Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is an easy cake to assemble last minute. A lightly spiced almond sponge made incredibly festive by its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

It’s not that I don’t like regular Christmas Cake. I’m happy to eat a boozy fruit cake any time of the year. However, I always feel that on top of the Christmas pudding and all the mince pies, a traditional Christmas cake can sometimes be a bit too much.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

This Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is my favourite way to keep a Christmas cake in the mix whilst making it a little more accessible and not just something your great aunt is going to enjoy. Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake still has all the right flavours going on so no one is going to feel hard done by. It’s festive with spices, brandy and plump fruits. But as it is primarily a sponge cake and not a fruit cake it’s so much lighter and a bit more modern.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

It’s also incredibly quick to assemble as we’re taking a bit of a shortcut to Christmas by using mincemeat. I will always advocate homemade mincemeat in any recipe where it is required as I think the shop bought stuff is pretty terrible. All sugar and no taste. The good news is that homemade mincemeat is really easy, hopefully you have already made yours otherwise this Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake might be a slightly longer process than you initially believed. At a push, of course you can use the shop bought stuff, the cake will still be delicious.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice taken out

To make the cake even easier to bring together I used a gluten-free plain flour blend, Freee by Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1kg (Pack of 5)” to be exact. You can use any blend but ideally without xanthan gum. By adding an equal amount of gluten-free plain flour and ground almonds we’re ensuring the sponge stays beautifully moist with plenty of fluffiness. The ground almonds add a lovely taste and if you grind your own almonds, which I did here, so it’s more like an almond meal, then the cake will have a pleasantly nubby texture that sits really nicely with the mincemeat. My mincemeat had chopped almonds in already so there is lots of nuttiness going on.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

The Brandy Cream Icing is gorgeously sweet, creamy and subtle with brandy. However, if you would rather make an icing without the booze then just omit the brandy and add in more milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

If you make this Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is an easy cake to assemble last minute. A lightly spiced almond sponge made incredibly festive by its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.
Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, christmas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons mixed spice
  • 280 g mincemeat
Brandy Cream Icing
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons double cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, christmas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons mixed spice
  • 280 g mincemeat
Brandy Cream Icing
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons double cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy
Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  2. Line and grease a 9 inch round cake tin.
  3. Cream the sugar with the butter on a slow to medium speed for about 6 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  5. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk the flour with the almonds, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl then beat into the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Stir in the mincemeat.
  8. Pour the batter into the cake tin, smoothing out the surface then bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Leave for about 5 minutes for the cake to settle then carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.
Brandy Cream Icing
  1. Stir the icing sugar together with the double cream until smooth.
  2. Stir in the brandy one tablespoon at a time until the icing has reached a thick dropping consistency.
  3. Spoon over the top of the cake nudging it towards the edges so it drips down the sides.
Recipe Notes

*I used a suet based mincemeat so there was a bit more fat in the mix. If you are using a non-suet mincemeat perhaps increase the butter by 20g.

SHOP THE RECIPE

If you’re a gluten-free baker in the UK then you will be very familiar with Freee by Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1kg (Pack of 5) as it’s pretty much the only gluten-free flour that’s easily accessible for the home baker. For this cake it works really well in combination with ground almonds for a lovely moist cake.

I didn’t have a decent 9 inch cake tin for this recipe so I invested in this PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 9 x 4-Inch Deep which is from my favourite range of cake tins. They 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, I think I may almost have the whole set now.

I love these Kitchen Craft Paul Hollywood 2-Tier Stackable Wire Cooling Rack, 40 x 26 x 35 cm (16″ x 10″ x 14″), don’t be put off that they are part of the Paul Hollywood range as they are actually really useful as they are nice and high which allow more air to get to your cakes to cool quickly. Some cooling racks are too close to the kitchen counter which traps in more moisture as the cakes are cooling down which could lead to a wetter sponge. These are great.

I love these dinky these reindeer cake toppers-  Anniversary House Reindeer Plastic Cake Toppers. Pack of 6. BX164 – so super cute!

and I bought these trees years ago for some Christmas crafts and found they have been more useful ever since decorating my Christmas cakes – Set of 3 Snowy Bristle Xmas Trees for Christmas Cake Decotation

This post is not sponsored but the images above 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.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

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Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

Chocolate Clementine Christmas Pudding

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake {gluten-free}

Crammed with apples, subtly fragrant with thyme and blanketed with a cheddar crumble this gluten-free Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake is the perfect comforting Autumnal cake.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

It would be remiss of me not to explain the absence of a blog post last week. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll know, since I have spoken about it in my last few posts, that my father passed away very suddenly last weekend. I have written before that my father and I had a difficult relationship at times and with that comes an absurd arrange of emotions about his death. Childhood stuff that I have long since moved past now disturb my sleep anew. However I try to take comfort that in the last few years we had reached a more comfortable place. We would speak every few weeks and connect on our love of food and kitchen adventures and I would give him the latest on the children. A photograph that I took of Dad, Cole and Beau on our last visit was such a treasure to him and I just feel incredibly sad that he won’t get to see them grow up.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

Cake always goes hand in hand for me with any significant life event. Luke took Cole and Beau out for a couple of hours to soft play the day after he died so I could have some peace with my thoughts and freedom to cry. I stepped straight into the kitchen and grabbed the flour, sugar and butter to seek solace. I feel guilty that this cake will be mired in the melancholy that surrounds this post but it’s almost fitting as a slice of this cake is a huge comfort.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

The sour cream sponge is densely crammed with apples and fragrant with thyme. A soft cheddar crumble blankets the surface to add a delicious mature nuttiness. I have chosen the earthy flavour of sorghum flour to compliment the cake, sweet rice flour to bind and give texture and potato flour to add fluffiness which works because of its hydroscopic nature.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

I have had this cake on the cake stall many times and I am often asked what gave me inspiration for this slightly unusual combination. I have always loved apple pie with a cheese pastry crust, the smooth balance of a fine crumbly cheddar and sweet crisp autumn apples is never a taste I tire of. And cheese cake is a thing right?

Dad didn’t have a sweet tooth, he preferred the cheese board after a meal. I think this Apple Cheddar and Thyme Crumble Cake then is a fitting tribute.

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

I urge you to give this Apple Cheddar and Thyme Crumble Cake a try and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake {gluten-free}
This gluten-free Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake is the perfect comforting Autumnal cake, crammed with apples with a delicious cheddar crumble topping.
Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
16
Ingredients
For the cheddar crumble top:
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 80 g sweet rice flour
  • 70 g sorghum flour
  • 20 g potato flour
  • 100 g cheddar grated
For the cake:
  • 215 g sweet rice flour
  • 200 g sorghum flour
  • 40 g potato flour
  • 3 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g unsalted butter
  • 340 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300 g sour cream
  • 4 granny smiths peeled, cored and cubed
For the glaze:
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
16
Ingredients
For the cheddar crumble top:
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 80 g sweet rice flour
  • 70 g sorghum flour
  • 20 g potato flour
  • 100 g cheddar grated
For the cake:
  • 215 g sweet rice flour
  • 200 g sorghum flour
  • 40 g potato flour
  • 3 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g unsalted butter
  • 340 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 300 g sour cream
  • 4 granny smiths peeled, cored and cubed
For the glaze:
  • 140 g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C/160°C (fan oven)/gas mark 4 and line and grease a 9x13” rectangular cake tin.
  2. First make the crumble topping by rubbing together all the ingredients except the cheddar. Then stir in the cheddar cheese. Spread out onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer whilst you prepare the rest of the cake.
  3. In a large bowl sift the flours together with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, thyme leaves and set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar in a food mixer for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, beating in one by one then add the vanilla extract.
  6. Spoon in 1/3 of the flour mix, beat into the batter then add 1/2 of the sour cream and beat in. Repeat again and then add the last 1/3 of flour mix, beating until the batter is smooth.
  7. Pour half of the cake mixture into the cake tin, then tumble in half of the chopped apples. Pour the rest of the cake mixture over, smooth and then scatter the rest of the apples over the top.
  8. Finally sprinkle over the crumble topping so all the apples are covered.
  9. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, check after 25 minutes and if you think the cheese is browning too much then place a loose sheet of tin foil over the top of the cake tin for the rest of the bake.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes then carefully remove from the tin.
  11. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack until you decorate with the glaze.
  12. To make the glaze mixing the icing sugar with the milk until thick but pourable. Drizzle over the cake and then leave to set for at least an hour before cutting into squares.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tin I use for all my tray bakes and sheet cakes is the KitchenCraft Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Baking and Roasting Tin, 33 x 23 cm (13″ x 9″) which I love because it’s robust and easy to clean.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

This is the sorghum flour I’ve been using recently and I’ve been really loving it.yourhealthstore Premium Whole Grain Gluten Free Sorghum Flour 1kg (sweet white) It’s earthy, nutty and compliments the apples, thyme and cheddar in this cake perfectly.

You want to use potato flour and not potato starch in this cake, they are different ingredients and do different things so make sure you are using the right one. I use Wholefood Earth Organic Potato Flour, 1 kg which is a lovely fine flour.

This post is not sponsored but the images above 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.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free}

overhead shot of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake {gluten-free}

overhead shot of slices of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins {gluten-free}

overhead of Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins on a wooden table

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake {gluten-free}

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake is a beautifully flavoured and textured cake. Sweet potato and cream cheese are baked into the butterscotchy sponge whilst ripples of buttery cinnamon swirl through the centre. A generous pouring of thick maple cream cheese icing makes this cake one of the best of the season.

overhead shot of slices of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake is the recipe which I get the most requests for. A cheeky email from a friend here, a sly DM popping up from a customer there. And I’m always willing to oblige, this cake needs to be made, eaten and loved at any given opportunity. It’s also the cake I choose to accompany me anytime I volunteer to bring a sweet and it always goes down a storm. I have regular customers that return to the cake stall time and time again, making the trip across London, just for this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake. Believe me, it’s well worth the trouble. Even though I don’t restrict this cake to the cooler months since it seems to receive love all year round, Autumn is when the rich flavours of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl truly shine.

straight on shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes in the foreground

This Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake began life as a wheat cake a few years ago on the stall, it quickly became a customer favourite and when I made the switch to gluten-free I immediately began working to convert this recipe. When I was finally happy with the finished cake I was not the only one to remark upon how much more flavourful and exciting the cake was in comparison to its wheaty mirror image. For this bad boy, it’s all about the oat flour.

overhead shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Oat flour is one of those gluten-free flours that not all wheat intolerant folks can handle, so tread carefully here if you are making it for someone else who is gluten-free. It’s possible to buy gluten-free oat flour but if you can’t find it at your local health food shop or supermarket then you can grind your own gluten-free oats. For more detailed info on oat flour and grinding your own, see my post here. For those of us lucky ducks that are able to enjoy gluten-free oats to our hearts and tummies content then oat flour is a wonder, and especially shines in this cake. It’s rich toasted butterscotch undertones compliment the savouriness of the sweet potato, tang of the cream cheese and warmth of the cinnamon. I haven’t tasted another cake like this one.

straight on shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes in the foreground

I would never normally sweeten my sweet potatoes when eaten as a savoury dish, instead I choose to boost the natural starches present by roasting the vegetable in wedges so the sugars are encouraged to the surface to create gloriously sticky caramelised edges. When I was in Alabama a few years ago though I ordered mashed sweet potatoes as a side and was astounded by the heavy sugar added into this already very sweet ingredient to accompany my fillet steak. I hesitate to say I didn’t like it, but at the risk of offending a whole lot of Americans, I really didn’t. If I’m going to sweeten my sweet potatoes then I think I prefer them as a dessert. Sweet Potato Pie, for instance, yummy. Or in this divine Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffle Torte. And in this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake the sweet potatoes find another extremely comfortable home.

straight on shot of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes in the foreground

In order to achieve the sweet potato puree which is needed for the cake you need to bake whole sweet potatoes wrapped in foil for 1 hour at an oven set to 180°C. They are ready when you press gently into them and your finger squishes into the potato. Leave them to cool before unwrapping from the foil and their loosened skins. They should be so soft that you can just mash them with a fork.

overhead shot of slices of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Another slightly unusual ingredient in this cake is the maple extract used in the maple cream cheese icing. I first came across maple extract in a recipe by The Pioneer Woman for her famous cinnamon rolls where she insists that it should not be substituted for maple syrup. So when I first made cinnamon rolls I complied to the letter of instruction. I have to say it does make all the difference. If you were to use maple syrup you would have to use a fair amount to really get the flavour of maple into your icing which then distorts the liquid ratio in the recipe and adds too much sweetness when you are already using icing sugar. The maple extract imbues the icing with its beautifully rich flavour without any of the former problems. It’s not easy to buy in shops but I use this Cupcake World Intense Food Flavouring Maple 100 ml from Amazon and it works brilliantly.

overhead shot of slices of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

Something else which might surprise you in this recipe is the use of black pepper. I love using freshly ground black peppercorns in some of my bakes as it adds a deep rich spice note. It doesn’t interfere with any of the flavours but just enhances the background kick. The baking process also removes its heat so don’t worry if you don’t like things too spicy.

overhead shot of slice of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake on a plate with a sifter and sweet potatoes

I urge you to give this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake a try, it’s really one of my favourites and a cake I will never tire of baking or eating. If you do make this Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious gluten-free cake creation, say maybe swapping out the sweet potato for pumpkin, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake {gluten-free}
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Swirl Cake is deeply flavourful with butterscotch undertones rippled with buttery cinnamon and drizzled with maple cream cheese icing.
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Ingredients
  • 170 g sweet rice flour
  • 170 g oat flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 245 g sweet potato puree* about 3 sweet potatoes
  • 245 g cream cheese
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g light soft brown sugar
  • 225 g butter melted
  • 3 eggs
Cinnamon Swirl
  • 15 g butter melted
  • 30 g light brown sugar
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 15 ml whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Maple Cream Cheese icing
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 30 g salted butter at room temperature
  • 80 g cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract/flavouring
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Ingredients
  • 170 g sweet rice flour
  • 170 g oat flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 245 g sweet potato puree* about 3 sweet potatoes
  • 245 g cream cheese
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g light soft brown sugar
  • 225 g butter melted
  • 3 eggs
Cinnamon Swirl
  • 15 g butter melted
  • 30 g light brown sugar
  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 15 ml whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Maple Cream Cheese icing
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 30 g salted butter at room temperature
  • 80 g cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon maple extract/flavouring
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C and grease and flour a 10 inch bundt tin.
  2. First of all prepare the cinnamon swirl by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl and then set aside.
  3. For the cake, sift together, in a large bowl, the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and pepper, then set aside.
  4. In another bowl beat together the sweet potato, cream cheese and vanilla extract. Again, set aside.
  5. Beat the sugars and butter together in a food mixer until well incorporated.
  6. Add in the eggs one at a time until the batter is smooth.
  7. Finally spoon in 1/3 of the flour, beat into the batter then add 1/3 of the sweet potato mixture and beat in. Repeat until all the flour and the sweet potato mixture has been incorporated into the batter.
  8. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the prepared bundt tin and smooth down. Dot half of the cinnamon swirl mixture in and swirl with a cocktail stick.
  9. Spoon the next 1/3 of the batter and repeat with the cinnamon swirl.
  10. Spoon the rest of the batter in, smoothing the surface.
  11. Bake for about 50 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven, rest for five minutes and then carefully remove the cake from the bundt tin. Cool completely on a wire rack then drizzle with the maple cream cheese icing.
  13. Finally spinkle some extra cinnamon over the top of the cake.
  14. For the maple cream cheese icing beat the icing sugar together with the salted butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  15. Then add the whole milk and maple extract and beat until combined.
  16. Drizzle over the top of the cake.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I saved up for an age to get this Nordicware Heritage Bundt Pan. It’s absolutely my favourite cake tin. I love the clean crisp edges of the swirl and how you can drizzle the icing right on in there and in this cake it makes me think of snowy mountain peaks. I recommend greasing and flouring this tin so that your cake has no problems popping out. The quality of the tin is excellent but it can be pricey. I have noticed that the price really fluctuates on Amazon- so wait until it’s around £40 before you choose to buy.

To grease your bundt tin well I recommend using professional cake release spray. It doesn’t matter how little or often you bake, you will be so glad to have this little shortcut around, there’s nothing worse than messing around with butter or oil on your fingertips to get the grease evenly into all the crevices of the cake tin. I use Dubor PR100 Professional Cake Release Spray 600 ml it lasts longer and doesn’t dry out like some of the cheaper brands. Really worth your time and money this one.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

You want to use potato flour and not potato starch in this cake, they are different ingredients and do different things so make sure you are using the right one. I use Wholefood Earth Organic Potato Flour, 1 kg which is a lovely fine flour.

I do try and stick to natural ingredients and flavourings in my cakes but if the need calls for it then I can be persuaded otherwise, which is where this Cupcake World Intense Food Flavouring Maple 100 ml comes into play. I only use the smallest drop in the icing as a little goes a very long way, so we’re really not doing any harm here and it’s really worth the difference rather than using actual maple syrup, the flavour is true and intense.

This post is not sponsored but the images above 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.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffle Torte

Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffle Torte

Gluten-Free Flour: Oat Flour

Text saying Guide to Gluten-Free Flours: Oat Flour: What is it and How should we use it. fromthelarder.co.uk. In front of an image of some oats and oat flour

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

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

Whisky Marmalade Bundt {gluten-free}

This gluten-free Whisky Marmalade Bundt is such a deeply rich and warming cake, woodsy from whisky drenched sultanas and tangy from this year’s Seville orange marmalade.

Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free}

Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping is a revelation if you have never thought to put tomatoes in a cake. This gluten-free version is deeply flavourful and sweetly spiced with a gentle nudge of caramelised ginger.

overhead shot of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

Another one of my classic bakes making its gluten-free debut this week. Last week my Blackcurrant White Chocolate and Thyme Muffins had their moment in the spotlight and now I have a newly revamped Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping rising from the archives like a phoenix from the ashes.

side shot of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

I first published a recipe for Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping back in 2014 as a wheat cake. I made it a bunch of times but never got around to taking decent photos of the cake which was so popular at my market stall back then. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to switch the recipe up to a gluten-free version but I am thrilled I finally did it as I had forgotten how amazing this cake is. It goes without saying that I prefer the gluten-free version of the cake as I am a staunch alternative flour advocate but the sweet rice flour and oat flour really do give this beautifully flavourful sponge even more character.

The following words are as written in 2014 since it describes how I came up for the idea for the recipe in the first place. I basically cribbed it off my sister.

overhead shot of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

When my sister first told me she had made this cake a few weeks ago with the last remaining green tomatoes in her vegetable garden I immediately thought that this was one of her weird experiments and dismissed it.

The idea stayed with me though and I couldn’t stop thinking of this green tomato cake that she had been raving about. I’m a huge fan of green tomatoes and the thought of incorporating them into my baking was intriguing. So I called her back up a few days later and asked her a bit more about it. She said the texture was incredibly moist but the closest thing she could see that it resembled was a carrot cake. Suddenly it all made sense and I kicked myself for not seeing how this was the perfect use for the firm, tangy tomatoes that are still hanging round well into Autumn, especially when spiced up with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

overhead shot of a slice of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate

I thought I had missed out though as I hadn’t seen any green tomatoes for a while and assumed their time had passed for the season. Then on a chance visit to Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market I saw huge mounds of the these emerald green beauties glinting in the frost bitten sun. I am useless when it comes to understanding quantities of things and rather than be floundering with too few tomatoes I bought bags of them, just in case.

overhead shot of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

There wasn’t a huge amount of recipes for green tomato cake online but those that were all emanated from the southern states of America which is understandable since they are the guys that brought us the sublime fried green tomatoes and seem to understand this ingredient better than most. It does seem that the cake is treated much like any vegetable cake with plenty of sugar, oil instead of butter and spicing aplenty. I took my Autumn theme a bit more seriously though and dotted diced stem ginger throughout, and topped the cake with a sweetly buttered crunchy streusel crown. The streusel topping turned out to be a wonderful adornment, making the cake taste almost like a deliciously moist fruit crumble. The pockets of juicy tomato are so enticing and add another texture every now and then to the now complex structure of the cake. It’s just as well then that the assembling of the cake is so darn simple.

side shot of a slice of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

I can’t convince you enough to make this cake, vegetables cakes are one of the cornerstones of my cake stall and this Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake is one of the best. Make it now whilst the glut of green tomatoes is at its peak.

overhead shot of slices of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

If you make the Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

side shot of a slice of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it

Print Recipe
Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping
Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping is a revelation if you have never thought to put tomatoes in a cake. This gluten-free version is deeply flavourful and sweetly spiced with a gentle nudge of caramelised ginger.
overhead shot of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
14 people
Ingredients
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 225 g light brown sugar
  • 240 ml light olive oil
  • 40 ml stem ginger syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 170 g sweet rice flour
  • 170 g oat flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 350 g green tomatoes diced
  • 75 g stem ginger finely diced, about 4 balls
For the streusel topping:
  • 20 g sweet rice flour
  • 20 g oat flour
  • 85 g demerara sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 g cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons oats
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Servings
14 people
Ingredients
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 225 g light brown sugar
  • 240 ml light olive oil
  • 40 ml stem ginger syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 170 g sweet rice flour
  • 170 g oat flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 350 g green tomatoes diced
  • 75 g stem ginger finely diced, about 4 balls
For the streusel topping:
  • 20 g sweet rice flour
  • 20 g oat flour
  • 85 g demerara sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 g cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons oats
overhead shot of Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Cake with Streusel Topping {gluten-free} on a plate with green tomatoes next to it
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160° and line and grease a 20cm deep round cake tin
  2. First make the streusel topping by rubbing together the flours, sugar, cinnamon, butter and oats until the mixture is crumbly, then set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat together the caster sugar, light brown sugar, olive oil, stem ginger syrup, eggs and vanilla until completely combined.
  4. In a separate bowl sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger.
  5. Add the flour to the sugar and egg mixture and beat until well combined.
  6. Stir in the green tomatoes and the stem ginger until evenly distributed then pour into the cake tin.
  7. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cake mixture.
  8. Place the cake in the oven and bake for about 90-100 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean. You might want to check the cake two thirds of the way through its cooking time and cover the top with foil if the streusel topping is getting too brown.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and leave for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

If you fell in love with the original recipe made with wheat flour and want to continue using that version, then use the same recipe as above but substitute the sweet rice flour, oat flour and potato flour in the cake for 375g plain all-purpose flour, and the sweet rice flour and oat flour in the streusel topping for 40g plain all-purpose flour.

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.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

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…

Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake {gluten-free}

This gluten-free Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake is the best carrot cake you will ever taste. Full of sweet earthy goodness thanks to using both golden beetroot and carrots; complex with pecans, sultanas and apples; perfectly complimented with a not too sweet cream cheese buttercream and adorned with the delightful crunch of a salted pecan praline and candied beetroot and carrots.

Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake {gluten-free}

Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake

Vinegar Cake

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Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake {without xanthan gum}

The Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake is made without xanthan gum and is deliciously fluffy, light and moist. It is filled and covered with a dreamy vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and is the cake you will turn to time and time again when you need a simple yet stunning gluten-free cake.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

To say that I am excited about this recipe is an understatement. This is one of the cakes that I am most proud of ever since I began baking gluten-free several years ago.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

The vanilla cake is an especially important cake for any baker as not only should the cake shine in its own right but it is also the building block through which many other cakes can be made. Just change the buttercream to chocolate and you have a perfect chocolate vanilla birthday cake, add some lemon or orange zest to the sponge and buttercream and you have a citrus cake. Add chopped nuts to the batter, chocolate chips or even sprinkles for a funfetti cake. Your basic vanilla cake is where it all starts.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

There is nowhere for the ingredients to hide in a simple vanilla cake. No fancy flavours that may detract from an inferior texture and no cheeky add-ins that make ploughing through a dry cake a satisfying treat. A gluten-free vanilla cake is a strong ask. The sponge has to be light and fluffy but not dry, moist but not claggy and the taste has to sing with the simplicity of vanilla. All of the stumbling blocks of gluten-free baking are put to the test in the vanilla cake and I wanted to prove to the gluten-free cake detractors that cakes baked without wheat can have a beautiful texture, tremendous taste and pleasurable mouthfeel.

Side view of Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

Before I discuss my flour choices for the Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake, it’s important to mention a missing key ingredient that you might be familiar with if you have baked a gluten-free cake before. This gluten-free cake is without xanthan gum which is often used in gluten-free baking to mimic the effects of gluten. I have never found a need to use this omnipresent ingredient, instead relying on careful flour selection to give the desired texture instead. I will be discussing my choice to not bake with xanthan gum in my next post but for now you can breathe a sigh of relief that if you are intolerant to xanthan gum or can’t be bothered to buy yet another ingredient to clog up your shelves you can still enjoy the Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

So without xanthan gum to rely on I have to choose which alternative flours to include wisely. Firstly I was very particular that I didn’t want to make my go-to gluten-free vanilla cake with almond flour so as to avoid any nut allergy issues. I also wanted to produce a cake that used as few flours as possible. This latter point has been the main difference between this gluten-free vanilla cake and my previous go-to gluten-free vanilla cake. It has not been uncommon for me to blend up to five different gluten-free flours to get a taste and texture that I love. For this recipe though I limited myself to just three gluten-free flours for the blend, to make it as accessible as possible, keep costs down and our larder slim.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

So I used my favourite gluten-free flours, the ones I rely on the most and the three gluten-free flours I would recommend as essential ingredients for the impassioned gluten-free baker.

Sweet Rice Flour
Gluten-Free Oat Flour
Tapioca Flour

Now as a disclaimer, these three flours are not going to be suitable for everyone. Oat flour, even gluten-free oat flour, can be a contentious issue for some coeliacs or people with a hardcore gluten intolerance. Tapioca flour also can cause irritability for some and although none of my clients yet has mentioned an issue with sweet rice flour, my goodness I bet some of you readers are shaking your head sadly at its inclusion here. However, these are the flours that work well for me and my intolerance issues and the majority of the gluten-free clients I serve.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

If you would like to learn more about these individual flours and why they work so well in a gluten-free cake and allow the avoidance of xanthan gum then I have written individual posts about sweet rice flour, oat flour and tapioca flour which should hopefully shed some light on their brilliance and usefulness.

In any vanilla cake, gluten-free or not, the quality of your ingredients is absolutely key. Do use the best unsalted butter and whole milk from a local dairy if you can, the freshest eggs from the happiest chickens and the best vanilla extract (not essence) that you can afford. You can taste every ingredient in a vanilla cake. This particular Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake is even more tasty than a wheat version due to the flavourful flours but they enhance the vanilla taste and do not overpower it.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

Finally I have chosen to fill and cover the cake with my absolute favourite Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It is light as air, dreamy as a cloud and buttery as hell. If you have never made or tasted swiss meringue buttercream then you will be transported. As soon as I started using swiss meringue buttercream in my early days as a baker my layer cakes suddenly became a superior offering. Despite the need to heat the egg whites with the sugar, using a thermometer as a guide, then whipping them into a meringue before adding your butter one cube at a time, the method sounds more intimidating than the practice. Once you have dabbled in the delights of swiss meringue buttercream then you will never look back.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table with little boy in background

This recipe for the Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake has taken me some time to perfect, it has been simmering away in the background of my kitchen for a while but now I am so happy to share it with you. This cake is perfectly fluffy, moist and holds together beautifully, giving lovely even slices that do not crumble when it sees a knife.

slices of Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a wooden table

If you make the Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious gluten-free cake creation I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Close up of Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

Print Recipe
Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake {without xanthan gum}
The Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake is made without xanthan gum and is deliciously fluffy, light and moist. It is filled and covered with a dreamy vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.
Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 140 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 9 egg whites 270g
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 540 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 140 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 9 egg whites 270g
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 540 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table
Instructions
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 3/320°F and line and grease 2 x round 8 inch cake tins.
  2. Beat together the sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed.
  4. In a measuring jug whisk together the whole milk and vanilla extract and set aside for a moment.
  5. Whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.
  6. Add the flour mix alternately with the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  7. Divide between the cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Heat egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, 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 whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff 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 frosting will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  4. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.

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.

I love these Kitchen Craft Paul Hollywood 2-Tier Stackable Wire Cooling Rack, 40 x 26 x 35 cm (16″ x 10″ x 14″), don’t be put off that they are part of the Paul Hollywood range as they are actually really useful as they are nice and high which allow more air to get to your cakes to cool quickly. Some cooling racks are too close to the kitchen counter which traps in more moisture as the cakes are cooling down which could lead to a wetter sponge. These are great.

You need to use a double boiler or bain marie to make the swiss meringue buttercream and this KitchenCraft Induction-Safe Stainless Steel Double Boiler Porringer/Bain-Marie Pan, 16 cm (6.5″) is perfect. Double boilers are way more useful than you think they are going to be. I use one every time I melt chocolate, make a curd, butter sauce or indeed swiss meringue.

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.

If you want to replicate the flower and leaf design on this cake then I used the Wilton 489785 Decorating Tip-No. 125cr Large Flower Petal for the leaves.

And the Ateco Extra Large Stainless Steel closed Star 848 Pastry Piping Cream Icing Tube Nozzle for the flowers.

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.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g. The cost depends entirely on the brand you purchase. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.

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…

Guide to Gluten-Free Flours: An Introduction

text saying Gluten-Free Flours: how to start gluten-free baking, which flours to use and how to convert wheat recipes: fromthelarder.co.uk

Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake {gluten-free}

This gluten-free Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake is one of my favourite cakes from the cake stall. A chocolate lover’s sponge sandwiched together with silky salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream and drizzled with thick luscious salted caramel.

Raspberry Matcha Cake {gluten-free}

Raspberry Matcha Cake {gluten-free}

Gooseberry Custard Friands (gluten-free)

Gooseberry Custard Friands are the perfect little bite of cake for the summer. These light gluten-free friands are topped with a vanilla custard and a sweetly tart fresh gooseberry jam.

gooseberry friands on a napkin on a wooden table

Gooseberry season is far too short. I get completely over-excited when I first spot them at the farmers’ market and end up buying punnets and punnets which languish in my freezer whilst I decide which hallowed recipe gets the go-ahead with this year’s haul. I am so indecisive that often in the middle of October I may find a stray punnet in the depths of the deep freeze that I forgot about whilst I was dithering. A happy day indeed.

Overhead shot in gooseberries in paper bag

gooseberry friands on a plate on a wooden table in front of a window

Since gooseberries are so tart, especially these early ones, they really need to be paired with something sweet in order to make them shine. This is why they are so perfect in jam and my Gooseberry Thyme Jam I swear will convert anybody who claims jam is too sweet. Gooseberries always add a more sophisticated tang to recipes.

gooseberry friands with a bite taken out on a napkin with a fork on a wooden table

I didn’t use that jam for these Gooseberry Custard Friands but instead whipped up a quick easy jam by heating equal amounts of water and caster sugar until the sugar dissolves and then adding in the gooseberries to simmer until they burst. The fruit will thicken in about five minutes and give you a wonderful jam that will keep for about a week or so in your fridge. Or they can be used to top these tremendously light and ever so moreish Gooseberry Custard Friands.

gooseberry friand on a napkin on a wooden table

I wrote at length on what a friand is for my recipe on Apple Cinnamon Ricotta Friands but essentially they are the Australian cousin of the French financier and are small tea cakes made from ground almonds, sugar, a small amount of flour and egg whites. Since there is so little flour in the original recipe then they can be easily adapted into a gluten-free version. For ease and accessibility I have just used a plain gluten-free flour blend (without xanthan gum) which has a neutral taste. I also used almond flour instead of ground almonds here for a fluffier lighter bake but don’t worry if you can only get hold of ground almonds they will be absolutely fine. Ground almonds will give a more substantial texture to the finished friand and more almond flavour, but they will be equally delicious.

gooseberry friand on a napkin on a wooden table

The custard used to top the friand may test you a little but it’s a very safe to make custard if you fear of splitting since the cornflour mixed into the eggs at the beginning of the process helps to stabilise the recipe. It’s pretty foolproof and takes no more than about 5-6 minutes to knock up in case you think it sounds intimidating.

gooseberry friands with a bite taken out on a napkin with a fork on a wooden table

These little bites of cake are absolutely delicious and I guarantee if you serve these friands out among friends and family they will simply fly off the plate. They are simply irresistible and the perfect recipe to make the most of your limited supply of gooseberries.

gooseberry friands with a bite taken out on a napkin with a fork on a wooden table

Print Recipe
Gooseberry Custard Friands (gluten-free)
Gooseberry Custard Friands are the perfect little bite of cake for the summer. Light gluten-free friands topped with a vanilla custard and a sweetly tart fresh gooseberry jam.
gooseberry friands on a napkin on a wooden table
Keyword cake, gluten-free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
12 friands
Ingredients
Quick Gooseberry Jam
  • 300 g gooseberries topped and tailed
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 40 g water
Custard
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 small egg yolks
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
Friands
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 160 g almond flour you can use ground almonds
  • 100 g gluten-free plain flour blend *I used Doves Farm
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g butter melted
  • 180 g egg whites about 6
Keyword cake, gluten-free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
12 friands
Ingredients
Quick Gooseberry Jam
  • 300 g gooseberries topped and tailed
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 40 g water
Custard
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 small egg yolks
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
Friands
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 160 g almond flour you can use ground almonds
  • 100 g gluten-free plain flour blend *I used Doves Farm
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g butter melted
  • 180 g egg whites about 6
gooseberry friands on a napkin on a wooden table
Instructions
Gooseberry Jam
  1. Place the caster sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour in the gooseberries and cook on a gentle heat until the gooseberries have burst. Stir and carry on cooking for another 5 minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Custard
  1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan with the vanilla extract and heat until just under boiling point then turn off the heat.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour until pale and thickened.
  3. Then very carefully pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking all the while to stop the egg from curdling.
  4. Once all the milk has been incorporated into the eggs pour back into the saucepan then bring up to a careful boil whisking continuously until the mixture is very thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Friands
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and butter a 12 hole friand tin.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the almond flour, gluten-free plain flour, the icing sugar and salt together.
  3. Stir in the melted butter until completely combined.
  4. Then in another bowl whisk the egg whites until light and foamy.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter until combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the friand moulds, then top with a teaspoon or two of custard and then finish with a teaspoon of gooseberry jam.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from the oven. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I use this KitchenCraft MasterClass 12-Hole Non-Stick Friand Tin, 35.5 x 26.5 cm to make my friands. The tin is extremely hard wearing and it’s very easy to get the friands out. Just wobble the edges with a small palette knife and you can more or less just slip your friands straight out of the tin.

Speaking of small palette knives, I use this little guy Dexam Spatula with Wooden Handle 10.5cm in almost all my baking – there is usually a need for him. Like in this case, easing my friands out of my tin. You really can’t use any other implement as it won’t damage the cake tin or cut into the friands at all. I also use it for icing cupcakes, large cakes, releasing almost all cakes out of their cake tins. Because it’s not that big it’s easier to wield with more control than a larger palette knife.

I have been using this almond flour, RealFoodSource Certified Organic Extra Fine High Protein Almond Flour (1KG) for a while now and really recommend it for this recipe. You could use ground almonds but by using almond flour the bake is lighter and more fluffy. This almond flour is beautifully ground and so usefully for so many of my recipes.

The plain gluten-free flour blend which I like to use sometimes to make my life easier and my bakes more accessible for hobby bakers is Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1 kg (Pack of 5). It is easy to get at the supermarket but I’m finding more and more that the flour is out of stock when I need it most so I now like to buy 5kg at a time and keep it handy in my larder for emergencies. I really like this blend as it doesn’t have xanthan gum which I am intolerant to. Because of this I usually use this flour in conjunction with almond flour or ground almonds to help give the cakes more moisture and a better texture but it really is a good all rounder.

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