- Gluten free & vegan
- Gluten & dairy free
For the sponge
175g gluten-free plain flour
175g gluten-free oat flour
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225g caster sugar
15ml (1 tablespoon) white wine vinegar
250 – 300ml plant-based milk
100g dairy-free margarine, melted
For the dairy free buttercream
150g dairy free margarine
600g icing sugar
200g gluten and dairy free marzipan
For the icing and decoration
1 – 2 kg white fondant icing sugar or 1kg gluten and dairy free block fondant icing
gluten and dairy free flavouring
gluten and dairy free liquid or paste food colouring
100g gluten and dairy free dark chocolate – I use Plamil 60% dark chocolate
Grease and line a 20cm / 8 inch square cake tin. Run a knife along each side of the tin to give a sharp edge to the baking parchment. Make sure your baking parchment sticks to the sides of the cake tin or your sponge will not have straight sides.
Preheat oven to 180°c /160°c fan oven / gas mark 4.
Weigh the gluten-free plain flour, gluten-free oat flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, into a large mixing bowl. Stir then sieve at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.
Add the caster sugar and salt and stir together.
Measure 250ml plant-based milk and stir in the white wine vinegar. Stir in the melted dairy-free margarine.
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a hand whisk until you have a smooth thick batter. Add more plant-based milk if necessary, the mixture should be a thick just pourable consistency.
Whisk in a few drops of vanilla extract.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate then turn onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half.
For the dairy free butter cream
Mix the icing sugar into the dairy-free margarine, a little at a time. Do not overbeat the mixture or it may split. Stir in a few drops of cooled boiled water until it reaches the required consistency. Add the vanilla to taste.
This is a lot of icing sugar. If you use less icing sugar to margarine, the mixture may split. Add a little extra flavouring to this buttercream. *see note.
Place 100g/3½oz of the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Keep the rest in a bowl for the cake sides.
When the sponge has cooled, Cut the top off the sponge to ensure it is level. You want the sponge 4cm high. Turn the cake over so the bottom is now the top. Spread a thin coat of dairy free buttercream over the top of the sponge.
Roll the marzipan out finely, cover the top of the cake.
Cut the cake into 25 equal squares (each 4cm/1½in square). You may need to cut off the edges if they have rounded and pulled away from the sides of the tin – all the edges must be straight and neat.
Cover four sides of each square with dairy free buttercream (not the marzipan top or the base). Using the buttercream in the piping bag, pipe a blob in the centre of each square on top of the marzipan. Place in the freezer for 2 hours.
Using powdered fondant sugar – I mixed one 500g pack at a time with 5 tablespoons water until smooth and add food colouring and flavouring. I spooned the fondant over each sponge until completely covered then placed onto a cooling wire to let the excess drip off. Continue with the rest of the squares. Leave to set. If the coating is too thin coat each square a second time.
To use block fondant. To use this, place 1kg fondant into a large bowl that can fit in a microwave. Cover the fondant with water then drain off. Place on a low heat in the microwave for 30 seconds bursts. Take out and stir after every 30 seconds until it reaches the correct consistency. Stir in the colouring and flavouring if using. If the fondant is still quite stiff, add a drop more water and place in the microwave for 15 seconds, stir and repeat until the fondant is easy to stir. This takes a little practice – if the sponge is the correct consistency, you can place a sponge on top of four fingers and scoop through the fondant. Hold over the fondant for a few seconds for the excess to drain back into the bowl. Leave to set on a cooling wire. Or place the sponges onto a cooling wire with space around each one. Spoon the fondant over the top of each sponge ensuring the sponges are completely covered.
Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Once melted, place the chocolate in a small piping bag.
Using the piping bag of melted chocolate, drizzle the chocolate over each fancy in a zig-zag pattern.
Leave to set and then place on a cake stand to serve.
In 2012 I wrote a blog. For 12 weeks I made dairy- and gluten-free version of the Great British Bake Off technical challenge.
In all recipes requiring self-raising gluten-free flour, I advise stirring the flours together with the gluten-free baking powder then sift at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.
Gluten free cakes are crumblier than other cakes but taste just as good. To cut neat slices, dip a serrated knife in hot water and wipe clean between slices.
You can make your own gluten-free oat flour by blending gluten-free oats in a food processor until fine. This may not turn out as fine as shop bought but is not as expensive.
For dairy-free buttercream: Most dairy-free margarine is quite soft. You will need to add four times as much icing sugar to the dairy-free margarine or it will split. I like to use Naturli block margarine as it is a firmer margarine. You only need twice as much icing sugar to this block margarine. It is a lot tastier and doesn’t contain palm oil.