Cooking with Kinsey – Gluten-Free birthday cake w/ fondant & buttercream

Our 10 year old daughter, Kinsey, LOVES to bake. Not only does she love it, she is freaking good at it too. At 10 years old, she can bake all sorts of stuff (cake, cupcakes, cookies, brownies), start to finish, completely by herself.

Last week our son, Travis, turned the big 1-3. Yes, I have a teenager. Ack! Kinsey decided for part of her gift to him she wanted to bake his birthday cake. She totally nailed this cake. I’m still shocked a 10 year old with little baking experience and pretty much zero decorating experience pulled off this cake.

Travis is strictly gluten-free (and Red40-free) due to severe allergies, so we tend to make a lot of treats at home. Most store-bought cake mixes, frostings, and fondants have gluten in them, so we made them all from scratch.

Kinsey started by baking a gluten-free cake. We prefer to just use a mix for this. We’ve tried dozens of mixes and our favorite yellow cake mix is from King Arthur Flour (not an affiliate).

She then made her own buttercream frosting. We’ve tried several recipes and our favorite is here.

After whipping up the buttercream and baking the cake, I helped her make some homemade fondant using melted marshmallows. It has great consistency and tastes much yummier than store-bought fondant. (Store-bought fondant has gluten in it.)

Her favorite part of all was rolling out the fondant and decorating the cake with it. She has wanted to try her hand at fondant for a few years, so we finally just went for it.

This cake is the very first time she has ever used fondant at all. I still can’t believe how adorable it turned out.

The cake looked a little “baby showerish” but Travis is such a good sport and such an awesome brother. He just thanked her over and over and was so grateful that she took hours of her day making a cake just for him.

The best part? The cake tasted even more amazing than it looked. All the homemade ingredients really helped to make one of the most delicious cakes we’ve ever eaten. And the best part? It was 100% gluten-free and Red40-free so Travis could enjoy it as well.

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  1. What an awesome looking cake! Kinsey is very talented. I’ve never come close to baking a cake that looks that good. And how nice of her to make a cake for her brother. I did the same thing for my brother when I was younger, but my cake fell apart and my step-mother needed to salvage it.

  2. That looks awesome! Cake decorating is definitely not for the faint of heart, I took a class once and it’s exhausting and always takes way longer than I think it will! And I couldn’t make something half as good as Kinsey’s cake, she did fantastic!

  3. Very impressive, Kinsey!

    A small tip when it comes to piping: use one hand at the top to control the pressure and one hand near the bottom to control direction.

    Keep it up!

  4. Looks so good- both tasty and adorable! We are dairy and gf here for my son- definitely adds to the chaos of meals but it all works out. Do you have Aldi’s by you? They have a lot of gf stuff now! And it’s good! 😉
    I can’t believe how well your daughter did on that- fondant is tricky stuff!

  5. That cake was ridiculously delicious. Kinsey did an excellent job!

  6. Ben Hepworth says:

    That cake was ridiculously delicious. Kinsey did an excellent job!

  7. As someone who spent hours in cake decorating classes at Michael’s in the past, and continuing to practice at it – forever… and I am also gluten free, so totally understand how difficult it can be to just bake a gluten free cake that doesn’t collapse when it comes out of the oven, I sooooo totally appreciate what Kinsey has accomplished on her own! What a GREAT job she did, and she obviously has talent! How wonderful you’ve been to help and encourage her to pursue her talents! It’s probably also pretty inspiring to have a nice, newly upgraded and efficient kitchen to perform her art. 🙂 Tremendous, Kinsey! Keep up the good work!

  8. Wow, good job Kinsey! I’m impressed! I’m sort of a cake decorator (hey, I’ve done several wedding cakes so I’ll take the title of Cake Decorator for a minute here), and I think you did great!

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