Banana and Chocolate Chunk Cake

Serves 8 - 12

for the sponge
175g gluten-free plain flour
175g gluten-free oat flour
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt
225g caster sugar
15ml (1 tablespoon) white wine vinegar
250 – 300ml plant-based milk
100g dairy-free margarine, melted
2 small ripe bananas, mashed
60g gluten- and dairy-free free plain chocolate, cut into chunks
vanilla extract

Dairy free buttercream
100g dairy-free margarine
400g icing sugar, (depending on brand of margarine. See note)
A few drops of vanilla extract

60g gluten free plain chocolate, cut into small chunks

Line an 8 inch (20cm) round cake tin with baking parchment.
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 together 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.

Melt the dairy-free margarine. Add the plant-based milk and vinegar. Stir into the dry ingredients with the vanilla. It should be the consistency of a smooth thick batter. Add more plant-based milk if necessary.

Mash the bananas and stir into the mixture with the chocolate.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and cook in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. *If you divide this mixture between two cake tins, the sponges will rise higher.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate then turn this onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half.

When cooled decorate the top of the cake with the buttercream and scatter the rest of the chocolate chunks and crumbs over the top.

Vanilla buttercream
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.

If your cake turns out a little stodgy – try adding a little more plant-based milk next time.

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.