A gluten free vegan cake (dairy free, egg free). Great for all intolerances. Flax eggs are the egg replacement in this recipe, gooey bananas and choc chips add some decadence. Free from Everything but flavour.
Free Cakes for Kids, is an organisation I stumbled upon last summer at a local festival. I was enticed to a fundraising cake stall by a large tray of flapjacks, and following a quick chat with the volunteer organisers I found myself all signed up. The initiative has a simple objective – to provide birthday cakes for local children who may otherwise not have one. My branch of Free Cakes for Kids works with local organisations – schools, children’s centres, and food banks to manage referrals to our bank of bakers. We don’t have direct contact with the children themselves, just a child’s name, age, an idea of what cake they might like, and a cake drop off point. For me this is a perfect opportunity to practice creative baking for a deserving cause.
Our group of bakers got together last weekend for a skill swap, an idea we came up with a while ago when we realized that in a large group of bakers (mostly amateur) we had so much to offer each other. Many of the bakers are amazing at decorating and would be totally unfazed by the idea of an Elsa cake (From Disney’s Frozen, for the daft). This would send me into total creative meltdown but since I have an extensive knowledge of how to cater for various intolerances I offered this up as my skill swap!
I usually wouldn’t create a gluten and dairy and egg free cake but in order to explain a bit about various substitutions I decided to go for the triple bill. By knowing I wanted to use a flour like buckwheat, and olive oil for the dairy-free fat I was able to find a great looking recipe on Google. We always say when adapting recipes you should only change one element at a time, so I was looking for a recipe when this was all I had to do – eggs! Replacing eggs in baking is relatively easy if there isn’t a huge amount in the original recipe and you also understand the function of the egg in the original recipe – is it providing moisture, or maybe binding, or maybe leavening/structure? It’s not foolproof though – you can’t for example use a flax egg to make a meringue…
Flax or Chia seed Egg. 1Tbs ground flax + 3Tbs water per egg. (good in breads and pancakes, but don’t try more than a couple per recipe)
1 Banana / Apple Puree – approx. 1/4 cup for each egg (good in cakes and brownies)
There are many other suggestions too, like arrowroot, chickpeas, vinegar + baking soda. There are not enough hours in the day to try them all!
My cake is adapted from these two recipes – recipe 1 recipe 2. The recipes are practically the same, which does lead me to a question of ethics of where the credit is due. As a seasoned and ethical blogger, I always credit the origin of a recipe or inspiration. Credit where credit is due…
I reduced the sugar and I decided to use rapadura – a unrefined cane sugar with a gorgeous caramel taste. There has been a lot of press coverage recently about sugar being sugar whatever it is and so I’m starting to think about moving away from bankrupt inducing (and possibly unsustainable) coconut palm sugar. I’ve lots more to pontificate on this subject so I’ll leave you decide what sugar you want to use.
Enjoy the cake warm and crumbly from the oven, or allow to cool then refrigerate so the chocolate chips will harden again.
- 180g brown rice (or sorghum or buckwheat) flour
- 100g unrefined granulated sugar of choice (rapadura, coconut palm, light muscovado)
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs / flax egg (see below*)
- 160ml mild olive oil
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 3 ripe bananas - mashed + 1 extra for topping chopped into coins
- 50-100g 70% dark chocolate chips or pecans
- If using a flax egg make it up and let it sit for 15 minutes (see note)
- Pre heat the oven to 180° C (fan), Grease and line an 8” round loose bottom cake tin.
- Mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the flax egg with the oil and vanilla, then stir in the mashed bananas. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and stir through the chocolate chips.
- Tip the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. The cake will feel firm, with a slight give under the pressure of your fingers when done.
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack, then remove the cake from the tin.
Can you help add to my repertoire? Any good gluten free vegan cake recipes?
Update July 2016 I have further reduced the sugar to 100g (noted above) and it is still definitely sweet enough. I have also replaced the chocolate chips with hazelnut and or pecans with great success. I have also trialled with 100% brown rice flour instead of buckwheat and a 50:50 combination of brown rice and sorghum recipe. You can also add chopped banana coins (from 1 banana) into the top of the cake as in the top picture. I have also made the above x 1.5 ingredients in the same tin for a deeper cake. So very versatile!8