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.

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.

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}

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}

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}
Two layers of pumpkin spice cake sandwiched with a brown butter pumpkin buttercream and covered with toasted marshmallow clouds
Toasted Marshmallow Pumpkin Cake {gluten-free}
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 starch
  • 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
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 starch
  • 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.

Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake {gluten-free}

This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.

This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.

I am hooked into stories. I was an early reader and would consume book after book. Now, I’m not saying these books I read were all that literary, I grew up reading a lot of Jilly Cooper. But I studied English Literature at A-Level and then Film and Literature at university so my love for fictional worlds and their impact on society continued and evolved, my life became analysing books and films for credit and I was consumed by it. Although Jilly Cooper never made the syllabus for some reason.

Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake

I get totally invested in these stories, obsessed by the characters in them and although I am not reading that much at the moment, as the mere action of picking up a book seems to summon sleep in seconds, I still watch a bit of TV. I would have professed to have left my obsessive nature of it behind though since being a mother, running my own business and paying a mortgage has really made me grow up. Then on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend this week I discovered that Greg, one of the main characters in the series, has left the show for good and I broke down and cried when the internet confirmed it. But I loved him, my nearly 36 year old self sobbed to my husband, why won’t he come back.

This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.

The sadness I feel when I have to say goodbye to these characters is weird but real. In times gone by I have had to bid a fond adieu to Buffy Summers which took me years to get over, Felicity Porter and Ben Covington and not to mention the loss of Veronica Mars. In 2007 though I was struck by devastation again when I was forced by the powers that be to say goodbye to Stars Hollow, a place I had come to think of as a second home. I had heard about Gilmore Girls just after it finished airing in the US but it hadn’t been on TV in the UK so I imported the first box set over on a whim. Soon I had binged the whole seven series, getting up at 6am so I could sneak in an episode before work and staying up into the early hours to get them in. I was not enjoying my job and these girls and their life was a pleasant refuge.

I shared the DVDs with my Mum and we would mail them to each other back and forth, bickering over which of Rory’s boyfriends was the best (duh, Jess forever!!), how thoughtless Lorelei was being and why the hell was April suddenly on the scene. Then it was over, season seven finished a bit up in the air and we couldn’t believe there wasn’t any more. I scoured for any articles or a glimpse of information on another series, a movie but nothing. It was done.

This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.

In my last days of pregnancy Mum sent me the DVDs back through the post and for the first few weeks of Cole’s life I re-watched the whole thing again, babe in arms, on the sofa. Too petrified to leave the house with my newborn and too tired to do anything other than nurse and watch TV. I was sure I could see his little eyes flutter every time he heard the Carol King theme tune (rolling his eyes- never!) and I would sing it to him to calm him down when he was fractious. I still do (despite his protests).

So incase you don’t know, Gilmore Girls is back tomorrow. Friday November 25th a special day, and to say I am excited is to underestimate my devotion, fandom and the fact that I probably don’t have a social life. It’s like PI day all over again (March 14th 2014 when Veronica Mars returned to me). So this week I have done what any sane baker would do in this instance, I baked a cake to commemorate the day and I’m going to eat it all tomorrow, fork in one hand, remote in the other. Of course if you know Gilmore Girls then I had no choice but to bake a coffee cake as those girls sure do like their coffee coffee coffee. It’s a Pecan Butterscotch Latte cake and I think one of the most delicious cakes I sell on my market stall so I am thrilled to find an excellent reason to share it with you.

This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.

I came up with the recipe as customers kept asking me if I did a coffee and walnut cake and although I have baked many a coffee and walnut in the past I never thought it was that special to warrant a place on the stall. So I fixed it. This Pecan Butterscotch Latte cake is truly wonderful, packed full of pecans, which are finely ground and add a really rich flavour, further impounded by the toffee taste of the light muscovado sugar and the butterscotch notes of the oat flour. The coffee powder I use is Nescafé Azera which can be used directly into the batter and icing without needing to be dissolved. It’s a strong and deep coffee flavour, perfectly balanced by the sweet notes of the sponge. The icing is a traditional buttercream but made creamier by the mascarpone so you feel you are drinking a light frothy coffee. A latte if I may be so bold. It’s my perfect cake for a celebration and tomorrow you betcha I’ll be celebrating.

This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.

Oh, and if you too are a fan of Gilmore Girls and are as excited about the reunion as me then I hope you also know about the Gilmore Guys podcast which is brilliant and funny and excellent company for me during my baking days. You must check them out as they really make me smile.

This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.
Print Recipe
Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake
This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.
This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
Cake
  • 440 g light muscovado sugar
  • 350 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 160 g rice flour
  • 50 g oat flour
  • 160 g ground pecans
  • tablespoons coffee powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Icing
  • 300 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon coffee powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 12 pecan halves to decorate
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
Cake
  • 440 g light muscovado sugar
  • 350 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 160 g rice flour
  • 50 g oat flour
  • 160 g ground pecans
  • tablespoons coffee powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Icing
  • 300 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon coffee powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 12 pecan halves to decorate
This Pecan Butterscotch Latte Cake is a gluten-free delight, the sponge flavourful with ground pecans, oat flour and muscovado sugar. The buttercream whipped to light perfection with a touch of mascarpone and all imbued with a rich coffee aroma.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line and grease 2 x 20cm round baking tins
  2. Cream the sugar and butter for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down after each addition and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Then add the maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing in well.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, ground pecans, coffee powder, baking powder and salt. Add it to the rest of the batter and beat well until the batter is smooth.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven and carefully turn out onto wire racks to cool completely before icing.
  8. For the icing beat the butter and sugar together for ten minutes until airy.
  9. Add the mascarpone, coffee powder and salt and beat again until incorporated.
  10. To assemble the cake spread the icing on one layer of the cake, enough so that the icing spills out a little over the sides. Place the second layer on top and spread some more icing evenly over the surface.
  11. Smooth the icing which is peeking out of the middle over the sides of the cake very thinly to achieve the naked cake effect.
  12. Decorate the top of the cake with the pecan halves.

Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing {gluten-free}

Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing is a gluten-free cake that makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish.

courgette cake on a plate

It boasts a wonderfully light sponge with a tender crumb thanks to the combination of rice and oat flour which not only makes this bad boy gluten-free but also lends it a toasted, coming to the end of high summer, campfire in the evenings vibe. It is iced with a creamy lemon mascarpone with only a mere whisper of sugar, but plenty of zesty citrus as a perfect compliment to the delicate courgette flavour. A perfect treat for our heady August days when cake might otherwise seem too indulgent.

courgettes

This cake was inspired by the bountiful mountain of courgette at the farmer’s market last week, all shapes and sizes in varying shades of green. I have been fancying a courgette cake for a few weeks now and just like that it all fell into place.

These days courgette nests proudly in my vegetable drawer. At one time considered a boring watery addition to Sunday roasts, it dragged everything down with its mopey presence. Then I started using it raw in salads, roasted in garlicky olive oil and finally as courgetti. Now courgette is celebrated and embraced in our family, an absolute must in our weekly shop but it’s at its very best right now. Like any vegetable you have to know how to get the best out of it and boiling it to oblivion is never the answer. In my house, cake is the more obvious solution.

courgette cake on a cooling rack

And this courgette oatmeal cake with lemon mascarpone icing is my new favourite family friendly bake. It’s a complete stunner and despite making and eating it more times this week than is really acceptable for someone who is on a never ending mission to lose her baby weight, I haven’t come to resent it once. That is because the batter comes together in moments, baking up a dream so it is ready, iced and on your fork before you can change your mind about having an afternoon slice of cake.

ingredients for courgette cake

The sponge is so light thanks to the power partnership of rice and oat flour. If you can’t find oat flour then by all means whizz up some oats very finely in your food processor, the results will be the same and oat flour can be quite pricey. Rice flour though is more accessible these days and is an absolute must in my larder, not just for gluten-free baking. I intend to post a lot more using rice flour since I am having a little love affair with it at the moment but having just had this particular delicacy for lunch here is one of my favourite uses for it.

The courgette cake is then carefully spiced with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, not too much to overpower but just to add soft flavour.

The icing feels like a bit of a cheat as it is just so easy and unlike most icings you don’t even need a mixer, just whipping together with a wooden spoon is enough. It barely uses any sugar, a tip I garnered from my neighbour after being bowled over by how creamy and cheesy her cream cheese icing was. She confessed that she had only used a smattering of sugar to make it more child friendly. However I found without the addition of butter and hardly any sugar, the icing then becomes all about the texture and flavour rather than a sickly counterpoint.

courgette cake batter in a kitchenaid mixer

This idea works so well with this mascarpone icing to which I’ve only grated in the zest of 1 lemon and added 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and then a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt to help with the consistency and add tang. It’s so delicious that you can happily eat with a spoon all day long. Actually I don’t know if that makes this icing more dangerous but I do know that it is simply dreamy with the courgette oatmeal cake.

courgette cake

Print Recipe
Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing {gluten-free}
Courgette Oatmeal Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Icing makes the most of summer’s bounty and is perfectly light, moist and incredibly moreish.
courgette cake on a plate
Course cake
Keyword courgette
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
  • 400 g light muscovado sugar
  • 300 ml light olive oil or other flavourless oil
  • 4 eggs about 200g
  • 240 g rice flour
  • 80 g oatflour or oats finely ground to a powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g grated courgettes (about 4) squeezed to remove excess moisture
For the Icing
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 lemon grated zest
Course cake
Keyword courgette
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
16 slices
Ingredients
  • 400 g light muscovado sugar
  • 300 ml light olive oil or other flavourless oil
  • 4 eggs about 200g
  • 240 g rice flour
  • 80 g oatflour or oats finely ground to a powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 340 g grated courgettes (about 4) squeezed to remove excess moisture
For the Icing
  • 500 g mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 lemon grated zest
courgette cake on a plate
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a grease a 13x9x4 inch baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl (or stand mixer) beat together the sugar, olive oil and eggs until smooth and thick.
  3. Add all the other ingredients in, except for the courgette, and beat until everything is fully mixed together.
  4. Finally stir in the courgette until evenly dispersed and pour into the prepared baking tin.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, checking after 20 minutes and covering with foil if the cake seems to be browning too much.
  6. When ready, leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes to settle before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely before icing.
  7. To make the icing beat the mascarpone together with the yoghurt, icing sugar and lemon zest until light and smooth and spread onto the top of the cooled courgette cake with a palette knife.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Carrot Spice Cake in Flavor Flours[recipe]

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Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake

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Courgette Relish

Courgette Relish on a wooden box with forks

Jalapeno Honey Courgette Cornbread

Jalapeno Honey Courgette Cornbread on a wooden board with a knife next to courgette and jalapenos