Gluten Free Blueberry Molasses Cake

Dark, rich, and oh so satisfying, a good molasses cake gives its chocolate counterpart a run for its money.  Procure a pint of blueberries and treat yourself to a whole grain version of a New England classic.  This Gluten Free Blueberry Molasses Cake is totally worth turning on the oven.  

If you live in the Northeast (and are food obsessed), the mention of Maine brings two words to mind: lobster and blueberries.  Both are delicious and nutritious in their own right.  

But let's talk about blueberries.  You've probably heard that they're packed with antioxidants, low in calories, and, may promote overall health.  Here's a nice info graphic from the U.S. Blueberry Council on the benefits of those little blue dynamos.

I have my dear friend Lily to thank for this recipe.  A true Northeast foodie, she's been tearing it up in the kitchen for as long as I've known her.  She's introduced me to fresh-frozen blueberries, Johnnycakes, and countless other culinary concepts over the last 17 years.  We've shared many food-related moments, but a true highlight is when she came home from a Parisian winter break - with an entire wheel of roquefort in her suitcase.  Earlier this year, she finally launched her own food company, Lily's Ladle.    

Often turning to each other for some meal-spiration, we went on a bit of a "summer baking" tear this past week.  When Lily described the classic Blueberry Molasses Cake as "mind-meltingly" good but lamented the white flour that made it so, I jumped at the chance to give it a mini-makeover.  

Just to be clear: "gluten free" is not synonymous with "healthy," especially when we're talking about cake!  BUT, the ingredients used here in place of white flour have their merits.  Whole oats provide fiber, and cornmeal is a good source of b vitamins folic acid and thiamin.  Including cornmeal also pays tribute to New England baking traditions. It's used in everything from Indian Corn Pudding to those famous Rhode Island Johnny Cakes!  

The star ingredient in this Gluten Free Blueberry Molasses Cake (aside from the blueberries) - blackstrap molasses - is a good source of potassium AND calcium.  As for the butter and sugar?  I've worked it out so that each serving contains a mere 2 teaspoons of each.

There's one drawback to this Gluten Free Blueberry Molasses Cake: waiting til it cools completely is TORTUROUS!  But believe me, it's so worth it.  I tried this cake straight from the oven (great), chilled (good), and at room temperature (excellent). 

I hope you enjoy this Gluten Free Blueberry Molasses Cake as much as I do!

Enjoy your food.  Enjoy your life!  

Gluten Free Blueberry Molasses Cake

Author: Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, NASM-CPT

Special Equipment: Microplane, hand-held or stand-up mixer, high-power blender


1 + 1/4 C. old-fashioned oats

1 C. cornmeal

1 T. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 C. + 2 T. light brown sugar, packed

6 T. butter, softened

thumb of fresh ginger root, grated with Microplane

2 eggs, at room temperature

2/3 C. blackstrap unsulphured molasses

2/3 C. boiling water

1 tsp. baking soda

2 C. fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray (or butter) 8 x 8 inch square baking pan and dust with cornmeal.

Utilizing high-powered blender, grind oats into fine flour.  Sift to combine in medium bowl with cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, and cinnamon.

In stand-up mixer fitted with paddle or in bowl with hand-held mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about five minutes.  Add ginger until well-combined, then eggs, one at a time.

In separate bowl, combine molasses, boiling water, and baking soda with whisk.  Slowly add to the butter and sugar mixture.  Finally, add oat flour mixture until well combined.  Stir in blueberries and pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake for an hour to 75 minutes.  At the 30 minute mark, I placed a foil tent over the cake to prevent excess browning of the top.  Cake is ready when the top bounces back in response to light pressure.

Transfer cake to wire rack to cool.  Slice and enjoy!

Serves: 9