Take a peek at our best gluten free Christmas cakes round up 2023

I’m truly sorry for bringing up the dreaded C word before the leaves have barely started to fall but we thought you might just appreciate a VIP preview of some sensational new seasonal cakes we’ve busily been working on.

Christmas Snuggle Taster Box 10

Why do Christmas gifts and foods appear so ludicrously early in the shops?

As artisan bakers of gluten free cakes we experience, first hand, the huge amount of forward planning that goes into getting any kind of Christmas range up and together in good time. This year, customers were asking us back in January what our Christmas range was going to be! We’ve also been required to work in advance for seasonal peaks but since Covid lockdowns commercial buyers factor in longer lead times due, in part, to the on going supply chain disruption.

Simply put, it generally takes longer to get hold of stuff, from our cardboard boxes to dried cranberries. Staff shortages, raw material scarcity and inflationary pressures have all added complexity to an already challenging process.

What goes into developing a new cake commercially?

One aspect we manufacturers have always had to allow plenty of time for is NPD aka New Product Development. Getting a cake (or any other item) “shop ready” is a multi step process. Coming up with a flavour combination is the easiest part.

We bake prototype cakes in smaller batches to avoid too much wastage in case things go wrong. Smaller batches then need to be scaled up and this invariably causes unforeseen issues. For instance, when mixing larger quantities of our Oaty Raspberry Bar we have to be careful to layer up the wet ingredients with the dry to ensure everything gets properly mixed – something which gets harder to achieve the bigger the mixing bowl. This sounds simple but in reality takes trial, error, attention to detail patience and consistency. This transition from test kitchen sample to production sample can take weeks to fine tune. Team training also, understandably takes time, as everything we do is by hand rather than on a production line.

All our cakes are then taken to our lovely and discerning tasting panel – namely our pop up shop customers who provide scorchingly honest feedback. Finalised cake samples are then sent off to the lab for allergy testing and shelf life testing. Once we’re all happy with the recipes and lab results our thoughts turn to press coverage. Christmas food photography deadlines for magazines and trade catalogues can be as early as June/July – hence our pre-occupation with Christmas all year round. I promise it is not anything sinister on our part! We are simply working to necessary deadlines.

Packaging is the final piece and from initial designs to receiving the finished printed cake labels, this can take three months.

Our wholesale customers can place their first Christmas orders as early as September which is made possible as all our cakes are shipped frozen on the “thaw serve model”. They then have stock in readiness in their warehouses and they then get busy communicating to customers what is in stock and what preseason special offers are available.

Phew! No wonder by the time September arrives we are all ready for a brew and a collective breather. It’s very satisfying and challenging to get to the end of the development and launch process together as a team. It’s quite a special moment to see the new cakes leaving the bakery for the first time.

The proof of the pudding then being in the feedback we get from you, our cherished customers.

Our top gluten free cake recommendations for Christmas 2023

NB: all our cakes can be frozen

Our new and improved Mincemeat Crumble Slice

This beauty is dairy free, vegan and gluten free. Our signature vegan and gluten free biscuit base is made from golden date juice, ground and chopped almonds, flax and rapeseed oil. This is topped with a super generous layer of plant based sweet mincemeat – we improved this with added cranberries and orange zest. We further dial up the flavours with a smidgen of highest quality vanilla and a pinch of sea salt.

We are baking this treat in both large traybakes and individually wrapped slices and we’ll be adding it to our Honeybuns online Christmas shop which will be going live towards the end of October.

Try it as a lovely alternative to Christmas cake or mince pie – it makes for a super easy pud – just warm through and add vegan custard or ice cream.

Fruited Ginger Cake

I love the soft, moist sponge which is lighter than your traditional Christmas fruit cake but is still studded in every bite with goodies including pistachios, sultanas and chopped almonds.

The lightness is down to our use of sorghum flour and ground almonds as a fabulously nutritious alternative to regular wheat flour. The warmth of the ginger comes through at the end.

By popular demand we’ve made this gorgeous traybake available all year round in our online shop. As with everything we hand bake here at Honeybuns – this cake is gluten free. Free range eggs and butter are used generously in this one so obviously this one is not vegan.

Bliss Bar

Our pop up shop customers fell in love with this stunning slice the instant we brought the tasting samples out. Of all of our new wheat free creations, this is the one I’m most excited about. The vegan biscuit base features again, this time generously spread with our very own dairy free caramel, unique to Honeybuns. Date paste, golden date syrup, almond butter and a touch of sea salt are blended to create a deliciously moreish alternative to dulce de leche.

We wanted the top layer to be full of flavour, texture, really vibrant and nutritious. Not much of an ask! So we came up with our “Magnificent Seven” blend of seeds, fruit and nuts. Toasted coconut curls, pecan pieces, pistachios, raspberry pieces, cranberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are tumbled together and sprinkled over the top. OOOOh , I nearly forgot – look out for the vegan dark chocolate buttons too!

It’s like a millionaires slice – just a million times better in my humble opinion. Bliss Bars are dairy free, vegan and gluten free and will be available as large traybakes and individually wrapped slices from the 29th September.

Raspberry Bakewell

This perennial favourite of the British cake tin has been given the special Honeybuns treatment. Again, we’ve layered delicious ingredients up using our vegan biscuit base as the first, tasty building block.

We’ve not reached for any old jam – instead we’ve gone for a generous layer of Tiptree’s raspberry conserve made with 52g of fruit per 100g. Just as you wouldn’t skimp on ingredients when baking treats at home – nor do we.

The frangipane topping took several tasting rounds to get just right. We agreed on a recipe using ground almonds, flax, almond extract and coconut milk. No weird, ultra processed science lab ingredients in sight…..We hold our hands up to the fact our cakes are still treats. They remain high in fat and sugar compared to say fresh fruit, however, we take care to use the highest quality alternatives to flour such as ground almonds and flax which are both packed to the rafters with vitamins and good oils.

So many of our vegans tell us they want to be able to enjoy classic favourites in a plant based version – I think our very special edition of the classic Bakewell might just tickle their fancy. Available both as wrapped slices and in the large traybake from 29th September.

If you would like to try any of these Christmas treats before you buy, please don’t forget you will be warmly welcomed to our remaining pop up shop days in 2023 before we close in Jan to reopen in March 2024.

Catch us while you can!

Much Love,


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You might also be interested in reading behind the scenes of our Dorset pop up cake shop.