gluten-free brown butter spice cake

June 15, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes 1x22cm/8 ½ inch ring tin.
Author Notes

Inspired by a recipe that Heidi Swanson posted on 101cookbooks.com, I couldn't wait to convert it to gluten-free!

I decided to go for a brown-rice/quinoa flour mix, with a little potato starch to hold things together and give lightness. If you haven’t yet tried quinoa flour, it is amazing. Yes, it has a strong flavour that may be off-putting to some. But paired with equally strong flavourings like the garam masala and also with the lovely sweetness of the roasted pumpkin puree, its grassiness is almost undetectable. It adds a beautiful light texture to baked goods, as well as much needed moisture in gluten-free baking. —Emma Galloway | My Darling Lemon Thyme

What You'll Need
  • 115g (1/2 cup) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (80g) brown rice flour, plus extra for the can tin
  • 1/3 cup (37g) quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup (48g) potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • a pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (105g) muscovado sugar, plus 1 1/2 Tbsp for the topping
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (130g) well pureed roast pumpkin *
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) rice milk
  • 1/3 cup (30g) lightly toasted sliced almonds
  1. Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until it smells delicious and nutty, like shortbread biscuits. Between 8-10 minutes. Go slowly, and turn down if you notice the butter solids starting to colour too much or too quickly. Remove from the heat, add the coconut oil, give it all a little swirl and set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the cake ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Butter and flour (use extra rice flour) a 22cm/8 ½ inch ring tin. Sift the brown rice flour, quinoa flour, potato starch, baking soda, cinnamon, garam masala and salt into a medium bowl. Add the sugar and using a whisk, thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Breaking any large lumps of sugar up as you go.
  3. In a smaller bowl whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree and rice milk together, then add the cooled butter mixture. Combine with the dry ingredients and most of the sliced almonds. Mix to form a smooth batter. Pour into prepared cake tin. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar and remaining almonds. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the tin.
  4. * To make the roasted pumpkin puree: Roast chunks of peeled and seeded pumpkin with a touch of vegetable oil at 190 C/375 F until cooked through. Puree with a stick blender until smooth.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • kelp0op
Former chef | Author of My Darling Lemon Thyme-Recipes from my real food kitchen | Photographer

2 Reviews

Taylor S. May 7, 2015
Really enjoyed this one! This was the first thing I've baked to be intentionally gluten-free with wheat substitutes. I didn't follow the recipe to a T so these are the substitutions I used: all-vegetable shortening instead of coconut oil, corn starch instead of potato starch, dark brown sugar instead of muscovado sugar with turbinado for the topping, canned pumpkin instead of freshly roasted, unsweetened almond milk instead of rice milk, and walnuts instead of almonds. I also milled my own flours using a hand crank mill so the flours (especially the brown rice) were probably coarser than what you buy in the store. Sifting really helped out this problem though. Overall, the cake came out spongy, rose well, had solid/normal structure/crumb and had great flavor.
kelp0op March 5, 2012

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