In very lovely rural Dorset, home to our gluten free bakery, the verges are dotted with an eclectic array of homemade signage calling out, “Tea here in the garden this Saturday”, “Holwell Fete & Dog Show”, “Fun Ride, Cycle & Walk”. By August we have reached peak summer social season. Think enthusiastic ladies equipped with be flowered straw hats and old school loudhailers. Old horse boxes strewn with striped bunting double up as pop up as plant stalls and tea hatches.
Summer fetes invariably feature a plethora of cakes and the competition can be fierce. I’ve yet to enter such a cake competition but should I ever be brave enough, I reckon this fruity number from our first Honeybuns Baking book might just be the winning ticket. It is super easy to make, looks the part, tastes divine and, as you’d expect from Honeybuns, it is naturally gluten free too.
Gooseberry season in the UK runs from May to September and reach optimal sweetness in August. The following cake recipe has a very high fruit content and is packed to the rafters with vitamin C. You are practically following doctor’s orders by eating this. Think of it as medicine – just in cake form. Loading up on summer fruits and berries will prep your immune system in readiness for Autumn.
Useful recipe information before you get started
- This recipe makes 1 x 23cm round cake
- You will need 1 x 23cm loose bottomed cake tin & some baking parchment to line the bottom.
- Baking time 45 minutes
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freezes well, without the icing.
- Don’t forget to compost your egg shells and gooseberry trimmings
Gluten free ingredients you will need for your cake:
- 150g butter, melted. Plus extra for brushing
- 5 free range eggs
- 200g sugar. Any granulated form of sugar is fine
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g sorghum flour
- 5 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 450g fresh gooseberries. Washed then trimmed of stalks etc.
Ingredients for the elderflower frosting:
- 200ml double cream
- 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
- 40g icing sugar, sifted
How to make this quick and easy “one bowl wonder” sponge cake
- Preheat your oven to 180°C and line your loose bottomed tin with a disc of baking parchment, cut to size.
- Brush the parchment with a little melted butter.
- Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for a minute.
- Add the melted butter and beat again.
- Then add all the other ingredients except the gooseberries and beat again until creamy.
- Gently stir the gooseberries into your cake mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into your lined cake tin and bake for 45 minutes, until the top of the cake feels firm and springy. A flat cake skewer will come out clean once your cake is ready.
- Leave the cake in its tin for 10-15 minutes, then turn it out, right way up, onto a cooling rack covered in baking parchment.
How to make the fluffy elderflower icing
Simply whisk the cream, icing sugar and cordial until stiff peaks form. Spread over your completely cooled cake.
Decorating ideas to top off your cake
Late summer in the UK is a bountiful time to peruse the contents of Mother Nature’s pantry.
Pretty rose petals are still in bloom and can be scattered artfully on top of your cake or stuck onto the sides.
Lemon zest and fresh mint leaves would both add a pop of colour.
Or pop some whole fresh gooseberries in then freezer to frost them up – then pop on top of your cake and serve before their frosting melts away.
Gluten free flour swap tip
If you don’t have ground almonds and/or sorghum to hand then feel free to use 300g of gluten free self raising flour – just leave out the gluten free baking powder as listed in the recipe.
If you have ground almonds but not the sorghum you can use 100g of the gluten free self raising flour or do it Italian style and use 100g of polenta.
Is this cake suitable for home freezing?
Yes – the cake itself freezes well for up to 3 months. I wouldn’t recommend freezing the frosting though. This can be made up fresh and spread over your cake, once fully defrosted.
If you have a glut of gooseberries, then why not make several cakes and freeze them?
You can then enjoy a taste of British summer up until the clocks and the season change.