Category Archives: Cakes

Super Easy Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Chocolate Easter Cupcakes

Cupcakes really are EASY to make. What’s more, they cook very quickly and the frosting doesn’t need to chill in the fridge – so they’re ready very quickly. (Something that Zoe appreciates hugely!) I’ve made these with cocoa powder in both the cupcakes and the frosting, instead of melting chocolate. And I’ve used a mixture of rice flour, ground almonds and buckwheat flour because it’s an excellent recipe to use buckwheat flour in (which is very nutritious). But you don’t need to use buckwheat flour, if you don’t have any to hand. (Just use 75g rice flour and 50g ground almonds, instead.)

I made these with a little helper – Zoe. She was excellent at helping to mix and at putting all the cupcake cases into the bun tin. She kindly licked the spoons to make them clean and helpfully tasted each stage to make sure that it tasted good. Unfortunately, though, once they were made,  I heard a crash in the kitchen while I was having a bath. Cries of “Mummy” came from the kitchen, followed by Peter coming to explain that Zoe had tipped the container over and the cupcakes were now squashed. Luckily I’d already taken the picture – and I guess we’ll just have to eat the squashed ones quickly and make some new ones now for Easter day!

Happy Easter! x

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Makes 10     Preparation time 15 minutes     Cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened
  • 150g/5½oz/heaped ¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g/1¾oz/heaped ¼ cup rice flour
  • 20g/¾oz/scant ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 55g/2oz/½ cup ground almonds

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 200g/7oz dairy-free margarine
  • 400g/14oz/scant 3¼ cups icing sugar, or ground fruit sugar
  • 120g/4¼oz/1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and arrange 10 cupcake cases in a bun tin. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.
  2. Sift the rice flour, buckwheat flour, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum and cocoa powder into the mixture. Quickly fold in the ground almonds, using a spoon and mix well, but take care not to overmix. Divide the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
  3. Bake for 15–18 minutes, until well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Put the dairy-free margarine, icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth, light and fluffy. (I find that my electric mixer makes the icing sugar cloud up at the beginning, so I use a wooden spoon initially to blend the ingredients together and then I use the electric mixer. Some mixers, though, work fine if you simply add the icing sugar in slowly.)
  5. When the cupcakes are cooked, remove from the oven and turn out of the tin, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  6. Spread or pipe a little of the frosting over each cupcake and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

Here we are in the midst of root veg season. Parsnips, swede, celeriac and, of course, the humble carrot – all impart deliciously sweet, earthy tastes to stews, casseroles, soups, gratins, and roasted veggie dishes. But you don’t have to always think of these veggies as only for savoury dishes. Forget dark winter nights in front of the fire with a roasted vegetable lasagne, and think of tea-times with crisp, clear skies and winter sunshine – perfect for pretty, colourful comfort food. Enter carrot cake…

Here’s an awesome gluten-free carrot cake with a dairy-free frosting – and the addition of pine nuts to add texture and taste.

Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 40–45 minutes     Makes 1 cake (serves 10–12)

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Ingredients:

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g/4½oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/¹⁄₃ cup maize flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 350g/12oz carrots, peeled and grated
  • 100g/3½oz/⅔ cup pine nuts

Topping:

  • 25g/1oz dairy-free margarine
  • 75g/2½oz dairy-free soya cream cheese
  • 85g/3oz/½ cup fruit sugar
  1. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry until just starting to turn golden, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and leave to one side.
  2. To make the frosting, put the dairy-free margarine and soya cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Put half of the pine nuts into the bowl of a mini-food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add to the frosting and mix in. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well mixed, then beat in the honey.
  4. Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum and cinnamon into the mixture and fold in, then fold in the carrot and the remaining pine nuts. Make sure the mixture is well mixed, but take care not to overmix it. Pour it into the tin.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then cover with baking parchment to prevent the cake from overbrowning. Bake for another 20–25 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, spread the frosting over the cake and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Raspberry Cake

It’s amazing how delicious raspberries are – and how incredibly versatile. Zoe adores them, so I’ve been making the most of the raspberries available this year, and experimenting with all different types of recipes that use them. This is a lovely cake, full of the taste of summer, no matter what time of the year. You can make this with delicious fresh raspberries but you can also make it with frozen ones, instead. Frozen fruits are a gem – often higher in nutrients than fresh fruit that has been shipped in and sitting around for ages during the distribution process. They’re much cheaper to buy and, of course, you can store them in your freezer and simply take them out when you want to use them.

I’ve used coconut flour alongside the rice flour because it makes baked goods deliciously moist. It’s hard to find but you can buy it from on-line retailers, such as Goodness Direct. And the cake is incredibly moist and moreish, anyway, because of the raspberries in it. Lovely summer-time food – even if it’s chilly and raining!

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Makes 1 cake (10–12 slices)     Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 40 minutes

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g/5½oz/scant 1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup ground almonds
  • 350g/12oz fresh or defrosted, frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp agarve syrup, to decorate
  • 2–3 tbsp fruit sugar, to decorate
  • raspberries, to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well mixed.
  2. Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture and fold in, then fold in the ground almonds and gently fold in the raspberries. Make sure the mixture is well mixed, but take care not to overmix it. Pour it into the tin.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with baking parchment to prevent the cake from overbrowning. Bake for another 10–12 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, spread the agarve syrup over the cake, then sprinkle over the fruit sugar. Top with raspberries and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Polenta Cupcakes

These cupcakes are full of wonderful Italian flavours. The slightly crunchy texture of polenta, along with the ground almonds and the tangy lemon make these cupcakes delicious. And they’re incredibly quick and easy to make. This recipe is taken from Masterchef finalist Caroline Brewster’s book, Yummy, which gives you wonderful desserts you can make in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 minutes. These are from the 20 minute chapter, and you really can make these in under 20 minutes – and even do the washing up while you’re waiting for the cakes to bake!

I’ve adapted them slightly, using dairy-free margarine instead of butter, fruit sugar instead of the sugar or icing sugar, and I used less of the syrup topping.

  • 115g/4oz dairy-free margarine
  • 115g/4oz/1/2½cup fruit sugar, plus 4 tbsp for the topping
  • 115g/4oz/heaped 1 cup ground almonds
  • 55g/2oz/⅓ cup quick-cook polenta
  • ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • a large pinch of salt
  • juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  1. P reheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and line a muffin tin with 8 paper cupcake cases. Put the margarine, sugar, ground almonds, polenta, baking powder, vanilla extract, egg, egg yolk and salt in a food processor and blend for 1 minute until combined. Add the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix.
  2. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases and bake for 12–14 minutes until the tops are browned and firm. Rotate the tin halfway through baking.
  3. While the cupcakes are baking, put the remaining sugar for the topping in a mini food processor or spice mile and pulse until very fine and resembles icing sugar. Mix with 1 tablespoon of the remaining lemon juice to make a syrup.
  4. Carefully lift the warm cupcakes from the muffin tin, using a palette knife, and peel off the paper cases. Spoon over as much of the syrup as you want and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Raspberry & Rosewater Cupcakes

 

 

These gluten-free cupcakes are truly indulgent and heavenly! The mixture is incredibly simple – just a combination of rice flour and ground almonds, along with the dairy-free margarine, sugar, eggs, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum. I think you have to be careful when you use ground almonds in baking – that you don’t use too much because I find they dominate and leave a slightly sticky taste at the back of your mouth otherwise. Here I’ve balanced the ground almonds with the same amount of rice flour and then I’ve added raspberries to the mixture – and these add moistness and texture, as well as a lovely berry taste. And then I’ve made a rosewater frosting with soya cream cheese. This is the image used on the cover of my new book, Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free – and I think these cupcakes sum up the book – incredibly simple to make and truly delicious.

gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, citrus-free

Makes 12     Preparation time 15 minutes     Cooking time 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened
  • 125g/4½oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g/2½oz/heaped ¹⁄₃ cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 75g/2½oz/scant ¾ cup ground almonds
  • 100g/3½oz/scant 1 cup raspberries, lightly mashed, plus 12 to decorate

Rosewater Frosting:

  • 25g/1oz dairy-free margarine
  • 75g/2½oz/¹⁄₃ cup soya cream cheese
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 85g/3oz/½ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and arrange 12 paper cupcake cases in a bun tin. To make the frosting, put the dairy-free margarine, soya cream cheese and rosewater in a mixing bowl and beat, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.
  3. Sift the rice flour, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum into the mixture. Quickly fold in the ground almonds, using a spoon, then gently fold in the raspberries. Mix well, but take care not to overmix. Divide the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases.
  4. Bake for 18–20 minutes, until golden brown and well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn out of the tin, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  5. Spread a little of the frosting over each cupcake, top with a raspberry and serve.