The Best Chocolate Tiffin

To say that this Chocolate Tiffin is addictive is underselling quite how moreish these little bars are. A buttery biscuit base of crushed digestives is studded with glacé cherries and dried apricots then topped with salted dark chocolate. This is a super quick and easy no-bake and gluten-free treat that is irresistible to both children and adults.

Close up of Chocolate Tiffin Bar on a wooden board

Chocolate Tiffin is a nostalgic treat. Morning break at school meant a twenty minute respite from classes where we would be served juice and biscuits in the dining room. On an average day the biscuits would be mini packets of bourbons or custard creams. But, every once in a while Cook would proudly roll out a trolley of her homemade Chocolate Tiffin which we would all pounce upon like the 11 year old animals we were. Every since then I have had an irresistible soft spot for this no-bake childhood treat.

What is Chocolate Tiffin?

Chocolate Tiffin is a variation on the Chocolate Fridge Cake, the cake that Prince William requested for his groom’s cake when marrying Kate Middleton. It may seem pretty humble but if it’s good enough for the royal family…

Crushed biscuits and dried fruit are stirred with melted butter and sugar then set in a layer in the fridge. Cocoa powder is often added to the biscuit layer but that’s not how Cook made it at school so I like to abstain. The Tiffin is then topped with a decadent layer of dark chocolate, set again in the fridge then cut into bars.

If you imagine a biscuity cheesecake crust made into a cake then you have a pretty good idea.

Overview of Chocolate Tiffin bars

What biscuits can you use in Chocolate Tiffin?

It’s the crushed biscuits that form the basis of these bars so it’s wise not to use just any biscuit. A strong sturdy biscuit which isn’t too sweet is best. Traditionally Rich Tea Biscuits or Digestive Biscuits are the order of the day.

Bakers’ Tip:

Homemade Digestive Biscuits. All the way. Have you made these yet? If not, then definitely give them a go. They will elevate your Chocolate Tiffin to the regal status that is their birthright. It does mean an extra step and it does mean turning on your oven but it’s worth it.

My favourite shop bought gluten-free digestive biscuits

Gluten-free digestive biscuits from the supermarket can be a little hit and miss. My favourite brands and the ones I recommend are:

Nairns Nairns Biscuit Breaks – Oat & Syrup 160g (Pack of 5)
Schar Digestive Biscuits 150 g (Pack of 3)

Ingredients for Chocolate Tiffin

What dried fruit can you use in Chocolate Tiffin?

Traditionally glacé cherries and raisins are used but here I have swapped out the raisins for dried unsulphered apricots which impart such a gloriously fruity flavour. Sometimes raisins can be a little sweet with not much flavour but the apricots are a lovely tasty alternative.

Bakers’ Tip:

Homemade Glacé Cherries. Now, this is only if you have them knocking around. I wouldn’t suggest you make them specifically for this recipe but honestly the flavour of homemade glacé cherries is unbeatable.

Process image for making Chocolate Tiffin

How to make Chocolate Tiffin

  1. Crush the digestive biscuits into rough sand with some rubbly bits. Use either a food processor or a rolling pin.
  2. Stir in the chopped dried fruit.
  3. Melt the butter with the sugar and honey until the sugar has dissolved. Stir into the biscuits and fruit.
  4. Press the biscuit layer into a lined and greased cake tin and place in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight to set.
  5. Melt the chocolate with the butter and salt. Pour over the biscuit layer. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
  6. Cut the Chocolate Tiffin into bars and sprinkle with extra flaked salt.

Process image for making Chocolate Tiffin

Baker’s Tips:

  • So that the Chocolate Tiffin is really easy to remove from the tin, line with two sheets of greaseproof paper, crossed in the middle and go up the sides of the tin.
  • If you crush your digestive biscuits in a food processor then use the pulse button for extra control. You want a variety of texture with your crushed biscuits.
  • Use your hands to press the biscuit layer in the tin. You want it really tight in there so it sets nicely packed together.
  • To get extra texture to your chocolate topping only spread on ¾ of the melted chocolate onto the biscuit layer. Freeze for 10 minutes. Pour the rest of the melted chocolate into a small piping bag or a plastic food bag with a corner snipped off. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the set chocolate layer then place back in the freezer for a couple of minutes to set for a final time.
  • That extra flaked salt at the end is a game changer. It amps up the flavour and provides a lovely contrast to this sweet treat.

Process image for making Chocolate Tiffin

Process image for making Chocolate Tiffin

Process image for making Chocolate Tiffin

How to store Chocolate Tiffin

You can store your Chocolate Tiffin in a cool airtight tin for up to 5 days. However, I like to eat my Tiffin straight from the fridge so that’s where mine are kept.

How to make Vegan Chocolate Tiffin

Actually the switches in this recipe to make it vegan are very easy.

  • Use shop-bought digestive biscuits. Both the Nairn’s biscuits and Schar’s biscuits recommended above are suitable for vegans.
  • Switch all the unsalted butter in the Chocolate Tiffin recipe for coconut oil.
  • Swap the honey for agave nectar or golden syrup.
  • Use vegan dark chocolate.

Close up of Chocolate Tiffin Bar on a wooden board

Are you looking for more easy traybakes? Then why not try:

White Chocolate Raspberry Flapjacks
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Lemon Iced Stem Ginger Parkin
Picnic Slice
The Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road

If you make this Chocolate Tiffin then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Close up of Chocolate Tiffin Bar on a wooden board
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5 from 1 vote

The Best Chocolate Tiffin

A buttery biscuit base of crushed digestives is studded with glacé cherries and dried apricots then topped with salted dark chocolate. This is a super quick and easy no-bake and gluten-free nostalgic treat that is completely addictive.



Prep Time20 mins
Resting Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 284kcal

Ingredients

  • 325 g gluten-free digestive biscuits
  • 70 g glacé cherries chopped roughly
  • 70 g dried apricots unsulphered, chopped roughly
  • 140 g unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light soft brown sugar
  • tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g dark 70% chocolate
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Line and grease a 20cm square cake tin.
  • Place the digestive biscuits in a food processor and pulse until the majority of the biscuits resemble rough sand with larger rubbly bits.
  • Pour the biscuits into a large mixing bowl and stir in the glacé cherries and dried apricots.
  • Melt the butter with the sugar, honey and salt in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Pour into the biscuits and fruit and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  • Press the biscuit layer into the cake tin, using your hands to get it packed in firmly and evenly.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to set.
  • Melt the dark chocolate with the butter and salt in a bain marie or a glass bowl set over simmering water.
  • Once melted pour over the biscuit layer.
  • Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set, then sprinkle with extra flaked salt and cut into bars.

Notes

  • For extra delicious Chocolate Tiffin use Homemade Digestive Biscuits and Homemade Glacé Cherries.
  • Line the tin with two sheets of greaseproof paper, crossed in the middle which go up the sides of the tin for easy Tiffin removal.
  • If you don’t have a food processor you can crush your digestive biscuits by placing in a large food bag and use a rolling pin to hammer down. The food bag will keep the biscuit crumbs from spilling everywhere.
  • Use your hands to press the biscuit layer in the tin. You want it really tight in there so it sets nicely packed together.
  • To get extra texture to your chocolate topping only spread on ¾ of the melted chocolate onto the biscuit layer. Freeze for 10 minutes. Pour the rest of the melted chocolate into a small piping bag or a plastic food bag with a corner snipped off. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of the set chocolate layer then place back in the freezer for a couple of minutes to set for a final time.
  • Don’t forget the extra flaked salt at the end - it’s a game changer.
  • Store your Chocolate Tiffin in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2.4mg

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This post is not sponsored but some of the links within the post are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Image collage of Chocolate Tiffin bars with text overlay

Ice Cream Cone Recipe {gluten-free}

This Ice Cream Cone Recipe is incredibly quick to make and utterly delicious. A light buttery biscuity cone made with gluten-free flours which enhance the flavour of your ice cream. These cones are an absolute treat – never mind the ice cream!!

Going out for ice cream with the boys is such a treat. All four of us have a weakness for it and we are so lucky that recently a fancy new gelateria has opened up five minutes from our house. Lucky but also a little bit dangerous.

I tend to order the ice cream in the tub though rather than a cone as a gluten-free cone option is hard to come by. Not in our house though since I developed a gluten-free ice cream cone recipe that is so delicious it is just as much a treat as the ice cream itself.

Customising your cone

One of the pleasures of baking with gluten-free flours is the opportunity to boost the flavour of your bake by choosing the right gluten-free flour.

This ice cream cone recipe has a sort of ‘choose your adventure’ element to it. Depending on which flavour you are serving in your cone you can customise the gluten-free flour to best match your ice cream.

These gluten-free ice cream cones are so easy to make and I’ve got all the tips to help you make them perfectly first time.

What are ice cream cones made of?

Typically ice cream cones are made from a very simple batter of whisked flour, melted butter, egg whites and white sugar.

Here we are switching out the flour for two alternative flours which will enhance the flavour of the cone and make it gluten-free to boot.

We don’t want to skip the melted butter which gives a delicious rich biscuity flavour. Nor the egg whites which give lightness to the cone whilst holding it together. The sugar gives a little sweetness so it’s just like holding your ice cream in a light crisp biscuit.

Finally we want to include some vanilla extract and a pinch of salt for flavour.

hand holding a gluten-free ice cream cone filled with ice cream

How to make gluten-free ice cream cones

For a go-to ice cream cone which will taste delicious with any ice cream you pair it with then the best gluten-free flour to use is sorghum.

We also need a bit of tapioca flour whisked into the sorghum as the starchiness is needed to hold the cone together and give it a little bit of elasticity.

  1. Whisk the sorghum and tapioca flour together with the salt and set aside.
  2. Stir the egg whites, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in salt and half the flour
  4. Mix in melted butter then the rest of the flour
  5. Rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  7. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter onto one half of the greaseproof paper and using an offset palette knife, swirl the batter into a circle of 12cm diameter.
  8. Repeat to create another circle of batter on the other half of the greaseproof paper.
  9. Bake these two cone discs for 8 minutes.
  10. Remove the baking sheet and hold a palette knife in one hand and the cone mould in your other hand. Lift one of the pliable cone discs with the palette knife and shape it round the cone mould. Carefully place the cone into the cone holder to set its shape.
  11. Repeat with the other cone disc.
  12. Whilst the cones are cooling, make a second batch. Repeat the baking process until you have used up all the batter.

gluten free ice cream cone batter

gluten free ice cream cone batter before baking

gluten free ice cream cone before moulding

Essential Tips:

  • Resting the batter is essential for the flours to absorb the liquid. It helps to stiffen the batter so it is easier to spread into circles.
  • You can draw two 12cm circles onto your greaseproof paper and drop your batter into the centre, swirling out until the batter is exactly the right size.
  • Bake for exactly 8 minutes. The cone discs can burn very easily as the batter is so thin.
  • The cone mould and the cone holder are essential tools for making the cones as easy as possible. I tried using every day kitchen utensils that I already had around but it was more time consuming and the results just were not as good. If you can go the extra mile then both of these pieces of kit are under £10 each.

Ice Cream Cone mould and stand

Alternative flour options

The tapioca flour is essential to all the ice cream cone flavour variations but the sorghum flour can be switched out for numerous different wholegrain flours, depending on the ice cream flavour you wish to serve them with.

Vanilla – sorghum, oat
Chocolate – teff, buckwheat, sorghum, oat
Nuts – buckwheat
Fruit – sorghum, oat
Caramel – oat, teff
Coffee – teff, buckwheat, oat
Spiced – sorghum, teff
Floral or herby – oat

How long do ice cream cones last?

Make a batch of ice cream cones and store them in an air tight tin for up to a week. They taste best for the first couple of days after baking.

gluten-free ice cream cones in a cone holder

Can you freeze ice cream cones?

You can. My favourite way of doing it is to fill your cone with ice cream, drizzle on some toppings then wrap loosely in greaseproof paper. Store carefully in the freezer and you have an instant ice cream cone. Best to eat within a week though.

Now, do you need some ice cream recipe inspo for your cones?

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream
Butter Mint Ice Cream
Tequila Lime Ice Cream
Red Velvet Ice Cream
Cookies and Cream Raspberry Ice Cream
Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

If you make this Ice Cream Cone Recipe then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Ice Cream Cone Recipe {gluten-free}

This Ice Cream Cone Recipe is incredibly quick to make and utterly delicious. A light buttery biscuity cone made with gluten-free flours which enhance the flavour of your ice cream. These cones are an absolute treat – never mind the ice cream!!
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Resting time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 cones
Calories: 221kcal

Ingredients

  • 90 g sorghum flour
  • 60 g tapioca flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 90 ml egg whites
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 45 g unsalted butter melted

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C /160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  • Whisk the sorghum flour, tapioca flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Stir the egg whites, sugar, vanilla together in a large bowl. Then whisk in the salt and half the flour mix.
  • Whisk in the melted butter, then the rest of the flour mix.
  • Rest the batter for 10 minutes.
  • Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
  • Drop 2 tablespoons of batter onto one half of the greaseproof paper and using an offset palette knife, swirl the batter into a circle of 12cm diameter.
  • Repeat to create another circle of batter on the other half of the greaseproof paper.
  • Bake these two cone discs for 8 minutes.
  • Remove the baking sheet and hold a palette knife in one hand and the cone mould in your other hand. Lift one of the pliable cone discs with the palette knife and shape it round the cone mould. Carefully place the cone into the cone holder to set its shape.
  • Repeat with the other cone disc.
  • Whilst the cones are cooling, make a second batch. Repeat the baking process until you have used up all the batter.
  • Once your cones are cool then fill with ice cream!

Notes

You can customise your ice cream cone by swapping out the sorghum flour for another wholegrain flour of your choice. Try teff flour, buckwheat or oat flour.
• Do rest the batter. You can even make the batter up to 1 day in advance and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
• For uniform cones draw two 12cm circle on the greaseproof paper so you can make sure you are spreading your batter out to exactly the right size.
• Don’t overbake the cones, if they are overbaked they will crisp to much which will make them difficult to mould.
• Work as quickly as you can whilst shaping your cones. The more you do the faster you become. It’s all about practice.
• I tried using everyday kitchen utensils to mould the cones but had little success. I do recommend buying at least the cone mould which was under £10. The cone holder means that you don’t have to hold the cone in place whilst it is cooling. If you plan on making ice cream cones regularly then the right equipment is essential.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.6mg

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This post is not sponsored but some of the links within the post are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

PIN NOW TO READ LATER!

gluten-free ice cream cones in a cone holder with text overlay

Apple and Blackberry Crumble {gluten-free}

Apple and Blackberry Crumble is a delightful example of a gluten-free crumble. A crisp biscuity topping is the perfect contrast to the ooey gooey sweet and tangy fruit jumble beneath.

A bowl of apple and blackberry crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a bowl

If you are following me on Insta Stories you’ll know that I’ve been studiously working on a gluten-free crumble recipe for a couple of weeks. Cole received the Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes Cookbook for his birthday earlier this month and immediately set me forth to make the titular recipe.

Well I made the recipe from the cookbook as instructed but switched things around a bit to make a gluten-free version. Cole was happy enough with it. I was not. It definitely needed tweaking. So I set forth to embark on my next obsession. How to make a dazzling gluten-free crumble (gruffalos substituted for apples and blackberries on this occasion).

How to make a great gluten-free crumble topping

A gluten-free crumble topping is quite forgiving. I have made so many crumbles over the years as it’s my number one Sunday night dessert and they nearly always turn out delicious.

However lately I have settled on a method that gives a perfect crumble topping every time.

The secret… oats and almonds

Have you ever experienced a gluten-free crumble that has melted into your fruit base upon baking? Gluten-free flours tend to absorb too much liquid (especially if they are rice flour based). However, by tossing in some jumbo rolled oats and ground almonds they create a perfectly robust structure to the crumble topping.

The addition of oats and almonds not only has the added benefit of extra flavour but also provides the perfect crunch to your crumble.

However, if you are looking for an oat-free crumble try this Strawberry Gooseberry Crumble.

Baker’s Tip

If you don’t have any ground almonds you can grind your own from whole almonds. Place the whole almonds in the food processor with the brown sugar. The sugar will prevent the almonds from becoming almond butter and instead will give them a nice even grind.

a bowl of gluten-free crumble

Gluten-Free Flours

What I have found is that with the inclusion of the oats and ground almonds you can be a little bit laissez-faire with which gluten-free flour you choose to use. I wouldn’t even decry you for choosing a plain gluten-free flour which you can pick up at any supermarket. Although do avoid single origin starchy flours, especially white rice flour as it just absorbs too much liquid.

Sorghum Flour

Here we use sorghum flour. It’s one of my favourite alternative flours. It has an earthy yet slightly sweet quality which pairs so beautifully with the apples and blackberries. The touch of cinnamon included in the crumble topping really takes it into the sublime.

Alternative Version: Buckwheat Hazelnut Crumble Topping

You could switch out the sorghum flour for buckwheat flour which has an intense robust flavour. However if you were going to go in that direction then I would also dare you to swap the ground almonds for ground hazelnuts. A taste sensation indeed. Amazing with the apples and blackberries.

Quick and Easy Crumble

The assembly of the crumble topping is child’s play and in fact Cole often helps me with this job.

  1. Whisk the sorghum flour with the oats, ground almonds, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients to form a chunky rubble mixture, aka. crumble.

Now that the gluten-free crumble has been sorted, next on the agenda is the perfect apple and blackberry fruity base.

How to prepare apples for a crumble

Most recipes for apple and blackberry crumble will have you just peel and core the apples and just toss them in with the blackberries as they fall at the bottom of the baking dish.

However I’m going to let you in on a little secret on how you achieve the best texture in an apple blackberry crumble. No fruit swimming in a watery juice. No apples that are crunchy at best and raw at worst.

The best tip for a soft gooey perfectly sweetened fruit base which contrasts with the crisp crumble topping is…

The apples need to be pre-cooked.

pureed apples in a saucepan

When you pre-cook the apples the puree provides a saucy bed for the blackberries to absorb their excess juice and the two fruits jumble together so much better.

The apple prep is easy enough:

  1. Place the peeled apple chunks in a small saucepan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon caster sugar.
  3. Place the lid on and cook for 15-20 minutes until the apples have completely broken down into a pulp.

Luckily you don’t need to do anything to the blackberries save place them on top of the apples.

Can you freeze Apple and Blackberry Crumble?

Yes, you can freeze this apple and blackberry crumble. After the final dish has been baked, leave to cool then double wrap well in cling film as well as tin foil to prevent freezer-burn. You can freeze the crumble for up to three months. To defrost simply remove the dish from the freezer the night before. Once completely defrosted you can re-heat the crumble for 20 minutes at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.

Can crumble be made in advance?

Yes, you can make the crumble a day or two in advance. I recommend assembling the crumble to the stage where it’s ready to be baked in the oven. When you want to serve it then follow the instructions for baking stated below.

Can you make Apple and Blackberry Crumble with frozen fruit?

Yes. I will often have scores of apple puree and wild blackberries in my freezer in late August/September leftover from our adventures in foraging. The apple puree will need to be defrosted before adding into the crumble. However, the good news is that the frozen blackberries can just be tossed in straight from the freezer with no amendment on the original cooking time.

If you are looking for more gluten-free desserts that make the most of summer produce why not try:

Plum Nectarine Cornbread Cobbler
Blackberry Lemon Pudding
Coconut Cherry Clafoutis
Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp

If you make this Apple and Blackberry Crumble then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Gluten-Free Apple and Blackberry Crumble boasts a crisp biscuity topping. The perfect contrast to the ooey gooey sweet and tangy fruit jumble beneath.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 338kcal

Equipment

  • 30cm x 20cm Baking Dish

Ingredients

  • 3 dessert apples peeled cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 300 g blackberries

Crumble

  • 100 g sorghum flour
  • 50 g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 50 g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 75 g unsalted butter room temperature, cubed

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4
  • Place the apple chunks in a medium sized saucepan along with the water and caster sugar.
  • Turn the heat on low-medium and place a lid on. Give the apples a stir occasionally but only remove from the heat once the apples have broken down into a pulp. Maybe 15-20 minutes.
  • Place the apple pulp into a 30cm x 20cm baking dish and tumble the blackberries evenly over the top.
  • Prepare the crumble topping by placing the sorghum flour, oats, almonds, sugar and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until a chunky rubble has formed.
  • Scatter the crumble topping over the fruit and bake for 30 minutes until the crumble has turned golden.
  • Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or in cooler months hot vanilla custard.

Notes

  • Apples - I like to use pink lady apples or braeburns.
  • Frozen Fruit - You can use frozen blackberries straight from the freezer without any alteration on the cooking time.
  • Sorghum Flour - You can replace the sorghum flour with gluten-free plain flour.
  • Make Ahead – The crumble can be assembled a day or two in advance and baked on the day of serving.
  • Freeze – The crumble can be frozen after baking for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before re-heating.

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 14.7mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1.6mg

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This post is not sponsored but some of the links within the post are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!

A bowl of apple and blackberry crumble with a scoop of ice cream in a bowl with text overlay

Chocolate Courgette Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

These Chocolate Courgette Muffins are delightfully decedent and incredibly moist. Plus they are gluten-free and vegan.

close up of chocolate courgette muffins

There is something about courgette that makes a chocolate muffin taste even more chocolately. It seems to deepen the flavour, make it earthier and more complex. The courgette within the muffin doesn’t taste of vegetables but it does give the muffin a kind of intensity that will make you wonder why you don’t put courgettes into all your chocolate cakes.

How to prepare courgettes for cakes

Courgettes are easy to get ready for your cakes. They just require a quick rinse in fresh water, top and tailing, then grating. If you have a grater attachment with your food processor then you’re good to go. However hand grating or using a julienne peeler is just fine too, although will take longer.

The next step is to remove as much excess water out of the courgette as you can. The best way to do this is to wrap the grated courgette in a clean porous cloth, muslin or nut milk bag and squeeze it out by hand. There shouldn’t be a huge amount of water produced but it’s a worthwhile job lest it interfere with the liquid ratios in your cake.

Vegan Baking

Vegan baking can have its detractors but if you use real whole ingredients in your vegan cakes they will produce amazing results. Instead of vegan butter think coconut butter and gravitate towards these kind of ingredients. Homemade cashew milk (which is dead easy to make) or coconut milk without complicated stabilisers will produce much better cakes than your generic carton of soy milk.

These Chocolate Courgette Muffins for instance are as good (actually better!) as any muffin you will have tasted. So light yet almost fudgy. Gluten-free or vegan be damned, they are just an incredible muffin and a perfect way to use up this season’s courgette glut.

Overhead shot of chocolate courgette muffins

How do you make vegan muffins?

Making great vegan muffins is easy once you understand what roles the dairy and eggs play in regular muffins. Then we just need to replicate those roles in other ways.

Fat

The fat is easy to replace as muffins are usually made with a liquid fat anyway. For our vegan muffin we could use a light olive oil but here we’re opting for melted coconut oil.

Rising Agent

That would usually be the job of the eggs and a touch of baking powder. For this recipe though we’re going all in on bicarbonate of soda and baking powder for a really good lift.

Vegan Baking Tip 1: Apple Cider Vinegar

This is the key to the rise. Any vinegar or lemon juice will do the job but apple cider vinegar is my favourite acid to use in a cake. The acid reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to give a great rise to the muffins. It doesn’t hurt that this reaction also gives the cake a really tender crumb.

Vegan Baking Tip 2: Chia Egg

Chia seeds (or flaxseeds also do the same job) can be used to great effect in both vegan and gluten-free cakes to help naturally bind the bake together. A chia ‘egg’ is incredibly simple to prepare:

Mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until the chia seeds have become a sticky gloop. The texture will resemble a whisked egg.

A chia egg is not really a replacement egg exactly. For example, it’s not quite the case that you can just replace the eggs in a cake with the same amount of chia eggs. However, they will definitely help your cake bind really well, giving great moisture content, and that’s pretty much what a real life egg does too.

Gluten-Free Flours

The gluten-free flours in vegan cakes have to work extra hard as they won’t have the protein structure of eggs to help bind the muffin together. So we are looking to use a flour with a very high protein content:

  • Almond flour does this job perfectly and gives great structure to the muffin. However, if we have too much protein then our muffin will be dry and stiff so it’s good to mix the almond flour with something a little lighter and fluffier:
  • Oat flour is the ideal companion to the almond flour in both texture and flavour.

Oat flour substitute – If you find oats hard to digest then you might want to replace it with sorghum flour or teff flour.

For the ultimate guide to all things oat flour and why it’s so great in baking then have a look at this post. It also tells you what to do if you can’t find gluten-free oat flour. Hint: grind your own!!

Click here for instant access

Moisture

The one thing a lot of vegan and gluten-free bakes lack is moisture. However we are lucky in these Chocolate Courgette Muffins that there is a lot going on that help us out on that front. We have:

  • Courgettes
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Chia egg
  • Brown sugar

The result is that these muffins are almost fudgy like in texture. They hold together well, they are so delicious and you will be going back for more. And more.

If you are unsure about vegan baking or want to prove to someone how delicious vegan baking can truly be then point them in the direction of these Chocolate Courgette Muffins. No one is going to be disappointed.

If you love these muffins then why not try these other vegan baking recipes?

Lemon Iced Stem Ginger Parkin
Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins
Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf

If you make these Chocolate Courgette Muffins then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Overhead shot of chocolate courgette muffins
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Courgette Muffins

Chocolate Courgette Muffins are delightfully decedent and incredibly moist. Plus they are gluten-free and vegan.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 15 muffins
Calories: 331kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 140 ml coconut oil melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300 g courgettes grated
  • 350 g soft light brown sugar
  • 200 g almond flour
  • 125 g oat flour
  • 70 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark Fill a muffin tin/s with 15 muffin liners.
  • Prepare the chia egg by mixing the chia seeds with the 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Set aside for 5-10 minutes for the chia seeds to gel together.
  • Place the grated courgette in the centre of a large piece of muslin, porous cloth or even into a nut milk bag. Using your hands, squeeze the excess water out of the courgettes. After this the grated courgettes should weigh about 250g. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the almond flour, oat flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl then set aside for a moment.
  • Pour the coconut milk and apple cider in a large bowl or food mixer and beat until the liquid is frothy.
  • Add the melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, sugar, chia egg and grated courgette. Beat until well combined.
  • Mix the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients in two batches to ensure even combining.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin liners, filling each almost to the top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.
  • Remove the muffins immediately from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

  • Use a coconut milk that doesn’t have any thickeners, stablilisers or gums. The best one in the UK is the Biona brand.
  • Oat flour substitute: you can switch out with sorghum flour or teff flour
  • If you can’t find gluten-free oat flour then you can grind your own by using the equal weight of gluten-free rolled oats and grinding in your food processor. Since you’ll probably be unable to achieve as fine a grind the texture of the muffin will be slightly chewier but just as delicious.
  • The best way to scoop the muffin batter into the muffin liners is to use an ice cream scoop. Each muffin should contain about 2 generous scoops.
  • The muffins will keep up to 5 days in a air tight tin in a cool dark place.
  • These muffins freeze excellently. Freeze in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months and leave to defrost on the kitchen top thoroughly before consuming.

Nutrition

Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 2.4mg

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This post is not sponsored but some of the links within the post are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

English Mint Potato Salad

English Mint Potato Salad is a light and healthy potato salad. It is dairy-free and ideal for picnics or outdoors eating as it doesn’t have any mayo so there is no risk of spoiling in the hot sun.

overhead view of a bowl of English Mint Potato Salad on a wooden board

In these hot summer days we eat a lot of potato salad. It doesn’t take long to make and is handy to keep in the fridge for light lunches with a bit of grilled chicken. However, I also make this easy potato salad recipe all the time for our garden barbecues or picnics in the park.

English Mint Potato Salad is also the perfect dish for bringing along to a gathering or potluck as it goes with pretty much anything. If you need to leave it out on a buffet table for a while then you also don’t need to worry at all as there is no mayo here to spoil.

Split image of a bowl of new potatoes and english mint in a bowl and broccoli and spring onions on a wooden board

What do you need to make English Mint Potato Salad?

  • New potatoes
  • Tenderstem broccoli
  • Spring onions

And for the dressing we just need:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Honey
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh mint leaves

process shots of making English Mint Potato Salad

Do you need to peel the new potatoes?

Nope, which is why they are the best potatoes to use for a potato salad. However if they are direct from the farmers’ market then scrub them well to remove any dirt.

Can you make Potato Salad the day before?

Yes, it keeps well for up to 3 days. However, I do recommend if you are making it beforehand then to top off the dish just before serving with another tablespoon of chopped fresh mint leaves to liven it up. I also recommend serving at room temperature and not straight from the fridge.

close up of English Mint Potato Salad

Can you warm English Mint Potato Salad up?

This potato salad should not be warmed up once dressed because it affects the taste and freshness of the dressing. You can eat warm straightaway or if it has been in the fridge then bring it up to room temperature before serving.

What can you serve with English Mint Potato Salad?

Halloumi vegetable kebabs
Chicken Skewers
Burgers
Savoury Cheese Tart
Sausages

Can you make English Mint Potato Salad vegan?

Yes, just switch the honey for agave nectar.

Would you like more summer recipes that are great to feed a crowd?

Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
The Best Homemade Coleslaw
Jalapeno Honey Courgette Cornbread
Sweet Potato Feta Tortilla
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Turmeric Tahini Dressing
Homemade Pimms

overhead view of a bowl of English Mint Potato Salad on a wooden board

If you make this English Mint Potato Salad then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

English Mint Potato Salad

English Mint Potato Salad is a light and healthy dairy-free potato salad. It is ideal for picnics or outdoors eating as it doesn’t have any mayo so there is no risk of spoiling in the hot
sun.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 157kcal

Ingredients

  • 750 g new potatoes washed and halved
  • 120 g tenderstem broccoli tips
  • 4 spring onions sliced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves chopped finely

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the tenderstem broccoli to the saucepan and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon, dropping it into a bowl of iced water.
  • Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl.
  • Add the tenderstem broccoli and the sliced spring onions to the bowl. Toss together and leave whilst you make the dressing.
  • Whisk the apple cider vinegar and salt in a small bowl until the salt has dissolved. Whisk in the honey and olive oil until smooth.
  • Stir in the mint leaves and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss the salad to dress completely
  • Serve the potato salad warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Tenderstem Broccoli – you can substitute for regular broccoli.
  • Vegan - You can substitute the honey for agave syrup for a vegan version.
  • Make Ahead - The Potato Salad will keep up to 3 days in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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overhead view of a bowl of English Mint Potato Salad on a wooden board with text overlay

Whole Lemon Thyme Cake {gluten-free}

Whole Lemon Thyme Cake is the most vibrant dairy-free and gluten-free lemon cake you will have tasted. The sponge is made using four whole lemons, boiled and pureed for the most authentic tangy flavour. Floral notes of fresh thyme are a perfect match for this naturally flourless lemon cake.

Whole Lemon Cake from above with slices

Lemon cakes are not the easiest gluten-free cake to master. The acidity of the lemon can play havoc with gluten-free flours meaning your gluten-free lemon cake can easily turn out gummy. However, if you dial back the lemon then you miss out on vital flavour.

How can you balance the ideal texture and lemony taste?

This easy lemon cake skips right over this problem by being entirely flourless. This allows you to concentrate on adding as much zingy fresh lemons to your batter as you can possibly muster. Let me introduce you to my favourite way to make the perfect gluten-free lemon cake. I know once you’ve made it this way you will never concern yourself with lackluster lemon cake again.

close up of a cut slice of whole lemon cake

Flourless Lemon Cake

This recipe is a naturally gluten-free lemon cake as it boasts a completely flourless sponge. Instead we use:

  • Ground almonds
  • Cornmeal

The almonds which are high in protein make the sponge incredibly moist and the cornmeal gives the cake great structure. Although if to avoid a grainy texture use fine cornmeal.

Need more flourless cake recipes? Have a look at these 11 Best Flourless Bakes

Is cornmeal the same as polenta?

Yes and no. Cornmeal is actually the ingredient and polenta is the porridge like dish which originated from Northern Italy. However, sometimes you will confusingly find cornmeal labeled ‘polenta’ in the supermarket. It just means it’s the right kind of cornmeal for making polenta.

Can you use ready-made polenta for this cake?

Unfortunately not. Ready-made polenta has already been cooked so it will alter the texture of this cake. It is best to use fine cornmeal or quick cooking ‘polenta’ for this whole lemon cake.

Can I substitute almond meal or almond flour?

Yes! The substitutions will change the texture of the cake slightly but nothing to be too concerned about. The almond meal with give the cake a softly nubby sponge. The almond flour will give the cake a tighter crumb. All variations are delicious though.

For more info on the difference between almond flour, almond meal and ground almonds see my in depth guide to nut flours.

Whole Lemon Cake process shot

Lemony Lemon Cake

Are your lemon cakes lacking in real lemony flavour? In the past mine have run that risk even after zesting lemon after lemon. Then often the extra lemon juice will make the cake too wet. So instead I’ll turn to lemon extract for the extra flavour boost which just feels like a cheat.

So how do you get your lemon cake to taste like actual lemon?

The answer: The Whole Lemon Method. It works perfectly every single time.

Whole lemons are boiled for an hour until soft then blended into a puree. This thick puree is added to eggs, sugar and the flourless combo to create the perfect lemon cake consistency with the freshest lemon taste.

Whole Lemon Cake process images

All the eggs

This Whole Lemon Thyme Cake uses a whole lotta eggs. Six to be precise. But that’s what gives this lemon cake so much bounce and rise. Don’t worry about it tasting eggy though, instead the lemon flavour simply shines through.

Dairy-Free Lemon Cake

Those six eggs and the beautifully fragrant lemon puree mean that this cake requires absolutely no other fat. No dairy, no oil even. Yet it is still so exquisitely moist.

I need a little thyme

Have you tasted lemon cake made with thyme before? If you haven’t then you really must. The herby floral notes of thyme pair so well with the zinginess of the lemon. You need to use fresh thyme leaves here. If you can’t get hold of fresh thyme then just leave it out. Dried thyme isn’t a substitute.

Whole lemon cake batter in the tin ready for the oven

How to make Whole Lemon Thyme Cake

  1. Submerge 4 lemons in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Halve and remove the pips. Then puree the lemons in a blender until smooth.
  3. Beat the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl until pale.
  4. Add the lemon puree.
  5. Sift the cornmeal, ground almonds, baking powder, fresh thyme and salt together.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat together until combined.
  7. Pour into a 9 inch loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Make a honey glaze by melting 1 tbsp honey with 1 tbsp water then pour over the just baked cake. Leave to cool in the tin before removing.
  9. Mix the lemon juice with the icing sugar then drizzle over the cooled cake.

Baker’s Tips

  • For this cake I really wanted the lemon flavour to reign supreme so I deliberately chose shop bought ground almonds for this cake. These have a much more subtle almond flavour than if you were to grind them fresh in your own kitchen. The almonds here are for texture not for flavour.
  • If you are pressed for time on the day of baking then you can easily boil and puree the lemons ahead of time. They will keep happily in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Whole Lemon Cake image from above

Can you make this cake in a round tin?

Yes you can. Use an 8 inch x 4 inch round cake tin and the height of the cake will be perfect. Prepare and bake for the same amount of time as the loaf cake version (50 minutes).

Are you interested in some more citrus cakes? Have a look at these:

Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake
Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf
Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins
Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake

If you make this Whole Lemon Thyme Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Whole Lemon Thyme Cake

Whole Lemon Thyme Cake is the most vibrant dairy-free and gluten-free lemon cake you will have tasted. Floral notes of fresh thyme are a perfect match for this naturally flourless lemon cake.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Lemon Boiling Time1 hr
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 321kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons 450g
  • 6 eggs medium
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g fine cornmeal
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • ½ lemon juiced

Instructions

  • Place the 4 lemons in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C /160°C fan/gas mark 4 and line and grease a 2lb loaf tin.
  • Remove the lemons from the saucepan. Cut in half to remove and discard the pips.
  • Place the lemons in a blender and blitz until smooth. Set aside for a moment.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl (or food mixeuntil pale and thick.
  • Mix in the pureed lemons.
  • Add the cornmeal, ground almonds, baking powder, thyme leaves and salt. Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 45-50 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and prepare a honey glaze.
  • Melting the honey with 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Brush the glaze over the cake whilst it is still in its tin.
  • Let the cake cool in the cake tin before removing and drizzling with lemon icing.
  • Make the lemon icing by stirring together the icing sugar and the juice of ½ lemon until thick but still just pourable.

Notes

  • The lemons can be boiled and pureed up to 3 days before making the rest of the cake.
  • You can substitute almond meal or almond flour for the ground almonds, but this will affect the overall texture of the finished cake.
  • The cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 27.5mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1.9mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

This post is not sponsored but some of the links within the post are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.