‘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

'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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 15 bars
Calories: 434kcal


  • 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


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and grease an 8 inch square baking tin.
  • Whisk the sweet rice flour and tapioca flour together until combined.
  • 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.
  • Press ½ the dough into the base of the baking tin to form an even layer.
  • Melt the chocolate, hazelnut butter, cocoa powder and evaporated milk together in a double boiler, mixing together until thoroughly combined.
  • Spread the ‘nutella’ chocolate mixture on top of the first layer of dough.
  • 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.
  • Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • 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.


Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 138mg | Potassium: 293mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2.6mg


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}

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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}

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The Ultimate Guide to Oat Flour

Oat Flour is a brilliantly versatile gluten-free flour with a subtle buttery flavour and great nutritional properties. Unlike a lot of gluten-free flours it is economical and you can easily grind it yourself at home using rolled oats. Here’s all the information you need to start baking with oat flour today.

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

Are oats gluten-free?

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.

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.
  • They 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. See for yourself in this recipe for 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. I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour which is widely available and certified gluten-free.

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 to make oat flour?

Oat flour is simple to make as all you are required to do is:

  1. Bung a heap of jumbo rolled oats destined for your porridge into the food processor and turn it on.
  2. 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 Jumbo Rolled Oats  :  1 oat flour
So to make 100g of oat flour then you will need 125g rolled oats.

I recommend a really good food processor to make your oat flour. I love the Magimix Food Processor which is an essential piece of kit in my kitchen.

Can you substitute wheat flour with oat flour?

It is possible to create bakes using merely oat flour but it is not wise to substitute oat flour into any wheat flour recipe. Instead you should search out recipes which are specifically written with oat flour in mind.

Using oat flour by itself can also be very successful in cookies and biscuits. However, a delicious cake using just oat flour will need a lot of hand holding with its other ingredients to help the cake bind together. You will probably also need more eggs than a regular recipe to help the cake to rise. 

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.

How do you use oat flour in baking?

There are lots of recipes which benefit from the inclusion of oat flour. I love using it in biscuits and cookies but oat flour also works well in crumbles or crisps due to its crumbly chewy nature.

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 white 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. 

If you want to try using oat flour, these recipes are excellent places to start:

Digestive Biscuits
Strawberry Gooseberry Crumble
Red Velvet Cake
Steamed Chocolate Pudding
Best Gluten-Free Blondies
Raspberry Doughnuts
Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake
Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso 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.


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.

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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time1 hr 27 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 268kcal


  • 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


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  • Whisk the egg and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale and smooth.
  • Add the peanut butter, oats, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt and mix until the batter is smooth and thick.
  • 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.
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes until the cookies are just turning golden.
  • 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.
  • Dip each cookie in melted chocolate and sprinkle on sea salt then leave to set.


*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.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 475kcal


  • 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


  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  • In a medium sized bowl stir the cream cheese, mincemeat and eggs together until well combined then set aside.
  • Place the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
  • Tip half the mixture into the cake tin and press in tightly.
  • Spread the cheesecake over the top of the tin, then tip over the rest of the oat mixture, pressing down lightly.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • 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.


Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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.


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

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.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 504kcal


  • 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


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a grease a 13x9x4 inch baking tin.
  • In a large bowl (or stand mixer) beat together the sugar, olive oil and eggs until smooth and thick.
  • Add all the other ingredients in, except for the courgette, and beat until everything is fully mixed together.
  • Finally stir in the courgette until evenly dispersed and pour into the prepared baking tin.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, checking after 20 minutes and covering with foil if the cake seems to be browning too much.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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


Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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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

Bramley Apple and Cranberry Oat Bars

Bramley Apple and Cranberry Oat Bars

At 7.26pm a familiar crinkle of keys in the lock rouses puppy from his slumber in the corner of the kitchen.  His tail begins to wag furiously as he hurls himself up and scurries into the hall.  My husband opens the door with grandour and bends down to scuffle puppy’s wriggling little body.  Standing back up he loosens his tie and heads with long strides towards the kitchen.  I watch him as he stands before the fridge, reaching up to a round tin which is perched on the top.  He lifts it down giving a puzzled look, then shakes the tin which utters only hollow silence.  His face crumples, “No cake?”

I know, it’s crazy but true, since the beginning of January there has been no cake in this house and not surprisingly its absence is felt as keenly as a lost limb.  Even though if at the end of December it felt like I would swear off cake, biscuits and chocolate for good, having indulged in Christmas excess.  But like the sugar junkie I am I have been yanked off the wagon and thrown to the wolves.  And I blame TV.

Just before hubby came home I was drifting across the food channels, avoiding anything with loud shouty men and I came across the cookery show of one of my favourite food bloggers.  Now, this will come to no surprise to those who know me but I secretly like to think I’m a bit of a cowgirl.  So what if I live 5000 miles away from the nearest cattle ranch, riding horses makes my bum hurt and I can’t at any time be more than 15 mins away from the nearest Vietnamese restaurant. I strut down Stroud Green Road in my cowboy boots with pride.  So when I started reading The Pioneer Woman’s blog a few years ago, I fell in love.  At the moment she has a cookery show and I love watching those vast landscapes and clear skies, imagining myself herding cattle at dawn followed by downtime in the lodge frying steaks as big as my head and whipping up peach cobblers.  Ree Drummond always seems so happy and unflustered as she effortlessly fronts her own TV show, writes her blog, homeschools her children and still manages to reign supreme in her kitchen.

Now this blogger struggles to toilet train one puppy, barely manages a mediocre run round the block, never does her homework for writing class, always forgets at least two vitally important things from the shopping list and is constantly frustrated by the lack of workspace in my tiny North London kitchen.  I might be the epitomy of fluster.

There is always one thing that calms me down though and that’s getting involved in a new recipe.  And these oat bars which Ree was making on her cookery programme just made me want to run into the kitchen and start mixing up a batch, mainly since I immediately foresaw them with a fluffy tart apple filling.  I am on a bit of bramley apple kick at the moment, my current snack being unsweetened bramley apple sauce stirred up with a tablespoon of coconut milk for mid-afternoon fixes.  It’s addictive.

Bramley Apple and Cranberry Oat Bars

I also remembered about some leftover cranberries buried in the freezer which I am keen to use up before they become seasonally irrelevant.  So I added some of those into a saucepan with the bramleys and stewed them up with just a touch of sugar.  The oaty mixture encasing the fruit is packed with sweetness so balances out the slight sourness of the soft middle.

So, now my cake tin is happy.   And so are the other members of the household.

Bramley Apple and Cranberry Oat Bars

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network

2 medium bramley apples, about 450g, peeled, cored and diced
150g cranberries
1½ tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp water
200g butter, at room temperature
185g plain flour
135g rolled oats
200g soft light brown sugar, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

  1. Put the apples and cranberries in a medium saucepan with the caster sugar and water. Put the lid on and stew on a low heat for 20-30 mins, stirring occasionally until they have broken down and softened. Leave to cool.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and grease a rectangular baking tin 9” x 13”.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add the rest of the ingredients 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. Spread the cooled fruit on top.
  6. Crumble the rest of the dough on the top and press down lightly into the fruit, don’t worry too much about it spreading out evenly.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins until the top is golden brown and the fruit bubbling up.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the oven for an hour or so before removing from the tin and cutting into bars.