Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf was the first gluten-free cake I developed for the cake stall three years ago. It is a firm favourite amongst my customers and ever since its creation I have never failed to include it as part of my weekly menu at the market. It is always the first to sell out and the one which provokes the most conversation with my customers.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I don’t know why I have waited so long to write about my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle, I guess I wanted to do it justice as it’s my most requested recipe. I’m glad I waited this long though as the photographs were finally taken in collaboration with Tara from Fork & Dram as part of our food styling day last month. Tara is an amazing photographer and stylist and has been of invaluable help in focusing the look of my photography.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I have limited time to work on the website these days as I am a full-time mum to Cole during the week and bake and work on the market stall at the weekends. Pockets of time where I can make and photograph my food specifically for the website are like gold dust. Tara has helped me understand how I can achieve photos I can be proud of efficiently and without any complicated set-ups or props.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I was thrilled then that Tara helped me capture the beauty of this cake. No to go all crazy-cake lady on you but this cake is kind of like my BFF. I can make this cake in my sleep, I never go to a market without it and it’s reliably delicious. That’s not to say that it was the easiest recipe in the world to develop, on the contrary getting the cake to rise evenly without falling in the middle was a bit of a stumbling block at first but there are tricks to ensure perfect results every time.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Do follow the recipe precisely, mix the butter and sugar on a low-medium speed until light and fluffy which ensures a good rise and then when the cake is finally in the oven don’t open the door for at least the first 40 minutes. I do like to check on my cakes to make sure they are all nestled comfortably in the oven after the first 20 minutes but this cake has a tendency to fall like a sozzled sailor on a two day shore leave. Resist the temptation.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

All the faffing is worth it though and to be honest even when the cake did fall, or didn’t rise properly, it was still amazing in flavour. Boy, does the Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle pack a punch. It made sense to me when I initially developed the recipe to add blueberries into a lemon drizzle. Blueberries provide such a delightful gentle counterbalance to the tang of citrus. But the cake is then taken stratospheric with the inclusion of peppery aromatic Basil. Lemons, fresh blueberries and basil are all added into the cake batter and then dredged over the top of the just baked cake to form the signature drizzle.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

The recipe method was originally inspired by the lemon drizzle cake featured in Outsider Tart’s cookbook Baked in America which is one of my favourite baking books. The key to their Drizzle is to use an almond paste which imbues the cake with an unbeatably moist texture. The taste of the almonds is barely noticeable, especially with the over-the-top citrus notes, the fragrance of the basil and the gentle pop of blueberries.

The beauty of using an almond paste here also means you don’t have to use very much flour as the ground almonds in the paste do a lot of the work for you. So with only a scant amount of flour in the recipe, an easy shop bought gluten-free flour is more than fit for purpose.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I’m very happy to finally share my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf and thank you to Tara from Fork & Dram for helping me bring the cake to life.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this everyday teatime cake is an absolute showstopper.
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf tin.
  2. First make the almond paste by placing the almonds in a food processor and blitzing until finely ground. Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and blitz again until a paste has formed. Set aside for a moment.
  3. Place the basil leaves, lemon zest and orange zest in a food mixer along with the sugar. Whisk for a few minutes together until fragrant.
  4. Add the butter, one cube at a time and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape the almond paste into the creamed butter and sugar and beat until combined.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then beat it into the rest of the batter.
  8. Roll the blueberries around in the empty flour bowl so that they are gently coated with the remaining dusting of flour then stir into the batter.
  9. Pour into the cake tin, smoothing the top then bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. To make the drizzle place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a dash of water and heat for about a couple of minutes until the blueberries are just beginning to soften but not so that they have burst. Leave to cool.
  11. Pour the blueberries into a medium sized bowl along with the lemon juice, basil leaves and granulated sugar. Mix together.
  12. Remove the cake from the tin onto a wire rack, making sure there is a baking tray underneath to catch the excess drizzle.
  13. Prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick and then spoon the drizzle over the cake.
  14. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes

I sell my cakes at local farmers’ markets in London but lucky for those who don’t live nearby I also love sharing the recipes for all the cakes I sell and if you want to receive more of my cake stall recipes then I have a FREE mini e-book of the top 3 Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes which are on my stall including Fig, Almond and Salted Honey Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes and Minted Brownies. The recipes are really special to me and if you want a copy of them then just click the button below!

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Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

This Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake is dark, rich and intense. A sublime treat for your afternoon tea.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

I’m making my Seville orange marmalade this week which meant that I needed to finish the scrapings at the bottom of last year’s jar to make room for the new.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

The marmalade had not been easy to spread on toast for a few months now as the surface had crystallised a little but the intense zesty bitter flavour was still all there and I found that once I had sawn through the solid sugar structure with gritted teeth this cake turned out to be the perfect way to make use of the dregs. It might have lost its lustre but last year’s marmalade has managed to find a new lease of life paired with chocolate, ricotta and pine nuts. I mean, what ingredient wouldn’t? Of course you are more than welcome to make this cake with this season’s offering, you certainly don’t have to be using 2015’s rejects.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

My life is full of to-do, should-really-do and must-do-upon-point-of-death lists at the moment, none of which ever really get completely crossed of by the end of the day. However, cakes always seem to jump to the top of the queue, ahead of taking my pile of unloved clothing, which I keep tripping over every morning, to the charity shop, or paying that cheque into the bank, or even finding that blasted cheque which no longer seems to be sitting proudly on my mantelpiece where I placed it very safely about three months ago.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

So when I decided that the marmalade had to go in a cake the ingredients magically gathered themselves up and jumped into a baking tin without so much as consulting any of my lists. I blame the ricotta. Mmm ricotta, just seeing the word on the screen makes me want to dollop it into and onto everything I eat. It’s ideal here, adding such a luxurious dampness to the cake without imparting heaviness.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

The marriage of flavours is so lovely and subtle that this cake is fit for any purpose. The newly revived marmalade just adds a hint of tang with the occasional rind peeking through the sponge as well as a wonderful jammy blanket to the top – the glaze is definitely all important. The toasted pine nuts were a last minute addition but integral to give a welcome break in texture. I don’t think I need to convince you about the chocolate.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

So my to-do list may be never-ending but at least I can end the day with a slice of darkly decadent cake and the promise of tomorrow’s marmalade.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

Inspired by Emiko Davies’ Ricotta and Dark Chocolate Cake

250g dark chocolate (I used a mixture of 70% and 54%)
75g pine nuts
300g ricotta
175g light soft brown sugar
100ml olive oil
3 eggs
60g Seville orange marmalade + 2 tablespoons for glazing
200g plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C then line and grease a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and set aside.
  3. Scatter the pine nuts onto a baking tray (reserving about 20g to keep untoasted) then bake them in the oven for about 8 minutes until very lightly toasted. Set aside.
  4. Place the ricotta, brown sugar, olive oil, eggs and marmalade in a large bowl and beat until smooth.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate in then and stir thoroughly into the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl then add into the mixture and beat until just combined.
  7. Finally fold in the toasted pine nuts then pour it all into the loaf tin.
  8. Scatter the remaining untoasted pine nuts over the top of the mixture, pressing down to slightly submerge into the batter.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for about 90 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack.
  11. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of marmalade in a small saucepan then brush over the top of the cake liberally to glaze.
  12. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Sticky Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Sticky Date and Banana Malt Loaf

This was one of those spur of the moment bakes where I had all the ingredients in the house, took 10 minutes or so deciding how I wanted to bake it and then dove in.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Granted, I have been meaning to bake a loaf cake for a while. A dense fruity slice of Soreen slathered with double the amount of butter than loaf was one of my husband’s childhood teatime favourites. I bought the malt extract about six months ago in a bit to recreate his childhood memories, but without all those obnoxious preservatives.Date and Banana Malt Loaf

I think what had been putting me off for so long was that all the recipes I had read told me I should be using yeast, meaning you have all that pesky rising time which I have to be in the mood for, probably why I have never excelled at being a bread baker. Then after further research, whilst procrastinating a trip to Sainsburys, I discovered some internet bakers disregarded this stumbling block and made their loaves with baking powder. No sooner had I stuck two fingers up at tradition then I was in the kitchen chopping dates and warming my malt extract.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Since I never got round to making the yeasted version I can’t in all honesty tell you what the difference was. All I know is that this version rose gloriously in the oven to produce a familiar dark treacly loaf, intense with fruit and made all the better with the requisite lashings of salted butter. Most of the dates melted into the loaf mix and the banana was really added in lieu of butter which I didn’t think it needed. The fruit notes are therefore subtle, adding more to the texture of the finished result than the occasional burst of sweetness that adding sultanas or raisins might have done.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Whatever you do, you must restrain yourself from tearing into the bread as soon as it comes out of the oven as it only reaches its optimum consistency once it has been wrapped in greaseproof paper and matured for a couple of days after the bake. The longer your leave it the moister the loaf.

The jury is out on whether this is a fruity bread or cake, although I suppose the lack of yeast definitely lends it more of a cakey vibe. But the special thing about this bake is that it fits the bill whether you are craving a sweet or salty mid-afternoon treat. After carefully guarding the loaf for the past two days, once my husband had caught whiff of its presence, it is now waiting happily in its greaseproof paper, getting even more moist and delicious, ready for its ultimate taste test later this evening. I don’t think anybody is going to be disappointed.

Date and Banana Malt Loaf

Sticky Date and Banana Malt Loaf

150ml milk
125ml freshly brewed hot tea
180g medjool dates
1 banana, mashed
70g malt extract + extra for brushing
70g black treacle
375g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soft dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

  1. Mix together the milk and hot tea and add the chopped dates. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  3. Pour the malt extract and the treacle into a small saucepan and heat until runny but no more.
  4. Turn off the heat then add the mashed banana and the soaked dates along with all of the liquid into the malt and treacle.
  5. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt, dark brown sugar and baking powder
  6. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and the liquid ingredients.
  7. Bring the flour into the liquid ingredients then stir everything together well with a wooden spoon.
  8. Pour the batter into the baking tin, sprinkling the demerara sugar over the top. Bake the loaf for an hour, covering the top with foil half way through if it’s starting to over-brown on the top.
  9. When it’s ready, remove from the oven, turn out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  10. When the loaf is cold, brush the surface liberally with malt extract then wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and leave to mature for 2 days before eating so the loaf gets lovely and sticky.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread
Sometimes a cake shouldn’t be for celebration but should be made just because you want it and need it. This kind of cake is perfect for that purpose as it’s a quick mix, and although you might have to wait 50 minutes for it in the oven, as soon as it comes out there’s none of this cooling or pesky icing to deal with. I ate this one warm, the crumb hadn’t yet set so the texture was soft and toffee like. However, if you are not greedy and petulant like me then you can leave this cake and then leave it some more. The treacle, bananas and use of oil rather than butter mean that this cake will happily mature over a few days, it’s texture improving as the loaf gathers itself together and dampens with age. Although if you can leave this cake without going back for another slice every hour on the hour then you’re a stronger character than me.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

I made this cake in homage to the amazing chocolate banana rye bread that Nyborg’s have been doing lately. They have a market stall in Ally Pally and since I have been unable to attend Ally Pally farmers’ market recently (due to my treacherous defection to Falkland Road Market N8) I had to console myself by coming up with this recipe.

Now this isn’t a bread like the one Nyborg’s sell, since I’m not a bread baker by any stretch of the imagination, it’s more of a teatime loaf cake. A chewy, dense, malty, sticky teatime loaf cake which warms your insides and is totally moreish. Now that Autumn has muscled its way in I have been naturally turning to dark cakes with intensity. Black treacle and muscovado sugar are a natural fit with the robust rye crumb, as the bananas aid and abet the sticky licky loaf. I chose Lindt chocolate, which I wouldn’t normally bake with, to scatter throughout, as I love the large flat pieces of chocolate which gently melt in the oven but are kept in gooey pockets throughout the loaf.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

This cake is definitely made for the kind of weather I’m seeing right now. This week, not only have I unarchived my winter coat but I’ve also been sticking the heating on left right and centre, basically as soon as my husband leaves the house as he’s under the impression that if it ain’t December, then we make do with jumpers. The bitter winds and cold rain have come and sucked all the life out of our morning and evening walks with the puppy. As encouragement to make it out in the soggy chilled air, I definitely need this kind of treat to welcome me back into my centrally heated house, with a good strong cup of builders on the side.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed
80ml Coconut oil
80g Black Treacle
80g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
185g Rye Flour
40g Cocoa
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
60g Lindt Dark Chocolate pieces, kept in their squares

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and lightly grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the bananas, coconut oil, treacle, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In another mix sift together the rye flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until only just combine. Fold in the pieces of dark chocolate.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin then bake in the oven for about 50 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin to finish cooling on a rack.