Irresistible gluten-free Strawberry Cake or French Fraisier

by Jasmin

Hello, lovely bakers! Today, I’m super excited to walk you through a gorgeous treat straight from France but with a thoughtful twist—it’s completely gluten-free! It’s the exquisite Fraisier cake, and my version ensures that no one has to skip dessert!

Why gluten-free? Simply because everyone deserves a slice of heavenly cake! Plus, who doesn’t love a challenge? Let’s dive into making this culinary delight accessible to all!

Gluten-free Fraisier cake

Embracing the art of French pâtisserie in a gluten-free form has never been more delicious! This Fraisier cake is sure to impress with its layers of airy sponge, light diplomat cream made out of pastry cream and whipped cream, strawberry compote and the fresh zing of strawberries. 

It is inspired by Aurélien Cohen, a pastry chef running a beautiful pastry shop and chocolaterie on the outskirts of Paris. During my pastry studies in France, I got to intern there during “Fraisier-Season”. But this version makes sure its perfect for any occasion and also for all those who can’t have gluten.

Watch my video for all my extra tips!

While I always try to explain as understandable as possible, it’s sometimes easier to watch a video. Hit the button below to check out how to make this wonderful gluten-free strawberry fraisier!

How to make this gluten-free strawberry cake

Sponge Cake (16 cm or 6”)

  • 120 g or 2 large eggs
  • 70 g sugar
  • 70 g corn starch

Mastering a nice sponge cake might seem tricky but once you’ve mastered it you’ll see that it’s actually really easy! The key to success is time and patience. The most important step is to allow your eggs the time they need to triple in volume and get nice and fluffy. This takes around 5 to 7 minutes, so be prepared for that if you’re using a hand mixer!

There are some steps to follow for a beautiful sponge cake:

  1. Add the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer or a regular mixer if you’re using a hand mixer. Also add the sugar.
  2. Mix using a whisk attachment until it has visibly tripled in volume. This will take 5-7 minutes. You can also beat it for longer, you can’t go wrong here!
  3. Sift in the corn starch. Now be nice and gentle. Using a dough scraper, fold the corn starch into the egg-sugar mixture. You want it to remain as fluffy as possible!
  4. Pour into a 16 cm or 6” baking ring or baking pan and bake immediately for 25 minutes at 160°C/320°F.
Why is it important to beat the eggs for so long?

This recipe only consists of three ingredients: eggs, sugar and corn starch. Only the eggs can make your cake rise as there is no baking powder in it. This is why we want them to get as voluminous as possible from the start!

Can’t I just add baking powder?

There is no need for baking powder. This recipe is so great because it is simple, so why make things more complicated than necessary?

I don’t have a dough scraper. Can I add the corn starch using an electric mixer?

Unfortunately, the electric mixer is so powerful that it will lead to your eggs sinking when you work the corn starch into them. This will make the dough flatter when baked. If you don’t have a dough scraper, you can use a wooden spoon or even a regular spoon.

Can I bake my prepared dough later?

The longer the dough sits, the more it will sink. But we want to keep as much air in it as possible, so you should bake your dough straight away!

Diplomat Cream

This cream is my absolute favourite inside a fraisier! It is light and airy with a hint of vanilla. Just perfect!

  • 400 g milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 65 g egg yolk
  • 65 g sugar
  • 35 g corn starch
  • 6.5 g gelatine powder + 39 g water
  • 200 g whipping cream

Fun fact! Did you know that some of the most classic French pastry fillings are based off the same base?! This base is called pastry cream or Crème Pâtissière in French. For example, to turn it into a Crème Mousseline, you first do a Pastry Cream and then add butter to it. Or to turn it into a Diplomat Cream, you add whipping cream. Here, I will show you how to make a beautiful fluffy Diplomat cream!

We will start by making the pastry cream. For this, pour the milk in a saucepan. Remove the seeds of one vanilla bean and add it into the milk. Put in the empty vanilla bean as well. Now infuse the milk for 15 minutes, by bringing the milk to a simmer, then switching the stove off and then covering the top with cling film.

In the meantime, put the egg yolk and the sugar in a bowl. Mix with a whisk until the colour has lightened and you have a soft yellow tone. Then add in the corn starch and give it another stir.

Remove the cling film and heat up the milk. Then, pour around 1/3 of the milk over the egg yolk mix. Stir well and put everything back into the saucepan. Place it onto the stove and bring everything to a boil. Make sure your stove is at low to medium heat as we do not want our cream to burn. Now continue boiling your pastry cream for around 2 minutes. Keep stirring with a whisk continuously.

Off the heat, incorporate the gelatine mass. Then, add in the butter. Mix well and make sure that there are not more butter lumps inside the cream. After, place the pastry cream in a baking dish or a container and cover the surface with cling film. Refrigerate until it’s completely cooled down.

Then, once your pastry cream is entirely cold and you are ready to assemble the cake, take it out of the fridge. Using a hand mixer, mix it until it’s homogenous and smooth. Whip the whipping cream to soft peaks. Add in one third of your slightly whipped cream. With a whisk, incorporate the cream energetically.

Add the second third of the cream and now change to using a dough scraper. Gently fold in the cream. If your cream is whipped to soft peaks, it will be very easy to incorporate without losing a lot of air.
Continue in the same way with the last third of your cream.

Strawberry Compote

  • 300 g fresh strawberries
  • 30 g sugar
  • 8 g pectin NH
  • 16 g lemon juice

Now this step is pretty easy: Cut the strawberries into halves and place them in a saucepan.

Together with the lemon juice, slightly heat up the strawberries. Then add in the Pectin-sugar mix and bring to a boil. Place inside a bowl and let it cool down entirely.

Later on, you can either leave it as it is if you want to have strawberry chunks in your cake. If you want it to be smooth the way I showed in the video, you can mix it using a hand blender.

Gluten-free Fraisier cake from above

Did this recipe make your heart sing? Share your creations, thoughts, and questions in the comments below! 

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