Gluten free cakes and allergy free cakes can be delicious. These recipes make cakes which you could serve without people even realising they do not contain gluten or other allergens.

Allergy-free baking does need precision. You need to be precise with measures and careful with substitutions. It’s not an area for careless bakers. You need good scales, measuring spoons, measuring cups and baking paper for lining tins and trays. Once you get the hang of it, though it can be no harder than conventional baking. I usually cool cakes and biscuits on the trays or in the tins as they are easier to handle once cool. The cakes freeze well. They’re best eaten within 3 days of baking as they do become stale faster than conventional cakes.

Sponge Cake

Gluten free, dairy free

Makes one 24 cm cake

Preheat the oven to 190 C

Line a tin with baking paper.

½ cup maize cornflour
½ cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
1/3 cup boiling water

Sift the flours and the baking powder and salt together.

Beat the eggs with an electric beater until they are foaming and light-coloured. Add the sugar slowly and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and lemon-coloured. Add the vanilla.

Fold the flour in quickly and lightly using a metal spoon. Pour the boiling water down the side of the bowl and then fold it in. Be very gentle so that you don’t deflate mixture.

Pour into prepared tin carefully. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Cool in the tin.

Tosca Cake

Gluten free, dairy free if you don’t use butter, soy free
Makes one 24 cm cake

Preheat the oven to 190 C

Line a tin with baking paper.

100 grams butter, nuttelex or margarine
100 grams sugar
50 grams potato flour
50 grams maize cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
2 tbp of rice milk or soy milk or coconut milk

Beat sugar and butter until light. Add egg yolks and vanilla essence.

Sift flours, baking powder and spice together. Add to mixture.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add one spoon to mixture and mix lightly. Add the remainder of the egg whites.

Mix in the milk.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

50 grams flaked almonds
50 grams sugar
50 grams of butter, nuttelex or margarine
1 tbp potato flour
2 tsp coconut milk

Melt butter then add sugar and almonds. Stir. Add flour and coconut milk and bring to boil.

Pour over cake and bake for further 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Chocolate Cake
Gluten free, soy free, egg free, dairy free. The cornflour can be replaced with arrowroot or potato flour.

Makes one 24 cm cake

Preheat the oven to 190 C

Line a tin with baking paper.

½ cup boiling water (125 ml)
35 gm cocoa or 35 grams of carob powder
90 grams butter, nuttelex or margarine
220 grams sugar
6 tbps of apple sauce
80 grams ground almonds
80 grams rice flour
40 grams brown rice flour
40 grams maize cornflour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum

Add the carob or cocoa to the boiling water. Leave to cool.

Beat the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the apple sauce. The mixture will look curdled but that won’t affect the cake’s taste or texture.

Sift the flours, baking powder and gum together.

Add the cooled water and carob/cocoa mixture and beat. Add almonds.
Beat in the flours.

Pour into tin. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool in tin.


Polenta Currant Cake
This cake is crumbly but delicious. It’s best eaten with a plate and fork.

Gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free

½ ripe banana
5 tsp apple sauce
1/3 oil
zest of ½ orange
zest of ½ lemon
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup currants
100 grams almonds
½ cup polenta
¼ cup potato flour or corn flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum

Prepare a tube/bundt tin. Oven to 190

Beat together the banana, apple sauce, oil, vanilla essence and zests.
Put almonds and polenta in food processor and blend until you have a powder. Sift with potato flour, baking powder and gum. Add any almond pieces back in which are caught in the sifter.

Add to banana mixture and mix well. Pour into tin.

Bake for 30 minutes until shrunken from sides of tin and browned.