Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf {gluten-free}

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf is a glorious gluten-free cake, intense with chocolate, chewy with coconut and beautifully moist from the banana. Covered with glossy chocolate and snowy with coconut flakes.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I have been doing a lot of vegan baking recently. I am not and never will be vegan because all my food intolerances mean that I would be a very malnourished individual if I were. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the way that veganism has opened up so many opportunities in baking (how fascinating is aquafaba!)and alternative ways of eating and drinking (you know I am a fan of non-dairy milk!). I really appreciate vegan baking and I find when it works well the results can be incredible.

slices of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

Recently I made a big mistake with one of my cake orders and agreed to make a vegan cake for a client that was based on one of my non-vegan recipes. Since I wanted the cake to resemble my original recipe as closely as possible I made compromises in the ingredients. For example, when making the buttercream I just swapped out regular butter for vegan butter. Have you seen the ingredients on the back of vegan butter? Palm oil is such a problematic ingredient (not sure why then google it) and something I wouldn’t normally bring into my kitchen at all. I was totally unhappy with the choices I was making to produce this cake and when I sat back and analysed the situation I realised I was making the same mistakes a ton of people make when they first start free-from baking. I was thinking that with a just a few ingredients swaps I could turn a tried and true recipe into a successful free-from recipe. But it doesn’t always work like that. In making like-for-like swaps you will often be making compromises, in flavour, in texture and in this case, environmental. This is something I learnt the hard way when first baking gluten-free and now I’m learning it all over again with vegan baking.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I totally believe that for the most part vegan and gluten-free recipes should be built from the ground up (there are of course many exceptions). It does not always guarantee a successful recipe if you just substitute in vegan butter for regular butter or a gluten-free flour for regular flour. In hindsight I realised that instead of making a vegan buttercream for this vegan cake order what I should have been doing was to research another way of icing the cake, maybe using a cashew icing or coconut milk frosting. Both of which actually would have been delicious.

overhead shot of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I have got a long way to go in vegan baking but luckily I already have a few corking recipes up my sleeve to offer to vegan customers and friends and the one that is currently my favourite I am sharing with you today. I sell an awful lot of this particular Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf and I’m not surprised, it’s an amazing chocolate cake and holds its own even with non-vegans and wheat eaters. It’s so bold in flavour and texture; intensely chocolatey, moist from the bananas and flecked with chewy desiccated coconut. The slices of this cake cut up huge so it is not a dainty loaf. This is a cake you need when the chocolate craving hits hard, it will fuel you and treat you.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

The hardest thing to replicate in vegan cakes are eggs. They provide many roles within the bake of your cake but the most important are to bind your cake together so it doesn’t fall apart and also to lift your cake so you’re not producing a pancake. My favourite way to substitute eggs in a cake is by using chia or flax eggs for the bind. This is basically chia or flaxseeds which have been mixed with water to create a sticky gel which you then just mix into the batter. For the cake to rise here I have opted for using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar which react with the coconut milk to lift the cake up.

On the gluten-free side of things I have used a three flour blend of white rice flour, oat flour and tapioca flour. I use this blend a lot in my chocolate recipes and find it works an absolute treat. However, I have been very mindful of late that I use a lot of gluten-free oat flour in my baked goods. This is because I love it, quite frankly, and I can eat it happily. However, I know for a lot of coeliacs and gluten intolerant that oat flour can be hard to handle. If you struggle with it then I recommend swapping it out for sorghum or teff flour. I have tested the recipe with each one and they are both lovely substitutes, it’s just I slightly prefer the version with oat flour.

slices of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

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

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Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

Print Recipe
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf {gluten-free}
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf is a glorious gluten-free cake, intense with chocolate, chewy with coconut and beautifully moist from the banana.
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 bananas peeled and mashed, 300g
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 140 ml coconut oil melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze
  • 125 g vegan chocolate
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70 g coconut flakes
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 bananas peeled and mashed, 300g
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 140 ml coconut oil melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze
  • 125 g vegan chocolate
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70 g coconut flakes
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. Make the chia egg by mixing the ground chia seeds in a small bowl with the 3 tablespoons of water. Place in the fridge and it should be ready to use by the time you get to that step.
  3. Mix the flours in a large bowl with the desiccated coconut, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and apple cider in a food mixer and beat until it's frothy, do not overbeat in case the coconut milk should separate.
  5. Add the bananas, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and the chia egg and beat together until smooth.
  6. Spoon one third of the flour mixture in and mix until smooth, then the next third then mix, then the next*.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin and smooth the surface.
  8. Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool before adding the glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the vanilla) in a bain marie or a glass bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water and melt together.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Leave the glaze to thicken slightly until it is at a consistency where the glaze will cling to the cake rather than running straight off down the sides.
  4. Pour over the surface of the cake then sprinkle over the coconut flakes.
Recipe Notes

*You add the flour in thirds to ensure an even mix.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

It’s quite difficult to find good quality vegan chocolate that’s also well priced. I buy Dairy Free Dark Belgian Cooking Chocolate 1kg Bittersweet 55% Cocoa and I really like it. The only small issue with it is that it does contain soy but if that isn’t one of the allergies you need to be concerned about then I highly recommend it.

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.

For the ground chia seeds I use Linwoods Milled Chia Seed, 200g which I love and you can get almost anywhere. I use ground chia seeds for my chia egg rather than whole chia seeds as I find it gels more effectively and quicker.

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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Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts {gluten-free}

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts are light gluten-free chocolate sponges infused with peppermint. Crowned with a white chocolate peppermint ganache and frosted with crushed candy canes.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts

Mint and Chocolate is possibly my favourite flavour combination. Minted Chocolate Brownies I think were my first ever posting on the blog. I’m sure you can find them somewhere here on this site but you’re going to have to get there yourself. They were not gluten-free and the photos are shocking. A Mint Aero was the first thing I ate after Cole was born and it was such a perfect treat that I made one was also packed in my hospital bag for Beau’s birth as well.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts

For some reason the chocolate and mint combo is symbolic of the season which suits me fine. At the moment I am hooked on this Mint Hot Chocolate made with oat milk from Harris & Hoole. I don’t normally go into coffee shops that much as I don’t drink coffee and these places rarely do gluten-free cakes. But this Mint Hot Chocolate has my heart and I am finding it hard every time I go into Crouch End not to pick one up to go.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts

So you can imagine that I am rather taken with these Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts as well. The chocolate sponge is gluten-free, made with a blend of white rice flour, teff flour and tapioca flour. Teff flour and chocolate go perfectly together, the caramelly notes of the teff providing the ideal backdrop. Peppermint is not only infused into the sponges but also in the white chocolate ganache poured over the top. The dusting of crushed candy canes then completes these intensely chocolatey cakes with such brightness.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts

These mini bundt tins themselves are also a bit of a revelation. I grabbed them from TK Maxx at the end of last season at some ridiculously low price and have been looking forward to using them all year. For some reason they felt a bit Christmassy. The cakes took all of 20 minutes to bake to perfection in these and they are beautifully non-stick so the bundts literally fell out when I tipped them upside down. It was such a quick cooling time too and with the ganache taking about 5 minutes to prepare they are such a simple treat to whip up. So lovely to serve at a Christmas Party or maybe New Year if you are thinking that far ahead.

Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts

If you make these Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own kitchen creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts {gluten-free}
Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts are light gluten-free chocolate sponges infused with peppermint. Crowned with a white chocolate peppermint ganache and frosted with crushed candy canes.
Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts
Course cake
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
8 cakes
Ingredients
  • 110 g white rice flour
  • 80 g teff flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 145 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g light brown sugar
  • 135 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 70 g dark chocolate melted and cooled
  • 145 ml whole milk
  • 145 ml hot coffee (145ml boiling water with 3/4 teaspoon coffee powder mixed in)
Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
  • 200 g white chocolate chopped
  • 125 ml whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 peppermint candy canes crushed
Course cake
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
8 cakes
Ingredients
  • 110 g white rice flour
  • 80 g teff flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 145 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g light brown sugar
  • 135 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 70 g dark chocolate melted and cooled
  • 145 ml whole milk
  • 145 ml hot coffee (145ml boiling water with 3/4 teaspoon coffee powder mixed in)
Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
  • 200 g white chocolate chopped
  • 125 ml whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 peppermint candy canes crushed
Mini Chocolate Peppermint Bundts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and grease mini bundt tins.
  2. Sift together the flours, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the butter and the sugars for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the peppermint extract. At this point the mixture usually looks curdled but don’t worry it will come back together.
  5. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until completely combined.
  6. Add the flour mixture 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.
  7. Pour in the coffee and mix until just combined.
  8. Pour into your prepared bundt tins and bake for 20 minutes.
Chocolate Peppermint Ganache
  1. Place the white chocolate in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the whipping cream in a small saucepan, then just before it starts to boil remove from the heat.
  3. Pour the whipping cream over the white chocolate and leave for 30 seconds for the chocolate to melt. Mix together until the chocolate has completely melted into the cream. Add the peppermint. You need the ganache to be nice and thick so it is barely pourable. If it’s too runny then place in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm a bit more.
  4. Pour the ganache over the top of each bundt cake so it drips down the side.
  5. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top of each bundt.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I can’t find the exact bundt tins I have anywhere but these 4PCS Bundt Pan Non-Stick Fluted Ring Cake Tin Mini Cake Pan Set Mould for Baking(4″) by LUFEIYA very similar. They come in a pack of four so I just baked the cakes in two batches.

I used yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Brown Teff Flour 1kg for this recipe as I really like the flavour. I also tested it with Doves Farm teff flour which worked just as well but it seems to be out of stock everywhere at the moment. I don’t know if they are stopping supplying it which is a shame as it was good value and it comes in small quantities. Bob’s Red Mill though is good too, just a little more expensive.

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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Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce {gluten-free}

This Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce is a delightful alternative take on the Christmas Pudding. Still rich with fruit and spices but imbued with velvety pools of chocolate and the sharp sweetness of clementines.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

I hate to break it to you but this weekend is the last Sunday before advent. There is no denying it any more, Christmas will soon be upon us and in no time we’ll be scrabbling around on Christmas Eve desperately trying to wrap up all the stocking presents, brine the turkey and wrestle the children into bed.

Amid the present and meal prep chaos there is definitely one job you don’t want to be doing on Christmas Eve and that’s making a Christmas Pudding. Let’s face it if you haven’t made it by then it’s more than likely you’ll be swinging by Tesco before it closes hoping they haven’t sold out of all the gluten-free ones. There’s nothing like a homemade Christmas Pudding though. That’s why it’s best to get ahead and tradition decrees that the fifth sunday before Christmas is the ideal day for such a job. It’s Stir-Up Sunday people!

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Stir-Up Sunday harkens way back to Victorian times and gets its name from the opening of the book of common prayer which is read on the last Sunday before advent ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people’ It seems that the Victorians took the bible at its word and it soon became tradition to stir up your Christmas Pudding on that day too. And with good reason, it’s such a good idea to get it out of the way early doors. After its initial steam a Christmas Pudding can sit quite happily for weeks or even months and even tastes better the longer you leave it.

Christmas Pudding evokes such childhood nostalgia for me that a generous portion at Christmas is more than a delicious dessert, it’s like a transportation device to my past. I loved the Christmas Pudding our Auntie Lil always used to make us but I also have a fondness for the one we were served every year at school.

Christmas time at our school was magical. The whole school would sit at tables in the main dining hall, an ancient and creaking cavernous room, all wooden beams and pillars with a balcony high above surrounding the room where the older years would sit. Just after the Christmas Pudding was served the lights would be turned off so we were in pitch darkness. The room would fall silent, all 700 children, and a beautiful choral echo would be heard faintly from outside. As the singing grew stronger, our choral society would hover into the room, shrouded in capes, holding candles and singing haunting Latin carols. The memory of Christmas Pudding drowning in brandy sauce still in our mouths. Perhaps if we were lucky a faint metallic taste might be on our tongues as well which meant that we had been one of the hallowed few to have found a penny wrapped in foil in our serving. To be treasured indeed.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

My recipe for Traditional Christmas Pudding is usually the one I turn to every year and although I will never tire of it I fancied a change. So this Christmas I will be making this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce and I could not be more excited to share it with my family, it’s utterly delicious.

What I love about this recipe that even though this pudding is beautifully chocolately it is still most definitely Christmas Pudding and the flavours marry together so well. The teff flour, which is the gluten-free flour I chose for this recipe works so beautifully in support of the chocolate. There is so much texture in this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding, the molton puddles of chocolate chips give the pudding a softness, the dried fruit give a lovely chew with a final nobbly crunch from the nuts. And despite all the rich flavours going on, this Christmas Pudding is lighter than you think, it’s not stodgy at all. As long as you don’t let it sit after it has finished steaming and serve straightaway.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

The Cointreau Sauce is a nod to the brandy sauce we were always served at school and actually I think this may be my favourite accompaniment to the pudding. It’s adapted from a Delia Smith recipe for her Brandy Sauce and it is light and simple. The gentle flavour of the Cointreau Sauce lets the pudding speak for itself whilst providing the much needed sauce and a spicy after kick of Cointreau.

Also a little bit of advice on this recipe, I know we’re all about Stir-Up Sunday but since this recipe takes a couple of days to make you will probably want to start prepping on the Saturday. Stir-Up Saturday if you will. This means you can do the final bit of work and the big steam on the Sunday rather than the job bleeding into your working week.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

If you do fancy ringing in the changes with your Christmas pudding this year then I urge you to give this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce a go, and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you use this recipe as a jumping off point for your own twist on the Christmas pud then I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce {gluten-free}
This Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce is a delightful alternative take on the Christmas Pudding
Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours total
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
Day One
  • 115 g sultanas
  • 115 g currants
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 20 g mixed peel
  • 40 g whole almonds chopped up
  • 1 grated bramley apple about 250g
  • juice and zest 2 clementines + 1 extra for decoration
  • 50 ml Cointreau
Day 2
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g fresh shredded suet*
  • 125 g chocolate chips
  • 115 g light muscovado sugar
  • 80 g gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 80 g teff flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Cointreau Sauce
  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours total
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
Day One
  • 115 g sultanas
  • 115 g currants
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 20 g mixed peel
  • 40 g whole almonds chopped up
  • 1 grated bramley apple about 250g
  • juice and zest 2 clementines + 1 extra for decoration
  • 50 ml Cointreau
Day 2
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g fresh shredded suet*
  • 125 g chocolate chips
  • 115 g light muscovado sugar
  • 80 g gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 80 g teff flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Cointreau Sauce
  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce
Instructions
  1. Mix everything from the Day 1 list of ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients from Day 2 and stir together really well.
  3. Butter a pudding basin, and slice the extra clementine, tucking the slices into the bottom of the basin.
  4. Fill the pudding basin with the pudding mixture then prepare the basin for the steam.
  5. Take a piece of greaseproof paper and lie a piece of foil on top, make a fold in the centre of both pieces which allows for more room for the steam to rise. Place these over the top of the pudding basin, with the foil on top, securing with string around the pudding. Trim off any excess paper and foil, you don't want them to hanging too low as otherwise they will soak up the water during the steam.
  6. Place a wire rack (or a folded up tea towel) into a large lidded pot, deep enough to cover the pudding. Then place the pudding on top of the rack.
  7. Fill the pot up with boiling water until halfway up the pudding. The water should not touch the greaseproof paper or foil otherwise they will soak it up and the pudding will go soggy. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat on so the water is kept at a simmer.
  8. Steam for four hours, checking the water level occasionally and topping up if necessary.
  9. Remove the pudding from its pot then leave to cool. Once cool re-wrap the pudding in fresh greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool dark place until Christmas Day.
  10. On Christmas Day the puddings will need a final steam before serving so repeat steps 6 and 7. However your pudding will only need two hours this time.
  11. Turn your pudding out onto a plate and serve with the Cointreau sauce.
Cointreau Sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the sweet rice flour.
  2. Pour in the milk gradually and bring the sauce up to a gentle boil. Add the sugar and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the cream and bring the sauce to a low simmer.
  4. Finally turn off heat and add the Cointreau. Serve hot with the Christmas pudding.
Recipe Notes

*It’s just not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged suet so do speak to your local butcher about obtaining fresh suet. It will come in a solid block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour so that it can evenly disperse throughout the mincemeat.

Cointreau Sauce adapted from Delia Smith's Brandy Sauce

SHOP THE RECIPE

I always use Callebaut Chocolate Dark 70.5 Percent Easi-Melt Buttons Callets 2.5 Kg in all my chocolate recipes. It comes in a big old bag but if you bake a lot then these chocolate pellets are simply delicious and so good to bake with.

There are a few brands of lovely teff flour that I like to use but for this Christmas Pudding I used yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Brown Teff Flour 1kg. It has a lovely taste and soft texture.

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.

I love my Cornishware Blue and White Stripe Pudding Basin 1.1L 40oz which I use for all my steamed puddings, it’s so beautiful and sturdy and is about to really come into its own as I make my Christmas Pudding in the next couple of weeks.

Bakers twine is super useful in baking and for securing your foil lid to your steamed puddings. I use Tenn Well 200m 3Ply Bakers Twine, Kitchen Cotton Twine Food Safe Cooking String Perfect for Trussing and Tying Poultry Meat Making Sausage DIY Crafts and Decoration (White)

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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Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding 

‘Nutella’ Fudge Oat Bars {gluten-free}

‘Nutella’ Fudge Oat Bars are so deliciously thick and chocolatey with a gluten-free rolled oat base and an ooey gooey fudgey filling of homemade nutella.

A stack of Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

I’ve got a bit of exciting news to impart. I’m finally bouncing back from maternity leave and returning to the cake stall next month. Sunday 6th October to be exact, at Stroud Green Market, which is my neighbourhood farmers’ market. I have decided to stay local and stick to the one market for the moment to ease me back into the game. Plus I love the vibe at Stroud Green Market, it is run with a lot of passion with a lovely community feel. I will be selling the usual layer cakes, loaf cakes, bars and delectable goodies which are all totally gluten-free and incredibly delicious.

overhead of Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

For the foreseeable future I’ve chosen to not focus on jams, chutneys and other preserves which does disappoint me, but something had to give, besides my sanity. I still look after Cole and Beau for the majority of my week and I haven’t been preserving anything this year whist I’ve adjusted to two little souls to juggle. Although I expect I’ll have a few jars of something moving towards Christmas like my mincemeats or cranberry sauce. I’m very excited to be getting back to proper work and I cannot wait to dive back in.

Even though I have been on maternity leave from the market stall I’ve obviously been just as busy on the blog as ever which has been a great excuse for developing new recipes for the stall. Lately it’s been a recurring theme that I have also been trying to revamp some old recipes which didn’t get as much love as they should the first time round and updating the ingredients and sometimes method to create gluten-free versions. Didja know this blog is all about the gluten-free these days?

overhead of Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

These ‘Nutella’ Fudge Oat Bars are a brilliant case in point. I posted the original recipe back in 2014 with some slapdash photos I took when I sold them on one of my first cake stalls. I’ve taken a couple of new photos but I’ve also amended the recipe to make it gluten-free and (whisper) remove the Nutella. There’s something about the ingredients list in Nutella that I’m not quite on board with these days, all that palm oil and sugar doesn’t sound very appealing. But the good news is this version is so much better with a more intense chocolate and hazelnut flavour. Homemade Nutella is pretty darn spesh and here I’ve used a natural hazelnut butter, melted dark chocolate, cocoa powder and a smattering of brown sugar to make the most amazing filling for these oat bars imaginable. The evaporated milk added in at the end is what transforms this incredibly chocolately nut butter into creamy gooey fudge. The rolled oat biscuit crust which holds it together is buttery and crumbly and studded with chocolate chips on the top, because if I can add more chocolate to a recipe then I will.

overhead of Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

I’m really looking forward to introducing these 2018 versions of the ‘Nutella’ Fudge Oat Bars to the cake stall. They represent the fully flavoured bakes I love to produce with the best quality gluten-free ingredients. If you live in London or are visiting for the weekend then I’ll be at Stroud Green Market every Sunday from the 6th October and I’d love to see you. I’ll be the one surrounded by a lot of cake.

A stack of Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

Print Recipe
'Nutella' Fudge Oat Bars {gluten-free}
‘Nutella’ Fudge Oat Bars are so deliciously thick and chocolatey with a gluten-free rolled oat base and an ooey gooey fudgey filling of homemade nutella.
Course cake
Cuisine British
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
15 bars
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 240 g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 100 g hazelnuts roughly chopped
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 180 g hazelnut butter
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
  • 75 ml evaporated milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 50 g dark chocolate chips
Course cake
Cuisine British
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
15 bars
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 240 g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 100 g hazelnuts roughly chopped
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 180 g hazelnut butter
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
  • 75 ml evaporated milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 50 g dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and grease an 8 inch square baking tin.
  2. Whisk the sweet rice flour and tapioca flour together until combined.
  3. Add the oats, hazelnuts, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt and rub together with your hands until everything has come together to form a light dough.
  4. Press ½ the dough into the base of the baking tin to form an even layer.
  5. Melt the chocolate, hazelnut butter, cocoa powder and evaporated milk together in a double boiler, mixing together until thoroughly combined.
  6. Spread the ‘nutella’ chocolate mixture on top of the first layer of dough.
  7. Add the chocolate chips to the rest of the dough then crumble the dough on the top and press down lightly into the chocolate, don’t worry too much about it spreading out evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for an hour or so before removing from the tin. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have had this KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick Deep Square Cake Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8″) for years and it’s always served me really well. It has a loose base so it’s really easy to remove these oat bars from.

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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Black Sesame Peanut Butter Brownies {gluten-free}

Gluten-free Black Sesame Peanut Butter Brownies are packed with honeyed black sesame, swirled generously with peanut butter layered through the brownie and topped with salted peanuts and black sesame.

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars {gluten-free}

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

Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

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

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

Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

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

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

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars on a wooden board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOP THE RECIPE

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

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

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls

These Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls are deliciously simple to make and loaded with antioxidants, protein and good fats with no refined sugar for healthy snacking.

Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls

There have been two major themes to my baking and my posts recently. Number one, how tired I am and number two, how any baking I am doing has to be done with either a toddler or newborn in tow. In fact if a recipe can’t be made with a baby in a sling then it ain’t worth making. Well, these Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls fall in line with both themes plus they are healthy enough that I can’t feel too guilty for gobbling them down at 3am which is when I’m doing most of my snacking at the moment.

This tiredness is accumulative. The first few weeks of Beau’s birth when he wouldn’t sleep anywhere but our arms was exhausting but I had that adrenaline that goes hand in hand with having just given birth. I had energy, love and patience in abundance. Eight weeks in and the energy is at an all time low. This past week I’ve been up since 2am twice as we encountered Beau’s first fever. It’s scary stuff seeing your precious tiny bundle bright red, scalding to the touch and actual new tears streaming down his little face. His fever was the result of his first set of jabs so we were prepared for this possible reaction but it’s still terrifying, despite the number of fevers I have experienced with Cole. Even if Beau had let me put him down to sleep I would have been watching him like a hawk all night long.

Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls

So this week I have been in sheer survival mode, scraping through the day by drowning myself in tea. Although these Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls have been helping immensely and were actually a bit of a last minute addition to my blog this week. I made them on a whim with Cole one morning when I needed to entertain him for half an hour to distract him from his incessant pleas for the TV. I have been relying on Paw Patrol too much since Beau’s birth and making a mess in the kitchen is always a sure way to keep both him and I happy and amused. I even managed to rope in my Mum to read out the ingredients list whilst we threw everything into the blender so it was a real family affair. Actually these Energy Balls were really inspired since not only were they an ultra toddler friendly recipe but they have also served a double, and probably more pressing need, for healthy snacks this week. Whilst Cole thinks he’s been spoilt with chocolate he’s actually being loaded with tonnes of antioxidants, good protein and fats.

Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls

Actually the only chocolate in these energy balls is cacao powder (the aforementioned antioxidants). It has a much higher nutritional content that plain cocoa powder but you can substitute if needed. Plus the inclusion of tahini, which is one of my favourite ingredients and a natural friend to chocolate, make the energy balls taste really indulgent. There is no refined sugar, just toffee-like medjool dates, cashew butter for protein, coconut oil for texture and good fats to keep you satiated, then desiccated coconut, vanilla and salt for flavour.

It’s all well and good making these deliciously healthy snacks but my current dilemma is how many can I explain away eating during the day. However since what you eat at 3am doesn’t count as actual food then that certainly lessens my problem.

Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls

Print Recipe
Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls
These Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls are deliciously simple to make and loaded with antioxidants, protein and good fats with no refined sugar for healthy snacking.
Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
12
Ingredients
  • 10 medjool dates pitted
  • 140 g cashew butter
  • 90 g tahini
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 75 g sesame seeds for rolling
  • 75 g sesame seeds for rolling
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
12
Ingredients
  • 10 medjool dates pitted
  • 140 g cashew butter
  • 90 g tahini
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 75 g sesame seeds for rolling
  • 75 g sesame seeds for rolling
Chocolate Tahini Energy Balls
Instructions
  1. Put everything, except the sesame seeds, in the blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Scoop the mixture out and weigh out 12 balls, each at 40g.
  3. Pour the sesame seeds out onto a plate and roll each energy ball over them to completely coat.
  4. Arrange on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and place into the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  5. Then store in the fridge until hunger strikes.

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