Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

Keep everybody happy with this Gluten-Free Caramel Cake. A gorgeously flavourful cake whose caramel notes are enhanced by the use of teff and oat flour. It takes no time at all to mix together and is drenched in an easy caramel icing you will find it impossible to resist. Perfect for serving to a crowd or a your very lucky family.

A slice of gluten-free caramel cake on a wooden board

My four and a half year old has just discovered caramel. As such, everything has to be caramel flavoured and this Gluten-Free Caramel Cake was his special request. Gosh was it a good idea. We’ve now made it several times and we are refusing to get tired of it.

This caramel cake is so easy to whip up. Perfect for mini bakers to help out with but it also totally delivers on flavour and texture. It’s one of those everyday cakes that is suitable for any occasion. We have been snacking on it in between meals or with a scoop of peanut butter ice cream for dessert. Oh la, we have been spoilt.

Slices of gluten-free caramel cake on a wooden board

Why is this Gluten-Free Caramel Cake so brilliant?

  • The multi-layered caramel flavour is achieved by using brown sugar, oat flour and teff flour.
  • It’s not too sweet. Yes there’s tonnes of caramel taste but without the sickly sweetness.
  • It takes no more than 15 minutes to mix up the sponge and 35 minutes in the oven. The icing takes 10 minutes. This is a quick cake to make.
  • The icing develops a slight crunch on top which gives way to the creamy caramel. Such an amazing contrast to the sponge.
  • There is no need to whip up your own caramel (although you are perfectly welcome to), instead use tinned Carnations Caramel or dulce de leche to make the icing super quick.
  • You can serve this cake to a crowd or bring to a gathering as it makes lots of delicious little squares of cake.

A slice of gluten-free caramel cake on a plate with a bite taken out of it

The Gluten-Free Flour Team

Along with the use of the brown sugar it’s the gluten-free flours which give the cake so much of its caramel flavour. Therefore I wouldn’t really recommend any substitutions here otherwise it would alter the taste of the cake.

  • Oat Flour – The butterscotch flavour of the oat flour really brings out the caramel notes of the cake. It’s a light fluffy flour which gives a lovely texture too. Want more info on oat flour – read here!
  • Teff Flour – This is a lovely pairing with the oat flour, it accentuates the caramel taste whilst also giving its own earthy rich flavour. Want more info on teff flour – read here!
  • Sweet Rice Flour – This flour is integral to the structure of the cake. Its sticky tendencies keeps the cake together and gives it bounce. Plus its delicate flavour is not overwhelming. Want more info on sweet rice flour – read here!

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How do you make Gluten-Free Caramel Cake?

  1. Cream brown sugar and unsalted butter until light and fluffy.ingredients for gluten-free caramel cake in a glass mixing bowlmixing bowl with cake batter for gluten-free caramel cake with eggs on the side
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  3. Whisk up oat flour, teff flour, sweet rice flour, baking powder and salt then mix into the rest of the batter.flours for gluten-free caramel cake in a glass mixing bowlmixing bowl with cake batter for gluten-free caramel cake
  4. Pour into a lined and greased 13×9 inch cake tin and bake for 35 minutes.Cake batter for Gluten-Free Caramel Cake in a cake tin waiting for the ovengluten-free caramel cake on a wire rack
  5. Remove from the oven and cool before icing.

Essentials for making Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

How do you make caramel icing?

  1. Warm butter and milk until just beginning to simmer.ingredients for caramel icing in a saucepan on a wooden board
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in icing sugar, followed by caramel, vanilla extract and salt until smooth.making gluten-free caramel icing in a saucepan making gluten-free caramel icing in a saucepan
  3. Pour over the caramel sponge and leave to set for at least 2 hours.Pouring caramel icing from a saucepan over gluten-free caramel cake

Baker’s Tips

  • Make sure the butter is at room temperature before creaming with the sugar, so remove it from the fridge at least an hour before using (it also depends on how warm your kitchen is).
  • Sift the brown sugar before using as it has a tendency to clump.
  • Use medium eggs.
  • Test the cake to make sure it’s fully baked by inserting a cocktail stick, it should come out clean without any moist sponge clinging to it.
  • You can use homemade caramel in the icing but tinned Carnations Caramel or dulce de leche is perfect here.
  • Store this cake at room temperature in an airtight container. It will keep well for about 3 days before it starts to dry out.

  • You can freeze this cake with or without the icing, but wait until the cake has completely cooled and the icing totally set. It will keep for at least a couple of months in the freezer.

Slices of gluten-free caramel cake on a wooden board

Variations to Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

  • Dark Chocolate Chips! – The intensity of the bittersweet chocolate chips would contrast amazingly well with this caramel cake.
  • Swap the caramel icing for a chocolate ganache. Stir together 200g chopped dark chocolate into 150g warm double cream with a pinch of salt until smooth then spread over the cooled caramel cake.
  • Add some nuts. Stir in some chopped hazelnuts or pecans into the cake batter before pouring into the cake tin. You could also sprinkle them on top of the caramel.
  • Caramel Apple Cake. Dice up some peeled granny smiths and stir through the cake batter before pouring into the cake tin.

Do you love caramel as much as my son, then why not try these recipes:

Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Cups
Banana Rum Caramel Cake
Milk Chocolate Peanut Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake
Bourbon Sea Salt Caramels
Roast Pork Belly Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad

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

A slice of gluten-free caramel cake on a wooden board
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten-Free Caramel Cake

Keep everybody happy with this Gluten-Free Caramel Cake. A gorgeously flavourful cake whose caramel notes are enhanced by the use of teff and oat flour. It takes no time at all to mix together and is drenched in an easy caramel icing you will find it impossible to resist.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 24 people
Calories: 315kcal

Ingredients

  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 300 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 6 eggs medium
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150 g teff flour
  • 150 g oat flour
  • 120 g sweet rice flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

Caramel Icing

  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 60 ml whole milk
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60 g caramel
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan and line and grease a 13 x 9 inch rectangular cake tin.
  • Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time until combined. Then stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Whisk the teff flour, oat flour, sweet rice flour, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the flour mix to the batter and mix until completely combined.
  • Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes in the tin before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Icing

  • Melt the butter and milk in a small saucepan, stirring together until it starts to simmer gently. Then remove from the heat.
  • Whisk in the icing sugar until dissolved.
  • Pour in the caramel, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the icing over the cake. Then leave to cool and set for a couple of hours before cutting.

Notes

CAKE
  • Make sure the butter is at room temperature before creaming with the sugar, so remove it from the fridge at least an hour before using (it also depends on how warm your kitchen is).
  • Sift the brown sugar before using as it has a tendency to clump.
  • Use medium eggs.
  • Test the cake to make sure it’s fully baked by inserting a cocktail stick, it should come out clean without any moist sponge clinging to it.
ICING
  • I use Carnations Caramel but you can use dulce de leche or any thick caramel sauce.
  • Icing recipe adapted from Handle The Heat’s Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake.
STORING
  • Store this cake at room temperature in an airtight container. It will keep well for about 3 days before it starts to dry out.
  • You can freeze this cake with or without the icing, but wait until the cake has completely cooled and the icing totally set. It will keep for at least a couple of months in the freezer. Wrap up well in cling film and tin foil then let defrost overnight before unwrapping and icing.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 496IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg

Lemon Curd Cake {gluten-free}

This Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cake is a real homey cake with bright fresh citrus flavour. Homemade lemon curd is sandwiched between lemon and vanilla infused sponges which are covered with a cloudlike lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream. I’ll take you through the recipe step by step, offering tips and advice on how to make this the best gluten-free cake you will have ever tasted.

A slice of lemon curd cake on a

Everyone is still talking about this gluten-free Lemon Curd Cake, two weeks after I made it and shared it with friends and family. There are some cakes that you know are going to be a hit and anything lemony is usually an absolute winner. The fact that it was gluten-free was never on anyone’s radar.

It doesn’t hurt that this cake makes the most of delicious homemade Easy Lemon Curd which provides a real zing to the proceedings. Paired with the dreamy buttery Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream this cake is taken to the next level and beyond.

lemon curd cake on a plate on a wooden board

Top Gluten-Free Baking Tip

I’m going to start out strong by giving away the ultimate gluten-free baking secret. Yup, this gluten-free Lemon Curd Cake utilises my favourite tip for achieving an easy drop jaw yummy gluten-free cake.

Plain Gluten-Free Flour + Ground Almonds

This flour combo means you don’t get the dry, slightly gritty or crumbly drawbacks that affect some gluten-free offerings. There is also no gummy mouthfeel. It’s gluten-freeness will be totally undetectable.

The best thing is you can use pretty much any gluten-free flour blend from the supermarket. I use Doves Farm as that is the most widely available in the UK and is xanthan gum free which suits my intolerances. However, this recipe will work with Bob’s Red Mill or even a home DIY blend.

If you want more tips on how to make perfect gluten-free cakes with loads of tips and tricks, then visit this Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Cakes.

hand holding a spoon dipped into lemon curd

What makes this Lemon Curd Cake so brilliant?

  • The lemon sponges are a doddle to make with no complicated method. They use shop bought plain gluten-free flour and ground almonds.
  • No xanthan gum. My cakes never include xanthan gum and here’s why.
  • Homemade Easy Lemon Curd. So bright, zesty and full of flavour. It’s sandwiched between the cake layers and used copiously in the buttercream.
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This incredibly buttery cake frosting is a perfect contrast to the light zingy lemon flavours. It’s easier to make than you think and all the tips and tricks are below.

How do you make Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cake?

  1. Beat the sugar with the lemon zest and butter.butter, sugar and lemon zest in a bowlbeaten butter and sugar in a bowl
  2. Add the whole eggs one at a time then the vanilla.cake batter in a bowl
  3. Whisk the gluten-free flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Then mix well into the batter.gluten-free flour and ground almonds in a bowlcake batter in a bowl
  4. Divide into two lined and greased 8 inch round cake tins and bake for 30 minutes at 160°C fan assisted.cake batter in two cake tins
  5. Remove from the oven, carefully insert cakes out of the cake tin and cool on wire racks.lemon curd cake sponges resting on wire racks
  6. Spread the lemon curd over one of the sponge surfaces then place the other on top.lemon curd cake and lemon curd
  7. Cover the cake with lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream.

overhead image of lemon curd cake on a white plate

Baker’s Tips

  • Make sure to add the whole eggs one at a time. It makes the sponge lighter. If the eggs are dumped in all at once you risk losing the air you just whipped into the butter and sugar.
  • I use Doves Farm Gluten-Free Plain Flour. It’s the most widely available in the UK. However, any gluten-free flour blend will be fine here.
  • You don’t want the almond taste to be too strong or compete with the lemon. The almonds are used to give the cake texture and bind it together so ready ground almonds from the supermarket are perfect. If you grind them yourself the almond flavour will be more pronounced.
  • You can use shop bought lemon curd which is lovely if you buy a good brand. However, why not take it the extra mile and make this homemade Easy Lemon Curd. You won’t be disappointed.

lemon curd cake cut into on a white plate

It’s all very well having deliciously lemony sponge with perfect texture and taste but we want to make this cake really special. So let’s take it up a notch and make a Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream to really impress.

If you haven’t made Swiss Meringue Buttercream before you might find the equipment needed (sugar thermometer, double boiler and stand mixer) a bit intimidating.

Plus the number of steps required are also a couple more than your regular icing sugar + butter method.

Please though don’t let it put you off. Try it once and I guarantee it’s pretty hard to mess up as long as you follow my troubleshooting tips below. You’ll also find it hard to go back to icing sugar, the taste and texture is pretty unbeatable.

How do you make Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

  1. Heat the egg whites and sugar in a bain marie or double boiler, whisking all the time.egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl
  2. When the sugar has completely melted and the temperature reached 71°C then remove from the heat and immediately pour into a stand mixer.
  3. Whisk on a medium setting for about 10 minutes until a glossy meringue has formed and the temperature has lowered to about 32°C.close up of whipped swiss meringue in a bowl
  4. Change the whisk attachment to a paddle beater and beat on low adding the butter one cube at a time.swiss meringue buttercream in a bowl
  5. Once all the butter has been added and the buttercream looks beautifully smooth then add the lemon curd and salt and mix in until thoroughly combined.close up of lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream in a bowl

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Tips

  • I recommend buying Two Chicks Liquid Egg Whites as it saves wasting the yolks or finding a use for them. You will only need about half the carton but you can freeze the other half for your next foray into SMB.
  • The temperatures here are important. If you have made SMB a few times then you can intuit when the sugar has melted into the egg whites or when the meringue has cooled enough to add the butter. However for newbies a sugar thermometer is invaluable. The Thermopen is my favourite.
  • The butter must be at room temperature before you add it. Slightly soft to the touch but not melty.
  • If your butter is too cold then just keep on mixing the buttercream once it’s all added, the butter will soon warm and melt into the buttercream. If that doesn’t work then warm slightly over a bowl of boiling water. Once the edges of the buttercream start to soften then start whipping again off the heat.
  • If your butter is too warm place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill then try re-whipping it.
  • As you are adding the butter your buttercream will look a bit curdled. This is absolutely normal. Keep on mixing the buttercream and don’t lose faith, it will always come together in the end.
  • If your buttercream does not come together and looks too soupy that means your butter was too warm – see above on how to fix.

A slice of lemon curd cake on a plate on a wooden table

Can I freeze Lemon Curd Cake?

You certainly can. I recommend chilling the whole finished cake first in the fridge so that the buttercream gets quite firm. Wrap well in cling film then tin foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost thoroughly before removing the tin foil and cling film.

Variations on Lemon Curd Cake

  • You can replace the lemon curd with any curd of your choosing. Passion Fruit Curd Cake? Raspberry Curd Cake?
  • If the Swiss Meringue Buttercream still seems intimidating to you then why not swap it out for a simple cream cheese buttercream which would be amazing. (Try the buttercream from this Carrot Cake recipe and add in a couple of spoonfuls of lemon curd).

Have you tried these gluten-free lemon cake recipes?

Whole Lemon Thyme Cake
Lemon Raspberry Cake
Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins
Blueberry Basil and Lemon Drizzle
Vanilla Almond Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze

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

A slice of lemon curd cake on a plate on a wooden table
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Lemon Curd Cake {gluten-free}

This Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cake is a real homey cake with bright fresh citrus flavour. Homemade lemon curd is sandwiched between lemon and vanilla infused sponges which are covered with a cloudlike lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream.
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 generous slices
Calories: 681kcal

Ingredients

  • 320 g caster sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 6 eggs medium
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g lemon curd

Lemon Curd Buttercream:

  • 210 g egg whites about 7 medium egg whites
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 490 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g lemon curd

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C/gas mark 4 and line and grease 2 x 8 inch round cake tins.
  • Beat the sugar with the lemon zest and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt then beat into the rest of the ingredients.
  • Divide the cake batter between the two tins and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Allow the sponges to rest for 5 minutes before carefully removing from the tins and cool completely on wire racks.

Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Heat the egg whites and sugar in a bain marie or double boiler, whisking constantly until the temperature has reached 71°C.
  • Remove from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks and the temperature has reduced to about 32°C.
  • Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done, just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • Add the lemon curd and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.

Assembly

  • Place one of the sponge layers on an 8 inch cake board and spread the lemon curd from the centre of the top of the sponge almost to the edges.
  • Place the second sponge layer on top and cover the top and the sides of the cake with the buttercream.

Notes

Eggs – I usually use medium eggs in my baking recipes. Add the whole eggs one at a time. It makes the sponge lighter. If the eggs are dumped in all at once you risk losing the air you just whipped into the butter and sugar.
Gluten-Free Flour - I used Doves Farm Gluten-Free Plain Flour. It’s the most widely available in the UK. However, any gluten-free flour blend will be fine here.
Ground Almonds – I don’t want the almond taste to be too pronounced here. The almonds are used to give the cake texture and bind it together so I use ready ground almonds from the supermarket. If you grind them yourself the almond flavour will be more pronounced.
Does your batter look curdled? After you mix in the eggs the batter seems to curdle. Don’t worry at all, there is a lot of fat in this cake from the butter and the eggs. As soon as you add the flour then the mixture comes together. Although it won’t appear smooth due to the ground almonds.
Homemade Lemon Curd - I really recommend you follow this recipe for an absolutely delicious Easy Lemon Curd but of course you can certainly use shop bought if you don’t have time.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream – for troubleshooting any problems which may arise making your buttercream see the content of this post for detailed advice. Remember, it’s very hard to break SMB, any problems can usually be fixed.
Store – This cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge for at least an hour to come to room temperature before serving.
Freeze – You can freeze the whole finished cake. Chill in the fridge to allow the buttercream to firm before wrapping well in cling film and tin foil. You can freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost completely before removing the cling film and tin foil.

Nutrition

Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 1229IU | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

A beautiful layered Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream. This gluten-free apple cake is wonderfully flavourful and the depth of buckwheat rounds out the warmth of the cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. The luxurious cream cheese buttercream spiked with homemade salted caramel turns this cake into a real celebration.

Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream on a cake stand on a wooden table.

I always smile patiently at the ‘I don’t normally like gluten-free cakes but this one is amazing’ comments. Of course it’s a compliment to my cake recipes but the reputation of gluten-free cakes is so disappointing. They are often dismissed as dry crumbly over-sweetened confections but this is a shame as gluten-free cakes can be incredibly flavourful, light and fluffy. You just need to use the right flours.

This Cinnamon Apple Cake is a perfect example. It often receives the kind of comments mentioned above. That’s if I have bothered to tell the recipient the cake is gluten-free at all. You would be hard pressed to realise otherwise as the flours chosen here both compliment the delicate spices and give exactly the right fluffy texture.

Spiced Cinnamon Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream on a cake stand on a wooden table.

Gluten-Free Flours

  • Buckwheat Flour – This Apple Cake was actually adapted from a wheat cake which I had on the blog way back when. Even back then the main flour of choice which I used was buckwheat flour. A naturally gluten-free flour with an amazing flavour that pairs perfectly with the apple, spices and salted caramel. Want more info on Buckwheat Flour see here.

  • Sweet Rice Flour – One of my favourite flours. It is so incredibly useful as it’s a starchy flour which gives the cake excellent structure and bounce in the absence of gluten’s elasticity. To use too much of it in a recipe can lead to chewy dense cakes but just enough and it’s your gluten-free secret weapon. Want more info on Sweet Rice Flour – see here.

  • Potato Starch – Often you just need a bit of a filler and this is the function that I mainly use Potato Starch for. It’s neutral in taste and balances the cake out well so I don’t have to overuse other gluten-free flours which may overwhelm the texture or taste.

If you need more comprehensive information on gluten-free baking then visit my Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Flours and my Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Cakes.

A slice of Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream on a wooden plate with an apple slice and a spoon of caramel

The combination of the fresh Autumn apples, gentle spices, brown sugar and buckwheat make this cake so richly flavourful. The sponge is incredibly simple to make and requires no complex methods.

How to make Cinnamon Apple Cake

  1. Make the apple sauce by heating diced apple until they have broken down into a pulp. Set aside.Apple sauce in a saucepan
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time then vanilla extract.Process shot of Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream
  4. Sift together the flours with the spices and salt.Flour mix for Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream in a glass bowl
  5. Add the flour and the apple sauce to the batter alternately until the batter is smooth.Process shot of Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream
  6. Pour into two round cake tins and bake for 25 minutes.


Baker’s Tips

  • This cake uses freshly made apple sauce from the most flavourful eating apples you can find. I like to use Cox apples here but you can use braeburn, pink lady or whatever is in season where you live.
  • For cakes that use the creaming method, always use room temperature butter. Start the creaming off slow then ramp up the speed as the butter and sugar are mixed together. It should be pale, light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time just incase you get a bad one.
  • You add the flour and the apple sauce alternately in three goes, this ensures even mixing.
  • Always bake the cakes in the centre of the oven and once they are done leave to rest for a few minutes so the sponges have a chance to spring back from the cake tins.

Love apples? Then why not try these delicious recipes:

Apple and Blackberry Crumble
Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake
Apple Butter
Roast Pork Belly Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad
Apple Blueberry Maple Cake
Apple Scones

Close up of a cut Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

Of course Cinnamon Apple Cake is delicious by itself but by filling and covering the sponges with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream you are really upping the ante. We use homemade salted caramel and it’s so much easier to make than you think. If you’ve never made it yourself before don’t be scared by the hot sugar. It’s a pussycat as long as you don’t answer the phone or the door whilst tending to its needs.

Ingredients for homemade Salted Caramel

How to make homemade Salted Caramel

  1. Pour caster sugar into an even layer of a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has melted.
  2. Immediately add double cream and butter. Stir into the sugar until smooth.
  3. Add salt and vanilla extract then remove from the heat.

A bowl of homemade Salted Caramel

Caramel Tips

  • Use a heavy bottomed pan for sugar work. I always use enamelled cast iron pans as any burnt sugar mishaps can easily be removed. Non-stick pans seem to always get un-stuck.
  • Do not walk away from the sugar when it is initially melting. It can turn from a gentle toffee brown to raging burn in seconds. Instead towards the end of the melt just keep that saucepan swirling. If there’s a stubborn lump of sugar that won’t melt then prod lightly with a silicone spatula, hopefully it will break apart and melt instantly.
  • I always use a silicone spatula for stirring the caramel as once the sugar hardens it can break easily off without any stressful washing up.

  • When you add the cream and butter the caramel often aggressively bubbles up. Be careful and stand back.
  • If the cream and butter are too cold then the sugar may harden again, just be patient – it will re-melt.
  • As soon as you have poured the caramel out of the saucepan, fill the pan with hot soapy water and leave to soak for a few minutes to melt the hardened sugar around the edges and make the washing up easier.

The salted caramel recipe I have included below makes slightly more than you need for the buttercream. You can use this little excess for drizzling on the cake when serving. Or it can be your own special baker’s treat.

If you would like more Salted Caramel Cake recipes then why not try:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Cups
Milk Chocolate Peanut Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake

A slice of Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream on a wooden plate with an apple slice and a spoon of caramel, infront of the whole cake

Now you have an amazing Cinnamon Apple Cake with gorgeously silky buttercream but the bit I often struggle with when finishing a cake is how to make it look as good as it tastes. These easy peasy apple slices make the cake look incredibly fancy but they are a cinch to achieve.

How to Make Dried Apples for Cake Decoration

This quick method is ideal if you are just looking for a simple way to decorate your apple cake. The apple slices are not de-hydrated enough for storage but will last a 3-4 days on top of you cake.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140°C fan.
  2. Slice the apples across the core very thinly.
  3. Place the apple slices as you are slicing them in water with fresh lemon juice. This stops the apple from browning.Apple slices in a bowl
  4. Dry the slices in kitchen towel then place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
  5. Turn off the oven and leave the apple slices inside with the door open until the apple slices have completely cooled.

Pro Tip

Don’t bother peeling or coring the apple, they are so pretty in their skins with the core providing an attractive star pattern in the centre.

A forkful of taken out of a slice of Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream on a wooden plate

Can you freeze Cinnamon Apple Cake?

Yes you can. It’s easier to store if you freeze the sponges by themselves individually. Wrap up well then remove them from the freezer the night before you want to decorate and serve.

How long does Cinnamon Apple Cake last?

Due to the cream cheese in the buttercream it’s better to keep in the fridge if you are not serving right away. It will keep for 3-4 days. An hour or two before serving remove from the fridge to bring up to room temperature.

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

Spiced Cinnamon Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream on a cake stand on a wooden table.
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5 from 1 vote

Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream {gluten-free}

A beautiful layered Cinnamon Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream. This gluten-free apple cake is wonderfully flavourful and the depth of buckwheat rounds out the
warmth of the cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg. The luxurious cream cheese buttercream spiked with homemade salted caramel turns this cake into a real celebration.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 708kcal

Ingredients

  • 5-6 eating apples to achieve 300g sauce
  • 125 g buckwheat flour
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 50 g potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 280 g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Salted Caramel

  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 450 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 120 ml salted caramel
  • 300 g cream cheese

Decorative Apple Slices

  • 1 apple
  • ½ lemon
  • Water to cover

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 4 and line and grease 2 x 20cm round baking tins.
  • Make the apple sauce by peeling, coring and dicing the apples. Place in a saucepan with a tablespoon or two of water and heat gently with the lid on. Stir every so often until the apples have broken down. You should be able to mix them into a pulp with a fork. You need 300g of sauce so weigh out the correct amount and set aside to cool.
  • Sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar for 5-10 minutes in a food mixer or handheld beater until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, to the creamed butter and sugar and mix in well. Then add the vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with the apple sauce, adding the flour in three additions and the apple sauce in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  • Divide between the two cake tins.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack completely before filling and covering with the buttercream.

Salted Caramel

  • Tip the sugar into a small saucepan and heat on a medium temperature until the sugar melts. Do not touch with a spoon but you can encourage the melting by swirling the actual saucepan around occasionally if you like.
  • Stir in the double cream and butter carefully and be prepared for it to bubble up furiously, the caramel may harden slightly but just keep on stirring the bubbly mixture until the cream, butter and sugar are smooth.
  • Add the vanilla extract and salt, stir in quickly and remove from the heat.
  • Pour the caramel directly into a glass jar, seal and place in the fridge to chill thoroughly before using.

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • Cream the butter until soft then add the icing sugar and mix for about 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Scoop in the cream cheese and chilled salted caramel and mix in thoroughly.

Decorative Apple Slices

  • Pre-heat oven to 160°C/ 140°C fan / gas mark 3.
  • Fill a medium sized bowl ¾ of the way with water. Squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon and stir.
  • Cut the apple very thinly across the core. Don’t bother to peel or core.
  • Place all the apple slices in the lemon water for 5 minutes which helps to avoid apple browning.
  • Dry the apple slices thoroughly on kitchen towel then place on a parchment lined baking tray.
  • Place in the oven for 1 hour, turning the apples over halfway.
  • Turn the heat off the oven and leave the apples inside to cool.
  • Assembly
  • Generously sandwich the buttercream between the two apple sponges and cover the sides and top. Decorate with the apple slices.

Notes

Apple Sauce – Choose a sweeter apple rather than a cooking apple. I love Cox Apples but Pink Ladies or Braeburns are also delicious here.
How long your apples take to break down depends on the type of apple you are using. Cox Apples are quite soft so only take about 10 minutes to cook through.
Unsalted Butter – At room temperature means the butter will dent if you press into it gently. How long your butter takes to get to room temperature depends on the warmth of your kitchen.
Eggs – I always use medium. I recommend both breaking them into a separate bowl one at a time and before adding them to the batter. This is in case you have a bad egg. They are rare but they do happen. Or a double yolker which would mess with your quantities. Adding them to the batter one at a time gives more air to your cake.
Adding the flour and the apple sauce – I recommend adding in thirds alternately. This ensures even mixing into the batter.
Salted Caramel – do make it the day before if you can as it really benefits from a decent amount of chill time so the caramel can thicken. Otherwise it adds too much liquid to the buttercream. If you are running short on time, place in the freezer for 30 minutes to cool very quickly.
Storage – This cake is best eaten at room temperature but you should store it in the fridge to avoid spoiling the buttercream. Just remove from the fridge 1 hour before you want to serve it. It keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Decorative Apple Slices – The method given here is the quick method which is perfect for cake decoration as it leaves them a little malleable. They only keep for about 3-4 days. You can make the day before or whilst your cake sponges are cooling.

Nutrition

Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 1456IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg

This recipe was originally published in February 2016. It has been updated with revised recipe to amend the flours to gluten-free alternatives, new pictures and a more detailed method.

Gluten-Free Coffee and Walnut Cake

A beautifully simple gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake intense in coffee flavour with a lovely earthiness from the walnuts. Beautifully baked with teff flour and walnut flour.

gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake on a wooden board

At the beginning of summer I start thinking of crowd pleasing bakes to donate to the various cake stalls coming our way. I usually make a few cake promises to the school fairs, village fetes and neighbourhood festivals. These cake stalls make their money by selling good homely British baking and I’m always happy to contribute.

Not counting my own market stall I was a Women’s Institute member (and President) for many years and know my way around a local cake stall. At these local festivals there is always an enthusiastic crowd circling the cake stall and there are a certain few cakes that the customers expect to see.

gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake on a wooden board

When I would help co-ordinate the volunteers and bakers for an upcoming cake stall we would accept any offering. However we also had a checklist of bakes that absolutely had to be included:

Victoria Sponge
Brownies
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Chocolate Cake
Flapjacks
Carrot Cake

And you betcha there had better be a Coffee and Walnut Cake. Riots are not usually on the agenda at the Crouch End Festival.

At the same time as the resolutely traditional bakes there has in recent years been a call for gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free cakes. These are usually the ones I donate as you can imagine. I love blending traditional recipes with modern alternative flours to serve both needs.

This Coffee and Walnut Cake is based around a classic recipe. However it has been modernised through using flavourful flours which gives so much more personality to this British stalwart. And makes it gluten-free to boot.

gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake on a wooden board

How to make a Gluten-Free Coffee and Walnut Cake

The key to a delicious gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake is:

  • Teff flour

If you don’t know anything about teff flour then visit this post which dives deep into the subject. It is an incredibly tasty flour with hints of molasses and spices. An absolute natural pairing to the coffee and nuts in this cake, adding a beautiful complexity of flavour.

process shots of making a gluten-free coffee and walnut cake

We blend the teff flour with:

  • Tapioca Flour – for helping the cake hold together so it’s not dry and crumbly. See here for more info on tapioca flour.
  • Walnut Flour – for the unmistakable taste of walnuts. We grind walnut halves into a ‘flour’ to give the cake a moist crumb. The flour allows the walnut flavour to permeate the whole cake. If you want to learn more about baking with nut flours see here.

ALTERNATIVE FLOUR: Buckwheat flour also works beautifully in this cake and gives it more of an earthy taste. Just swap the teff for equal amounts of buckwheat if you like that idea.

process shots of making a gluten-free coffee and walnut cake

How do you make Gluten-Free Coffee and Walnut Cake?

This Gluten-Free Coffee and Walnut Cake is a straightforward cake to make and uses the creaming method for a beautifully light sponge.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg one at a time.
  3. Grind the walnuts in a food processor.
  4. Mix the walnuts with the rest of the dry ingredients.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet.
  6. Divide between two 8 inch cake tins.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes then cool.
  8. For the icing beat the butter and icing sugar until light and creamy.
  9. Add the coffee and salt to the icing then ice the cake.

Bakers Tips:

  • When grinding your walnuts make sure you don’t take them too far. If they start to turn into walnut butter then the walnuts will have released too much oil and will make the cake greasy. The walnuts should be like crumble.
  • When making your icing you want to beat the butter and icing sugar for about 6-8 minutes so the icing is ultra light and creamy.

Slices of gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake on a wooden board

What kind of coffee do you use in Coffee and Walnut Cake?

For this cake we use barista style instant coffee as it’s so easy. You can add it straight in without mixing with water. I like the Nescafe Azera brand and use this whenever I need a fresh coffee flavour.

There is no difference in the cake sponge at all, just a lovely clean coffee taste. It’s beautiful in the icing too, flecking like tiny polka dots against the white icing.

How long will Gluten-Free Coffee and Walnut Cake keep?

This Gluten-Free Coffee Cake will keep in an airtight tin for up to three days.

Cut slice of a gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake

If you are looking for easy gluten-free bakes to take to a cake or bake sale then hop on over to the following recipes:

The Ultimate Popcorn Rocky Road
Red Velvet Cake
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

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

Gluten-Free Coffee and Walnut Cake

A beautifully simple gluten-free Coffee and Walnut Cake made with teff flour and walnut flour.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 710kcal

Ingredients

  • 200 g soft light brown sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 eggs medium
  • 125 g teff flour
  • 100 g walnuts plus extra to decorate
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder

Icing

  • 300 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180/ 160 fan and line and grease 2 x 20cm round cake tins.
  • Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time until combined.
  • Place the walnuts in the food processor and grind them until they form fine crumbles.
  • Pour the ground walnuts into a large bowl then whisk to mix with the teff flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, salt and coffee powder.
  • Add the flour mix to the batter and mix until completely combined.
  • Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and leave the cake layers to cool completely before icing.

Icing

  • Beat the butter together with the icing sugar and mix until incredibly light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the espresso powder and salt.
  • To assemble, divide the icing between the middle and the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.

Notes

  • WALNUTS: If your walnuts start to turn to butter in the corners of the food processor then you have taken them too far.
  • The instant coffee powder I use is Nescafe Azera.
  • This cake will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 710kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 1345IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1.9mg

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Best Gluten-Free Blondies

Best Gluten-Free Blondies are a celebration of butterscotch and vanilla, studded with white chocolate and pecans.

overhead of gluten-free blondies on a wooden board

It’s taken me a while to get to a gluten-free blondie recipe which I truly love. Every so often I make a batch of blondies but I am usually a little disappointed by them. By their nature blondies are rich with butterscotch flavour but this can sometimes translate to a sickly sweet treat. Not so here. Thank goodness I persevered as these blondies I love. They charm with vanilla and have a delicious chewy but nutty bite.

However, without delay I want to let you into the trick to achieving the absolute best blondies so there’s no messing around and we get to the good stuff right away. The trick to these Gluten-Free Blondies is…

Coffee Powder.

The presence of a gentle hint of coffee powder seems to absorb the trappings of the sickly sweet blondie and balance it out, creating a blondie intense with butterscotch flavour without a sugar hangover.

overhead of gluten-free blondies on a wooden board

Stay tuned though as there are other steps, equally important, to ensure that these are the best blondies ever.

Brown That Butter!

Blondies need melted butter anyway to ensure their delightfully soft chewy texture so why not take it one step further. All you need to do is melt your butter a little longer than needed so that toasty nutty flavour develops. Your finished blondies will thank you for it.

It’s also necessary to use two different types of sugar here. It sounds a little bit of a faff but I do it in a lot of my recipes and it’s worth it. First we use light muscovado for its gentle molasses taste. We’re trying to evoke butterscotch here and light muscovado is the perfect choice. It also gives extra moisture to the bake so we’re leaning into the fudgey chew that we like so much. However, too much and we’ll have a sloppy blondie at the end of the day. The caster sugar gives a little bit more body to the blondie and a firmer texture.

overhead of gluten-free blondies on a wooden board

Gluten-Free Flours

Now we need to choose our gluten-free flours. If we’re looking for that butterscotch taste then there is only one contender. Oat flour. If you can’t tolerate oats then never fear, you can substitute with sorghum flour. However, if you can tolerate oats then go with them as their flavour was made for these blondies. We also need to add a bit of sweet rice flour to the mix, again the gentle flavour of sweet rice flour works well here. But we also need it for its starchy qualities, to help the blondie stick together and promote the chew factor. Finally a light touch of potato flour is included to balance out the two flours and help not make the batter too wet as it’s a hydroscopic flour.

overhead of gluten-free blondies on a wooden board

Add Ins

Finally we’re after some good add-ins. Blondies can be perfectly lovely plain but they are made even better with chopped white chocolate and pecans. We choose to chop our white chocolate into shards, some big some, small pieces. It’s a preferred choice rather than chocolate chips as some of the shards may melt into the batter during the bake which just tastes really good. We also keep some bigger shards for texture. A few chopped nuts in the mix work so well for taste and texture too and pecans are my preferred choice.

overhead of gluten-free blondies on a wooden board

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

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overhead of gluten-free blondies on a wooden board

overhead of gluten-free blondies on a wooden board
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5 from 1 vote

Best Gluten-Free Blondies

Gluten-Free Blondies are a celebration of butterscotch and vanilla, studded with white chocolate and pecans.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 341kcal

Ingredients

  • 165 g unsalted butter
  • 125 g soft light brown muscovado sugar
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 90 g oat flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coffee powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g white chocolate chopped into small pieces
  • 75 g pecans roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted/gas mark 4 and line and grease a 20cm square baking tin.
  • Brown the butter by melting the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted the butter will start hissing and cracking and forming little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Wait until the noises start to subside and the butter smells toasty Remove from the heat straightaway and pour into a heatproof mixing bowl so it doesn’t begin to burn.
  • Stir the sugars into the butter, followed by the eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Sift the flours together, in a separate mixing bowl, with the baking powder, coffee powder and salt.
  • Beat the flour mix into the wet ingredients until completely combined.
  • Fold in the chopped white chocolate and pecans and pour the batter into the baking tin.
  • Bake for 30 minutes then leave in the tin to settle for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a cooling rack before cutting into 12 bars.

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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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.

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Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake is made with fresh caramelised pineapple and a touch of coconut for tropical flavour.

Overhead of Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake with a pineapple and glass of caramel next to it.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is the only thing Mum ever bakes and as such is the only cake I have ever baked with her, to my recollection. I have happy warm memories of it which Mum usually served as a dessert rather than a teatime treat. Often warm from the oven, the surface glistening with the golden pineapple rings and sticky from the caramel. She would serve it with lashings of custard and, despite as a child never liking pineapple, I always had a soft spot for this dessert. But like I say, it was the only one she made so I kinda had to if I wanted pudding.

To be honest, I am still on the fence about pineapple but thirty-something (very something) years into the game I actually might be coming around. Especially if there is caramel involved. Always if there is caramel involved.

Cut slice of Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake is somewhat removed from my mum’s recipe and is definitely the teatime treat sort of a cake rather than a dessert. Even though you could obviously eat this cake for dessert. Any cake for dessert is good dessert. This cake still feels like the warm hug of home, although it does shy away from the Pineapple Upside Down Cake you might be more familiar with. That wasn’t my intention. I did originally want to pay homage to Mum’s delicious cake so I could make it for her birthday, which is just around the corner. However, once I started playing around with the recipe by swapping in some gluten-free flours and reading a lot of different Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipes, this final version is the one I fell in love with and wanted to add to the Pineapple Upside Down Cake canon. Jamie Oliver, I blame you for this as his Pineapple Upside Down Cake in his Comfort Food book definitely led me down my final direction.

Overhead of Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake with a pineapple and glass of caramel next to it.

Coconut

The first key difference in this Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake will be the initial step you take as you make the recipe. The inclusion of coconut. It makes the cake the most delicious consistency, a little chewy but bursting with tropical flavour. Both desiccated coconut and coconut milk are included here for the perfect texture and taste. This was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s version.

Fresh Pineapple

The next difference will be the swap of tinned pineapple rings for fresh pineapple. The bright juicy flavour of the fresh pineapple was no contest. I find the tinned ones a little tasteless and too sweet. By using fresh you are amping up the pineapple vibe immeasurably.

Caramel

Rather than using just brown sugar at the base of my cake tin to encase the pineapple I actually made a very easy caramel and dipped the pineapple in the caramel. I love the plain brown sugar version but it was a little crunchy for my taste and the cake would sometimes fall apart at the edges after it had been turned upside down. The caramel holds everything together perfectly and ensures the cake is always beautifully turned out.

Side view of Pineapple Upside Down Cake

How To Arrange the Pineapple

The way that the pineapple is arranged in a concentric circle looks a little more finickity than pineapple rings but it looks more impressive than it actually is to arrange and also means you get more pineapple for your money on the surface of the cake. I used glacé cherries right in the centre and if you have homemade glacé cherries then all the better.

Gluten-Free Flours

Of course the most significant change from Mum’s original version to this Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake will be in the use of alternative flours. Here we use flours which will give something back to the flavour of the cake, rather than just being used for structure and texture.

  • Sweet rice flour which binds the cake and gives it moisture and bounce with a delicate taste to give the coconut and pineapple a chance to shine. For more information on baking with sweet rice flour see here.
  • Sorghum flour to give a tender crumb and lightness to the cake. For more information on baking with sorghum flour see here.
  • Potato flour to balance out the sweet rice flour so the whole cake doesn’t take on that gumminess that gluten-free cakes are infamous for.

Cut slice of Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Of course the ultimate test for this cake was when I served it up to Mum, the connoisseur of the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Needless to say she loved it. It’s a bit different but all the better for it and she has requested it for her birthday.

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

Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake is made with fresh caramelised pineapple and a touch of coconut for tropical flavour.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 568kcal

Ingredients

Coconut

  • 200 g coconut milk
  • 75 g desiccated coconut

Caramelised Pineapple

  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter cubed
  • 8 glacé cherries

Cake

  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 190 g sweet rice flour
  • 170 g sorghum flour
  • 50 g potato flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Coconut

  • Pour the coconut milk and the desiccated coconut into a small saucepan and heat until just at boiling point then remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.

Caramelised Pineapple

  • Line and grease an 8 inch x 4 inch round baking tin.
  • Trim the top and tail of the pineapple and cut away the skin. Halve the pineapple then remove the core by cutting it out in a ‘v’ shape. Slice the pineapple very thinly lengthways then set aside whilst you make the caramel.
  • Melt the sugar on a gentle heat in a large saucepan, do not stir but gentle shake the saucepan every once in a while to ensure even melting.
  • Add the butter, once it has melted, stir to combine then remove the caramel from the heat.
  • Tip the pineapple slices and the glace cherries into the caramel and stir so everything is evenly coated.
  • Line the bottom of the cake tin with the pineapple slices, overlapping slightly in concentric circles, the rounded side facing towards the sides of the tin. Leave a small gap in the centre of the tin to fill in with the glace cherries.
  • Drizzle the rest of the caramel over the fruit and set aside whilst you make the cake.

Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 4.
  • Cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Pour in the vanilla extract and the coconut mixture and mix in well.
  • Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt then mix into the rest of the ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the baking tin, on top of the pineapple and cherries, smoothing the top
  • Bake in the oven for around 55-60 minutes until the sponge has browned on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, rest for five minutes then carefully turn out onto a wire rack.

Nutrition

Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 212mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1.9mg

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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.

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