Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf was the first gluten-free cake I developed for the cake stall three years ago. It is a firm favourite amongst my customers and ever since its creation I have never failed to include it as part of my weekly menu at the market. It is always the first to sell out and the one which provokes the most conversation with my customers.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I don’t know why I have waited so long to write about my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle, I guess I wanted to do it justice as it’s my most requested recipe. I’m glad I waited this long though as the photographs were finally taken in collaboration with Tara from Fork & Dram as part of our food styling day last month. Tara is an amazing photographer and stylist and has been of invaluable help in focusing the look of my photography.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I have limited time to work on the website these days as I am a full-time mum to Cole during the week and bake and work on the market stall at the weekends. Pockets of time where I can make and photograph my food specifically for the website are like gold dust. Tara has helped me understand how I can achieve photos I can be proud of efficiently and without any complicated set-ups or props.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I was thrilled then that Tara helped me capture the beauty of this cake. No to go all crazy-cake lady on you but this cake is kind of like my BFF. I can make this cake in my sleep, I never go to a market without it and it’s reliably delicious. That’s not to say that it was the easiest recipe in the world to develop, on the contrary getting the cake to rise evenly without falling in the middle was a bit of a stumbling block at first but there are tricks to ensure perfect results every time.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Do follow the recipe precisely, mix the butter and sugar on a low-medium speed until light and fluffy which ensures a good rise and then when the cake is finally in the oven don’t open the door for at least the first 40 minutes. I do like to check on my cakes to make sure they are all nestled comfortably in the oven after the first 20 minutes but this cake has a tendency to fall like a sozzled sailor on a two day shore leave. Resist the temptation.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

All the faffing is worth it though and to be honest even when the cake did fall, or didn’t rise properly, it was still amazing in flavour. Boy, does the Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle pack a punch. It made sense to me when I initially developed the recipe to add blueberries into a lemon drizzle. Blueberries provide such a delightful gentle counterbalance to the tang of citrus. But the cake is then taken stratospheric with the inclusion of peppery aromatic Basil. Lemons, fresh blueberries and basil are all added into the cake batter and then dredged over the top of the just baked cake to form the signature drizzle.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

The recipe method was originally inspired by the lemon drizzle cake featured in Outsider Tart’s cookbook Baked in America which is one of my favourite baking books. The key to their Drizzle is to use an almond paste which imbues the cake with an unbeatably moist texture. The taste of the almonds is barely noticeable, especially with the over-the-top citrus notes, the fragrance of the basil and the gentle pop of blueberries.

The beauty of using an almond paste here also means you don’t have to use very much flour as the ground almonds in the paste do a lot of the work for you. So with only a scant amount of flour in the recipe, an easy shop bought gluten-free flour is more than fit for purpose.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I’m very happy to finally share my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf and thank you to Tara from Fork & Dram for helping me bring the cake to life.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this everyday teatime cake is an absolute showstopper.
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
10 slices
Ingredients
For the almond paste:
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
For the cake:
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries
For the drizzle:
  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf tin.
  2. First make the almond paste by placing the almonds in a food processor and blitzing until finely ground. Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and blitz again until a paste has formed. Set aside for a moment.
  3. Place the basil leaves, lemon zest and orange zest in a food mixer along with the sugar. Whisk for a few minutes together until fragrant.
  4. Add the butter, one cube at a time and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape the almond paste into the creamed butter and sugar and beat until combined.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then beat it into the rest of the batter.
  8. Roll the blueberries around in the empty flour bowl so that they are gently coated with the remaining dusting of flour then stir into the batter.
  9. Pour into the cake tin, smoothing the top then bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. To make the drizzle place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a dash of water and heat for about a couple of minutes until the blueberries are just beginning to soften but not so that they have burst. Leave to cool.
  11. Pour the blueberries into a medium sized bowl along with the lemon juice, basil leaves and granulated sugar. Mix together.
  12. Remove the cake from the tin onto a wire rack, making sure there is a baking tray underneath to catch the excess drizzle.
  13. Prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick and then spoon the drizzle over the cake.
  14. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes

I sell my cakes at local farmers’ markets in London but lucky for those who don’t live nearby I also love sharing the recipes for all the cakes I sell and if you want to receive more of my cake stall recipes then I have a FREE mini e-book of the top 3 Favourite Gluten-Free Cakes which are on my stall including Fig, Almond and Salted Honey Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes and Minted Brownies. The recipes are really special to me and if you want a copy of them then just click the button below!

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Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

A Tres Leches cake is a traditional cake popular in Central and South America. Although if you search for Tres Leches on the internet you can see it’s pretty popular all over America. Just like my Nanaimo Bars last week, this is a recipe that I have repinned from dozens of food bloggers and always vowed I would make myself. I usually get caught up in my own individual cravings though and cakes I intend to make inspired by other people’s recipes often get placed on the back burner. I am pleased then that last week I perfected my Nanaimo Bar recipe and this week I managed to balance my craving for a traditionally British coffee and walnut cake with the Tres Leches cake I had been wanting to make for so long.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Sometimes I have to make cakes a few times to get them right, either re-addressing the amount of sugar, especially when I’m adapting American recipes as I don’t like things too sweet, or adding vanilla here and there or maybe ramping up all the ingredients if the cake turns out too shallow. Here especially there was a lot to balance out as I was doing a bit of a recipe mash-up but oh my did I get this one bang on first time round.

If you are not familiar with a Tres Leches Cake then the name is Spanish (which you had probably worked out yourselves) and means ‘three milks.’ This refers to the soak that the cake is given after baking, drizzled usually with a mixture of evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk (although I have seen the latter frequently substituted for single or double cream). Technically in my recipe I have drizzled the cake with four milks though as I also added some coconut milk which is an idea I stole shamelessly from Joy the Baker, as well as the basic method, but then she adapted her recipe from Alton Brown so it’s natural recipe evolution.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Wikipedia says that although the Tres Leches cake has its traditional home overseas the origin is probably Medieval European. This makes complete sense as when Luke came home from work and I thrust a piece of this cake at him to try I caveated it with the breathless sentence, ‘I think this is one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever made. You won’t like it.’ He hates trifle, which to me is incomprehensible, as he claims that he doesn’t like the soggy cake at the bottom. What the deliciously vanilla scented thick doorstop at the foundation of a trifle, lightly fragranced with sweet sherry and dripping with fruit juice? He’s insane. Still you can see how this three-milk soaked cake bears a resemblance to the British Trifle or French Rum Cake or Italian Tiramisu.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

I’m not sure what made me marry up my Coffee and Walnut craving with the Tres Leches but the two cakes have come together in blissful harmony. I haven’t included large pieces of walnut in the sponge but rather ground up some toasted walnuts and mingled them with the flour which adds a density to the sponge, creating an even better carrier for the après soak. I used the best instant coffee I could find as it seemed a bit of a waste of time to fiddle around with the cafetiere for the job. Instead I used Nescafe’s Azera Americano, a barista style instant coffee apparently, which although I am not a coffee drinker I am assured is a great substitute if you can’t be doing with cafetieres.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

This cake is most definitely latte inspired, not only due to the heavy amount of dairy involved but also because the coffee taste is subtle, especially in the whipped latte cream adorning the top. The caramelised walnuts give the finished cake a textured crunch, contrasting wildly to the soft sponge and dreamlike latte cream. However, you must keep the cake in the fridge due to all the dairy involved and I found the next day when I had some for breakfast (yeah, so what – pregnancy cravings, ahem) that the caramelised walnuts had slightly softened overnight which was just as good as the crunch the day before. Although, this cake really could do no wrong in my eyes. Despite the amount of moisture added to the cake after baking the cake still retains a solid yet light structure and is moist rather than soggy, it’s actually really rather amazing.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Oh, and Luke did like the cake and believe me after 14 years together he doesn’t worry himself with tact when it comes to giving me his honest opinions on my baking and cooking, so if it converted him to the idea of a soaked cake and you are already a fan then you are in for an absolute treat.

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake

Walnut Latte Tres Leches Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 16 squares

200g plain flour
75g walnuts, toasted then ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
115g butter
225g caster sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaped tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water, then cooled
200g evaporated milk
200g condensed milk
75ml single cream
75ml coconut milk
½ cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod
pinch of salt

For the whipped latte cream:
1 heaped teaspoon coffee
2 teaspoons boiling water
300ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar

For the caramelised walnuts:
75g caster sugar
50g chopped walnuts

Also: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C then grease and line an 8 inch square baking tin.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ground walnuts, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition then add the vanilla.
  5. Spoon in half of the flour mixture and mix in well then add the coffee, beat into the rest of the ingredients then add the rest of the flour. Mix in until just combined.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the tin then place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, turn out of the tin and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile prepare the soak by whisking the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream, coconut milk, cinnamon and cardamom pod in a saucepan over medium heat until it is just warm. Remove from the heat.
  9. Portion the cake into 2 inch squares and poke four holes into each square with a cocktail stick.
  10. Arrange the cake in a dish with high sides then spoon the glaze over.
  11. Cover the dish with clingfilm then refrigerate overnight.
  12. Remove the cake from the fridge to take the chill off whilst you prepare the toppings.
  13. Begin with the caramelised walnuts by the placing the walnuts on a baking tray in an oven pre-heated to 180°C for 5 minutes until toasted. Remove and set aside.
  14. In a smallish saucepan pour the caster sugar evenly into one layer and heat over a medium heat. The sugar will slowly melt, beginning at the sides. Carefully shake the saucepan every so often so the sugar melts evenly, do not stir. As soon as all the sugar has melted drop in a pinch of salt.
  15. Prepare a baking sheet with baking parchment before pouring the walnuts into the molten sugar and stir in with a silicone spatula. Quickly coat the walnuts with the sugar then tip onto the baking parchment, spreading out in 1 layer. Leave to cool then chop finely.
  16. To make the whipped latte cream, mix the coffee with the water, stir in until dissolved then set aside.
    Whip the cream for a few minutes with the icing sugar until thick and cloudlike. Pour in the coffee and mix in well.
  17. Remove the cake squares from their dish, spread the whipped cream over each one, sprinkle some caramelised walnuts over then add a final dusting of ground cinnamon.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread
Sometimes a cake shouldn’t be for celebration but should be made just because you want it and need it. This kind of cake is perfect for that purpose as it’s a quick mix, and although you might have to wait 50 minutes for it in the oven, as soon as it comes out there’s none of this cooling or pesky icing to deal with. I ate this one warm, the crumb hadn’t yet set so the texture was soft and toffee like. However, if you are not greedy and petulant like me then you can leave this cake and then leave it some more. The treacle, bananas and use of oil rather than butter mean that this cake will happily mature over a few days, it’s texture improving as the loaf gathers itself together and dampens with age. Although if you can leave this cake without going back for another slice every hour on the hour then you’re a stronger character than me.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

I made this cake in homage to the amazing chocolate banana rye bread that Nyborg’s have been doing lately. They have a market stall in Ally Pally and since I have been unable to attend Ally Pally farmers’ market recently (due to my treacherous defection to Falkland Road Market N8) I had to console myself by coming up with this recipe.

Now this isn’t a bread like the one Nyborg’s sell, since I’m not a bread baker by any stretch of the imagination, it’s more of a teatime loaf cake. A chewy, dense, malty, sticky teatime loaf cake which warms your insides and is totally moreish. Now that Autumn has muscled its way in I have been naturally turning to dark cakes with intensity. Black treacle and muscovado sugar are a natural fit with the robust rye crumb, as the bananas aid and abet the sticky licky loaf. I chose Lindt chocolate, which I wouldn’t normally bake with, to scatter throughout, as I love the large flat pieces of chocolate which gently melt in the oven but are kept in gooey pockets throughout the loaf.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

This cake is definitely made for the kind of weather I’m seeing right now. This week, not only have I unarchived my winter coat but I’ve also been sticking the heating on left right and centre, basically as soon as my husband leaves the house as he’s under the impression that if it ain’t December, then we make do with jumpers. The bitter winds and cold rain have come and sucked all the life out of our morning and evening walks with the puppy. As encouragement to make it out in the soggy chilled air, I definitely need this kind of treat to welcome me back into my centrally heated house, with a good strong cup of builders on the side.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

Dark Chocolate and Banana Rye Bread

3 ripe bananas, mashed
80ml Coconut oil
80g Black Treacle
80g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
185g Rye Flour
40g Cocoa
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
60g Lindt Dark Chocolate pieces, kept in their squares

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and lightly grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat together the bananas, coconut oil, treacle, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In another mix sift together the rye flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until only just combine. Fold in the pieces of dark chocolate.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin then bake in the oven for about 50 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin to finish cooling on a rack.