To me this cake is a minor miracle. Just before my daughter’s 3rd birthday we found out she can’t have eggs or dairy. Although it was amazing to find out the source of the problem, it also felt like a bit of a body blow.
With her upcoming birthday I busied myself trying to find the best recipes and tried with an egg replacer product to make her a birthday cake without gluten, dairy or eggs. I tried. And failed.
But the amazing thing about children is that she didn’t care her cake was inedible or too rock solid to cut through, she was thrilled to simply to blow her candles out and enjoy the icing – arguably the best part of any cake.
I however was a little mortified. Recently we were invited to a dog birthday party. Yes, you read that correctly. The dogs, including our lovely dog Elsa, were to be given their own 1st birthday cake. For me the gauntlet had been thrown down. I could not let my daughter go to a party where even the dogs had cake and she didn’t.
I had searched for egg, dairy and gluten free cakes and not found much with ingredients I could readily put my hands on. I put a message on a Coeliac facebook page and somebody very kindly added a link to company that made a chocolate cake (but it was nearly £15 including delivery) and another kind person suggested using bananas, a bit of a light bulb moment for me.
I started to investigate cakes with bananas and thought I’d try creating my own recipe. And lo and behold it worked and it was not only edible but both my daughters loved it too! It is also super easy to make, you don’t need any specialist equipment, just a bowl and spoon. So here it is. Enjoy!
A dense textured cake but light taste, full of subtle sweet flavours. Please note the icing is not done justice by this picture. I ran out of time and had five minutes to ice it and take pictures before a school pick up. With time and a bit more care it could look very professional.
- 2 x cake tins approx. 20cm diameter
- Coconut oil (to grease the cake tins)
- 3 x medium sized bananas
- 2 x cups, 500ml Almond milk (this should also work with coconut milk)
- 3 x cups, 450g, Buckwheat Flour (I used Big Oz click here)
- 1 x cup, 250ml 100% Maple Syrup (it’s important to use good quality Maple syrup, otherwise you don’t get any benefit health wise vs. refined sugar)
- 6 x tablespoons of Cacoa Powder (I used the Raw chocolate companies here)
- 6 x tablespoons, coconut palm sugar (I used Biona here)
- Generous pinch or good quality sea salt, this is important as it alters the taste and is a health consideration (I use Maldon)
BERRY CREAM ICING
- 200g, 7ounces Creamed Coconut (I used Biona here)
- 1/2 cup, 125ml of coconut palm sugar (I used the Raw Chocolate companies here)
- 1/2 cup, 125ml of almond milk
- 3 cups, 450g of mixed berries frozen or fresh
- 3 x tablespoons of raw honey
- Generous pinch of good quality sea salt (I use Maldon)
TO BAKE THE CAKE
- Pre-heat your oven to 200c,392f, gas mark 5
- Oil two cake tins with coconut oil
- Mash the bananas with a fork before mixing in the milk, flour and salt with a spoon.
- Then add the maple syrup, coconut palm sugar and cacoa powder, again with a spoon until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour half of the batter into each cake tin and bake in the oven for 25mins.
- Take the cakes from the oven and leave in the pans for 10 minutes before leaving them to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
TO MAKE THE BERRY CREAM ICING
- Cut the coconut cream into small 2cm chunks and whisk in a food mixer with the milk until is begins to soften, you could do this with hand held electric whisk but I would recommend softening the cream first by bashing it with a rolling pin. NB. Using an electric whisk here is critical for this icing to work.
- If you are using frozen berries add water and gently boil them to defrost them. Then take your berries and blend them in a blender, then put the blended mixture through a sieve. If you don’t have a blender simply mash the berries with a spoon in your sieve to get the juice.
- Add the juice to the coconut cream mixture, adding the coconut sugar, honey and salt until you have a smooth icing consistency. I did this with the paddle attachment on my food mixer but you could mix this with a spoon by hand.
- Take your berry cream icing and place 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom of each cake half before sandwiching together.
- Use the remainder of the mixture to ice the top of the cake. I ran out of time at this point, as I had to pick up my daughter from pre-school so rushed this a little, as you can see in the pictures. But with some care and time you could make this icing look very professional!