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Chocolate Clementine Cake

Chocolate Clementine Cake

Chocolate Clementine Cake; it’s practically health food!

I can’t take all the credit for this cake as it’s adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe for clementine cake. I made this version for my cousin’s birthday; she’s a nutritionist and the fact this cake is wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and free from added fat means you could almost convince yourself it’s healthy! As it’s made with ground almonds it stays wonderfully moist, and with the addition of cocoa it’s almost truffle-like – serve with a little cream and you’ve got yourself an excellent dessert.

Chocolate Clementine Cake


375g clementines (probably 4-6 clementines depending on size)
230g ground almonds
240g caster sugar
40g cocoa, sifted
6 eggs
1 tsp baking powder

Firstly, don’t worry if your clementines are a little more or less than 375g, just don’t go cutting a bit off to make the right weight, they should be whole for the first stage. Boil the clementines for 2 hours, topping up the water as necessary to make sure they don’t boil dry. After the two hours are up, remove from the pan and allow to cool before cutting in half to remove any pips and any stalk.

Heat the oven to 190C and grease and line an 8″/21cm springform tin. If you have a food processor, chuck in all the clementines (skin  and everything) and whizz them up into a fairly smooth pulp. If you don’t have a food processor then blend or very finely chop and the fruit, trying not to lose any of the liquid, then tip it all into a large bowl. Add the rest of ingredients to the food processor or bowl and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for about an hour, covering the top with foil after about 40 minutes to avoid burning. The top will crack, don’t worry. The cake is done when it springs back when pressed and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely whilst still in its tin on a wire rack.


Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Naughty little treat – Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

It’s National Cupcake Week (that’s a real thing, right?) so cupcake baking is happening all over. I used to make cupcakes a lot when I worked in a big office (no squabbling over who gets the biggest slice of whatever treat you’ve taken in), but not so much these days. There’s only one cupcake recipe on here so far, lovely Vanilla Cupcakes that have a secret jam filling; a simple classic. I’m happy to be adding another now, which also has a classic flavour combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

This recipe was born out of wanting to thank a friend for a favour. She sticks (mostly!) to a gluten-free diet, but if you didn’t need to worry about that you could just substitute the gluten-free flour for normal self-raising flour. I have to say, the cakes in this recipe are good, but they’re really a way to justify eating the buttercream, which is (though I say it myself) awesome.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing

For the cupcakes:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 100g gluten-free self raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp milk

Heat your oven to 170C and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy and the colour of a milky coffee. Add the eggs and beat again. Tip in the sifted cocoa and flour and mix until everything is well combined. Stir in the vanilla, syrup and milk and then spoon (or use an ice cream scoop for perfectly even portions) the batter into the prepared cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes; they’re done when a skewer inserted comes out clean and they have a little spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the cakes from the muffin tray to cool on a wire rack as soon as possible (I use a palatte knife to ease them from the tin); if you leave them to cool in the tin then they have a habit of peeling away from the paper cases.

For the buttercream:

  • 140g butter, softened
  • 280g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp smooth peanut butter

In a large bowl, mix the butter and icing sugar together. I find it helps to mix them with a wooden spoon to begin with as it means the icing sugar is less likely to leave your kitchen like it’s been in a blizzard. Once they’re combined, go at it with an electric whisk and then continue to beat for a good 3-5 minutes longer than you think you need to. Trust me; this will leave you with far smoother, fluffier, creamier buttercream than you thought you could achieve. Then add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat again.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, ice them with the buttercream using a palatte knife, or if you’re any good with a piping bag, give them a pretty swirl. If you feel like it, and you have some knocking around, grate a little chocolate over the top of the finished cupcakes. Feed them to your gluten-free loving friends and bask in the warm glow of their appreciation!

Gluten-Free Lime & Coconut Cake

gluten-free lime and coconut cake

Gluten-Free Lime and Coconut Cake

Last week I went to #DrunkTaco night (basically an excuse to eat a ton of incredible meaty tacos and drink gin) with some lovely ladies, two of whom are intolerant to gluten. As if the evening wasn’t decadent enough I decided to up the ante and bring cake. I’ve made a few gluten-free cakes before – it really doesn’t make much odds with cakes in the way it does with bready products – and this was a good excuse to give something new a go. To be vaguely in keeping with the Mexican theme, I came up with a lime and coconut cake, adapted from my usual lemon drizzle cake. If you’re not bothered about keeping this gluten-free you could use normal plain flour, or self raising flour and leave out the baking powder and bicarb.

Lime & Coconut Cake made with Gluten-Free Flour


  • 115g soft butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 170g plain gluten-free flour – I used rice flour
  • 5 limes
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tin coconut milk (you may not need the whole tin, but make sure it’s well mixed and not separated into solids and clear liquid)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 100g icing sugar

Grease and line the base of a 9″ spring form cake tin. No need to pre-heat your oven, this cake mix goes in to a cold oven. If you have a food processor that’s the easiest way to make this cake, otherwise a mixer or good old fashioned elbow grease will work just as well. Firstly, finely grate the rind of 4 of the limes into the food processor or a bowl. Then juice the limes into a separate bowl and add the desiccated coconut and 6 tablespoons of the coconut milk – mix well.

In the food processor or mixing bowl with the lime rind, add the butter, sugar and flour and mix well, scraping down the sides if necessary. Add the eggs, followed by the lime juice and coconut mixture and beat again. You want to achieve a soft dropping consistency, so if the mix is a bit thick, add the milk and beat again until incorporated. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and put into the oven at 175C for about an hour. Check it at 50 minutes – when it’s ready it’ll be coming away from the sides of the tin and spring back when lightly pressed; a skewer should come out clean. Leave it in the tin during cooling.

About 10 minutes before your cake is due to come out of the oven, heat together in a pan the icing sugar, juice and finely grated rind of the remaining lime and 1 tablespoon of coconut milk. You want this mix to be slightly thick and syrupy so you may need to boil it for a few minutes. When you take your cake out of the oven, and whilst cake and syrup are both still warm, prick your cake all over with a skewer or fork and spoon the syrup over so it seeps into the holes. Leave to cool and set before removing from the tin to serve.

Once again, I failed on the photo front, but luckily one of my lovely friends (thanks, Nicole) got a shot. I promise I’ll improve with the pictures!

If you’re interested in eating good gluten-free food, check out The Gluten-Free Dining Guide blog, or @gfdining on Twitter.