‘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.

If you like this recipe then you may also like…

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}

side view of Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars on a wooden board

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

Overhead shot of several Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Gluten-Free Flours: Oat Flour

My favourite of all the gluten-free flours finally receives its moment in the sun with its very own chapter in my Gluten-Free Flour Series. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Oat Flour.

Image of jumbo rolled oats and gluten-free oat flour on a wooden board

First a caveat on oat flour. Oats themselves are gluten-free but are often processed in mills with other grains so there is a lot of cross-contamination. If you are gluten intolerant or coeliac you must make sure it’s certified gluten-free on the label. It’s also the unfortunate fact that some coeliacs and people with a gluten intolerance just simply can’t tolerate oats at all whether they are processed in a gluten-free environment or not. So always check with whomever you are baking for that oat flour isn’t on their black list.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake is a foolproof gluten-free buttermilk chocolate cake, sandwiched with a simple fresh raspberry swiss meringue buttercream.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

The benefits of oat flour

Oat flour carries the same benefits as oats themselves which are delicious and nutritious. They are high in a fibre called beta-glucan which helps lower cholesterol, supports your immune system and contributes to fight hunger pangs. The soluble fibres are also considered to lower blood sugar by reducing glucose absorption meaning oats are especially beneficial for diabetics. Oats are also good for your skin which is why you see oatmeal added to lots of skincare products. They are high in protein compared to other grains and are a good source of magnesium too so assist in energy production.

However, this is all just bonus material as oats also taste terrific which is carried through into your bakes and also add texture from beautifully fluffy bakes to flaky pastry.

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

Gluten-Free Eccles Cakes

What is oat flour?

Oat flour is basically very finely ground oats. You can easily grind oats yourself to make oat flour but the finer the grind then the fluffier the cake which is why I buy commercial oat flour. However on the very regular occasions which I run out then there is a negligible difference in the homemade version. It’s also the much cheaper way to go.

Image of jumbo rolled oats and gluten-free oat flour on a wooden board

How do you make oat flour?

Oat flour is simple to make as all you are required to do is bung a heap of jumbo rolled oats destined for your porridge into the food processor and turn it on. Within about 30 seconds you will have a beautiful oat flour. If you need a specific amount for a recipe then the ratio is 1.25:1 jumbo rolled oats to oat flour so to make 100g of oat flour then you will need 125g rolled oats.

Steamed Chocolate Sponge Pudding with Chocolate Custard {gluten-free}

Gluten-Free Steamed Chocolate Pudding with Chocolate Custard

Can you substitute wheat flour with oat flour?

Now, when I say oat flour is my favourite flour that is not because it is the most versatile. Nor does it provide a direct 1:1 substitution with wheat flour as it barely mimics any properties of plain wheat flour.

Plain wheat flour is so ubiquitous because it does so many jobs that you might need two or three alternative flours to complete. A lot of its work lies in holding things together, crisping or fluffing. Wheat flour also has a neutral taste so can sit well in any meal or bake without imparting any distinct flavour.

However, what makes alternative flours so much more interesting and more complicated to understand is their unique profiles. There isn’t a go-to gluten-free flour, each one brings its own characteristics and ‘role’ to your meal or bake.

It is possible though to create bakes using merely oat flour, although the results will not be as robust as using wheat flour. A delicious cake using just oat flour will need a lot of hand holding with its other ingredients, you will probably need more eggs than a regular recipe to help the cake to rise. However, it will produce a delicate elegant result. Using oat flour by itself can also be very successful in cookies and biscuits. However it’s best to not substitute wheat for oat flour in any old recipe but to seek out recipes which are specifically produced with just oat flour in mind.

Image of jumbo rolled oats and gluten-free oat flour on a wooden board

Why use oat flour?

There are many alternative flours out there so why might you choose to use oat flour in your gluten-free cakes and bakes?

The reason would be for the bags of personality that oat flour brings to the table. There is none of this neutrality that wheat flour carries. Instead oats are imbued with a deliciously toasted butterscotch flavour which is almost sweet and pairs so beautifully with so many flavours and gives a lovely background note to your bake. It’s distinctive but doesn’t overpower.

Oat flour is also higher in protein and fibre than many other alternative flours which means it gives a lovely soft texture to your bakes, it fits perfectly in a homemade gluten-free plain flour blend as it works so well with other alternative flours.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

How do you use oat flour in baking?

There are lots of recipes which benefit from the inclusion of oat flour. In particularly cookies, making them beautifully chewy.

Oat flour also works well in crumbles or crisps due to its crumbly chewy nature.

Strawberry Gooseberry Crumble {gluten-free}

Strawberry Gooseberry Crumble

Oat flour can be put to excellent use in a gluten-free all purpose flour mix and I pair it a lot with white rice flour and tapioca flour which can be substituted for wheat flour in most recipes. The rice flour gives the bake a structural integrity but the soluble fibres of the oats gives the bake a softer quality and negates the grittier properties of white rice flour. The tapioca is an excellent binder and mimics some of the gluten properties of wheat.

This gluten-free Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake is the best carrot cake you will ever taste. Full of sweet earthy goodness thanks to using both golden beetroot and carrots; complex with pecans, sultanas and apples; perfectly complimented with a not too sweet cream cheese buttercream and adorned with the delightful crunch of a salted pecan praline and candied beetroot and carrots.

Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake

What flavours pair well with oat flour?

Take your pick, this is such a versatile flavour. Although its nutty toffee-like tones are an especially good match for chocolate, caramel, vanilla, nuts, spices, stone fruits, berries, bananas, apples, squash and coffee.

Where can you buy oat flour?

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.

If you wanted to make your own oat flour…

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin when I want to grind my own oat flour. I have easily had it over ten years and I use it nearly every day for all manner of kitchen jobs like whipping up dips, pestos, nut butters and flours and making my breadcrumbs. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

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

Next time in Gluten-Free Flours: The Blog Series I will be looking at teff flour.

If you would like to read more from my Gluten-Free Flours series then please go back and read the following posts:

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

text saying Gluten-Free Flours: Nut Flours: how to grind them and how to use them: fromthelarder.co.uk: on an image of jars of nut flours

Text saying Gluten-Free Flours: Sweet Rice Flour: what it is, how to use it and where to buy it: fromthelarder.co.uk on an image of mochi

Text saying Guide To Gluten-Free Flours: White Rice Flour: what is it and how should we use it: fromthelarder.co.uk: on an image of White rice flour on a wooden board with a vintage sieve

Text saying Guide To Gluten-Free Flours: Tapioca Flour: What is it and how should we use it: fromthelarder.co.uk on an image showing tapioca flour on a board and in a mug

Text saying Guide to Gluten-Free Flours: Buckwheat Flour: What is it and how should we use it. fromthelarder.co.uk
Text saying Guide to Gluten-Free Flours: Oat Flour: What is it and How should we use it. fromthelarder.co.uk. In front of an image of some oats and oat flour

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free}

These flourless, dairy-free Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies are no fuss to make and are one of the most satisfyingly chewy cookies you will have the pleasure to bake. Directions for converting the cookie to vegan and refined sugar-free are also included below.

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Sometimes you hit upon a food/ingredient/ recipe which is perfect for exactly where you are in your life. I said last week that I was having a bit of a love affair with oats but it also goes further than that. I am utterly devoted to and thinking about running away with these Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies. They are the only thing I want to eat all the time and at this point I think my body is just being fuelled by peanut butter, oats and chocolate.

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}

It took a while to get these cookies exactly how I wanted them so I made many batches. Each one delicious but needed tweaking here and there. I am unashamed to say I pretty much ate every cookie of every batch. Despite the tweaking it turns out that you can’t really go wrong with peanut butter and oats. I have eaten these cookies by the tray load. For breakfast, for mid-morning snacks, at 3am feedings and in lieu of any meal that may have snuck up on me unawares. There is never a time for this cookie to not hit the spot.

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}

The last batch though I perfected. These Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies were magnificent. So I did what any generous baker would do when they have hit upon cookie pay dirt, I sealed them in Tupperware and hid them at the back of the fridge without informing any members of my family. Then I ate them in secret. To be honest, it has been a little like having an affair. So many lies and deception. On more than one occasion Cole would run into the kitchen wondering what I was doing inside the fridge. ‘What are you eating Mummy?’ ‘Nothing,’ I would mumble, oats falling out of the corners of my mouth ‘Open your mouth Mummy,’ My toddler would demand. He was a lot harder to fool than Luke and I may have had to slip him a cookie or two to aid his silence.

Then when I finally confessed to Luke what I had done and his feelings were a little hurt that I felt it necessary to hide such an important part of my life with him I magnanimously agreed to bake him a batch. I had run out of my stash so baking more cookies might have been on my agenda anyway.

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}

These Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies are so wonderful as they require minimal ingredients. Seven to be exact. And only a brief moment of your time concocting them in the kitchen. They don’t have flour, just oats. They are dairy-free (if you use vegan dark chocolate) and they are loaded with hunger satiating peanut butter. Whipping up a quick batch for Luke was no hardship. I did it with my baby in a sling and my toddler standing on a stool next to me helping ‘weigh’ out the ingredients. To be honest, he was eating as much as he was weighing out. Plus he thinks that all measurements in recipes are ‘fifty hundred grams’ so he’s got a bit of way to go before he’s a completely reliable sous chef.

The chocolate dip at the end, after the cookies have cooled, are not a game changer. If you just want a quick peanut butter cookie fix then you have all you need right there. But if you can’t resist a bit of chocolate with your peanut butter then I urge you not to. The dark chocolate dip sprinkled generously with sea salt is what takes these cookies to above and beyond the call of duty. I had to keep them in the fridge so the chocolate didn’t melt on the crazily hot day we had in London last week (our premature summer didn’t last, yesterday it was hailing golf balls) but actually that worked in its favour. I loved the cookies straight from the fridge and the fact that the chocolate hardened into a crisp shell surrounding its chewy peanut butter interior.

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}

The only thing I would ask of you when making these cookies is that you use natural peanut butter without salt (or any other ingredient for that matter) and use it from the top of the jar when it’s still beautifully golden and runny. You don’t want the hard stuff that’s been languishing at the bottom of the jar for a few weeks as the cookies won’t have enough moisture to hold together. However, I have made them with the peanut butter remnants at the bottom of the jar and if that’s all you have and can’t be bothered to nip to the shops then just add a tablespoon or two of milk (I used coconut milk) for extra moisture.

I also, for good measure, tested this recipe as a vegan and refined sugar-free recipe. The cookies were still good so by all means go down that route if that’s the only way you would get to try these cookies. I just preferred them made with an egg and a bit of brown sugar. For the vegan cookie, replace the egg with a chia egg and for the refined sugar-free version, replace the brown sugar with dates. The notes on these changes are included in the recipe below.

Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Now, you must rush to the kitchen immediately and bake up these bad boys. Although you might not forgive me if you become as obsessed with them as I am.

Print Recipe
Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free}
These flourless, dairy-free Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies are no fuss to make and are one of the most satisfyingly chewy cookies you will have the pleasure to bake.
Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
12 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g soft light brown sugar
  • 300 g natural peanut butter
  • 125 g jumbo rolled gluten-free oats
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt plus extra for sprinkling
  • 100 g dark chocolate chips melted
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
12 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g soft light brown sugar
  • 300 g natural peanut butter
  • 125 g jumbo rolled gluten-free oats
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt plus extra for sprinkling
  • 100 g dark chocolate chips melted
Peanut Butter Oaty Chocolate Cookies {gluten-free, dairy-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Whisk the egg and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and smooth.
  3. Add the peanut butter, oats, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt and mix until the batter is smooth and thick.
  4. Using the palms of your hands roll up the dough into balls of about 45g each and place on a baking sheet a couple of inches apart. Press down slightly so the top of the cookies are flat.
  5. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the cookies are just turning golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  7. Dip each cookie in melted chocolate and sprinkle on sea salt then leave to set.
Recipe Notes

*For a vegan cookie, replace the egg with 1 chia egg. (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds whisked into 3 tablespoons water and left to set for 5 minutes in the fridge. Use then the way you would the normal egg)

*For a refined sugar-free cookie, replace the sugar with 8 pitted dates, blended to a puree. The mixture will be a little stickier before going into the oven but comes out pretty much the same cookie consistency.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

I am finding it hard to fit in all the exciting Christmas inspired bakes and recipes in my usual 1-2 blog postings per week. So from here on until Christmas I’m stepping things up a notch. I do love to over exert myself, especially where food is concerned, so expect a bumper month of posts. I’m hoping to mix in a bit more savoury stuff into this advent period as well so let me know what you think of that. A lot of people have been saying that they missed my savoury recipes this past year where I have been more or less baking focused so in 2018 I’m planning on throwing in a few more gluten-free dinner ideas for good measure.

As usual I have set myself too much to do in the run up to Christmas, especially since Amazon have very destructively added the first series of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel to their streaming service this past week. So now I must endeavour to fit that in as well amongst the Christmas cards, extra cake orders, food prep and shopping for more Thomas the Tank Engine stocking fillers. Still, I can’t help but love December!!

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

It may be apparent to the eagle eyed reader that I am an ardent devotee of mincemeat. I try and put mincemeat in most of my bakes around December and a couple of weeks ago I made these Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars for the market stall and have decided that they might be one of my best inventions yet.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

They are a riff on my Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars. Two layers of oaty shortbread are sandwiched together with mincemeat cheesecake. If you are buying your mincemeat for the recipe then do make sure it’s suet-free as you don’t really want any extra fat messing up the recipe. I used my Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat which is perfect for any kind of baking. By mixing the mincemeat with the cheesecake mixture you are making the centre of these oat bars extremely creamy. They don’t have the sweet punch of a traditional mince pie and are more of a subtle affair but still packed with that rich fruity spice flavour that is key to any mince pie creation.

Print Recipe
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 bars
Ingredients
  • 280 g cream cheese
  • 260 g suet-free mincemeat
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 160 g gluten-free oats
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 bars
Ingredients
  • 280 g cream cheese
  • 260 g suet-free mincemeat
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 160 g gluten-free oats
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl stir the cream cheese, mincemeat and eggs together until well combined then set aside.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
  4. Tip half the mixture into the cake tin and press in tightly.
  5. Spread the cheesecake over the top of the tin, then tip over the rest of the oat mixture, pressing down lightly.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove from the tin carefully and leave to finish cooling on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

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]

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake

This gluten-free Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake is the best carrot cake you will ever taste. Full of sweet earthy goodness thanks to using both golden beetroot and carrots; complex with pecans, sultanas and apples; perfectly complimented with a not too sweet cream cheese buttercream and adorned with the delightful crunch of a salted pecan praline and candied beetroot and carrots.

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

Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

If there is one thing I’ve learned from hosting several cake stalls both for WI and personally, it is that chocolate sells.

These Nutella Fudge Oat Bars were no exception when I ran our WI stall at Hornsey Music Festival last weekend. Halfway through the morning when sales were beginning to lag a taster of these Nutella bars were set free amongst the masses, and we sat back in wonder as their fudgey oatiness did their work and brought in the crowd. It was noticeable that the eyes of the children picking over what to have on the stall lit up as soon as they spied the Nutella. I’ve a confession to make, so did mine. Out of all the delights on the cake stall, including victoria sponges, ginger parkin, cupcakes and lemon cakes it was one of these Nutella bars which I saved for myself as a treat on the way home.

Nutella Fudge Oat Bars | Stroud Green Larder

Did you know Nutella is having a bit of a resurgence? It’s 50 years old this year but she isn’t showing any signs of age. According to the BBC, a nutty 365 million kilos were sold last year. Sales are increasing every year and Pinterest and Instagram are prolific with thousands of ways to incorporate this chocolate spread into your baking.

When I was 13 I spent a term in France with my school, and my overriding food memory, aside from being force fed vegetable ‘potage’ every day, was spreading lashings of Nutella over my fresh croissants in the morning. I don’t think I really ate it before then and I’m not sure if I’ve particularly eaten it since, but that doesn’t mean that Nutella isn’t intrinsically now part of my food heritage thanks to those three months mainlining it at a particularly impressionable part of my life.

Nutella Fudge Oat Bars | Stroud Green Larder

Oats make even the most indulgent of treats feel like you are being kind to yourself and this is no exception. It’s an adapted version of these Bramley Apple and Cranberry Oat Bars I made earlier this year but I amped up the oaty mixture as a counterpoint to the creamy chocolate interior. I added extra chocolate to the Nutella to temper down the sweetness and amp up the chocolate factor, it worked without losing any of its innate Nutelleriness. A substantial amount of oat mixture is pressed into the base of the baking tin, then the fudgey middle spooned thickly on top. Instead of crumbling the rest of the oat mixture on the final layer, I made sure it completely covered the oozing chocolate to protect it and hold it all together. It crisped up deliciously in the oven and if you leave it to cool in the tin it is a dream to cut. It went down extremely well at the cake stall with children and this adult in particular.

Nutella Fudge Oat Bars | Stroud Green Larder

Nutella Fudge Oat Bars

300g butter, at room temperature
275g plain flour
200g rolled oats
300g soft light brown sugar, sifted
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
200g Nutella
80g dark chocolate
75ml evaporated milk
pinch of salt

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease a rectangular baking tin 9” x 13”.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the butter, flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt and rub together with your hands until everything has come together to form a light dough.
  3. Press ½ the dough into the base of the baking tin to form an even layer.
  4. Melt the chocolate, Nutella and evaporated milk together in a double boiler, mixing together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spread the Nutella chocolate mixture on top of the first layer of dough.
  6. Crumble the rest of the dough on the top and press down lightly into the chocolate, don’t worry too much about it spreading out evenly.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until the top is golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for an hour or so before removing from the tin and cutting into bars.