Gluten and Dairy Free Lamingtons, with reduced unrefined sugar


I wasn’t happy with a previous Lamington version I made, so I went back to basics and used my cup cake sponge recipe  and just coated in 85% dark chocolate.  Easy!

Mill on speed 9 / 1 minute:

  • 140g brown or white rice, or a combo (buckwheat would work for a grain-free alternative. I haven’t tried almonds)

Add and mix speed 6 / 5 seconds:

  • 20g tapioca flour (or arrowroot)
  • 40g potato (farina) starch (or cornflour or just use 60g tapioca for grain-free)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • good pinch of vanilla powder (or use extract with the wet ingredients)

Set aside for the moment in a separate bowl.

Add to the TM bowl and mill speed 9 / 3 seconds first:

  • 70g unrefined cane sugar / rapadura / coconut sugar (adjust according to sweetness required – I’m tempted to reduce further)

Remove lid from TM bowl, scrape down the sides and inside of the lid, then insert butterfly and add:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 70g olive oil
  • (1 tsp vanilla extract if not used powder in previous step)

Set for 2 minutes / speed 3-4 / MC off

Scrape down the sides of bowl, then re-set for 1.5 minutes / speed 4 / MC off and add in:

Ensure all the mixture is nicely combined.  Scrape sides and mix for a little longer, if necessary.  Gently lift off the butterly and tap on the inside of the bowl to shake off excess batter.

Pour into a lined baking tray (approx. 20 x 25 cm) and bake for 20-25 minutes / 190 degs or 180 degs f/forced, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes up almost clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack, then cut into about 30 or so squares.

My quick and simple coating:

Melt about 200g dark chocolate with a good couple of heaped tablespoons of coconut oil.  I prefer to do this in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water, rather than using the Thermomix for this.  That way, you can keep the chocolate tempering while you dip in each sponge square.

Have your tub of desiccated coconut handy, with a little sprinkled on a plate to set your coated sponge down on.  I find it easier to have one chocolatey hand, with the other for dipping into the coconut to sprinkle over all sides of the chocolate sponge.  That way, the coconut doesn’t get all congealed and ‘chocolatified’.

Set onto a large tray lined with baking paper to allow the chocolate to harden.



Ginger, date and banana tray bake with caramel icing – grain-free


I spotted a Guinness & Ginger tray bake cake in a weekend mag some weeks ago and thought it sounded nice, though immediately ruled out the Guinness, sugar, self-raising flour …  I ended up completely changing the cake to make it gluten/grain, refined sugar and dairy free.  In fact, the only original ingredients remaining are the eggs and ginger!

I’ve made this recipe quite a few times now:  the first with just almond meal (a little dense); the second with more eggs (too wet); the third time, with a combo of buckwheat, almonds and tapioca.  Goldilocks was most happy on the third try, as were the three bears …

Mill 30 seconds / speed 9:

  • 120g buckwheat kernels

Add and mill 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • 100-150g chopped dates
  • 70g almonds (I use activated or flaked) – for nut free, try a seed mix instead.  25g of coconut flour would probably work, but you might need an extra egg added to the wet mix.  I haven’t tried this though

Add and sift 6 seconds / speed 6:

  • 10g tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp ginger powder

Set aside in a separate bowl

Add to dry, empty bowl and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • 25g almonds, activated or flaked – or for nut free, use desiccated coconut

Add and whizz up 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 100g water

Strain through a nut milk bag. I use a Living synergy one, which I also sell in England.

Weigh/pour milk into TM bowl and make sure it measures 100g.  Top up with a bit extra water if need be.  Keep the pulp for crackers or bliss balls or simply save up in the freezer until you have enough to dehydrate into flour.

Next, add to the bowl and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 5:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g flesh of avocado. If preferred, use coconut oil or half/half.  Olive or almond oil also works. You can use butter if not dairy free.
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • few drops of stevia or 1 tbs maple syrup (optional and depending on your sweetness ‘bliss point’)

Scrape sides down and then add the butterfly, setting for 2 minutes / speed 3 / MC off

Once done, reset for 1 minute / speed 3 / MC off and add through lid hole:

  • Flour and date mixture

Scrape down the sides and flick any uncombined flour off the butterfly and mix again for 10-20 seconds / speed 4.

Pour into a 25 x 20 x 5 cm baking paper lined tray and bake at 160 degs fan for 35 minutes.  Test with skewer to make sure cooked.

You can use a loaf tin, but you’ll need to bake for an extra 15 minutes or so.

Once cooled, you can either top with a caramel icing or slice and eat as is!

Caramel icing:

Place in Thermomix bowl and cook at 100C for 2 minutes, speed 2:

  • 50g ground dates (or date paste, perhaps)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract/powder
  • 50g creamed coconut (the type you get from Asian stores, in blocks – otherwise use home-made/tinned cream and leave out the added coconut milk below, unless you think it needs it.  You could add it bit by bit to get the right texture – you need a pourable icing, but not too thin.
  • 100g coconut milk (or other milk preference)

Whizz up to a higher speed to achieve a smoother texture, if necessary, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between.

Spread over your cooled cake and slice into bite-sized squares!




Chocolate Pumpkin Slice

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie (1)-001

Well, I’ve had this pumpkin slice on the go for some weeks, so much so, I can’t remember where I got the original idea from.  I think an American site somewhere.  Anyway, I’ve just had to tweak and refine it a little more, but the family love it, even with my toned down sweetness.  Add extra sweetener to taste, if you think you need it.  Make it nut-free by using rice milk and coconut oil.  For a grain-free idea, see tips at the end.

Mill 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 210g grains – I use a mix of brown rice+millet+jowar+buckwheat – use all rice, if you wish!

Add and sift 6 seconds / speed 6:

  • 60g potato starch
  • 30g tapioca starch/flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Generous pinch salt

Set aside

Mill 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • 100g chopped dates (or medjool, if you prefer)
  • add in about 50g of the flour mix – makes for a finer mill of the dates

Set this aside with the rest of the flour mix

Add and blend 20 seconds / speed 6:

  • 600g butternut pumpkin puree* (sweet potato would be good too)
  • 50-80g maple or rice syrup, depending on where you are on the sweetness scale!  For us, less is more …
  • 120g almond milk
  • 70g almond oil (or macadamia/coconut oil)

Add and blend 10 seconds / speed 5:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla vanilla/extract

Add and blend 15 seconds / speed 5, using spatula:

  • 300g gf flour and 100g date mix
  • 60g cocoa powder

Give the mixture a good manual mix with the TM spatula

Pour into a lined brownie tin

Bake at 175degs f/f 30-35 minutes (test if cooked, using a skewer in the middle and if it comes out almost clean, you’re done!  Gently pull away the greaseproof and cool on a wire rack.

Serve as is, with yoghurt, cashew vanilla custard, or simply spread with a chocolate avocado frosting:

Whizz up a few times until smooth on speed 3-4, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between times:

  • 1 large and very ripe avocado, de-skinned and de-stoned
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (sorry, forgot to measure in grams)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (ditto)


*  If you have frozen pumpkin puree in ice cube blocks, throw them into the TM bowl and heat 5 minutes / 37 degs / speed 2 to defrost and then proceed with adding the remaining wet ingredients and blending.

For a grain-free alternative:

Mill 130g buckwheat and add 20g tapioca flour and 50g coconut flour + the other dry ingredients and sift. Also add an extra egg or you could try 1-2 portions chia gel.

In the grain free version that I’ve subsequently tried, I used some orange purée instead of pumpkin purée and found I had to cook for an extra 15 minutes. This may have been due to the fact that I baked it in a loaf tin as well. Just use a skewer inserted in the centre to test and add extra cooking time in 5 minute increments, as required. Even if there’s still a little ‘moistness’ on the tip of your skewer – this is fine. It just adds a bit of a fudgey texture.

Allow to completely cool and firm up before slicing. 😝

Chocolate Pumpkin Slice with Cashew Custard

Brussels Sprout Cake

Brussel Sprout Cake
This is a cake inspired by a Facebook reader asking me if I’d heard of a ‘Brussels Sprout cake’!   She’d been watching an episode from last year’s Dragon’s Den, where a lady secured £50k investment to produce her unusual cake en masse.  Here’s her story if you’d like to read more.
Anyway, always interested in the weird and wonderful, I couldn’t resist the challenge to find a suitable recipe to tweak and adapt to gluten and dairy free.  This one is inspired by the Guru Magazine  and Honestly Healthy Food’s GF carrot cake recipe.   There are more (disguised) veggies than (unrefined) sugar in this – what’s not to like?!
Pre-heat oven to 180 degs.
Add to the TM bowl and mill 1 minute / speed 9:
  •     a knob of fresh ginger, sliced into coins (or use 1 tsp ginger powder in next step)
  •     40g rice (brown/white or a combo)
  •     40g buckwheat (use extra rice, if you wish)
  •     20g sorghum/jowar/juwar (or millet, if you wish)
Add and sift 6 seconds / speed 6:
  •     20g tapioca flour
  •     20g potato flour
  •     1 tsp xanthan gum
  •     1 tsp mixed spice
  •     1/2 tsp vanilla powder – or use 1 tsp extract when you whisk the eggs
  •     1 tsp baking powder
  •     1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  •     ½ tsp salt
  •     25g desiccated coconut
Set aside.
Add and whizz up 10 seconds / speed 9:
  •     100g dates (or substitute with unrefined sugar from 100-150g – or use other preferred sweetener – this depends on your taste – see note at the end)


Add to the bowl and chop 5 seconds / speed 7:

  •     60g carrots
  •     70g parsnips
  •     120g Brussels sprouts
Set aside.
Insert butterfly and whisk 2 minutes / speed 4 / MC off:
  •     2 eggs
  •     100g almond or macadamia oil (for nut-free, use olive oil)
  •     50g milk of choice (I used coconut milk)
  •     (1 tsp vanilla extract, if you don’t have vanilla powder)
Remove butterfly and blend in until combined / speed 5-6:
  •     date and veg mixture
  •     flour mixture
Add and blend in until combined / reverse / speed 5:
  •     30g walnuts (for nut-free, use sunflower seeds)
  •     30g cranberries
Pour into a grease-proof lined round cake tin and bake in your preheated oven at 180°C for 50 minutes, covering with foil after 25 minutes, to prevent scorching. 
Leave to cool for a little while.
For the Chestnut Frosting
Whizz up on speed 5, scraping and repeating a few times until smooth.  I also popped in the butterfly and whisked for another 15 seconds / speed 4:
  •     200g whole cooked chestnuts or chestnut puree
  •     3 tbs (50g) maple syrup
  •     3 tbs (50g) coconut milk
  •     1/2-1 tsp cinnamon powder
  •     Pinch of sea salt
Once your cake has cooled, slice in half carefully and spread over a layer of chestnut frosting on the bottom half.  Sandwich the two layers together and spread the rest of the frosting over the top. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and serve!
Note: I’m quite stingy with sweetener and like to take it to just to the point of ‘enjoyment’.  I often substitute sugar with dates for the same quantity listed in any recipe, but if I’m using unrefined sugar (eg for a light-coloured sponge), I tend to halve the amount listed in a recipe and it’s generally enough for us.  Sweeten according to your family’s taste requirements.

Seedy Chocolate Fridge Slice/Bites

Fridge Bake (3)-001

This is a little gem inspired by a recipe in The Medicinal Chef book (fabulous fridge cakes).  It takes minutes to prepare, so it’s a good one to prepare at night or first thing and to have with your morning coffee or afternoon tea …

Add to TM bowl and give 4 quick turbo blasts, scrape down the sides of the bowl then turbo once for 1 second and set aside:

  • 30g linseeds
  • 30g pumpkin seeds
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 60g goji berries
  • 50g dates/figs
  • 20g cacao/cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs (10g) carob powder (optional)
  • 1-2 tbs (10g) desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  •  Pinch sea salt

Add to bowl and melt 3 mins / 37 degs / speed 2, or until liquefied:

  • 60g coconut oil

Add to bowl and blend 5 seconds / speed 7 / scrape and repeat, so that you have a firm paste:

  • chocolate seed mixture

Press into a lined tin 10 x 10 cms and smooth out.

Add to bowl and chop with one (or two) short turbo blast(s):

  • 20g walnuts (for nut-free, substitute for sunflower seeds)
  • 20g craisins/dried cranberries

Sprinkle the fruit/nut mix over the top of the chocolate mixture, score into bite sized squares and freeze for 1/2 hour or refrigerate for 3 hours and then keep in the fridge.  Nom, nom, nom.

Fridge Bake (8)-001

Chocolate Mousse Pudding, gluten and dairy free with grain-free option

Choc Pud Mousse

Now we love Quirky Cooking’s raw vegan chocolate mousse, which is my quick ‘go to’ dessert that always hits the spot.   This Chocolate Mousse Pudding, however, needs to be prepared a little ahead of time and refrigerated to form a rich and dense mousse.   It’s one that I adapted from a recipe I spotted on the back of a pack, then added my own variations and thermified.  You can add as little or more sweetener to suit your taste-buds.  See tips for nut and grain-free options at the end.

Grind for 1 minute / speed 9:

  • 50g brown rice
  • Peel of one orange, without the white pith (I use a vegetable peeler) – optional, but it adds a lovely jaffa flavour

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add and then set to cook for 7 minutes / speed 4 / 90 degs:

  • 50g coconut oil
  • 400g almond milk or other preferred milk
  • 50g dates and a big squirt of maple or rice syrup – add more to taste.  You could even add a banana for extra sweetness, if you wanted to
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • Pinch salt

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add and cook for another 1 minute / speed 4 / 90 degs:

  • 80g dark chocolate, broken up into chunks (I’ve tried both 70% and 85% – the latter will add more of a bitter taste),

Ensure all the mixture is combined , taste for sweetness and blend in more maple or rice syrup, if necessary, then pour into sundae glasses.

Cover and refrigerate until solidified and ‘moussey’.


  • Instead of sundae glasses, you could also use jelly moulds, then tip out onto a plate, once solidified, and sprinkle with dessicated coconut and decorate with a strawberry or raspberry.  This is especially good if you’ve had a ‘skin’ develop on top of the mousse while cooling in the fridge.
  • Alternatively, add more milk in the second step and serve straightaway as a hot chocolate custard.
  • I make a lot of almond milk, so have a constant supply of left-over almond pulp.  Of late, I’ve been saving this up and then dehydrating.  So, for a grain-free option, use the dehydrated almond pulp and mill this into a flour with the orange peel in step one.
  • For a nut and grain-free option, use coconut milk instead of almond milk and use tapioca or arrowroot flour to thicken (I haven’t tried and tested this method yet though)

Rich Chocolate Orange Mousse (2)-001

Gluten Free Banana Skin Cake or Muffins (+ refined sugar free and dairy free) with grain-free option

Makes 8 lovely moist muffins - great for school lunches, but use nut free options if necessary

Makes 8 lovely moist muffins – great for school lunches, but use nut free options if necessary


Or, make a cake and drizzle over some coconut caramel icing …

Sarah at Clever Cook kindly piqued my interest when she posted up this banana skin cake recipe on her Facebook page.

Well, you’re either going to be in the “eew” or “hmm, sounds interesting” camp on this one.  Don’t be put off by the banana skin factor or think it’s too much trouble, because it is worth doing, even to get a reaction from people – after they’ve eaten it!!!  Hehe.  Anyway, the biggest job is being patient whilst your skins soak.

Of course, I never like to pass up the opportunity of using up what would otherwise become waste, so I promptly stripped my slightly browning bananas, topped and tailed the skins and set them in water to soak – for 3-4 days.  Meanwhile, the “edible” part of the bananas went into the freezer ready to be whizzed and whipped into a creamy whip at some stage.  Well, actually a banana nut ice cream …

Anyway, after several changes of water over the course of 3-4 days, I drained and rinsed the skins and in they went to the TM bowl and this is how it goes:

Top and tail your banana skins. Leave them to soak in water for 3 days, changing the water periodically, until they become soft and the water is clear.  Two days may even be enough:

  • 3-4 organic banana skins (I used 4)
  • Water to cover

After a few days, process 20 seconds / speed 9:

  • soaked banana skins
  • 80g water

Meanwhile, line a small round cake tin with baking parchment.  This recipe also makes about 8 muffins/cup-cakes

Strain the mixture through a sieve.  Extract any stray pulp fibres and discard.  You’ll end up with about 1 cup of, or 250g purée, and a smaller amount of liquid, about 140g.   Keep this liquid for later to make an icing, though you won’t need all of it.  Throw the rest into a smoothie, or something!

Note, before wetting your bowl, make sure you have your gluten or grain-free flour ready, by milling the necessary grains or non-grains at this point.  You could try my gluten free flour blend  or this grain-free flour mix:

For grain-free, while the bowl is dry, mill 30 seconds / speed 9:

  • 50g buckwheat
  • 20g linseeds

Add and mill 10 seconds / speed 9:

  • 80g almonds – for nut free, try sunflower/pumpkin seeds OR

In lieu of the almonds/seeds, you could try 25g coconut flour, but add an extra egg

Set aside in a separate bowl for the moment.


Add to the bowl and process speed 5 / 10 seconds:

  • 250g banana skin pulp
  • one egg
  • 120g unrefined sugar (or grind the same amount of dates for the last 10-20 seconds when milling the flour grains)
  • 60g oil of choice 

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and lid, then add and blend speed 5-6 / 10 seconds:

  • Good pinch of salt
  • 150g gluten free or grain-free flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder

Scrape and repeat the blend on speed 5 / 10 seconds, ensuring all the flour is incorporated.

Place batter into the prepared baking tin
Bake at 180C, 170C f/f  for 40 minutes for a cake, or 20 minutes for muffins – or until a skewer inserted comes out almost clean.


Towards the end of cooking, use the strained banana pulp liquid to make a pourable icing:

In a clean bowl, add and cook 100 degs / speed 2 / 2 minutes:

  • 50g chopped dates (whizzed for 10 seconds / speed 9), a date paste or rice/maple syrup.  Alternatively, use 30g coconut or unrefined sugar)
  • 50g creamed coconut, or coconut butter
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch salt (optional)
  • 100g banana pulp liquid from earlier

Whiz up briefly to achieve a smoother texture, scrape down the bowl sides and lid and pour the icing over the cake.  Sprinkle with some desiccated coconut or chopped nuts for decoration – or whatever takes your fancy!

Serve and enjoy!

Remains moist for quite a few days.