Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sticky Toffee Cake Drizzled with Orange-Raspberry Icing

Ok........ I know I'm a bit late to be doing a post on bonfire night food, but there are still plenty of sparkles, bangs and whizzes going on in the skies round where I live and all in the name of Guy Fawkes.

For those of you not from the UK, Bonfire, Fireworks or Guy Fawkes Night is a major commemoration which happens every year on the 5th November and marks the date way back in 1605 when Guy Fawkes and his counterparts were prevented from blowing up the Houses of Parliament (and King James 1) with Gun Powder. Celebrations centre around displays of fireworks, lighting of bonfires and burning effigies of Guy Fawkes.

This year, by pure coincidence, we happened to be in London the weekend before November 5th, which was also when most of the London firework displays were taking place. And by chance, we happened to have booked tickets for the London Eye, which took us high above London just when the displays were at their peak. Talk about lucked-out! The night was dark, the air crystal clear, the London lights perfectly defined and beautiful and as if that wasn't good enough, we got to see fireworks going off right behind the Houses of Parliament! How cool is that?

Traditional food for Guy Fawkes Night includes baked potatoes, sausages, hot soups and yummy toffee-based puds such as toffee apples, and sticky toffee or ginger cake.

There's nothing better than a sticky toffee cake on a cold November's night and this one's really sticky, spongy, moist and very very 'toffified'...... It is made with creamy butter and a mix of coconut palm sugar and soft brown sugar which has tempered the sweetness away from sugar and towards caramel decadence.

I have added a couple of handfuls of chopped soft dairy toffee which has melted and mingled into the sponge to make it mellow and extra creamy.

The texture and taste of this cake is amazing. - Squidgy, sticky, smooth and spongy all at the same time, with a depth of flavour that is perfect to savour on it's own, warm or cold, or alternatively accompanied by custard or decorated with icing.

Although it is perfect without anything added, I decided to sparkle mine up with a little something extra in the form of a decorative orange-raspberry icing, partly to make it pretty and fit for celebration, but also because the contrasting citrus tang tastes fabulous against the toffee rich sponge. The raspberry has been added and balanced mainly for natural colour, so that orange remains the predominant second flavour. Still delicious with custard and definitely perfect for remembering Guy Fawkes........

Sticky Toffee Cake Drizzled with Orange-Raspberry Icing


100g light brown sugar       )    or use 200g light or dark soft brown sugar
100g coconut palm sugar    )    if you don't have any coconut palm sugar
200g GF plain flour mix (I used Mix A from this post)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
200g unsalted butter - cubed
200g golden syrup
3 large eggs
30 ml / two tablespoons milk
100g soft dairy toffee - cut into small pieces

Orange-Raspberry Icing & Decoration                     

approximately 10 teaspoons icing sugar
2 teaspoons freeze-dried raspberry powder (mainly for natural colour)
½ teaspoon orange extract
approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
small chocolate stars or other sprinkles and food glitter to decorate


  1. Base-line a non stick loose-bottomed cake tin (23cm/9 inches x 23cm/9 inches) with baking paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas 4.
  3. Mix together the sugar(s), flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground almonds and salt in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are completely broken down.
  4. Place the butter and golden syrup in a medium sized bowl and gently melt in a microwave at medium setting on 30 second bursts, stirring between each until the ingredients are liquid and fully combined (do not allow to boil). If you don't have access to a microwave, place in a small saucepan and gently melt over a low heat until liquid and combined.
  5. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and gently beat with a spoon until combined.
  6. Beat the eggs and milk together in a small bowl and then add to the cake mix. Beat with a whisk until all ingredients are fully combined and have become a thick batter.
  7. Add the toffee pieces and gently fold into the batter until evenly distributed.
  8. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and spread into the corners with the back of a spoon, ensuring an even surface.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160 C / 320 F / Gas 3, and continue to bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes until the cake is well risen and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Keep a check on the cake whilst cooking. If you are concerned that it is browning too quickly, place a piece of foil over the top half way through the baking process.
  10. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Once cold, cut the cake into squares.
  12. If you are decorating, sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and mix with the raspberry powder.
  13. Add a tablespoon orange juice and the orange extract and stir until combined. Gradually add more orange juice a little at a time until you have a thick, but drizzleable icing paste.
  14. Use immediately to drizzle over each cake slice. Before the icing hardens, decorate with sprinkles.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated


  1. Wow - sounds like it was an amazing night! The photos look great. And how can I resist this gorgeous cake? I love that you've used coconut sugar, all the flavours sound superb :-)

    Aimee /

  2. Thanks Aimee. It was definitely one of those experiences which will stay in the memory.... The coconut sugar made quite a difference to the flavour of the cake (and I would never have considered using it if you hadn't told me about it. So thanks for that!). The other big surprise was the way the toffee melted in. Didn't expect that either....


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