Gluten-Free Cherry Cake

This Gluten-Free Cherry Cake is a simple summer bake. Fluffy and tender with a sugary crust and packed with fruity glacé cherries. It’s ideal for taking on picnics or sitting resplendent on the stall of your local school fete.

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

We are often asking a lot of our cake at this time of year, schlepping it about to picnics, family gatherings and donating it to school fetes, local fairs and festivals.

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

Not only must the cake be easily transportable but once it reaches its destination then we will need it to withstand the summer weather as it sits, probably uncovered, for a couple of hours battling with the hot sun’s rays. Preferably during all this time we will also demand that our cake look lovely, taste amazing and not poison our children.

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

So it’s better that our offering should not be some extravagantly decorated number with delicate buttercream flowers that can get smoodged in the car or spoil in the heat. We should also keep any kind of chocolate ganache out of the equation too lest we want our cake to turn into a big chocolate puddle.

A bowl of glacé cherries in front of a bowl of fresh cherries

That’s where this crowd pleasing Gluten-Free Cherry Cake comes in. It’s a simple bake with no frills that can stand up well to being carted around in this strong summer weather. Plus there’s no creamy, rich covering that can feel too heavy or become a danger in this summer heat. It’s just all about a gorgeously fluffy sponge studded with plump and juicy glacé cherries sprinkled with a crunchy sugar dusting. This recipe is perfect for making the most of your Homemade Glacé Cherries but if you don’t have any to hand then try to get the best quality glacé cherries you can find and the better your cake will be.

A slice of cherry cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

This is not a cake destined for a royal wedding but a beautiful homely affair. Your Gluten-Free Cherry Cake doesn’t need a cake fork but can be casually served on a napkin or just in your hands. Children will be delighted by the glacé cherries and the older crowd will be reminded of the cakes they grew up with.

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

This Gluten-Free Cherry Cake is the stalwart of the party or the cake stall. It’s reliably delicious and crowd pleasing. For me, it’s what easy summer baking is all about and just the kind of cake I want to eat whatever the weather.

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Cherry Cake
This Gluten-Free Cherry Cake is a simple summer bake. Fluffy and tender with a sugary crust and packed with fruity glacé cherries. It’s ideal for taking on picnics or sitting resplendent on the stall of your local school fete.
Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Servings
10-12 slices
Ingredients
  • 275 g glace cherries
  • 125 g white rice flour
  • 70 g millet flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour
  • 120 g ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 225 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Servings
10-12 slices
Ingredients
  • 275 g glace cherries
  • 125 g white rice flour
  • 70 g millet flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour
  • 120 g ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 225 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C fan assisted oven or 180°C in a regular oven*.
  2. Grease and line an 8 inch x 4 inch round cake tin.
  3. Chop the cherries roughly, so some are halved and some quartered, then pour into a medium sized bowl, leave for a minute.
  4. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, almonds, baking powder and salt.
  5. Take out a tablespoon of the dry mixture and stir into the cherries until all the cherries are well coated then set aside
  6. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after every addition.
  8. Pour in half the flour and mix in well, scraping down the sides. Mix in the zest and juice of the lemon then add the other half of the flour.
  9. Stir in the cherries until evenly dispersed then pour into the cake tin.
  10. Bake for about 70 minutes or until an inserted cocktail skewer comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out carefully and sprinkle the two teaspoons of granulated sugar over the top of the cake.
Recipe Notes

*If you want to make your own glacé cherries then get the recipe here.

* I’m baking more and more of my cakes in a fan assisted oven. Gluten-Free flours can retain more moisture so I find that by keeping the air circulating in the oven during the bake it lightens the cake a little. By all means if you don’t have a fan-assisted oven then just raise the temperature by 10 degrees and your cake will turn out just fine.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tins I always use are these PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 8 x 4-Inch Deep which are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.


The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!! To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this cake then you might like these other recipes:

A cupcake on a cake stand next to some glacé cherries

Homemade Glacé Cherries

This Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Whole oranges are boiled then pureed to create an incredibly moist and intensely citrusy cake spiked with a hint of rosemary.

Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake

Vanilla Almond Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze {gluten-free}

Vanilla Almond Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

This gluten-free and dairy-free Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is made with whole oranges boiled then pureed for an authentically fresh orange flavour. The cake is beautifully moist and flavourful with chocolate chips dotted throughout for added luxury.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

I will always find time for baking another cake. The laundry piling up in the basket may be threatening to engulf our whole bedroom, our dining table buckling under the weight of disorganised post and baby changing paraphernalia and Cole’s toys are now just what we refer to as ‘carpet’. Since his favourite pastime is currently jigsaw puzzles the carpet can be a little raggedy underfoot which I apologise for. Despite all this chaos I can still carve out a little corner of the kitchen, locate my food mixer from beneath bags of shopping which still need to be put away and bake.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

Is this need to place cake baking before actual house and family maintenance simply greed? Can I explain it away as recipe testing for the website or the cake stall? Do I do it to calm me down and empty my mind of my breastfeeding difficulties? Or is it an activity with Cole with an aim to share my very favourite thing with him whilst he bashes around with flour, a wooden spoon and snacks on the add-ins. It’s definitely all of the above. I love to bake cakes. I love to eat them, to share them with others and I relish the excitement and happiness that a homemade cake brings to proceedings.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

So even if I have been up since 2am trying to settle a baby, I have no idea what I’m making everyone for dinner, the dog needs to be walked and I haven’t showered since Easter. Even then, if you can’t count on anything else from me then you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a freshly baked cake resting on the side of the kitchen. Oh and it will probably be given to my family in lieu of dinner.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

This Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is a riff on my really popular Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake which I’ve been making and selling on my cake stall for years. The idea being that last week I was craving a chocolate orange cake with the emphasis on a really orangey sponge and deeply studded with chocolate chips. I realised very quickly how I could bastardise this cake which I already had in my repertoire to fit for purpose. Oh my goodness it worked such a treat and I am loving this new take on one of my old favourites. It was the exact cake I was craving. The only little bit of trouble to the cake is boiling the oranges up for an hour before you are ready to start but once that job is done the cake batter takes about ten minutes to beat together before pouring into the cake tin.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

There is also no complicated decorating technique involved, just drizzling copious amounts of chocolate over the top, which makes any cake look tremendously appetising. I don’t have time for any sort of decorating at the moment. I just want the cake. And I would serve this cake up any day of the week, it is so absolutely delicious, moreish, moist and with so much flavour. Actually Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is perfectly suitable for afternoon tea but also for dessert, especially if you were to add a dollop of crème fraiche on the side of the plate.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

Now look, Luke thought there were too many chocolate chips in this cake for his money so if you like to err on the side of orange versus chocolate then you are permitted to reduce the chocolate chips by 50g. If, like me, you feel the term ‘too many chocolate chips’ does not compute with your system then stick to the below quantities. In my mind this cake is simple perfection and the reason why baking will always be prioritised over laundry.

Print Recipe
Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}
This gluten-free and dairy-free Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is made with whole oranges boiled then pureed for an authentically fresh orange flavour. The cake is beautifully moist and flavourful with chocolate chips dotted throughout for added luxury.
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large oranges together they should weigh about 450g
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 375 g dark chocolate chips use vegan chocolate if you want the cake to remain dairy-free
Orange Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon juice of an orange
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large oranges together they should weigh about 450g
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 375 g dark chocolate chips use vegan chocolate if you want the cake to remain dairy-free
Orange Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon juice of an orange
Instructions
  1. Place the oranges in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour until soft.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (fan oven)* and line and grease a 8 inch round x 4 inch deep cake tin.
  3. Remove the oranges from the saucepan and cut in half to remove and discard the pips.
  4. Place the oranges in a blender and blitz until smooth and set aside for a minute.
  5. In a large bowl or food mixer beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick then mix in the pureed orange.
  6. Add the polenta, ground almonds and baking powder and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  7. Finally stir in 250g of the chocolate chips (saving the extra 100g for the chocolate drizzle on top) until evenly dispersed.
  8. Pour the batter in the prepared cake tin and bake for 10 minutes then turn the heat up to 160°C. Bake for a further 40 minutes until firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and prepare the honey syrup by dissolving the honey in the orange juice in a saucepan on medium heat. Once dissolved and reduced slightly, prick the cake all over with a toothpick and brush the honey syrup evenly all over the surface of the cake.
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the cake tin.
  11. Once the cake has cooled and been removed from the cake tin then prepare the chocolate drizzle by melting the remaining 125g of chocolate chips in a bain marie or bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag (or a small plastic food bag – just snip the corner off when you are ready to drizzle) and leave the chocolate to thicken slightly for about ten minutes before drizzling over the cake.
Recipe Notes

*I like to use a fan oven for this cake as it is so moist that the fan helps the cake bake more evenly. However, if you don't have a fan oven then just increase the initial heat to 170°C, bake for 10 minutes then increase the heat to 180°C.

Adapted from 90 Years of KitchenAid-The Cookbook

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tins I always use are these PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 8 x 4-Inch Deep which are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!! To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this cake then check out Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake

This Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Whole oranges are boiled then pureed to create an incredibly moist and intensely citrusy cake spiked with a hint of rosemary.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

This warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing is the perfect way to serve cauliflower. The cauliflower is golden and crunchy at the edges, soft within and paired with sweet red peppers, lush peppery rocket and drizzled generously with the vibrant Tahini Turmeric Dressing.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

I can’t sleep. Everything is keeping me up at the moment and I’m worrying perpetually about the baby. I’m due next week and ever since I had this last minute diagnosis of gestational diabetes (which the doctors are still unconvinced I actually have but are treating it like I do anyway) I’m convinced my baby and I are suffering from every affliction under the sun.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

It wasn’t this way when I was pregnant with Cole, I think I was naïve and just assumed everything would be okay and it was. However since I have become a mother and spend most of my social time talking to other mums, listening to their stories and engaging more with birth stories in the media then I realise how lucky I had it with Cole and that terrifies me.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Last night I couldn’t sleep due to itching. I have had itchy skin for the past few weeks and have put it down to hormones and one of those weird pregnancy things. But I couldn’t sleep and I did what any nervous mother does at 3am I googled it. Does Google make things better or worse? Turns out the itching could mean something which of course will probably lead to dire consequences for the baby. When does it not? Or it could mean nothing. Let’s face it, it’s usually nothing. All I know is as I wait for the midwife to call me back I am itching more than ever and convincing myself that this is something else I and the doctors have missed during my pregnancy. The baby is arriving next week regardless as I am being induced early due to the maybe gestational diabetes. It is the same course of action they would take for the itching thing as well so it’s all being taken care of anyway so really I’m worrying over nothing. That’s easy to say but as I wait here feeling my baby kicking and shuffling around like he’s trying to reassure me I won’t rest or sleep properly until he’s in my arms happy and safe. Then of course comes the worry that comes hand in hand with a having a newborn. But at least it’s a different kind of worry and that would be a relief at this stage.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Launching from my inner turmoil about pregnancy and motherhood to a roasted cauliflower recipe is always going to be a bit clunky I’m afraid. I’m sure there’s an analogy somewhere about giving birth and brassicas but my brain is everywhere and you’re just going to have to go with it.

I was going to post this recipe over the weekend but I only remembered during my sleepless night last night that this delicious recipe has been patiently waiting to be published since Saturday.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Roasted cauliflower is the perfect accompaniment to the Tahini Turmeric Dressing I posted last week and this salad has overtaken cauliflower cheese as my favourite way to serve this particular vegetable. I absolutely adore it as an accompaniment to steak on our patented Steak Fridays. It’s no effort to make and feels very virtuous heaping a pile of delectable vegetables next to your steak. I love the way cauliflower roasts in the oven, the balance is to get it beautifully golden and crisp at the edges of the florets whilst keeping the inside of the vegetable soft and creamy.

Cauliflower needs robust flavour so paired with the sweetness of the red pepper and the pepperiness of the rocket it’s a perfect combo. Then the Tahini Turmeric Dressing is an absolute bonus, bringing all the elements together into a complete dish.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

I need all the help I can get making my meals as delicious as possible so that I don’t miss my sugar hit afterwards and this Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing really hits the spot.

Print Recipe
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing
This warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing is the perfect way to serve cauliflower. The cauliflower is golden and crunchy at the edges, soft within and paired with sweet red peppers, lush peppery rocket and drizzled generously with the vibrant Tahini Turmeric Dressing.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 kg cauliflower
  • 2 red peppers diced large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini Turmeric Dressing
  • 100 g rocket
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 kg cauliflower
  • 2 red peppers diced large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini Turmeric Dressing
  • 100 g rocket
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing
Instructions
  1. First par-boil the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a large saucepan of boiling water, bring back up to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the cauliflower then tip into a large baking dish with the diced red pepper, tossing together with the olive oil and sea salt.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, give the dish a good old shake then roast for a further 20 minutes until the cauliflower is starting to crisp and brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and coat liberally with the Tahini Turmeric Dressing.
  5. Serve over the rocket.
Recipe Notes

*Recipe for Tahini Turmeric Dressing here

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board with plates

Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Tahini Turmeric Dressing is bright, vibrant and full of flavour. Better yet it can be paired with almost anything from roasted veggies, salad, meat to potatoes or rice. It’s a supper saviour.

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Since I am still avoiding sugar in the run up to the end of my pregnancy I wanted to use the opportunity to write about one of my most basic savoury kitchen staples and it’s this Tahini Turmeric Dressing. It’s such a life saver as I always have the ingredients to make it on hand and it can transform absolutely any supper to something ultra special and flavourful.

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

My meal prepping has gone a little bit by the wayside these past few weeks since I have just about enough energy to make a bit of toast. I really appreciate myself though when I make time to whip up a dressing on a Sunday which can be utilised the whole of the next week. Last weekend I whisked up my favourite Tahini Turmeric Dressing (yay me!) which really should provide no congratulations whatsoever as it was completed in under five minutes. However, I had to reach up high into the cupboards to find my elusive tahini, wrestle with a tin of coconut milk, pull out the blender, find a suitable jar to store the dressing in and wash up the blender. Really it was more like ten minutes. So quite strenuous for this very pregnant lady.

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

I was so glad I found the time to do it though as I’ve been reaping the rewards of making the Tahini Turmeric Dressing all week. The first thing I made with it was the Roast Cauliflower Salad recipe I’m sharing with you over the weekend which is my favourite way to eat it. However, I didn’t stop there. It’s fabulous drizzled over lamb chops, in lieu of mayonnaise in a potato salad and even stirred into a full bowl of finely diced cucumber to serve with roast chicken. It’s so easy and useful, especially if you are obsessed with tahini, like me, enjoy the colour and the idea of the health benefits that turmeric provides, like me, and love the zesty punch of the lemon. just. like. me.

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

The way I’ve made the dressing here in this recipe whisks up nice and thick so is ideal for a drizzle dressing for robust veggies, carbs and meat. However, if you want to dress it over salad leaves but are worried about it weighing the leaves down, or fancy a bit of a lighter effect then just whisk in more coconut milk. When the dressing is allowed to rest for a day or more in the fridge it thickens up so feel free to whisk in a bit more coconut milk at that stage too. If you are serving it straightaway then I love it as it is.

Print Recipe
Tahini Turmeric Dressing
Tahini Turmeric Dressing is bright, vibrant and full of flavour. Better yet it can be paired with almost anything from roasted veggies, salad, meat to potatoes or rice. It’s a supper saviour.
Tahini Turmeric Dressing
Course sauce
Cuisine British
Keyword dip
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
300 ml
Ingredients
  • 150 g tahini
  • 125 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Course sauce
Cuisine British
Keyword dip
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
300 ml
Ingredients
  • 150 g tahini
  • 125 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Tahini Turmeric Dressing
Instructions
  1. Pour all the above ingredients into a blender, food mixer and blend/whisk together until smooth. Or add into a medium sized bowl and use a hand whisk.
  2. Use straightaway or store for up to a week in the fridge.

SHOP THE RECIPE

To blend the Tahini Turmeric Dressing I used my trusty Vitamix® Pro750 Food Blender, Copper UK Model. It’s one of my most favourite kitchen appliances and I use it almost daily. This blender is amazing as it produces the smoothest smoothies, most cohesive sauces and fantastic soups. I have been using it most frequently at the moment for making my iced matcha lattes and of course this dressing and I now could not be without it. Okay, it isn’t cheap but if you have the budget for it and you are looking to be really spoilt then I really recommend it. Plus I love the colour!!

Some of the links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Roast Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

There is nothing more inviting than a freshly baked Eccles Cake, warm from the oven, the pastry beautifully flaky and the spiced plump fruit just short of bursting through its buttery trappings.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

I have always made Eccles Cakes regularly, they are both my mum’s and Luke’s favourite teatime treat so if either of them are ever in need of spoiling or cheering up then there is no better place for me to start than by whipping them up a batch. I can never make too many, they always seems to disappear as quickly as I can produce them.

Eccles Cakes are more pastries than cakes really and have a history dating back three hundred years. They hail from the town of Eccles in the North of England and like a lot of traditional recipes are remarkably similar to the Banbury Cake and the Chorley Cake with little discernable difference. It’s the Eccles Cake though that is the most familiar since its commercialisation in the 1970s means you can pick up a dry doughy sub-par version in a packet at most supermarkets. If these are the only versions you have tasted then you absolutely have to try your hand at making your own.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

As like most old recipes there is debate about how a real Eccles Cake should be constructed. To my mind they are best when they are made from flaky pastry, rather than puff, to encase a luscious filling of spiced juicy fruit. I use currants and sultanas and also include a couple of tablespoons of Homemade Mixed Peel in my filling. If I don’t have any Homemade Mixed Peel knocking around the kitchen then a tablespoon of marmalade also gives a lovely citrus taste (since our family is not a fan of bought mixed peel). The fruit is sprinkled with orange zest, cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg then held together with melted butter and sugar. Once it has been tucked inside its pastry casing it is baked until golden brown with a sprinkling of crunchy demerara sugar on top.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

Really there is no substitute for the homemade Eccles Cake, in particular if you time it perfectly and can present your offerings straight out of the oven. The scent of spice as you bite in is intoxicating, the fruit oozing from within as the pastry flakes at the corners of your mouth. If you’re especially lucky the buttery filling might have made a bid for freedom outside of the pastry during the bake so the sugar has caramelised chewily around the opening.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

I think Eccles Cakes may have been one of the first recipes I cracked when I had my own kitchen many years ago and I have found over the years there is a definite knack to getting them absolutely perfect. Of course the game completely changed when I became gluten-free a few years ago and I had to find a new pastry to make my Eccles Cakes with. I have tried a few gluten-free flaky pastry recipes but the one I have listed below is the closest to the real deal and comes courtesy of an adaptation of Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s Flaky Pie Dough in her book Alternative Baker. The list of ingredients is long but necessary and actually once you have measured it all out then it is just as easy to come together as the wheat version I used to use from Delia. The pastry rolls really well and is actually quite forgiving thanks to the inclusion of chia seeds which act a little bit like gluten in that it gives the pastry stretch so is more pliable when it comes to filling your pastry rounds with the fruit filling.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

I think the key to a successful Eccles Cake is to roll the pastry to a 3mm thickness which isn’t too thick or thin. I bought a special metal cutter for my Eccles Cakes which is 12cm in diameter and makes for a perfectly sized Eccles Cake. The filling shouldn’t be too wet either. If you have let the filling rest for about an hour before using then it should have dried up enough to scoop into the pastry without making it soggy.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

Don’t overfill your Eccles Cake either, you only want two teaspoons of filling in the centre of each pastry round, then as you pull the dampened edges of the pastry over the top to stick together the fruit shouldn’t puncture the pastry. If you have rolled the pastry a bit thin and it does break a little then simply grab a little excess pastry and patch it up. To finish, you turn the little pastry ball over and roll it out a fraction with your rolling pin to flatten it into a beautiful round. Then slash the top a couple of times with a sharp knife so the steam has somewhere to escape, brush with a little egg wash to give it a lovely golden hue and sprinkle over the demerara sugar before baking.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

When I asked Luke why he loves Eccles Cakes so much he waxed lyrically about how the filling is spread thinly and evenly between the buttery flaky layers of the pastry, so the treat is rich but light and not heavy like the way mince pies can be a little cloying. He’s so right but this is what also can make the Eccles Cake a little dangerous as eating more than one is very easy to do.

The traditional way to serve an Eccles Cake is with a lovely wedge of Lancashire Cheese and if you’re lucky enough to take a table at St John’s Restaurant that is exactly how they serve it as part of their dessert menu. It’s the best of both worlds with the perfect balance between a cheese course and a pudding course.

Still if there happen to be Eccles Cakes in our kitchen at breakfast time then that’s how we eat them here.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes
There is nothing more inviting than a freshly baked Eccles Cake, warm from the oven, the pastry beautifully flaky and the spiced plump fruit just short of bursting through its buttery trappings.
Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes
Course afternoon tea
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
14 Eccles Cakes
Ingredients
Filling
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g currants
  • 80 g sultanas
  • 50 g mixed peel preferably homemade*
  • 125 g demerara sugar + extra for sprinkling on top
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Gluten-free flaky pastry*
  • 80 g sweet white rice flour
  • 40 g oat flour + 4 tablespoons for rolling out the pastry
  • 35 g millet flour
  • 30 g cornflour
  • 15 g tapioca starch
  • 15 g ground chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 115 g cold unsalted butter straight from the fridge
  • 1 egg medium, lightly beaten
  • 2-4 tablespoons cold whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks for glazing the Eccles Cakes
  • 2 teaspoons whole milk for glazing the Eccles Cakes
Course afternoon tea
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
14 Eccles Cakes
Ingredients
Filling
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g currants
  • 80 g sultanas
  • 50 g mixed peel preferably homemade*
  • 125 g demerara sugar + extra for sprinkling on top
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Gluten-free flaky pastry*
  • 80 g sweet white rice flour
  • 40 g oat flour + 4 tablespoons for rolling out the pastry
  • 35 g millet flour
  • 30 g cornflour
  • 15 g tapioca starch
  • 15 g ground chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 115 g cold unsalted butter straight from the fridge
  • 1 egg medium, lightly beaten
  • 2-4 tablespoons cold whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks for glazing the Eccles Cakes
  • 2 teaspoons whole milk for glazing the Eccles Cakes
Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes
Instructions
  1. First make the filling by melting the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat.
  2. Once fully melted, pour in the rest of the filling ingredients, stirring thoroughly to make sure everything is coated in butter. Set aside for 1 hour and make the pastry in the meantime.
  3. To make the pastry, combine the flours, chia seeds and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Grate the cold butter into the flour then gently mix together with your fingertips so the mixture turns quite shaggy.
  5. Stir in the beaten egg with a fork.
  6. Add the cold milk one tablespoon at a time and start to bring the dough together with a pastry scraper. It should start to form quite quickly. It should be slightly sticky to the touch.
  7. Tip the dough onto the work surface and quickly bring the ball into a round ball with your hands. You don’t really need to work the pastry as there’s no gluten to activate.
  8. Wrap the pastry ball in cling film and flatten it slightly to make it easier to roll out when ready.
  9. Place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
  10. When you are ready to assemble the Eccles Cakes pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  11. Take the pastry out from the fridge, remove the cling film then tear the pastry in half to make it easier to roll out. Use the extra oat flour to dust the worktop and the rolling pin.
  12. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thickness then cut out circles of pastry using a 12cm round pastry cutter.
  13. Spoon in two teaspoons of filling into the centre of each round.
  14. Whisk the egg yolks and whole milk together into a small cup.
  15. Damp the edges of the pastry lightly with the egg yolk and milk mixture, then bring all the sides together, pressing firmly to seal.
  16. Flip each Eccles cake over then gently roll out with the rolling pin to flatten slightly so the filling is just showing below the surface.
  17. Set the Eccles Cakes onto a large baking tray, using a sharp knife make two little slits in the centre of each cake then brush each surface with the egg yolk and milk mixture and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  18. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
Recipe Notes

*Pastry adapted from the Flaky Pie Dough recipe in Alanna Taylor Tobin's Alternative Baker

*As I am not a big fan of shop-bought mixed peel if I do not have any Homemade Mixed Peel to hand then I often add in a couple of tablespoons of orange marmalade instead of the mixed peel and also the zest of a lemon. I would then omit the orange zest.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The recipe for the Flaky Pastry is adapted from Alanna Taylor Tobin’s Alternative Baker which is one of my favourite resources for gluten-free baking. I have tried a load of recipes from the book and they are all easy to follow and delicious. Like me Taylor Tobin doesn’t use a bunch of gums in her baking but relies on alternative flours to get the results she wants. This is rare for a gluten-free cookbook and since my body doesn’t react well to guar or xanthan gum then it means I can bake anything and everything from within its pages.

This Cookie cutter round 12cm s/s 1.5cm deep guaranteed quality is the cookie cutter I bought many years ago for my Eccles Cakes and it’s very simple but the perfect size and does exactly what I need it to.

I have finally found a brand of sweet rice flour which is 100% certified gluten-free. I have no idea why it’s so difficult to get in the UK but I use sweet rice flour a lot so this was a real find. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

The oat flour I always use is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4). I buy it in packs of four since I find oat flour invaluably useful in my gluten-free baking.

Millet flour is also needed for the gf pastry and my favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Millet Flour 500 g (Pack of 4) which as it states comes in a 4 x 500g pack but I prefer to buy my gluten-free flour in larger quantities like this as it’s just not as easy to get hold of as wheat flour and saves me having to wait when I have a specific baking urge. It also keeps costs down.

This post is not sponsored but the links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. 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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Chocolate Raspberry Cake {gluten-free}

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

My house is calm and silent. My toddler has slept in his own bed for the full night through in weeks and my husband’s alarm hasn’t yet shrieked for him to get up and get dressed. If my husband is still in bed no doubt the dog is snuggled up next to him, both as unwilling to start the day as the other. The cats have been fed, one of which is curled comfortably around this laptop, her belly in the air for attention and the other is still eating his breakfast. Yet I am awake, googling recipes and writing. Despite my eye constantly twitching from excessive exhaustion, my whole body feeling so big and heavy all it wants to do is sink within our brand new duvet cover and hug my pregnancy pillow close to me, I am up and awake. Why? Welcome to the third trimester of pregnancy.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

I remember first time round people saying that the reason you can’t sleep in this final stage of pregnancy is nature’s way of getting you ready for all the sleepless nights ahead. I don’t need getting ready though, I’ve been having those for a couple of years already and I know the drill. What I need now is a head start on sleep to get ready for my return to night feeds but someone else has other ideas. This little baby I’m carrying is super active and wakes me up all night through twisting and squirming, except when I need to turn over which practically requires the assistance of a fork-lift truck or I need the loo for the twentieth time or my mouth is desert dry and can only be appeased by a gallon of water. Couple these restless nights with a day of full-time commitment to an extremely bouncy, chatty, effervescent and hungry toddler in potty-training then it’s safe to say my head is in a scramble and my body is like a lead balloon with the shape to match. How I long for the days of my first pregnancy when afternoons were given over to the Food Network and lazy naps on the sofa with a mountain of chocolate by my side.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

In fact the only thing that hasn’t changed is the mountain of chocolate. It’s fuel to me at the moment. Luke asked if we wanted to do anything for Valentine’s Day this year and I scoffed at the thought of going out. Meals out are not fun at this stage. I can’t eat a lot and feel very uncomfortable sitting at a table for any length of time. Plus all I really want to eat is the pudding so the rest of the meal is somewhat wasted. The cinema also puts me off, I’m not sure I could be in those skinny seats for a great length of time in front of an Oscar bait film. I’d rather watch something that didn’t make me think or cry at the moment. Also they finish way past my bedtime.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

So we’re celebrating Valentine’s this year with Netflix and Chocolate Raspberry Cake and I couldn’t be more happy. In fact, I don’t know why I’m blaming any of this lethargy on the pregnancy, really Netflix and chocolate cake are my go-to way to have a kicking time babies or no babies.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake epitomises my favourite way of baking and eating cake. Simple and no-fuss. The gluten-free chocolate cake itself is one of my favourites that I return to time and time again. It’s moist and tangy from the buttermilk but incredibly chocolately thanks to cocoa powder and melted 70% dark chocolate.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

If you haven’t made swiss meringue buttercream before then I urge you to splash out on the extra time it takes. It sounds complicated as there are a couple of extra steps involved compared to a buttercream made with just icing sugar and butter but if you’re a regular reader or a customer of my cake stall then you’ll be aware that swiss meringue buttercream is my cake covering of choice. It’s not too sweet, incredibly buttery and is so easy to work with. If pureeing the fresh raspberries seems a little too much effort on top of making the buttercream then you can always use raspberry powder which also gives a lovely zingy flavour and colour to your buttercream but I thought fresh raspberries suited the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

The piped roses on the top of the cake are a cinch I promise and if you are just making this cake for you and your Valentine now is the perfect time to practice as they two of you won’t care. All you need is a Wilton 1M nozzle, a piping bag and five extra minutes. Hold your piping bag straight up above the cake without angling it at all then squeeze the buttercream out in a circular motion starting from the centre. You want the swirls to be slightly on top of each other so they are nice and tight. However, they don’t have to be neat or perfect buttercream roses by any stretch as once they are all piped onto the cake then the effect is lovely no matter what your piping skills are like. If one rose goes wrong, just pipe another on top to cover it or use a palette knife to carefully lift it off the top of the cake and start again. Actually this is a much quicker cake to decorate than covering the whole affair in a smooth buttercream icing as you’re not faffing for ages getting the corners perfect.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

So I may be tired, over-emotional, maybe a little complainy, definitely huge and always hungry but at least I have a big hefty Chocolate Raspberry Cake to devour this Valentine’s with my partner-in-crime.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

Print Recipe
Chocolate Raspberry Cake {gluten-free}
This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.
This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 1.5 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g buttermilk
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • 170 ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 210 g egg whites around 7
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 425 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300 g raspberries
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 1.5 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g buttermilk
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • 170 ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 210 g egg whites around 7
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 425 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300 g raspberries
This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C and line and grease 2 x 8 inch round cake tins.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, then set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, espresso powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well mixed.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, sugars, olive oil, eggs and vanilla then beat into the flour mixture.
  5. Finally mix in the melted chocolate until completely incorporated.
  6. Divide the mixture between the 2 cake tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  7. Turn out the cakes and cool on wire racks before covering with buttercream.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Heat the egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, or a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  2. Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk until the meringue forms firm peaks.
  3. Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  4. Make the raspberry puree by tipping all the raspberries into a blender and blending on high for a couple of minutes. Press the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  5. Then add the raspberry puree to the buttercream along with the vanilla extract and salt. At first the buttercream will look curdled again but just mix for a couple of minutes until it returns to its smooth state.
Assembly
  1. Spread the buttercream in an even layer over one of the chocolate cakes, then place the second chocolate cake on top.
  2. Smooth out the buttercream squidging from the centre of the cakes with a palette knife to create the naked effect.
  3. Pipe buttercream roses on top of the cake until completely covered.
  4. You can keep the cake in the fridge until needed but do serve the cake at room temperature.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tins I always use are these PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 8 x 4-Inch Deep which are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your layer cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.

For checking the temperature of your egg white sugar syrup when making your swiss meringue buttercream don’t be without a Classic SuperFast Thermapen 3 professional food thermometer in grey colour It gives quick and accurate temperature readings meaning you can don’t have to guess at any temperatures when making candy, caramel or fancy buttercreams. I use mine all the time.

The piping tip I used in this recipe is the Wilton Number 1M Carded Open Star Tip which can so many different kinds of piping patterns and is one of the most useful piping tips to have handy.

I find these huge disposable piping bags are the most robust ones you can buy, I do get a huge pack of them as the worst thing is to get ready to ice your cake and discover you don’t have any piping bags left. I use disposable as I bake a lot of cakes and find washing up the re-usable piping bags takes a lot of time and I can never get them totally clean. I use these piping bags for everything from cupcakes to drizzling melted chocolate to piping a straight level of buttercream evenly over a whole layer cake. This 1 Roll of Savoy Disposable Piping Bags – 100 21 Bags by Cn-Ice is an absolutely invaluable piece of kit in my baking.

Some of the links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy your flour using the link then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. 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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Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake {gluten-free}

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Raspberry Pistachio Cake {gluten-free}

Raspberry Pistachio Cake sitting on a cake stand on a wooden table