Sand cake is a gluten-free East Indian cake made of rice flour. Grainy and buttery, it’s the perfect tea-time snack! And it goes well with ice cream too!
I love sand cake. The soft grains melting in your mouth, the strong taste of butter… It tastes yummier than regular cake. And it’s so light and airy that you can’t stop at just one piece.
What is The East Indian sand cake?
Well, it’s definitely not cake made of sand. Sand cake is the traditional East Indian name for a cake made from rice flour or cornflour along with wheat flour.
But, there’s always a but, right? The traditional cake uses a mix of rice flour or cornflour with processed wheat flour. It’s easy peasy, but back to the ‘but’. My friend is on a gluten-free diet and can’t really eat too much wheat. So after a bit of experimenting, I perfect my version of the sand cake, without wheat. Yes, a perfect gluten-free rice cake recipe!
And it’s time to share it with you. Smile… If you’re looking for a gluten free dessert made from rice, here’s my gluten-free rice cake recipe from scratch.
What Ingredients Do You need to make Sand Cake?
All you need to make this sand cake is butter, rice flour, eggs, vanilla essence or extract, fine sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
How to make a sand cake from rice flour?
Just 7 ingredients. Cool, isn’t it?
Anyways, here’s how to make this simple gluten-free cake with rice flour.
Mix the butter, vanilla extract, salt, and sugar together. Use a spatula or even an electronic beater. The salt is optional, but I always add salt. It just reminds me to thank Abba that we have the means to make cakes and eat them too.
Add in the eggs and beat. Nope, I don’t do that thing where you add in the yolks first and the whites later. I just add them all in together.
Next, and this is the important one. Stir in the rice flour and baking powder by hand. You can use a spoon if you want, but don’t beat it in. Just gently fold it in with a little TLC. This adds some air into the batter and doesn’t let it get all squidgy.
Next, add in your food colors. I made mine cyan in color, and filled in two small tins that I had already lined with butter paper and kept ready. That pink one in the background is my sister’s nutmeg cake. I’ll get you the recipe for that soon!
And after about 50 minutes in the oven at 210 degrees Celsius, the beautiful gluten-free rice cake is ready. You can see that some of the sugar has formed a crunchy layer on top. I love that. That only happens with the sugar on top. The sugar inside melts perfectly. So don’t worry about it.
We served my rice cake for dessert along with my sister’s nutmeg cake when we had guests over. And they loved it!
There have also been times I’ve made rice cake madeleines with an almond-flavored fondant glaze. Yeah, I thought they were petit-fours, like tiny little pieces of cakes. But nope, the French baker friend corrected me and said they were madeleines.
Well, okies! Here are some of my erstwhile rice cake madelines! I can’t find the pics of after I had decorated them with icing. But these are from just when the almond fondant glaze is dripping on the tray below.
East Indian Sand Cake – Riceflour Cake
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- 375 g Butter
- 330 g Rice Flour
- 6 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract Essence will also do.
- 360 g Sugar Fine
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- Mix the butter, vanilla extract, salt and the sugar together.
- Add in the eggs and beat.
- Gently fold in the rice flour and baking powder by hand or with a spoon. Don’t beat it or it will lose air.
- Add in colour if you want to.
- Add the batter to your pre-lined baking trays.
- Bake for 50 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius.
- Serve. You don’t have to wait for it to cool. It tastes yummy when warm too!
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Nutrition (Per Serving)
Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.
Cooking Tips and Tricks
- Avoiding use of maida or all purpose flour makes this recipe gluten-free.
- You can use powdered sugar, so you do not have to worry about the sugar granules melting.
- Adding a pinch of salt brings out the flavour.
- You can make it any colour you like!
- Add sprinkles on top for a burst of color!
Questions about East Indian Sand Cake or Rice cake
How Long Can You Store Sand Cake?
You can store sand cake in an airtight container so it does not get dry; this will last in a refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days or in a freezer for about 3 months.
Why Is It Called Sand Cake?
This East Indian Sand Cake is called a cand cake for a very simple reason, because it has a grainy texture.
Can I Use Wheat Flour To Make This Cake?
Yes, you can. The original sand cake recipe does make use of a mix of rice flour and wheat flour. You can use a mix of both like that recipe. Mine does not include rice flour since so that it’s gluten-free.
Do I Need To Beat The Egg Whites And Yolks Separately?
If you have the time you can do this, beat the yolks and add them and then beat the whites separately and then add them. However, if running short of time, do what I do, beat both together and add them in. Same difference!
Can You Make Sand Cake Without Rice Flour?
No, sand cake is so-called because of the grainy texture that the rice flour gives is. So you need at least a bit of rice flour to make sand cake.
What Else Can I Make With Rice Flour?
What Other Cake Recipes Can I Try?
Well, there are so many. You can try making a custard powder cake (I’ll add the recipe soon), coconut cake, semolina date and orange cake, bol de coc, date and walnut cake, chocolate chunk coconut cake, nutmeg cake and so many more.
If you want our traditional East Indian recipes on hand, the Abby's Plate Cookbook Series books are available online or in-store in most countries.
East Indian Celebration
Festive Recipes from Abby's Plate
See the full list of books here!
Other Recipes You Might Like
- Coconut Cake Recipe
- Irish Pot Pies from leftover stew
- Pickling young garlic
- Have you tried a boilermaker?
- Unusual Cocoa and Walnut Fudge
If you try this making this simple gluten free rice flour cake recipe, come back to let me know how it went. Happy eating!