Sticky Apricot Cake

Serves 8 - 12

for the Cake
175g chopped dried apricots (not presoaked, ready for eating – they will not give your cake enough flavour)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g gluten- free plain flour
175g gluten-free oat flour
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
225g soft light brown sugar
pinch salt
100g dairy-free margarine, melted
15ml white vinegar
250 – 300ml plant-based milk
few drops of vanilla extract

for the Topping
75g light brown
75g golden syrup
75g coconut cream ( from a tin of coconut milk) or dairy-free whipping cream

Line an 8 inch cake tin with baking parchment. Preheat oven to 180°c / 160°c fan oven / gas mark 4.

Cut the apricots into small pieces and place them into a small saucepan with the first bicarbonate of soda. Just cover the apricots with water. Bring to the boil, stirring to stop the apricots sticking to the pan. Turn off the heat and leave the apricots in the pan.

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 soft light brown sugar and salt and stir together.

Melt the dairy-free margarine. Add the plant-based milk and vinegar. Whisk into the dry ingredients with the vanilla.

Stir in the apricots and any liquid. It should be a smooth thick batter. Add more plant-based milk if necessary.

Pour into the cake tin and bake for about 30 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before carefully turning out onto a plate then onto a cooling wire so it cools the right way up ( The sponge could break in half if you leave it to cool upside down).

While the cake is still warm make the topping.

Open the tin of coconut milk. There will be a solid part and a liquid part. Spoon 75g solid coconut into a saucepan. You can use dairy-free whipping cream instead.

Weigh the light brown sugar and golden syrup into a saucepan and add the coconut cream or whipping cream. Stir to melt the sugar. Once melted, boil for a minute then pour over the still hot cake. Leave to cool before carefully lifting out of the cake tin.

This makes a warming winter dessert – make two or three times the topping recipe and serve this alongside the warm apricot pudding with dairy-free custard.

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.