15 May 2011

Gluten-free Orange Poppyseed Cake

dairy free egg free nut free vegan gluten free

I'll admit to being a little cocky these days when it comes to vegan baking. After 6 long years, I reckon I could tackle just about anything. But recently, vegan combined with gluten-free baking, has reduced me to a blubbering mess in the kitchen! Gummy muffins, boulder breads and chewy cakes - I've baked and binned them all.

Now I'm happy to report that gluten-free disasters are happening less frequently for me (though I suspect they'll continue in the future). I'm also going through different brands of gluten-free flour mixes at a rate of knots. After countless hours of google research as well as investing in a growing library of gluten-free cookbooks, it seems the best cake and cookie mix is one which predominantly features fine brown rice flour. So my next challenge will be to make my own flour mix. However if you're up for baking a lovely cake such as this one, (adapted from Cybele Pascal) use a commercial mix, and I'll be back very soon with a DIY version.

This cake is best eaten on the same day, but you can refresh in the microwave for a good pudding-style treat. Zap for about 20 seconds per piece and serve with dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon No Egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup rice or soy milk
1 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups gluten-free flour mix
3/4 teaspoon xantham gum
4 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Orange Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 20 cm bundt pan and dust with cornflour.

Combine the sugar and egg replacer mix and beat in a mixer for about a minute. Add orange juice, zest and oil and mix for another minute or so.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour mix, xantham gum, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet in three batches, beating after each addition. Mix in the poppy seeds.

Pour batter into the pan and bake for between 30-40 minutes.

To make the syrup, whisk together sugar and cornflour in a small saucepan. Whisk in the juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Once the cake has cooled in the tin for 5 minutes, turn onto wire rack. Pierce holes in the top of the cake with a skewer (about 20 times) and then pour over the syrup.


  1. I would love to see your flour mix recipe if you have come up with one :o))? My son has wheat, egg, nut, potato, soy and dairy allergies. Coming up with a gluten free flour mix that doesn't involve soy or potato flours has been my greatest cooking challenge over the past five years!

  2. I still experiment each time, which probably accounts for my regular failures, so tend to stick with a store-bought version! However, from many hours of reading up on GF blends and noting all the ingredients in commercial mixes, the rule for a GF mix seems to be a mix of a GF flour with medium intensity, a starch and a high protein flour, with some xanthan gum, in that order. So for a soy/potato free version, you could try 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup tapioca starch, 1/2 cup millet flour with 1 tsp xanthan gum. I love baking with coconut flour but it is quite dense and sucks the moisture out of the already-challenged batter. Let me know how it works! QBx