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Honeybuns Gluten-Free Baking Book FAQ's

Honeybuns gluten free baking book


Gluten- and dairy-free ingredients certifications

We have checked that, at the time of writing, the suppliers suggested in the Gluten-free Storecupboard section of the book (pages 170-173) could certify that the ingredients they supply are gluten-free and dairy-free if appropriate. However, as mentioned in the book (page 170), certifications from some suppliers may change. We therefore recommend obtaining your own certifications if you are gluten or dairy intolerant. The same applies to suppliers mentioned in this FAQ or elsewhere on our website.

Ingredient suppliers

Please see page 173 of the book for suggested online suppliers.  Gluten Free Food Market  are also a good online ingredient supplier. If you still have no luck, please email us with the specific ingredient(s) you are looking for and we'll do our best to help.

Chocolate orange brownies gluten free recipe

Substituting ingredients

If you are nervous about substituting an ingredient, contact us with the recipe and the ingredient you would like to substitute and we'll suggest a suitable alternative.

Chocolate chips sinking to the bottom of the cake

We have found the old trick of rolling in (gluten free) flour doesn't work in these recipes, so you could try bashing up your chocolate chips to make them smaller before adding to the mix. Or you could just take a chance - worse things have happened at sea!

Substituting nuts in the cake recipes

If the nut is an inclusion, ie. whole or roughly chopped then yes, replace it with mixed fruit, or chocolate - what ever takes your fancy! But if the nut is ground, it is playing the part of flour, so therefore needs to be replaced with an equal quantity of a similar flavoured / textured ingredient, eg. ground flaxseed or chestnut flour.

Bicarbonate of soda and baking powder

These raising agents are not interchangeable; they work in slightly different ways. Bicarbonate of soda requires an added acidic ingredient to create a reaction, eg. lemon juice. Baking powder has an acidic ingredient already added, so therefore just requires liquid to start off the reaction.


If you have an egg allergy then please email us about any recipes you are interested in and we will see if we can suggest an adapted recipe without the egg. Our cornflour shortbread base is egg free and other recipes in the book that are egg-free include: Apricot and Ginger Slice, Granola Bars and Flapjacks, Rudolph's Reward, Pistachio Pitstops, Chocolate and Raspberry Tartlets.


All the recipes that use butter can be substituted with margarine.

Ems berry cake gluten free book recipe

Baking Equipment

Electric mixer

Some of the recipes in the book, such as the lighter sponges and airy puddings eg. meringues, do require an electric mixer. But others (the heavier cakes) lend themselves perfectly to being mixed by hand, such as the carrot cake. Flapjacks and muffins turn out best if mixed by hand.

Baking tins

It doesn't matter if you don't have the correct size or shaped tin, just adjust the recipe accordingly - double up if you have a big tin, use left over mix to make cup cakes if you have a smaller tin. The thickness of the tin walls can make a difference to the baking times. A bread tin will have a thicker wall than a cake tin - so bear this in mind when baking. Just always be sure that a cake skewer comes out clean - then you know the cake is cooked.


We would recommend using digital scales as they are more precise.

Oven and Aga Temperatures

If you are unsure of your Aga or oven temperature, we would suggest using an oven thermometer.

The following recipes in the book are gluten free and dairy free:

Upside down peach muffins (p. 52); Get out of bed banana muffins (p. 56); Gay's orange cake (p. 67); Moosh bars (p. 99); Amondi cookies (p 130); Pistachio Pitstops (p 134); Fuzzy peach pudding (page 144); Honey and Almond Sunshine Slices (p. 122); Granola Bars (p. 119); Date and Orange flapjacks (p. 115); Coconut and Lime Cake (p. 37)

None of the recipes are vegan. However the following recipes could be easily modified although we haven't tested them:Pistachio Pitstops can be made vegan by swapping the honey for agave.The Granola Bars and Honey & Almond Sunshine slices can be made vegan by swapping the honey for agave or another liquid sweetener.Rudolf's Reward could possible be vegan if you use vegan choc and a dairy free butter or coconut oil.

Honeybuns Gluten free Baking published by Pavilion, photography by Cristian Barnett. Signed copies available to buy here.

Honeybuns gluten free baking book front cover

Other questions

Dorset Apple Cake gluten free book recipe

Where can I buy sorghum flour?

Online retailers are probably your best bet as supermarkets don't tend to stock it.Try or search for 'sorghum flour' on Amazon. Please note that the online supplier suggesed in the book (Jalpur Millers) no longer certify their sorghum flour as gluten-free due to the risk of contamination at the mill. We would recommend asking any supplier to certify that their flour is gluten-free before you purchase, as certifications from manufacturers can change.

I thought polenta was naturally gluten and wheat free, but some packs I've seen say it contains gluten and wheat?

Polenta is naturally gluten and wheat free. However as there is sometimes the risk of cross-contamination at the mill, some manufacturers note that it might contain gluten or wheat. Biona Organicsdo a certified gluten and wheat free polenta.

I'm struggling to find a non-gritty polenta. What do you suggest?

All polenta is slightly gritty, it's just a case of finding the finest ground that you can. Amazon have a selection of fine ground polents.

I made the Custard Creams but the only polenta I could find had a sand-like texture, and the result was the biscuits are really crunchy and 'nutty'. Do you have any recommendations for buying polenta? Would maize meal work?

We wouldn't recommend maize meal, firstly because it would make them drier and secondly, you wouldn't get that lovely yellow colour. So a better option would be to try and find a fine ground polenta or to grind the course polenta in a food processor to make it finer.

Where can I buy wheat free black cherry compote?

We recommend using a black cherry pie filling. Try: or

I'm having problems sourcing dulche de leche. Can you help?

Most major supermarkets should sell it, including Waitrose (they sell Merchant Gourmet) and Tesco's. They should also do their own brand. It should also be available in good quality delicatessens. You could also look out for the Carnation Caramel used for Banoffee Pie  filling - this isn't as luxurious as the Creme de leche, but does the same job, and actually its' consistency may be better as it's slightly thicker. Failing all that, it can be bought on Amazon.

Are you aware of a dairy free dulche de leche or creme fraiche?

We found this recipe to make your own lactose-free dulche de, and for a dairy free creme fraische alternative, try here:

Are the recipes for Snowy Hills, Heathcliff Brownie, etc the same as the ones you use to make the products you sell?

No, we have modified the recipes to make them more suitable for domestic environment, often using a wider range of ingredients.

Why do you not specify using Free Range eggs in each recipe when eggs are called for, rather than in a small note opposite the contents page?

We are guilty of perhaps assuming that no one would entertain using anything else, hence we mention it briefly and left it at that. Hen welfare is top of our priorities as well as all animal welfare.

Where do you get the almond oil listed in the ingredients for Chockabloc recipe? I only seem to be able to find massage oil!

It's the same thing. We used this supplier and got a statement from them stating that it was suitable for food use.

Gluten free chocolate muffins recipe

What are orange and lemon oils and what is a good brand to buy?

The orange and lemon oils are cold pressed and a great brand is Boyajian. They do a mini 3 pack available on Amazon Grocery and are definitely worth the investment.

Your recipes often call for orange oil or another type of oil. If I can't find them, is there a way to substitute with something like extract? 

Extract will never give you the same flavour as it is synthetic. You can buy orange oil on Amazon.

Is there any real difference between LorAnn or Boyajian oil?

The boyajian oil is the only one we have trialled but looking at the LorAnn website they look similar.

I would love to try the Ginger Hippo Cake, if there is a way I can alter this swapping the sorghum flour maybe?

Sourgum flour is a really good all round gluten free flour, which has a light texture and lends itself well to gluten free recipes, so we would recommended getting some. A substitute with a similar texture would be soya flour, tapioca flour, and it would probably also work with a gluten free self raising flour.

In the Amondi and Scrumdiddleyumptious Blueberry Flan recipes, can I substitute the almonds and hazelnuts with another nut?

Yes, ground pecan and walnuts would both work fine, if you used both 2 / 3rds pecan 1 / 3rd walnut. Although please do bear in mind it would be quite different tasting and looking, so you might want to add a few drops of almond extract if you particularly likes the almond flavour. 

We tried to use your Spicy Cat cookie recipe to make ginger bread men. It didn't really work but can you recommend a different gingerbread dough recipe?

Yes, the spicy cat mix is way too sticky for this. We have never tried it so cannot guarantee results, but you could try using the polenta shortbread recipe in the book and add ginger powdered and stem and take out the chopped almonds. Chill it first for an hour and it will then roll. Also there is a lovely recipe in our new book due to be published next summer.

If I wanted to make savoury pastry, would it be as simple to follow the recipe for Flummery Pie, however not adding the sugar to make this savoury?

The pastry for the Blackcurrant Flummery Pie on page 158 would probably be too delicate when removing the sugar to make savoury pastry. Instead, the pastry for the Baked Apples En Croute on page 155 might work well by excluding the sugar, as it has suet and egg and therefore should hold up a bit better. However this is just our suggestion and we have not tried it so cannot guarantee it will work.

I'm making the Snowy Hills recipe. Is there an alternative to lemon oil that I can use?

Yes, triple the amount of the lemon zest in the recipe, as the lemon oil is very concentrated hence the need to increase the zest.

The recipe for the Snowy Hills says spread the base with 3 tablespoons of lemon curd, but I found this amount scarcely covered a quarter of the base. Is it a mistake? I used more but even so the lemon curd wasn't obvious in the finished bake. I also find the size of the tray bakes too big for two of us, so if I halve the ingredients is it still OK to use one egg in the shortbread base? 

The amount of lemon curd stated in the book is correct. It is actually a lot more than we use in the Snowy Hills we make here in the bakery. 3 tablespoons should equate to around 40g of curd. You could maybe add it by eye and make it more generous if you like, but to be aware if you have the curd too thick the middle does not cook properly and you end up with a soggy middle. It can also sometimes leak out an you end up with a burnt crust of curd. use one egg in the shortbread recipe and if you do find that it is a bit too runny, just add another tablespoon of the flour used in the recipe.

Where do I get brown flaxseed from? I can only find golden.

The golden linseed will be fine, the flavour is much the same.

Are the recipes in the book assuming fan oven temperatures?

We tested all recipes in a fan oven, so the temperatures are all suited to this.

When I made the Apple Cake and lemon cake, the cake fell in the middle and stayed wet even after I'd cooked it for longer than suggested. However the cakes were very edible even with this problem.

The ingredients used in the cakes naturally contain more moisture, eg. ground almonds will get you a denser cake but should not be 'wet' as such, just more moist than a traditional non- gluten free sponge. The lack of 'stretch' usually provided by wheat flour will also have an effect.

The Apple cakes cooking time will vary depending on the moisture content of the apples, hence you may have noticed on the recipe we have given a baking time of 60-70 mins, checking each 10 mins after 60 mins. The sinking of the Lemon Cake can sometimes be caused by opening the oven door before it is baked, and is quite common for it to sink a little due to the denser ingredients in this recipe. You could try adding an extra teaspoon of baking powder to the mix to see if this helps. The recipes will also take a bit longer to bake in a non- fan assisted oven.

Are the eggs used in your recipes medium or large?


I haven't baked before. What would be a good recipe to start with?

We would recommend something that doesn't have too many ingredients, such as the Pistachio Pitstops or Squillionaire's Shortbread.

Gluten free iced gems recipe

I am making the Hazelnut Cupcakes, however I'm struggling to find any hazelnut syrup locally. Is there anything more readily available that I can use as a substitute?

We source our hazelnut syrup online. There are a number off different types available on Amazon. Alternatively, to get some extra hazelnut flavour add 75g of pre-toasted roughly chopped whole hazelnuts, pop them on a tray in the oven for approx. 7 mins at 180 deg until golden, allow to cool slightly and bash gently with a rolling pin. Then you could miss out the syrup.

I'm hoping to make the Bumble Barrow fruit Cake with muscavado sugar as a Christmas cake. How long will it keep? Do I make now so it matures, or should I make it closer to Christmas. Does dosing it with brandy before the day help?

Because of the egg content (a traditional Christmas cake doesn't contain egg), once made it will keep happily for 10 days. If you want to get ahead of yourself, you could make it now and freeze, then take out the freezer 3 days before Christmas and feed it gently with brandy over those three days. Alternatively, you can make it a week before Christmas and feed it with brandy the 3 days before Christmas.

Can you tell me if there is an alternative to using ground almonds?

We do adore using nuts; almond, pistachio & hazelnut, for the moisture they add and their fantastic nutritional profiles. If you need to avoid them we also use a mixture of sorghum, soya, quinoa & golden flax flours as well as polenta. Naturally, each of these has different properties & we use specific blends in each recipe but as a general rule soya/sorghum mixed with golden flax is a good "general" mix. If you want to ask re: specific recipes in the book we're happy to advise.

I'm hoping to make Trish's Baked Lemon Cheesecake. Can I check the size of the tin 13 centimetre diameter as it seems small?

It is very deep, but it should work fine in a larger / less deep tin. If you makes the biscuit base up a bit to say 150g oat cake crumbs with 75g butter this should be ok with the amount of topping if you did it in say a 7 or 8 inch diameter tin. As the mixture will be spread out thinner the cooking time will be reduced, try cooking for 25 - 30 mins. Please note we have not tested the recipe at this size so can only advise with a bit of guess work, so may it will be a little trial and error.

I live in the US, Northern Calif. I am not familiar with Lyle's Syrup, what can I use to substitute in your recipes? Maple syrup, corn syrup?

Corn syrup would be best as maple syrup has quite distinct flavour which might not work with all recipes.

You mention 'scant cup' in some of the ingredient weights. What is this?

Cup measurements are the more common form of cooking measurements for the USA. 

I would like to make the Polenta Cake, but would like to know what substitutes I can use for guar gum and rice sugar?

You could take the guar gum out of the polenta cake and it should be fine. You could swap rice syrup for honey or maple syrup, although both are sweeter, so you should reduce the quantity of rice syrup (185g) to 150g and add 1 tbsp of milk to the mix. However, we have not tested this though, so cannot guarantee the results.

If you cannot find the answer to your question here, then please contact us. We will do our best to reply within 24 hours.


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