I am always quite skeptical of gluten-free sponge cake mixes: this is partly because so many, in order to compensate for the lack of elasticity/fluffiness that gluten creates, contain lots of stabilizers, gums and chemicals. The other reason is that I try and encourage people to view baking with alternatives to wheat flour as something quite separate – you will never create pastry, cake, cookies etc. that taste the same as those that have wheat. Baking with buckwheat, rice, coconut, chickpea, teff, sorghum etc. can be a challenge but a fun, interesting - and delicious - one!
So instead of focusing on replication, focus on re-creation :)
So on that note, when I was gifted the Honeybuns’ Gluten-free Flour Cake Mix, I was very excited to try it out. It’s made of a blend of ground almonds, flaxseed and sorghum flour; and although it also contains brown sugar (so you didn’t need to add any to your cake batter) I found that this was balanced by the sharpness of the marmalade.
I thought I would give myself the additional challenge of trying to make the cake completely Vegan as well – and I’m so happy to say that it turned out brilliantly.
1 x Honeybuns Gluten Free Cake Mix (300g)
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp cold water)
170g/3/4 cup sunflower oil
zest and juice of medium orange
For the caramelised oranges:
2 tbsp homemade marmalade (or good quality store-bought)
¼ cup agave nectar
¼ cup golden caster sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
6 small or 3 large oranges (finely sliced)
1. Line an 8-inch springform cake tin with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius.
2. Next make the caramel – place the sugar, agave nectar, and marmalade and sunflower oil in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the orange blossom water if using.
3. Pour half the caramel mixture evenly into the tin. Then slice your oranges into thin half rounds or full circles. Then arrange them, slightly overlapping, in the bottom of the tin on top of the caramel. Pour the remaining caramel evening on top of these orange slices.
4. In a large bowl, mix the orange zest and juice, with the sunflower oil and flax eggs. Then add in the Cake Mix and stir until well combined.
5. Pour the batter over the sliced oranges, and pop the tin in the oven on a medium shelf and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Once golden brown on top (and don’t be alarmed as this cake isn’t supposed to rise dramatically) remove from the oven and let it completely cool before scoring round the edges to make sure the caramel hasn’t stuck too much to the tin, before unlocking the springform and transferring it on to a plate.
7. Peel off the baking paper, dust with a little icing sugar and enjoy!!
NB. If you want to make this cake with wheat flour, just use 170g of plain flour with 1 tsp of baking powder instead of the Cake Mix.