Friday 2 December 2011

Gorgeous & Gluten-Free!

Anything gluten-free sells really well, I've discovered. There seem to be more & more people who have serious problems with gluten...whether they are actually suffering from coeliac disease, or just wheat-intolerant. I have many friends to whom this applies (hi to Janie, Joann & my Mum to name but three!) and for this reason I've decided to increase my repertoire of recipes...especially on the Farmer's Market stall.

As it's 'beginning to look a lot like Christmas...' I thought I'd share a seasonal delight that I currently bake for a local restaurant - they serve it warm with cream for pudding, but it would be equally good cold with a hot cup of tea, I think! Actually, I'd eat it for breakfast - but that's just me!

Fresh Apple Cranberry Cake

1 & 1/2 cups (225g) gluten -free all purpose/plain flour

(at home I always use ....
Doves Farm flours
but while in the US I bought & brought back some Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Flour
which is a very similar blend & would work just the same!)

1 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder (or Doves Farm make a self-raising G-F flour which you could use & omit this)
1 tsp ground allspice (or cinnamon)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125g) butter
3/4 cup (160g) light soft brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tbsps apple cider (cloudy apple juice)
1 large tart cooking apple (I use Bramleys), peeled & cored
3/4 cup (150g) fresh cranberries
1 small cooking apple, peeled & cored

Preheat oven to 375f/180c
Line a 9" (23cm) square pan with baking parchment (or butter a glass dish if making as a dessert)

Sift flour, raising agents, spice & salt and set aside. In a large bowl (I use my stand mixer) beat butter and sugar together until lighter in colour and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating in well between each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and apple cider. The mixture will be quite wet & batter-like (this is because gluten-free flour absorbs more moisture)

It should look like this! Grate or finely chop cooking apple, and chop cranberries roughly too. I do this in a food processor - chop the apple first, then add cranberries and pulse a few times. You don't want a puree - it should be quite rough still...

Scrape fruit into batter and fold in well using a metal spoon or spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and top with thin slices of eating apple. I also shake over a little more ground cinnamon & spice at this point. Bake for around 45 minutes until well browned and firm on top (it will spring back when pushed gently with a finger!)

Cool in the tin then eat & enjoy! You can also wrap well and freeze for up to a month, making this an ideal recipe for Christmas.

This morning has seen the first real winter's cosy in my kitchen, though! I'm baking Apricot, Rum & Orange Cakes today...made with spelt flour, they will keep well as an alternative to the heavy dark traditional Christmas Cake. Totally gorgeous!

Have a great weekend - have you started any festive baking yet? xo


  1. Oh I looooove cranberries (atocas as we call them in Québec, as we say the arboriginal name), especially at Christmas, especially in cakes and of course as cranberry sauce (I make a really good one). With apples it must be delicious. I used to pour pure cranberry juice in my orange juice when I have breakfast in Montreal, that's a perfect way to kick start the day. I need to try this cake. I am not the biggest fan of Christmas pudding, I am more into Yule log, or Bûche de Noël as we call it.

  2. I've noticed how more and more cafes are catering for gluten intolerant diets now. Your cake sounds gorgeous - I like a drop of cider in my apple cake ;-)

  3. Hello Rachel!

    Gluten-free food items are in demand more than ever. There are special aisles at the grocery stores dedicated to them and also menu options at restaurants and bakery specialties. I know that Janie and Joann have a wheat intolerance. I didn't know your mom did too. How great that you can add gluten-free baked goods to your list of yummy creations. Tha cake looks and sounds gorgeous. Hope you have a festive weekend. I'll be baking dozens of cookies for tomorrow's cookie exchange. Should be lots of fun. Sending love and hugs.

    Rosinda xoxo

  4. That looks like a delicious cake. Far as I know I can eat wheat tho being on low carb is the absence of wheat and I have more energy. I think it's sugar not wheat. In any case, I'd love to try your cake--I bet it's fantastic. Just tonight I watched at TV comedy about a family trying to give up gluten cause their son was diagnosed with allergies. They seemed confused about what it was because all they seemed to eat was tofu and potpourri, which would have been funnier than the show. Obviously they could have eaten steaks and burgers etc but didn't seem to know it--pretty dumb show. Well it's 4am and I'm babbling. You could go ahead and make this cake with normal flour? Have a fun weekend!

  5. Rachel----Thank you!!! I shall make this this very week!!! I've made a few things, but they haven't been the most delicious treats I've ever tasted. I do enjoy cranberries, especially this time of yer!! Thank you for sharing the recipe; the photos look fabulous- wish I could have some right now as the ground is covered in a new 3 inch layer of powder, on top of the 7.5 inches we've already received 2 days's a winter wonderland, and I would love to have a cup of tea and a slice of this yummy cake!! I quite enjoyed my name there, too, I must say!!

  6. Looks totally amazing. I have unfortunately completely lost my mojo for baking, and for cooking full stop. Your darling niece however, seems to have the blood of generations of bakers running through her veins, as she knocked up yet another batch of light and airy cupcakes, decorated with pale green icing and pastel glitter. Wonder where she gets that from? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. Good Sunday evening, Rachel. Yes, I have actually begun some baking for the season. One small problem, though. It never stays around very long.:-) I've baked cranberry bread (2 loaves) twice, and seem to always give away one of the loaves. We have no need for gluten-free in our house; however, we've heard in recent months of 3 friends who have been diagnosed with celiac disease.

  8. Dear Rachel,
    Guess what? My husband has celiac disease! We have been gluten free since 1983! Did you know that you can combine cornstarch and rice flour and make a really good (and cheap!) gluten free flour? It depends on what you are making, but usually 1/2 cornstarch and 1/2 rice flour works really well. I made him a butter cake last week with chocolate frosting and this week I made a loaf of bread, just using cornstarch and rice flour. I have used Bob's Red Mill before, but it is a bit pricey!

  9. Hi Rachel :-) I'm thrilled to see this recipe! It looks and sounds delicious, and I'm anxious to try it. I love that you posted pictures so I can see just how it should look.

    I know the GF shoppers at your Farmer's Market will appreciate your gluten free offerings. I always feel grateful when there's a GF option for me. We ate at a Mexican restaurant this week, and they brought out gluten free corn chips (their regular ones are cross-contaminated from the flour tortillas). I was giddy with delight that I could eat some chips before my meal instead of sitting and watching everyone else enjoy them!

    Thank you for the recipe and the mention, dearest Rachel :-) I know I'm going to love it! xoxo

  10. I am so sorry that I just saw your lovely post today, dear Rachel! I have not been online much recently...what a love you are for creating these special gluten-free recipes for your customers and then sharing them here for all to enjoy. It must be so frustrating for our sweet friends to be surrounded by delectables this time of year and not be able to have any!! Love you and wish you a happy holiday time!! Hugs, Sherry xoxox

  11. What a healthy and sweet way to celebrate yuletide season. Thanks for sharing some nice recipes here.


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