A year ago at the Atlanta Food & Wine festival this Examiner happened upon the Caroline’s Cakes and inquired about gluten-free options. Assuming the answer was going to be no, imagine my surprise when Caroline herself said gluten-free cakes were in development. Launched just this year, their seven-layer gluten-free cakes come in four flavors: Vanilla with Caramel, Vanilla with Coconut, Vanilla with Lemon (seasonal), and Vanilla with Southern Chocolate.
The gluten-free cakes are made in their nut-free bakery with a signature gluten-free flour blend that is soy free, but does contain dairy. Wanting to keep true to her Southern brand, Caroline worked tirelessly to perfect vanilla cake, but chocolate is still being a bit temperamental. Their gluten-free cakes are made in a shared environment, but only after the entire bakery is thoroughly scrubbed and sanitized.
Each 9″ round cake can feed 14 – 20 people and is delivered in a reusable red tin with the cake wrapped in protective covering to keep the frosting in place. Each cake can be frozen and refrozen for up to six months, which is a necessity given their size. This Examiner received three half cakes covered in caramel, coconut, and Southern chocolate frosting to sample and color me impressed.
As the knife cuts through you can feel the bump as it encounters each of the seven layers of moist and rich vanilla cake that stand up to the heavy-handed layers of frosting. Each layer delivers the perfect frosting to cake ratio and presents the lucky eater with an immediate sugar buzz and the challenge of finishing a whole piece without reaching for a cold glass of milk.
The chocolate frosting is a combination of dark and milk chocolate that easily pulled away from the cake and wasn’t quite sweet enough. The mouthwatering caramel frosting, which started the whole business, is creamy and holds its place on the cake. The frosting itself is a feat of production given the time and effort taken to get the consistency just right.
The favorite of the bunch was the coconut cake, which is shocking given that we are not coconut lovers. Both the frosting and the cake had more movement and weren’t as stiff as the chocolate frosting. The addictive flavor of the creamy coconut frosting made with fresh coconut was almost too much to resist.
Caroline’s Cakes ship nationwide and sell for $80 per gluten-free cake ($60 for regular cakes) and offer a true Southern adventure into the history of seven-layer cakes. Order one for the next special occasion and treat guests to a bite of Southern history.