As bakers, we know all too well that trying to adjust dessert recipes to eliminate food allergens can be tricky. We once learned the hard way that you absolutely cannot make a proper mousse using lactose-free milk, and that misuse of xanthan gum can give a gluten-free cupcake the texture of rubber cement.
Although we ourselves don’t suffer from severe food allergies, several of our close friends and family members do, and we always find ourselves searching for—and constantly being disappointed by—delicious desserts we can share with them. Even when we purchase something ready-made from the grocery store, most of the products taste nothing like the “real thing.”
We were recently approached by Inspired by Happiness to try their gluten-free cakes. Created by The Original Cakerie, Inspired by Happiness (IBH)’s decadent three-layer cakes are made with rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch. IBH adds in with natural flavors and colors, and other premium ingredients for a treat that’s certified gluten-free by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
According to IBH’s taste-test data, 9 out of 10 people who tried the company’s regular and gluten-free versions of their cakes couldn’t tell the difference between them. We were only too happy to put this statistic to the test by sampling the cakes. After all, who better to judge cakes than aspiring professional cake decorators?
Skeptical though we were about the claim that we “won’t believe it’s gluten-free,” the Razzle Frazzle team tried each of IBH’s three cake flavors: Dreamin’ of Strawberries White Chocolate Shortcake, Dreamin’ of Chocolate Dark & White Chocolate Layer Cake, and Cravin’ for Cookies & Cream Layered Cake. Here’s what we thought.
Strawberry White Chocolate Shortcake
THE CAKE: Vanilla shortcake with strawberry filling and Belgian white chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream and white chocolate drizzle.
Christine: The filling is so fresh. It’s a little stiffer than regular cake, but much nicer than any other gluten-free cake. It doesn’t taste like it had ever been frozen, either.
Danielle: It’s like they smashed up fresh strawberries and spread them on the cake! Agree with the firmer consistency, but it’s not in an off-putting way.
Nicole: This is amazing. The filling is incredible. I’m not really getting much of a white chocolate flavor in the middle. It tastes more like buttercream. You can definitely taste the white chocolate in the topping, though.
Chocolate Layer Cake
THE CAKE: Dark chocolate sponge cake with Belgian white chocolate mousse, topped with chocolate ganache and white chocolate drizzle.
Christine: This is a very fluffy cake. It’s much spongier than I expected. The ganache is super rich.
Danielle: The cake is very dark chocolate, which is good. I’m not tasting much white chocolate here.
Nicole: The ganache is definitely very indulgent and flavorful. It’s too chocolatey for me, but for a chocolate-lover, this would be perfect.
Cookies & Cream Layered Cake
THE CAKE: Vanilla sponge cake with chocolate cookie cubes and vanilla cream mousse, topped with chocolate ganache and white chocolate drizzle.
Christine: This is very light and fluffy. The vanilla cream mousse has a very light flavor, which offsets the richness of the ganache.
Danielle: The mousse is nice and light! It strikes a good balance.
Nicole: This mousse filling is more like whipped cream, but I like it. The cookie cubes are softer than I expected, too. I thought it’d be like Oreos.
We have to hand it to IBH: We really can’t believe these are gluten-free! We even shared the cakes with our parents (without telling them they were gluten-free), and even they couldn’t believe that what they’d just eaten wasn’t made with regular wheat flour. These moist, delectable desserts are perfect for any cake lover, gluten-free or not.
We did leave the cakes in the fridge for a few days after our initial taste test, and when we tried them again, we found that they were just as delicious as the first time around. They hadn’t dried out or stiffened up, so it’s great to know that these cakes will hold up if you want to enjoy them over the course of the week.
While the strawberry white chocolate shortcake was the unanimous favorite, we would recommend any of IBH’s flavors. None of the cakes tasted artificial and there was no hint of preservatives. In fact, we’d say they tasted like they came fresh from a bakery.
More about Inspired by Happiness cakes
IBH sells its cakes in individually-packaged 16-oz. slices (6 servings each). Cakes can be enjoyed within 5 days of purchase, or kept fresh for up to 6 months in the freezer. If frozen, thaw your cake in the refrigerator overnight, or at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
It’s important to note that, while the cakes are certified gluten-free and Kosher, they do contain dairy and other potential allergens, so please check the ingredient listing before consumption if you have food sensitivities.
IBH cakes are available in select retail locations in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more about IBH/The Original Cakerie, including where to purchase the cakes, visit the Inspired by Happiness website.
Disclosure: Inspired By Happiness provided us with samples of their cakes for the purpose of a review. Razzle Frazzle received no monetary compensation for writing this post, and all opinions are our own.