to check if done after 45 minutes.
Remove and cool completely in tin as the cake is very fragile. Gently turn onto rack and carefully slice into 2 horizontally.
Sandwich with the strawberry quark cream {recipe follows}.
Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
Place all ingredients in a small heavy bottom pan. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until you reach a jam like consistency.
Cool completely.
Quark Cream
Blend the quark with the sugar until smooth. The consistency will be nice and thick.
Fold through the roasted balsamic strawberries. Adjust sugar if required. {At this point try not to spoon some into your mouth. This is addictive stuff}
Chill until ready to use.
Variations : You can use other berries here. Marla made hers with blueberries.
Note:Most oats are not gluten free unless specified on the package. Please read the label properly.

Copyright © Deeba @ Passionate About Baking
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥


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  • 6 years ago

    I just saw some photos of japan & they are absolutely heartbreaking 🙁
    I have made gluten free and to be honest I dont thnk you miss out much…the cakes do turn out pretty moist and nice…Love yr pics Dee

  • 6 years ago

    Love the oats and cornflour in the cake and also like the strawberries roasted in Balsamic vinegar, can’t wait to try this combo in my baking too. How lovely the color has come out for this gluten free cake, the frosting takes a full bow..

  • Helene
    6 years ago

    So glad you did post it. My brother-in-law is Celiac and we are always looking for dessert recipes. We are going to meet on Saturday. I am in charge of dessert. I previously made a dessert GF for New Year using Rice Flour but I did not like the texture but the taste was really good. Now I have to find new recipes and experiment a bit more with GF desserts. Have a great day!

  • 6 years ago

    A lovely cake! So spring-like. I like that combination of ingredients.

    Terrible what’s happening in Japan…



  • 6 years ago

    A perfect cake.. Would love to have it anytime… Yummy looking cake…

  • “This cake didn’t look nice.” Say what, Deeba? It looks beautiful to me and is so full of goodness and wonderful ingredients. We’re rolling in cheap, seasonal strawberries where I live, and I’m putting this recipe on my must-make-pronto list!

  • The Japan disaster has me all out of whack too. I can’t seem tto do anything right, and posting was tough, but luckily I’d written up the post before it happened. The cake looks awesome, I’ve never explored GF, and don’t think I will until it becomes necessary, but oatmeal is always a plus!

  • Rajasree
    6 years ago

    Its just awesome cake.Which brand of oats did u use?I havn’t found buttermilk in blore.can it be made @ home?

  • 6 years ago

    It’s funny how things we might think don’t look very nice, actually look the best to other people. I love that it looks rustic, beautiful, and delicious all at the same time! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    The cake looks pretty with an added advantage of being healthy too! I have had a few GF cakes ‘cos have a few friends who can’t take gluten in any form. The GF brownies are just the same as our normal flour ones but the cake is a bit different – texture wise. Not very crumbly, but if I can remember correctly, it sort of sinks in the centre. Infact, most of the GF cakes i’ve had tend to use almonds or hazelnuts instead of flour. I don’t like the almond base (very marzipan like flavour) though hazelnut is all right.

    However, love yours ‘cos of the fact that you do not use nuts, as son is allergic to nuts!!

    Hope the above helps ( a bit long winded)

  • What perfect timing! My mum has just been diagnosed with a gluten allergy, and I was looking for gluten-free recipes. Bookmarked!

  • Krista
    6 years ago

    I’m so glad you posted your “ugly” cake, Deeba. 🙂 It matters not one wit how things turn out. I’m just so glad we have food, homes that are still standing, people we love to eat even the ugly things we make. Still, this is the prettiest ugly cake. 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, what a catastrophe is happening there, such a horror.
    Another great winner, awesome photos ♥

  • 6 years ago

    This cake looks delicious.

  • 6 years ago

    As a rule, I stay away from gluten free cakes (thank god I dont have wheat intolerances!), but this cake is beautiful. I don’t know how you can think otherwise.
    *kisses* HH

  • 6 years ago

    Awesome cake and pictures…. !

  • 6 years ago

    Awesome photos and I love anything and everything strawberries 🙂

  • 6 years ago

    Dear Deeba my heart and my thoughts are with japaneses, with really sadly and difficult time my dear!!
    Love your strawberries cake!! huggs and kisses Deeba, gloria

  • this photo looks really gorgeous!

  • Saji
    6 years ago

    U say it ugly I say it the prettiest …
    Good U finally shared it. Not always we get it perfect, at end we r humans 🙂

    Japan Quake has shaked every1 round…Wish things get better sooon

  • 6 years ago

    Gluten free is something that is close to my heart. My sister is gluten allergic & really it hurts me when she can’t taste all the stuff we bake or eat out. So this recipe is must try for me. The photographs look great!

  • 6 years ago

    Glad you post this moist strawberry cake. It sends comfort and joy during days of horrible news from Japan. I do like gluten-free baking and probably should do more. Thanks for the reminder.

  • 6 years ago

    First of all, not everything that is good and delicious is beautiful to look at. Second, I am still waiting for you to create a pastry that isn’t stunning! Everything about this cake is fantastic and gluten-free or not, I’ll have a slice. And I agree, when we see what happens in the world around us we should all complain a little bit less and appreciate what we have a whole lot more.

    xoxo Thinking of you, sistah! India is still on our list!

  • 6 years ago

    The resiliency of the human spirit is truly one to be celebrated Deeba. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wishes of hope as well as this tasty cake. There is beauty in everything.

  • 6 years ago

    My heart goes out to all those in Japan. I can’t even imagine what they are experiencing over there. 🙁

    Your cake looks like it turned out pretty darn good to me! I don’t have much experience cooking gluten free. I do have a friend with celiacs though, so I know a bit about it and what she goes through to eat a gluten free diet. Thankfully, awareness seems to be growing and more and more gluten free dishes that mimic their flour counterparts are beginning to show up. Good luck in your GF endeavors!

  • 6 years ago

    My son is Gluten intolerant so I have no choice but to cook and bake GF…. some days to be honest it’s such a pain to always be prepared always have an alternative on hand for him but you know you do it anyway because what choice does he have. Still in light of the Japan disaster my small annoyance with GF baking hardly matters…prayers to the victims and the suvivors

  • 6 years ago

    My heart and prayers goes for the those people fighting out there, it is very disturbing and heart wrenching to see the disaster, one proof how lame we are in front of nature!

    I have noticed not so good looking ones are the best, but Deeba yours still look the best and balsamic strawberries wat can i ask for?

  • There needs to be more gluten free recipes. Thanks for your efforts.

  • bekkabex
    4 years ago

    Have just made a raspberry version of this cake – I was googling for a cake recipe that used quark (which I had in the fridge) but that wouldn’t require me to go out shopping for missing ingredients… so I used frozen raspberries and as a buttermilk substitute I used ordinary milk with some cream of tartar stirred in. The result was absolutely divine – will definitely be making it again! Four children and three adults, and all asked for seconds……. Thank you!

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