No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars {gluten-free}

These quick easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars are perfect to make for a crowd. They are gluten-free with simple switches to make the recipe vegan or refined sugar-free.

Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

We’re slap bang in the middle of summer and every weekend seems to throw out another event, festival, school fete or family gathering. There always seems to be an occasion I want to bake for.

Aside from loving baking for family and friends, I also like to bake for local events and cake stalls if I’m asked since they are always for excellent causes. However, it’s not as easy as throwing together a quick Vicky Sponge these days, not that those don’t go down a treat, but the good people of North London know good cake and won’t pay money for something not up to par. It is also worth for these cake stalls to be mindful of its potential customers increasingly varied array of food intolerances, allergies and lifestyle choices. The WI cake stall which I baked for a couple of weekends ago specifically asked its members to include vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free cakes as part of its offerings. This is where I think I can throw my hat in the ring and I’m always happy to fill that free-from baker vacancy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars on a wooden board

I have limited time to bake these days though thanks to two young children and a business I’m running in evenings and nap times so I have to be smart about what I can do. I need to produce something quickly with simple ingredients and preferably no-bake because I can’t face my oven being on in this hot weather.

That’s why these No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars tick all the boxes when you need to produce a sweet treat for a crowd and this recipe is excellent for adapting to whatever criteria you need it to. The basis of the recipe below is gluten-free as I have used gluten-free crispy rice cereal which is very easy to get hold of now. I found it in our Sainsbury’s Local in the gluten-free section. The way I prefer the recipe is not vegan or refined sugar-free but it is easy to adapt if that’s what you or your crowd need.

Side view of stacked Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars on a wooden board

There are only 7 ingredients in these No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars:

  • honey
  • caster sugar
  • peanut butter
  • crispy rice cereal
  • dark chocolate
  • coconut oil
  • salt

You can see there are two types of sugar here – honey and caster sugar. I have tried different kinds of liquid sweetener including golden syrup and rice malt syrup but settle on honey because of the flavour. It’s this ingredient that makes the recipe non-vegan. So if you needed to make these No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars for a vegan crowd then just swap out the honey for either golden syrup or rice malt syrup. I prefer the golden syrup as it gives the finished bars the right amount of sweetness and stickiness. You would also need to ensure you used vegan chocolate in the chocolate layer.

Side shot of Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars on a wooden board

It’s also worth noting that if you are not vegan and don’t have any coconut oil at home then by all means substitute it for butter. I prefer the consistency of the chocolate that coconut oil brings but butter is perfectly acceptable too.

You might wonder why there is caster sugar in the mix as we’re already including a lot of honey. They honey is there to give the bars a lovely chewy texture and beautiful flavour. The caster sugar is there to help with the structural integrity of the bar. The first step in the recipe is to create a caramel by melting the caster sugar with the honey. The caramel helps to firm up the peanut butter crispy rice base and means the bars can easily survive a few hours out of the fridge whilst they are being served out.

Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

If you wanted to make the recipe refined sugar-free then by all means leave out the caster sugar, skip the caramel part and just use all honey, but your bars won’t have the same structural integrity. They will be fine if you eat them directly from the fridge but you won’t be able to leave them out without the peanut butter crispy rice base falling apart.

Have I convinced you yet that these are the bars you need to serve to a crowd?

Well then, let me give you some other variations. You don’t like peanut butter? Substitute with almond butter. You have to avoid nuts? Then tahini or sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter would be absolutely delicious. You can literally take this recipe anywhere you want to go. They appeal to adults and children alike and are absolutely a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Side shot of Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars on a wooden board

So it makes sense for to turn to these No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars whenever you need to feed a crowd, fill up a school cake stall or even, dare I say it, just bake it for yourself. To be honest, you don’t need an excuse.

Print Recipe
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars {gluten-free}
These quick easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispy Bars are perfect to make for a crowd. They are gluten-free with simple switches to make the recipe vegan or refined sugar-free.
Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
16 bars
Ingredients
  • 300 ml honey {or golden syrup or rice malt syrup}
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 250 g natural drippy peanut butter
  • 225 g gluten-free crispy rice
  • 300 g dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sprinkles to decorate
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
16 bars
Ingredients
  • 300 ml honey {or golden syrup or rice malt syrup}
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 250 g natural drippy peanut butter
  • 225 g gluten-free crispy rice
  • 300 g dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sprinkles to decorate
Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
Instructions
  1. Line and grease a 13x9 inch cake tin.
  2. Pour the honey and sugar into a medium saucepan and heat gently until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil to form a caramel then remove from the heat.
  3. Stir the peanut butter into the saucepan and mix until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Place the crispy rice into a large bowl and pour the peanut butter mixture over and mix thoroughly until all the crispy rice is covered.
  5. Scrape it all into the cake tin evenly and press down so the surface is smooth and packed in.
  6. Meanwhile melt the chocolate with the coconut oil and salt in a bain marie or bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
  7. Once the chocolate has melted, pour over the peanut butter crispy rice base into an even layer, tilting the tin to make sure it goes right to the edges. Scatter some sprinkles on top and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
  8. Remove from the tin and cut into 16 bars.

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.

I always use a double boiler or bain marie when melting my chocolate as it’s much easier than finding a bowl that’s the right size that will fit the top of your saucepan and then the boil gets hot and how do you handle it? This KitchenCraft Induction-Safe Stainless Steel Double Boiler Porringer/Bain-Marie Pan, 16 cm (6.5″) is the one I use and is the perfect size. 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 or make swiss meringue.

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.

If you like this recipe then you may also like…

No-Bake Salted Chocolate Energy Bars

Side view of stack of No-Bake Chocolate Salted Energy Bars on a wooden board

Lemon Iced Stem Ginger Parkin

side view of Lemon Iced Stem Ginger Parkin on a wire rack

Picnic Slice

Stack of Picnic Slices on a chopping board on a wooden table

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

Raspberry Pistachio Cake {gluten-free}

This Raspberry Pistachio Cake is beautifully moist and fragrant. Pistachios are blended into a paste as the basis of the sponge and a handful of raspberries are baked into the batter. Finally a tangy raspberry icing is drizzled over the top with fresh raspberries and pistachios to scatter.

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

I went to a birthday party recently where the cake had to be wheat, egg and dairy free due to the birthday boy’s elimination diet. The mum who had baked the cake was very proud that she had produced a cake which adhered to this strict criteria whilst also being ‘edible’ (her words not mine).

I also read on our community forum a complaint about our local farmer’s market that they only have a free-from cake stall there (not my cake stall as I’m still on maternity leave). The complaint went on to say that although she hadn’t tried any of the cakes from this cake stall, in her opinion gluten-free and vegan cakes are inferior products, the market was only pandering to current trends and that she would only return to the market when they had a good cake stall.

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

It’s sad to me that gluten-free (and vegan) cakes have such a terrible reputation and mostly they are assumed to be inedible and inferior to wheat based cakes. I was a baker long before I became gluten-free and it’s true that when baking free-from cakes it is more difficult to achieve a delicious, beautifully textured and visually lovely cake than if you were using wheat flour. So yes, there are some poor gluten-free cakes out there and believe me I have eaten them. However, I pride myself on my commitment to my craft and unfortunately in my cake research I have also tried many terrible wheat based cakes. The same pitfalls of dry, overly sweet or compacted crumb can affect any cake. I have been baking exclusively gluten-free cakes for a few years now and am constantly learning new techniques for using alternative flours where results can rival and often surpass wheat cakes. Basically, like any baking, it’s all about the top quality ingredients you use. The better the butter, sugar, eggs and flour, the better the cake. You also need a good recipe and this is where I hope my blog can help.

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

I am on maternity leave at the moment and am in a state of flux in my career. I love doing the cake stall and besides bringing money in on the day it’s great to do to generate further business for cake commissions. People know I’m out there and it take me back into the world and out of my kitchen. However, the cake stall also steals me away from my young family. The precious weekends when Luke isn’t working and we could spend time together with our children are the times I thrust myself back into work.

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

One of my most important reasons to return to the cake stall is to continue to prove to everyone that gluten-free and vegan cakes can be absolutely delicious if they are baked correctly using the best ingredients and excellent recipes. It gives me a reach beyond the blog and social media. It’s kind of like a personal quest and it is thrilling to me that my regular customers are not all gluten-free, coeliac or vegan. They return time and time again because the cakes taste good.

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

Not every cake I bake is a success first time, a lot of them require a bunch of tweaking at the development stage before I’m happy to share them with the world but every single cake I publish on this blog and sell on my cake stall stands shoulder to shoulder with wheat cakes. Gluten-free cakes (and the few vegan cakes I do) are not pretenders to the throne but are their own unique product with their own identity. Cake is my most favourite thing in the world, I am extremely fussy about the quality of the cake I eat so if I couldn’t eat good cake because of my food intolerances then I would be a very unhappy person.

A slice of Raspberry Pistachio Cake on a white plate with a fork on a wooden table in front of a cake stand with cake on it

This Raspberry Pistachio Cake is an ideal example of how you can achieve the most glorious moist, evenly textured but not dense cake using a plain gluten-free flour blend that you can get in any supermarket. I don’t use any xanthan gum in my baking as it doesn’t agree with me but you don’t need these highly processed and hard to digest gums to bake an excellent gluten-free cake. To achieve the perfect texture in my gluten-free Raspberry Pistachio Cake I used pistachio nuts which I ground into a paste and used that as the basis for my sponge along with the gluten-free plain flour.

To read more about how to use nuts as an alternative flour do visit my post here.

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

I was a little stingy I think here with the raspberries baked into the sponge, so feel free to add more if you really want to pack those raspberries in. However, the raspberry flavour is still very punchy due to the zingy raspberry icing made with fresh raspberry puree and the mountain of raspberries piled on top of the cake.

This cake is a wonderful gluten-free cake, made with easy ingredients that you can buy at any local supermarket. I think it’s proof that it’s easy to make gluten-free cakes not just edible but absolutely delicious just as long as you know where to look for the recipe.

Oh, that’s here by the way.

A slice of Raspberry Pistachio Cake on a white plate on a wooden table

Print Recipe
Raspberry Pistachio Cake {gluten-free}
This Raspberry Pistachio Cake is beautifully moist and fragrant. Pistachios are blended into a paste as the basis of the sponge and a handful of raspberries are baked into the batter. Finally a tangy raspberry icing is drizzled over the top with fresh raspberries and pistachios to scatter.
Raspberry Pistachio Cake sitting on a cake stand on a wooden table
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
For the pistachio paste:
  • 110 g pistachios + 15g extra for decoration
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 120 g raspberries + 75g extra for decoration
For the raspberry icing:
  • 100 g raspberries
  • 150 g icing sugar
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
For the pistachio paste:
  • 110 g pistachios + 15g extra for decoration
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 120 g raspberries + 75g extra for decoration
For the raspberry icing:
  • 100 g raspberries
  • 150 g icing sugar
Raspberry Pistachio Cake sitting on a cake stand on a wooden table
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line and grease an 8 inch cake tin.
  2. First make the pistachio paste by placing the pistachios in a food processor and blitzing until finely ground. Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and blitz again until a paste has formed. Set aside for one moment.
  3. Place the lemon zest in a food mixer along with the sugar and whisk for a minute together until fragrant.
  4. Add the butter, one cube at a time and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape the pistachio paste into the creamed butter and sugar and beat until combined.
  6. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add it to the rest of the batter until just combined.
  8. Finally stir in the raspberries.
  9. Pour into the cake tin, smoothing the top then bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the tin then leave to cool completely before icing.
Raspberry Icing
  1. Place the raspberries in a medium sized saucepan and heat gently until the raspberries have broken down into pulp.
  2. Sieve the raspberry pulp, discarding the seeds.
  3. Mix the raspberry puree with the icing sugar until a thick icing has formed and spoon onto the cooled cake, pushing the icing gently over the side so it forms droplets. Leave the icing to set for at least an hour
  4. Pile the extra raspberries on top of the cake
  5. Finely chop the extra pistachios and scatter over the top of the cake.
Recipe Notes

*I use Doves Farm Gluten-Free Plain White Flour which is really easy to find in almost any UK supermarket.

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 cakes:

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

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle

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.

Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake

Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake

This Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake is made with whole oranges boiled then pureed to create an incredibly moist and intensely citrusy cake spiked with a hint of rosemary.

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.

This Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake was my first foray into gluten-free baking a good few years ago when I first began my blog and for a while was just one of two gluten-free cakes I offered on my cake stall. I made this cake every week for nearly a year when I first got started and to be frank I got a little bored of it. After its long absence from the stall though I have begun making it again this year and have been struck anew with now much I love it. My customers also agree as it flies off the stall every week.

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.

A polenta cake is one of the most recognisably gluten-free bakes. Sometimes it can be disappointing and dry but this Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake is always beautifully moist and delicious due to the whole oranges and the ground almonds. It is the only orange polenta cake recipe you need and the hint of rosemary makes it just that little bit more special. The ingredients are few and easy to find in any supermarket but if you can’t find blood oranges at this time of year then regular oranges are just as delicious.

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.

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.

I first posted this recipe back in February 2014 but with my forgotten love of the cake and the dear need for better images and a more detailed recipe I decided to repost today.

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.

I felt sad to delete the wording of my original post with its references to walking Billy Buddy as a puppy and the horrible howling weather the UK was obviously experiencing at the time so for my own personal posterity I have included the original wording of the post below.

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.

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.

From The Larder February 10th 2014

This wouldn’t be a very realistic British blog without giving the weather its due attention. The reason we Brits chat about the weather so much is that we suffer through every type and gosh do we suffer. There is always some extreme weather condition on the go to govern our train times, the roads and our moods. This time round it is these howling winds, whipping the coastline up into a frenzy.
It may be true that we live in London so the likelihood of us getting washed out to sea in a tidal wave during our walks with the puppy are quite slim but I see it as no reason not to be extra cautious. I’ll come out when Easter is here, the chicks are trilling and the flowers blooming. So for now I’ll batten down the hatches, flick on The Voice and nestle down in blankets on the sofa with tea and 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.

This cake is as much of a store cupboard cake as you can get. My fruit bowl is always filled with sweet blood oranges at this time of year which I hoard like I belong on a reality TV show to eek out the most of their too short season. Everything else was all present and correct in my kitchen and I was able to use the last of the polenta which has been languishing in my cupboard for far too long which cheered me up immensely. I always love using up the end of ingredients, allowing my other tins and jars more room to breathe.

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.

The absence of any flour also means it is an excellent gluten- free option and the pureed orange and syrup soaked sponge wards off any sort of dryness. We enjoyed this cake with a dollop of whipped double cream but it would be equally delicious with crème fraiche or without anything at all. I think the cup of tea is obligatory though.

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.

Print Recipe
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.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
For the caramelised blood orange slices
  • 1 blood orange
  • 120 g caster sugar
For the cake:
  • 450 g blood oranges (about 4 medium sized oranges)
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
For the caramelised blood orange slices
  • 1 blood orange
  • 120 g caster sugar
For the cake:
  • 450 g blood oranges (about 4 medium sized oranges)
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
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.
Instructions
Caramelised Blood Orange Slices
  1. First prepare the caramelised oranges for decorating the top of the cake. Pour the extra 120g caster sugar into a medium saucepan with 120ml of water. Bring to a low boil until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Cut the extra blood orange into thin slices then submerge into the sugar syrup. Bring the syrup back to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  3. Remove the orange slices from the sugar syrup (reserve the syrup for pouring over the cake later) with a slotted spoon then place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 150°C. Turn the orange slices over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside whilst you make the cake.
The Cake
  1. Place the whole oranges into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
  3. Remove the oranges from the saucepan and cut in half to remove and discard the pips.
  4. Place the oranges into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  5. Set the oranges aside for a moment whilst you beat the eggs and sugar in either a large mixing bowl or food mixer until pale and thick.
  6. Then mix in the pureed orange.
  7. Add the polenta, ground almonds, baking powder, rosemary leaves and salt. Beat until thoroughly incorporated.
  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 30 minutes until firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and whilst the cake is still in the tin prick the surface all over with a cocktail stick. Pour the reserved blood orange sugar syrup all over the surface of the cake.
  10. Let the cake cool in the cake tin before removing. Decorate with the blood orange slices and fresh rosemary then serve.
Recipe Notes
  • Original recipe adapted from Veerle de Pooter -  90 Years of KitchenAid-The Cookbook

Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes

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

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The Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road

This gluten-free Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road hits all the right notes; sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy and most importantly really chocolatey.

side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board

Gosh Rocky Road is dangerous. It’s the kind of treat which you would make with kids in mind, maybe it’s a birthday party, or the school cake sale. It’s fine, it’s for the children, I am doing such a nice thing for them. Now here, let’s load it with sprinkles as that’s what children like.

Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road lined up on baking parchment

Now you might not really call yourself a sprinkles person, they look pretty but don’t really tell you what you’re about to eat is anything more than a fun whimsical food. Nothing I can’t handle. Here would be your mistake. You are underestimating this rocky road as you think you are making it for the children and the sprinkles are evidence of that.

ingredients in a bowl for Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road

You are wrong, this Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road is sheer nirvana, for adults and children alike, and if you are tempted to try a small square whilst you are cutting it up or arranging on the plate then don’t say I didn’t warn you as it will be highly likely that your lovingly prepared treats will not make it to little Jimmy’s birthday party and probably won’t contribute to raising money for new equipment for the school gym.

Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road lined up on baking parchment

The best case scenario is that you don’t eat the whole batch yourself. And if you think I’m exaggerating then let’s break it down.

Do you like chocolate? Why yes, I love chocolate. Do you like marshmallows? Well, I wouldn’t say no to them toasted over a campfire. What about sweet n’ salty popcorn? Does ordering a jumbo bucket at the cinema every Saturday evening count? Yes it does. Then yes, I’m in for popcorn. Glace cherries perhaps? They have a certain retro charm. Biscuits? Oh yes, dunked in my tea at 4pm every day. Some roasted cashews? Naturally, they are part of my very healthy lifestyle. Now mix the lot together and Bob’s your bingo, your diet is done-zo.

I should know, I have had several batches of this Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road come and go out of my fridge for the past two weeks and there is no saving me. And what’s more, I don’t think I want to be saved.

side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board

Print Recipe
The Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road
This Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road hits all the right notes; sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy and most importantly really chocolatey.
side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
16 bars
Ingredients
  • 250 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 175 g soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g sweet n’salty popcorn see notes for recipe
  • 125 g gluten-free digestive biscuits chopped and a little crushed
  • 75 g unsalted roasted cashews
  • 125 g glace cherries diced
  • 125 g mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles
Cuisine British
Keyword gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
16 bars
Ingredients
  • 250 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 175 g soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g sweet n’salty popcorn see notes for recipe
  • 125 g gluten-free digestive biscuits chopped and a little crushed
  • 75 g unsalted roasted cashews
  • 125 g glace cherries diced
  • 125 g mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles
side view of stack of Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road bars on baking parchment on wooden board
Instructions
  1. Line and grease a 13 inch x 9 inch cake tin.
  2. In a bain marie melt the chocolate with the butter and golden syrup.
  3. Once melted pour in, in this order, the biscuit pieces, the nuts, the glace cherries, the popcorn, remove from the heat, then pour in the mini marshmallows. Coat thoroughly with the chocolate.
  4. Pour the rocky road into the prepared tin, then scatter the sprinkles evenly over the top. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.
  5. Remove from the fridge and cut into squares.
Recipe Notes

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.I always use a double boiler or bain marie when melting my chocolate as it’s much easier than finding a bowl that’s the right size that will fit the top of your saucepan and then the boil gets hot and how do you handle it? This KitchenCraft Induction-Safe Stainless Steel Double Boiler Porringer/Bain-Marie Pan, 16 cm (6.5″) is the one I use and is the perfect size. 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 or make swiss meringue.

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