Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

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

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

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

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

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

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOP THE RECIPE

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

I didn’t have a decent 9 inch cake tin for this recipe so I invested in this PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 9 x 4-Inch Deep which is from my favourite range of cake tins. They are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, I think I may almost have the whole set now.

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

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

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

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

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

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Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins

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

Chocolate Clementine Christmas Pudding

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake {without xanthan gum}

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sweet Rice Flour
Gluten-Free Oat Flour
Tapioca Flour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Print Recipe
Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake {without xanthan gum}
The Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake is made without xanthan gum and is deliciously fluffy, light and moist. It is filled and covered with a dreamy vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.
Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 140 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 9 egg whites 270g
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 540 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 140 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 9 egg whites 270g
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 540 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table
Instructions
Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 3/320°F and line and grease 2 x round 8 inch cake tins.
  2. Beat together the sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed.
  4. In a measuring jug whisk together the whole milk and vanilla extract and set aside for a moment.
  5. Whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.
  6. Add the flour mix alternately with the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  7. Divide between the cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Heat egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  2. Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  3. Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the frosting will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  4. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.

SHOP THE RECIPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Guide to Gluten-Free Flours: An Introduction

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

Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake {gluten-free}

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

Raspberry Matcha Cake {gluten-free}

Raspberry Matcha Cake {gluten-free}

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

This Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake knocks socks off its peers. It is light, fluffy and flavourful but incredibly moist and topped with a richly whipped cream cheese buttercream.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

I hadn’t made a Red Velvet Cake in ages and before I revisited the recipe with Cole earlier this week I wasn’t intending it to be my next blog post. But I had forgotten how much I love this classic cake and actually I think I prefer this version with alternative flours to any I have made before. And I have baked a lot of Red Velvets. The flavour here is richer, thanks to the oat flour, without any compromise on texture and moisture balance, thanks to the white flour and tapioca flour. I didn’t think it was possible but I have become super excited about Red Velvet Cake once more. It’s like 2005 all over again.

The first time I tried a Red Velvet Cake was when the Hummingbird Bakery first opened its doors in Notting Hill and the production company I was with had ordered dozens of this incredibly trendy cupcake to celebrate the end of a project we had been slogging away at. The cupcake revolution was at its humble beginnings and American baking was just starting to make headway in the UK. We ate a lot of cake in our office, well I did anyway, the hours were long, the work was challenging and the clients were frustrating. A little bit of cake to see in 4pm was my beacon of light during the day. However, this particular cupcake, the colour, the texture, the buttercream, is seared into my memory. I remember with clarity the speech given by our Head of Production, how the cakes were arranged on the table and who I giggled with about sneaking my third cupcake. It’s really akin to my baking origin story. I wasn’t so much hit with a bolt of lightning or bitten by a radioactive spider but ate my first bite of red velvet cake and my love of baking which had been lying dormant whilst I pursued a demanding career in production was reawakened.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake was the first cake I completely obsessed over. I trekked across London religiously to The Hummingbird Bakery to have yet another red velvet. I scoured cookbooks for recipes and when I discovered food blogs I followed all the baking bloggers I could find, consumed by the world of cake which had suddenly opened up. As soon as the Hummingbird Bakery published its first cookbook I put in my pre-order and when it arrived I thrillingly re-created its Red Velvet Cupcakes time and time again for friends, family and work colleagues. Over time I adapted the cake to suit my evolving tastes and when I launched my first cake stall my layered Red Velvet Cake was one of my best-sellers. It sold out consistently as customers were lured in by its tantalising colour and then would then return next week for its amazing flavour.

Gradually as I offered a greater variety of cakes, focusing on new and interesting flavours, I didn’t make as many Red Velvets. By then you could buy them almost anywhere and they weren’t nearly as interesting a showpiece. Customers didn’t order them as much and then after I re-launched the cake stall as a gluten-free extravaganza, well the Red Velvet Cake just hasn’t made an appearance. This has been a huge mistake I now realise.

Last Wednesday my mum and I took Cole and Beau for cake and babyccinos at a little local café after our toddler gym class. Now Cole is pretty taken with the colour red. I mean, he really likes it. The tantrums we encounter at Diddidance if there isn’t a red ribbon or hula hoop left when it gets to Cole’s turn is intense. His wellies are red, most of his clothes are now red, his sunglasses, hat, water bottle, toy dinosaurs, Nana’s new car. It’s all red red red.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

So when we went entered the cafe he spotted the red velvet cake at the front of the glass display instantaneously. ‘Red cake,’ he squealed excitedly. He had never had red velvet cake before so I treated him to a slice, looking forward to having an illicit bite myself. Now I know I’m a complete cake snob, I have hugely high standards, but this cake was dire. Actually I should have known better, it didn’t look great, the colour was muted, the buttercream yellowing and the whole thing was covered in cling film, but I figured Cole isn’t terribly fussy. However it was horrible. So terribly stale, hard at the edges, with a heavy taste of oil and little else, plus I was now deeply concerned about the health of the buttercream. How long it has been languishing on display was anyone’s guess. So unfortunately for Cole the cake was whisked away (cue horrific screams) and I promised him we would make a much better red cake that afternoon.

Well we did, I never break a cake promise. But as I said above I had really forgotten just how amazing a really good Red Velvet Cake can be. Even with Cole lending a hand to the proceedings the results were outstanding. It was my first time making this cake gluten-free and it lost absolutely nothing in the translation. The crumb is soft and tender from the buttermilk and vinegar combination and the cocoa flavour just peeks through with the vanilla giving you a cake which is best of both worlds, a little bit chocolatey and a little bit vanillery.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

I chose to make a sheet cake as it’s an easy cake to deal with, requiring no special decorating skills and you get a lot of cake for your money. But if you wanted a layer cake then use exactly the same recipe as below, just divide the batter between 2 x 8 inch round cake tins and double up the buttercream.

The cream cheese buttercream is my go-to recipe, it’s not too sweet and really rich and creamy. The secret is the pinch of salt and the vanilla extract which bring out all the flavour. I can often give or take buttercream but not this one, I’m all in on this cream cheese buttercream and it sets off the red velvet cake so well.

With a Red Velvet Cake it’s all about the colour. I love a beautifully rich red, not too garish. The beauty of the cake being gluten-free is that you can’t overmix it when the flours are added so wait until the batter is completely ready before adding your colour then you can ensure the exact shade you want. If the colour isn’t rich enough for you then just add more. I have erred against giving you directions on how much colour to add below as it completely depends on the brand you use. I like using Squires Kitchen Professional Poinsettia Food Colour Pastes as they don’t add any extra moisture to the cake. The shade I used here is Poinsettia, 1-2 teaspoons.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

My cake stall is on hiatus at the moment but I’m really looking forward to returning and putting Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake back on the map. In the meantime you can guess which cake Cole will be requesting every single time we have baking afternoon from now on.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

UPDATE!! I’ve had a lot of requests from readers asking how to adapt the cake into a layer cake as below. If you are interested in the recipe then I have created a PDF with everything you need to know.

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake
This Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake knocks socks off its peers. It is light, fluffy and flavourful but incredibly moist and topped with a richly whipped cream cheese buttercream.
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • red food colouring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 225 g white rice flour
  • 175 g oat flour
  • 100 g tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • tablespoons white vinegar
Cream Cheese Buttercream:
  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 180 g cream cheese
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • red food colouring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 225 g white rice flour
  • 175 g oat flour
  • 100 g tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 400 ml buttermilk
  • tablespoons white vinegar
Cream Cheese Buttercream:
  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 180 g cream cheese
Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line and grease a 13”x 9” deep cake tin.
  2. Beat the butter and caster sugar together for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
  4. Sift together the cocoa powder, flour and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and set aside for a moment.
  5. Mix together the buttermilk and vinegar in a jug.
  6. In alternate turns add the flour and the buttermilk mixtures to the rest of the batter. You should add the flour in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour.
  7. Add the food colouring and vanilla extract and mix until the colour is as desired
  8. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven then rest the cake for 10 minutes before carefully removing to finish cooling onto a wire rack. Once completely cooled, cut a very thin slice of the sponge away and whizz up to cake crumbs in the food processor for sprinkling on the top.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
  1. Cream the butter until soft then add the icing sugar and mix for about 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  2. Add the salt and vanilla and mix again to combine.
  3. Finally beat in the cream cheese until the buttercream is smooth. Swirl onto the finished cake with a palette knife.
Recipe Notes

*how much red food colouring you use is completely dependent on the brand. Be careful using a very liquid food colouring (like Dr Oetker which is the default red food colouring you can get at most UK supermarkets) as it will affect the consistency of the batter. I love to use Squires Kitchen Professional Food Colour Pastes in my baking as they give excellent deep rich colours and don’t affect the recipe at all.

[recipe]*If you don’t have any buttercream to hand then you can make your own if you whisk together 400ml whole milk with 2 tablespoon white vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes before using. To this you can then add the 1½ tablespoons of white vinegar that the recipe requires.

SHOP THE RECIPE

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

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

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

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.

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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Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}

Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake is a spin on the Tres Leches Cake from Central America/Mexico which soaks a delicate sponge in condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream. My version is gluten-free made with buckwheat flour and tastes just like a walnut latte in cake-form.

Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}

I became 100% gluten-free eighteen months ago and pledged to convert all my recipes to gluten-free or remove them from the website. This is a huge work in progress, namely because I get distracted by new recipes and ingredient obsessions which take priority in my mind. Plus converting an original successful recipe to gluten-free takes a little bit of trial and error as I want the new and improved version to be just that – an improvement.

Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}

This is where the Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake comes into play. I posted the wheat flour version of this recipe about three years ago, funnily enough, about this time in my last pregnancy. Due to feeling really rubbish in the final part of my third trimester back then I abruptly stopped posting new recipes here. Then Cole came along and I found it really hard to get back into the blog as I adjusted to motherhood so this Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake resided stubbornly at the top of my blog for about four months whilst I found a balance to posting again.

The problem was that the photos for the cake were absolutely terrible, along with a couple of other recipes posted around that time. I felt these were not a great representation of my site so I became ashamed of my blog and when my new friends wanted to see what I did before becoming a mummy I felt I had to apologise for my hard work. So this recipe, along with a couple of others, were removed from the site and languished on my to-do list to be re-posted at some point when I returned whole-heartedly to blogging. Then, as I said above, new recipes and obsessions took over, I became gluten-free so the original cake was no longer relevant and so this Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake lay dormant.

Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}

Then last year I offered to bring along a cake to a weekend away with friends. I always offer since this is the ideal opportunity for me to recipe test and get a good range of feedback. Of course my friends are so nice they make all the requisite yummy noises despite how good or bad the cake is. Although I guess it’s cake and it’s homemade which can usually only be a good thing. Anyway, I decided it was time for my Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake to come out of retirement and I tweaked the recipe a little, making it gluten-free, and took it with me.

Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}

It was a resounding hit and I was thrilled that I could be proud of this cake once more. This Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake had always been delicious but the gluten-free amendments took it to another level. I chose to use buckwheat flour due to its delicious wholegrain nutty flavour which pairs amazingly well with the earthy coffee and walnut notes. Buckwheat flour has a very assertive flavour but it stands up well to this intensely flavoured cake so absolutely shines here. I didn’t want to only use buckwheat flour as too much can be overwhelming so I paired it with white rice flour which doesn’t fight with the buckwheat and instead sits back happily whilst it’s friend reaps all the glory.

Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}

The cake is a very simple coffee and walnut sponge which is made ultra special by giving it the tres leches treatment. The sponge is left to cool slightly after being removed from the oven and then soaked with a mixture of three milks, condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream which have been infused with cinnamon and cardamom. The cake is left overnight to really absorb all the flavour, take on a delightfully moist texture, and is then covered in a whipped coffee cream and sprinkled with caramelised walnuts.

It’s a complete treat of a cake and works well as a dessert due to its ‘soaked’ texture. I have made this cake a couple of ways and I like both, so which direction you take depends on how much you like the moistness of the cake. In my directions below I have instructed to soak the cake with the milks before cutting into squares. This means that although the cake takes on all the flavour of the milks, it isn’t as sodden in the middle, so if someone (I’m looking at my husband) isn’t a fan of the texture then he can have a piece taken from the middle of the cake. However, if you are like me and want the cake as moist as possible (since that’s the idea behind the cake anyway) then I suggest cutting the cake into squares before soaking and then slather on the whipped cream the next day onto the individual squares. Both ways are delicious but you have a choice should you require it.

Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}

I am so happy to bring Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake back into play on the blog, I feel like it was definitely worth waiting for.

Print Recipe
Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}
Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake is a spin on the traditional South American Tres Leches Cake which soaks a delicate sponge in condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream. My version is gluten-free made with buckwheat flour and tastes just like a walnut latte in cake-form.
Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
16 squares
Ingredients
  • 100 g buckwheat flour
  • 100 g white rice flour
  • 75 g walnuts toasted then ground
  • 2 tablespoons coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 115 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tres Leches Soak
  • 200 g evaporated milk
  • 200 g condensed milk
  • 150 ml single cream
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cardamom pod seeds removed and crushed
  • pinch of salt
Whipped Latte Cream:
  • ½ teaspoon coffee powder
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
Caramelised Walnuts:
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 30 g chopped walnuts
  • pinch of salt
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
16 squares
Ingredients
  • 100 g buckwheat flour
  • 100 g white rice flour
  • 75 g walnuts toasted then ground
  • 2 tablespoons coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 115 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tres Leches Soak
  • 200 g evaporated milk
  • 200 g condensed milk
  • 150 ml single cream
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cardamom pod seeds removed and crushed
  • pinch of salt
Whipped Latte Cream:
  • ½ teaspoon coffee powder
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
Caramelised Walnuts:
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 30 g chopped walnuts
  • pinch of salt
Coffee and Walnut Tres Leches Cake {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C then grease and line an 8 inch square baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, ground walnuts, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition then add the vanilla.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture and mix in until just combined.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the tin then place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, turn out of the tin and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile prepare the soak by whisking the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, cinnamon and cardamom seeds in a saucepan over medium heat until it is just warm. Remove from the heat.
  9. Place the cake in a dish with high sides, poke several holes into the cake with a cocktail stick then spoon the glaze over.
  10. Cover the dish with cling film then refrigerate overnight.
  11. Remove the cake from the fridge to take the chill off whilst you prepare the toppings.
  12. Begin with the caramelised walnuts by the placing the walnuts on a baking tray in an oven pre-heated to 180°C for 5 minutes until toasted. Remove and set aside.
  13. In a smallish saucepan pour the caster sugar evenly into one layer and heat over a medium heat. The sugar will slowly melt, beginning at the sides. Carefully shake the saucepan every so often so the sugar melts evenly, do not stir. As soon as all the sugar has melted drop in a pinch of salt.
  14. Prepare a baking sheet with baking parchment before pouring the walnuts into the molten sugar and stir in with a silicone spatula. Working quickly make sure all the walnuts are coated in sugar then tip onto the baking parchment, spreading out into an even layer. Leave to cool then chop finely.
  15. To make the whipped latte cream, whip the cream for a few minutes with the coffee powder and icing sugar until thick and cloudlike.
  16. Finally, carefully remove the cake from its dish, spread the whipped cream over, cut into 16 squares then sprinkle over the caramelised walnuts.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have been using this MasterClass Non-Stick Deep Square Cake Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8″) for all my square cakes, brownies and bars for many years. It has a loose base so it’s really easy to remove cakes from and lovely high sides so is suitable for all kinds of recipes. It’s the tin I used in this recipe and I couldn’t recommend it more.

The buckwheat flour I have been using lately is Amisa Organic Gluten Free Buckwheat Flour, 400 g. I love the texture and flavour of it. It hasn’t been completely refined so still retains little black flecks of the buckwheat grain which improves its nutty flavour. It is also very easy to get hold of.

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. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle is a fiery offering to your afternoon tea. Punchy with stem ginger, fresh ginger and ground ginger and infused with a spicy Scotch whisky this is a lovely warming cake.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

We haven’t really had proper snow in London for a few years now so had yet to experience a proper snow day together as a family. This morning we had our usual morning wake up call of 5am from Cole who is really throwing himself into the Christmas spirit and joined us in bed with his manic renditions of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells. After a brief glance out of the bedroom window to catch a glimpse of the snow predicted I was disappointed to see a dark morning with only sheets of rain illuminated by the streetlamps. So we went back to bed, trying to convince Cole that it was still sleepytime. He agreed that he was very tired but continued to enthral us with his Christmas playlist for the next forty minutes.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

During tea and toast in the kitchen the first snowflake started to fall and by the time we had pulled on boots, jumpers, hats and gloves the snow was thickly carpeting the urban landscape. Cole couldn’t get outside fast enough and immediately started rolling up snowballs to throw around the garden and decreed that snow was in fact his new snack of choice. The speed with which the snow arrived and settled was unbelievable. Just an hour before our street was a normal dank London morning, suddenly it looked like a scene from Frozen.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

Unfortunately our frolics in the snow didn’t last long as I had a market to do. My in-laws were now stuck up in Ely with the snow so we didn’t have a Cole-sitter. Trying to set up a cake stall and warding off a choco-crazy toddler from said cakes is a very special challenge I urge all parents to enjoy. At least the market was moved inside the school so set up was quick and then Luke whisked Cole away for snow angel antics in the playground.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

By the time I had finished at the market, the snow had turned to that slimy grey sludge which makes you remember why snow isn’t actually as cool as it promises as you slip and curse trying to carry glass cake stands, wooden signage and tables back to the car.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

Thank goodness then that we could come back to the house, light the fire and enjoy a slice of this Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle that I had saved for us to share. This cake could not be coming to you at a better time. The three types of ginger used spark a sweet warmth, perfect for cold snowy days, not to mention the soul soothing blanket of scotch whisky nestled within. This cake is one of Luke’s top three of all the cakes on my cake stall. It is ultra moist and the zingy lime icing freshens up the cake and gives the dark depths of the sponge a lovely contrast.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

I do love a good snow day and it was thrilling to be able to enjoy this one with Cole, may every wintry December day be punctuated at the end with this delightfully warming cake.

Snow Day

Print Recipe
Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}
Gluten-Free Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle is a fiery offering with three types of ginger and infused with a spicy Scotch whisky.
Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g teff flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 25 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150 g black treacle
  • 150 g golden syrup
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 35 ml scotch whisky
  • 80 g stem ginger chopped finely 4 balls
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
Lime Drizzle
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 2 limes zested
  • juice of 1-2 limes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g teff flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 25 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150 g black treacle
  • 150 g golden syrup
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 35 ml scotch whisky
  • 80 g stem ginger chopped finely 4 balls
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
Lime Drizzle
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 2 limes zested
  • juice of 1-2 limes
Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C and line and grease a deep 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and spices in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Put the sugar, treacle, syrup and milk into a medium saucepan and heat, gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved but turn off the heat when the mixture reaches just below boiling point.
  5. Add stem ginger and fresh ginger to flour mixture and whisk in until evenly dispersed, then pour in the treacle mix, then the whisky and combine. Finally beat in the eggs.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Lime Drizzle
  1. Make the icing by beating together the zest and enough lime juice with the icing sugar until the icing is just pourable.

Toasted Marshmallow Spiced Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake. Layered gluten-free spiced pumpkin cake filled with a brown butter pumpkin buttercream and covered in marshmallow clouds.

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

The season starts here. This week I feel officially heralds the beginning of Christmas and for me it starts with two lovely celebrations, my birthday and my wedding anniversary. Before Cole we would usually go away for this week to some fancypants hotel and this year we tossed around the idea for about five minutes. Then I remembered I was pregnant, exhausted and couldn’t face organising my way to Sainsburys let alone anything more elaborate.

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

So, instead I’ll celebrate the best way I know how, with cake. And what better cake than the one I have been enjoying making and eating the most during these chillier months. This Toasted Marshmallow Spiced Pumpkin Cake is an absolute triumph. The pumpkin cake is so moist and delicious with so many layers of flavour thanks to all the spices and array of gluten-free flours.

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

It is teamed with a simple fluffy marshmallowy meringue which is the perfect texture and its smooth flavour is the perfect foil for the busy pumpkin sponge. Although one of the best parts about this cake is surely the brown butter pumpkin buttercream which is rich, caramelly and creamy with plenty of full pumpkin flavour.

Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}

Print Recipe
Toasted Marshmallow Spiced Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}
Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake. Layered gluten-free spiced pumpkin cake sandwiched with a brown butter pumpkin buttercream filling and covered with toasted marshmallow clouds.
Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Spiced Pumpkin Cake
  • 500 g light brown sugar
  • 280 g unsalted butter melted then cooled
  • 5 eggs
  • 425 g pumpkin puree
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 110 g sweet rice flour
  • 80 g oat flour
  • 65 g millet flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
Toasted Marshmallow
  • 7 egg whites 210g
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Brown Butter Pumpkin Buttercream
  • 175 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g of the marshmallow frosting
  • 5 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Spiced Pumpkin Cake
  • 500 g light brown sugar
  • 280 g unsalted butter melted then cooled
  • 5 eggs
  • 425 g pumpkin puree
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 110 g sweet rice flour
  • 80 g oat flour
  • 65 g millet flour
  • 35 g potato flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
Toasted Marshmallow
  • 7 egg whites 210g
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Brown Butter Pumpkin Buttercream
  • 175 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g of the marshmallow frosting
  • 5 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}
Instructions
Spiced Pumpkin Cake
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line and grease two 8x4 inch round cake tins.
  2. Blend together the sugar and butter until thick and well combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour in the pumpkin puree and mix well.
  5. Sift together the rest of the dry ingredients, then add to the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake for 35–40 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
Toasted Marshmallow
  1. Heat egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  2. Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  3. Set aside 325g to create the toasted marshmallow and leave the rest in the mixer to make the brown butter pumpkin buttercream.
Brown Butter Pumpkin Buttercream
  1. To make the brown butter, start work a good few hours before you intend to make the buttercream. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. The butter will melt. Listen carefully and the butter will start hissing and cracking and forming little brown bits at the bottom of the pan. You want to wait until the noises start to subside, the butter smells toasty and is turning a darker colour. Remove from the heat as soon as it’s ready so it doesn’t begin to burn. Pour the butter into a heatproof container and chill in the fridge for a few hours until it solidifies to the consistency of room temperature butter.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes, then when you are ready to make the buttercream, add the browned butter one cube at a time into the food mixer which has the rest of the beaten egg white and sugar mixture leftover from making the marshmallow and beat the butter into the egg whites with the paddle attachment until a smooth velvety buttercream has formed.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and salt and beat until completely combined.
Assembly
  1. Place one of the sponge layers on a cake board and spread the brown butter pumpkin buttercream filling on top of the cake, smoothing evenly with a palette knife.
  2. Place the second sponge layer on top and cover the top and the sides of the cake with the marshmallow.
  3. Toast the marshmallow with a blowtorch.

SHOP THE RECIPE

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

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

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

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

I put off buying a chef’s blowtorch for so long as it seemed another kitchen gadget that would take up unnecessary space in my kitchen but once I took the plunge I didn’t look back. Absolutely essential for toasted marshmallow and meringue toppings and creme brulee. Plus really good fun to use. I love this MasterClass Deluxe Gas Kitchen Blow Torch in my kitchen, it does the job really well.

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

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

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

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

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Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies

Spiced Pumpkin Date Cookies {gluten-free}

Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cake {gluten-free}

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

Pumpkin Pancakes with Almond Maple Syrup

Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes, so thick and fluffy and smothered with Almond Maple Syrup

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

A deliciously moist Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread, made with brown butter and alternative flours for an earthy nutty flavour and unbeatable chew.