Last year while writing my cookbook, gluten free gingerbreads were one of the hardest recipes to crack. They generally either require molasses and a whole lot of gluten, or dates and almonds, however there was not really a FODMAP friendly in between. This year, with the book done and dusted, I wanted to create a new gingerbread recipe without revisiting ghosts of Christmas past (if you will excuse this sorry excuse of a festive joke.) As a result, I settled (read: was overjoyed to decide on) a gluten free gingerbread cake.
This gluten free gingerbread cake is fluffy, light and delicious. It has no molasses and it is low in lactose (you could likely replace the butter with a dairy substitute.) It really is an all rounder for dietary requirements this Christmas. I developed it for my friends at Nuts For Life.
GLUTEN FREE GINGERBREAD CAKE: THE BREAKDOWN
As you’ll notice, the cake makes use of a few different types of sweeteners – white sugar, light brown sugar and maple syrup. White sugar is included for the structure of the cake. The other two sweeteners are used to recreate a molasses colour and taste, without using molasses, which is a FODMAP no go.
I have used my go-to flours for gluten free baking – fine rice flour and tapioca starch. Rice flour forms the bulk of the flour, and tapioca starch gives the cake lightness and lift. If you’d like to read more about gluten free flours, I’ve written a guide to the FODMAP friendly ones and how to use them.
The nuts I have used, pecans and pine nuts, are considered FODMAP friendly by Monash. Because of this, you shouldn’t need to be too reserved about your intake. However, you could substitute with any FODMAP friendly nut, if you don’t like these ones.
This cake contains butter as the only dairy. If you don’t eat butter at all, you could consider substituting it with a butter alternative.
FLUFFY GINGERBREAD CAKE WITH PINE NUT AND PECAN STREUSEL
FOR THE GINGERBREAD CAKE:
- 150 g butter room temperature
- 1/3 cup 75g white sugar
- 2/3 cup 100g light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 eggs I use 700g or extra large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups 200g white rice flour
- 1/2 cup 60g tapioca flour
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
FOR THE STREUSEL:
- 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line a sheet cake tin of your choosing. Mine is 24 x 24cm.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder (not the soda, we use that later!) and spices, mixing well to combine. Set aside.
- Place the butter and sugar into your stand mixer and use the beater the whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy. You can also do this with a hand beater.
- Add the maple syrup, continuing to mix until it is incorporated.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Know that the mixture will probably look a little split, and that’s cool. It will return to normal when the flour mixture is added.
- Turn the mixer off, and add half the flour. Return it to a low speed, and mix until incorporated. The low speed is so you don’t end up with a dusting of flour across your kitchen. Repeat with the second lot of flour.
- Finally, pour the boiling water into a jug with a lip, and add the baking soda. With the beater running, slowly pour the hot water into the cake mixture. Only pour a thin stream at a time, or it will cook the eggs.
- Once the water is fully incorporated, pour the batter into the greased baking tin. It will be a thin batter, but don’t panic.
- Place the timer on for 10 minutes. During this time, make the streusel. You can use a food processor to roughly chop the nuts, or chop them by hand.
- 10. Once they’re chopped, use your hands to massage in the butter and sugar evenly.
- 11. When the timer goes off, open the oven and arrange the streusel on top of the cake. The top of the cake should be firm but the interior wet, so push the nuts down a little to break the surface. The reason we’re putting nuts on now is that they will sink if we put them on at the start.
- 12. Return the cake to the oven for 15-20 minutes. Once browned, allow to cool in the tin for 10 or so minutes, before gently removing and placing on a cooling rack. Serve with some ice cream or a drizzle of maple syrup.