Category Archives: Baking / Cakes / Desserts

[RECIPE] MY EASY GLUTEN FREE CARROT CAKE

As it’s National Carrot Day today (seems to be a national day for just anything these days!) I thought I would share with you my easy and simple gluten free Carrot Cake recipe! As the main body of the cake does not contain any dairy ingredients, it can be easily made dairy free by changing the ingredients in the frosting. There are some dairy free carrot cake frosting recipes that simply involve icing sugar mixed with water [here] but for those who enjoy a creamier frosting, some people mix icing sugar with vanilla essence and dairy free butter [here].

Carrot Cake 1

INGREDIENTS – [FOR THE CAKE]

  •  140g grated Carrot [this usually eqautes to 1 large carrot]
  • 3 medium free range Eggs
  • 175g Muscovado Sugar [Light]
  • 175ml Vegetable Oil
  • 175g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Gluten Free Baking Soda
  • 50g  Walnuts [broken into small pieces]

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c
  2. Using a cheese grater, grate the Carrots and put aside for later
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the 3 eggs and whisk until it’s frothy
  4. Add the Muscovado Sugar and Vegetable Oil into the whisked eggs and continue to mix together
  5. Sieve the Gluten Free Self Raising Flour and Baking Power into the mixing bowl and continue to mix until well combined
  6. Add the Walnuts peices and the grated Carrot into the mixture
  7. Generously grease a cake tin [or use greaseproof paper] and pour the Carrot Cake mixture in
  8. Pop the cake in the oven and bake for 30/35 minutes
  9. Once baked, insert a butter knife into the centre of the cake. The cake is ready if the knife comes on clean
  10. Leave the cake in the cake tin and leave to cool on a wire rack for 5 /10 minutes
  11. Remove the cake from the cake tin and leave to cool on the wire rack.
  12. Refrain from adding the icing or the frosting until the cake has cooled down.

INGREDIENTS – [FOR THE FROSTING]

  • 250g Cream Cheese [brought to room temperature]
  • 50g Butter [brought to room temperature]
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 275g of Icing Sugar

Although the frosting for the carrot cake is quite easy to make, I have been using Betty Crocker Vanilla Buttercream for the frosting instead and it tastes just as good. You can find the Betty Crocker range in all major supermarkets in the baking aisle. However below, is the step by step instructions to make your own carrot cake frosting. Also, feel free to omit or replace ingredients to make the frosting dairy free. 

METHOD

  • Whilst the cake is in the oven, add the Cream Cheese and Butter in a separate bowl, and mix together until the mix has become quite creamy
  • Add the Icing Sugar and Vanilla Extract to the bowl and mix together.
  • Once the cake has cooled, use a cake palette knife [I often use the back of a spoon] and generously spread the frosting on cake

Gluten Free Banana Bread

As some of you may know, I’ve embarked on a half hearted journey into the world of healthy living and exercising. I’ve been trying to eat more fruit and veg, exercise daily and drink 8 glasses of water a day – although I’ve realised that it’s a lot harder then you think and as my mum always says: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.

I’ve been doing well with eating my greens but when it comes to fruit… I’ve been kind of neglecting them. I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve pulled out a tub full of furry strawberries from the fridge or the amount of times my apples have wizened into large, sorry looking raisins! Even my bananas are starting to look like giant slugs in my fruit bowl!

So I was just about to chuck the ‘slugs’ in the bin when I realised that over ripe bananas can actually be used in baking. Infact, many recipes require overly ripe bananas as opposed to fresh ones. Which was when I had the brilliant brain wave of making gluten free banana bread.

Banana bread, banana loaf, banana cake [or whatever you wanna call it]  is such an easy thing to make! It takes minimal effort [well, apart from mashing bananas] and what you get at the end is a glorious dessert that goes wonderfully with a good ol’ fashioned brew!  On top of that, you can add whatever you fancy to the mix before baking. Fancy walnuts? Then throw them in! Fancy raisins? Then throw them in! Fancy berries and seeds? Then throw them in!

[FYI: I apologise for the poor quality of the photos. I’ve lost my camera charger, so until I find it again, I’m having to use my phone]

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 110g Brown Sugar [I used Muscovado Sugar again]
  • 110g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
  • 225g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour [I used Doves]
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder [Gluten Free of course!]

Method:

  1. Pre- Heat Oven to 180°c
  2. In a bowl and using a fork, mash the Bananas 
  3. In a separate bowl add the Butter and Brown Sugar and cream together 
  4. Add the mashed Bananas mix together 
  5. Add the Egg, Vanilla Extract and Vegetable Oil and mix together 
  6. Add the Flour and Baking Powder and give it a good mix till it’s all combined 
  7. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper [or if you’re out of greaseproof paper, generously grease it with butter] 
  8. Add the Banana Bread Mixture to the loaf tin, pop it in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 mins [when baked, if you insert a toothpick/fork into the Banana Bread, if it comes out clean – the banana bread ready!] 
  9. When ready, carefully take out of the oven and leave the Banana Bread in the loaf tin and pop on a wire rack for 5 /10 minutes. 
  10. Gently take the Banana Bread out of the loaf tin, and pop on a wired rack to completely cool 
  11. Pop on the kettle, make yourself a brew, cut a slice of your Banana Bread/Cake/Loaf and enjoy!

Gluten & Dairy Free Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes

With the weather being a little on the crazy side yesterday [yes, talking about the random snow after a red hot week!] I decided to be all productive and whip up some gluten free cupcakes. Now I was going to make some standard, plain vanilla fairy cakes, when I suddenly had an idea – I’ll make some ‘cherry bakewell cupcakes!’

I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers Mr Kipling’s Cherry Bakewells! Although I wasn’t a huge fan, I still enjoyed nicking the cherry off my mums and taking off the icing… pretty much leaving her with a soggy top and the shortcrust base! [Oh, how she put it with me, I’ll never know].

So trawling the internet for an idea on how to make it, I came across a recipe by the lovely Holly Bell, who was a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. I took a note of all the ingredients I’d need and demanded Michael to take me to Asda at once! However, we searched high and low for some ground almonds with Mike asking ‘Can’t you just use chopped almonds?”. I was just about to throw the towel at Mike in, when I had a little brain wave – I could use Almond Extract. The good thing is with almond extract is that it’s easily available from most supermarkets, unlike the ground almonds!

Ingredients:

 

  • 110g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour [I used Doves]
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Dairy Free Margarine [I used Vitalite]
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 12 teaspoons of Jam [Strawberry, Raspberry or Cherry]
  • 6 glacier Cherries [cut in 1/2]
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Boiling Water

Method:

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
  2. In a bowl, cream the Butter and Sugar together until creamy 
  3. Stir in the Eggs and Almond Extract [the mixture may look a little on the ‘curdled’ side] 
  4. Now add the Gluten Free Self Raising Flour and fold together
  5. Carefully pour into your cupcake cases and pop in the oven for 15-20s minutes 
  6. Once baked, carefully pop the cupcakes on a cooling rack to cool down 
  7. Once cooled, using a knife, gently take a little from the middle of the cupcake 
  8. Using a teaspoon, add a spoonful of Jam into the hole and place the ‘cut out cupcake part’ back on top [if that even makes any sense!] 
  9. Now it’s time to ice the cupcakes! I used Asda’s White Piping Icing to ice the Cherry Bakewell  but you can always make your own by carefully mixing 100g Icing Sugar with 2 tablespoons of Boiling water
  10. Pop 1/2 a cherry on top and admire your Gluten Free Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes