Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Gluten Free Tea Cake

Gluten Free Tea Cake. Baked and photographed by Susan Walter.

My coeliac friend Elizabeth posted this recipe on her blog a while ago. I have subsequently made it a couple of times, using a mixture of sultanas, dried apricots, prunes and my homemade preserved orange peel, or sultanas, currants, dried apricots and cranberries -- just whatever I have on hand really.

A mixture of dried fruit soaked in tea.
A mixture of dried fruit soaked in tea for tea cake. Prepared and photographed by Susan Walter.

I used some of the syrup from the orange peel instead of golden syrup and skipped the fresh orange zest in one version.

Mini loaves tin coated in homemade cake release.
Mini loaf tins coated with homemade cake release. Prepared and photographed by Susan Walter.

I always make up my own gluten free flour from chestnut, buckwheat, fine polenta or corn meal and chickpea flour, with a sachet of baking powder added. I double Elizabeth's original recipe to make three small cakes (2 loaf, one 15cm square, or 6 mini loaves). Nuts were half homegrown walnuts, half supermarket almonds, chopped - again cos that was what I had in the cupboard.

Dry ingredients.
Gluten free dry ingredients for tea cake. Prepared and photographed by Susan Walter.

It definitely needs all the milk - the mix is quite sloppy, but the cakes crack across the top, which is a sign they need more moisture. The end result is not unpleasantly dense, with good texture and mouthfeel. Simon says he would like more obvious fruit, but I thought it was good.

Mini loaves in my new Pyrex tin (purchased at Noz for just a few euros).
Mini gluten free tea cakes. Baked and photographed by Susan Walter.

N.B. Start the day before you intend to bake, as the fruit mixture needs to soak for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.

Full sized loaf.
Gluten free tea cake. Baked and photographed by Susan Walter.


350 g dried mixed fruit (make up your own mixture rather than use a commercial mix eg 100 g each of sultanas, currants or prunes and apricots and 50 g of cranberries or preserved citrus peel. Chop the larger fruit.)
300 ml hot, strong black tea
400 g Gluten-free self-raising flour (make up your own mix from 125 g each of chestnut and buckwheat flour, 100 g of corn meal and 50 g of chick pea flour plus 2 tsp of baking powder.)
100 g ground almonds
200 g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup or mild honey
100 g chopped mixed nuts (I used walnuts and almonds.)
Finely grated zest of an orange (optional)
2 tsp ground mixed spice
4 eggs
4 tbsp canola oil
300 ml milk
  1.  Place the fruit in a bowl and pour the hot tea over. Cover the bowl and leave overnight for the fruit to absorb some of the tea. You can add a dash of Cointreau if you like.
  2. Coat your tins with home made cake release (recipe here on Baking in Franglais).  
  3. Heat the oven to 160C.
  4. Mix the flours in a large bowl and stir in ground almonds, sugar, nuts, orange zest and mixed spice.
  5. Add the syrup, eggs and oil to the fruit mixture and tip this into the dry ingredients. Stir well adding enough milk to make a batter consistency.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and put them on a shelf in the centre of the oven.
  7. Bake the cake for about 1 hour or until it has risen and feels firm to the touch in the centre. Depending on the size they will need between 45 minutes and 1 hour 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven as they are ready and leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Serve slices with custard as a dessert, or spread with butter or cream cheese if serving for afternoon tea.
  10. The cake will freeze well.
Mini gluten free tea cakes. Baked and photographed by Susan Walter.

Pierced oval Wedgwood platter courtesy of BRB.
Gluten Free Tea Cake.
Photograph courtesy of BRB.

The gilt decorated lidded jug courtesy of BRB, who inherited it from his granny.
Gluten Free Tea Cake.
Photograph courtesy of BRB.



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Le Pré de la Forge said...

What's your home-made cake release recipe, svp??

Susan said...

There is a link in step 2 to Jean's blog with the recipe.

Colin and Elizabeth said...

I'd forgotten all about this recipe! Glad to hear it's coming in handy and that it freezes well, which is always a bonus when you're baking. I'll be trying your recipe for cake release too. Thanks for reminding me of a one time favourite! E.xx

Susan said...

It's a very good recipe to double (the recipe above is a double quantity) and put one loaf in the freezer.

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