Friday, 22 May 2015

Posh 'Jaffa' Cakes - gluten free

We all love Jaffa cakes right? Those lovely soft cakey-based biscuits filled with orange jelly and topped with chocolate..... The fond memories of childhood....... picking the chocolate off the top to reveal the jelly middle, or eating round the edge until just the middle jelly-rich circle was left...... Last year I even managed to make my own gluten free mixed-berry version.

In love with that combination of textures and flavours, this year I have taken the Jaffa experience a little bit further....... I introduce to you my Posh 'Jaffa' Cakes........

The idea came after I had made a flourless orange cake recently...... As is so often the case, sleepless at night with virtual foodie heaven whirring through my head...... up popped the thought of another orange cake, rich with almonds, layered with home made orange-Cointreau jelly and topped with an oozy, sticky chocolate ganache.

Could it be done? Oh yes!!

The flourless orange cake that I made previously has the most amazing texture, but I was conscious that to make a cake which would hold and support the jelly without being either too wet or too 'squashy', I would need to make the sponge fractionally more dry. I use the term 'dry' very loosely......This is not a dry cake...... and wanting to remain in keeping with this being a flourless cake, I decided to use a small portion of almond flour alongside the ground almonds, which whilst soaking up a little extra wetness and ensuring a slightly stiffer sponge, in no way removes any of the lovely moistness that you would expect from a good bake.

The original flourless orange cake, used Naval oranges. This cake used blood oranges which I was still lucky enough to find lurking in a box in our local farm shop - Macknade. I love blood oranges, but I was really disappointed using them for this cake. I wanted to get a lovely red hue in the sponge, but when the oranges were boiled, all the redness leaked away and the flavour was slightly more bitter than the Naval's when pulped. Hey ho..... take my advice...... if you make these, go for the Naval oranges if you can..... they are sweet and seem to shed no bitterness into the sponge.

These cakes were made in an individual mini sandwich tin which came from Lakeland. It's fab for making straight-sided mini cakes, but if you don't have one, you could equally cut circles from a tray-baked cake or make cored cupcake versions.

The jelly simply uses delicious pure-squeezed clementine juice that I found in Tesco when I was scouting around the chiller cabinets. Wanting however to make it a little bit special, I added a sizeable splosh of Cointreau orange liqueur to the cooling jelly liquid, before it set for an extra boozy surprise. I did of course make some alternative non-alcoholic jelly for my daughter (well.... it wouldn't be right to ply her with alcohol at 9 would it?) and left the zest decoration off the top of the 'straight' cakes, both to distinguish which were hers and to avoid complaints about the 'nasty orange peel stuff' that she so dislikes.

I added no extra sugar to the jelly....... it is just juice (& Cointreau) and gelatine which makes it lovely and tart against the sponge and ganache, yet a perfect enhancement to the intended oranginess.

In fact, this cake is not over-sweet at all and with the exception of a little decadence slathered across the top in the form of a delicious, soft and sumptuous chocolate ganache, it could be considered reasonably healthy(ish)..... Well I can kid myself.... can't I?

As comparisons go, the experience of eating these conjures immediate familiarity with the biscuit version...... but don't kid yourself these are children's party food...... this really is a very grown up 'Jaffa' cake indeed!

I am sharing these amazing orangey delights with a number of linkys :

Cook Blog Share being guest-hosted by Patisserie Makes Perfect on behalf of Lucy at Supergolden Bakes.

Tasty Tuesdays being hosted this week by Misplaced Brit on behalf of Honest Mum.

Treat Petite this month with Stuart at Cakeyboi (& Kat at The Baking Explorer). May's theme is Eurovision. The recipe for the orange cake used in these posh 'Jaffas' originates in Spain, but with Jewish alliance as a traditional passover cake. Jaffa Cakes are of course British in origin! Does that make them multi-cultural?

The Biscuit Barrel with Alexandra at The Lass in the Apron on behalf of I'd Much Rather Bake Than... May's theme is Party. These little orange delights are perfect for any party spread.

Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too.

Free From Fridays with Emma at the Free From Farmhouse.

Posh 'Jaffa' Cakes (makes approx 16 individual cakes)


Cake :
2 oranges (I used Blood Oranges, but Naval Oranges are sweeter)
5 large eggs
260g golden caster sugar
250g ground almonds
40g almond flour
1½ teaspoons GF baking powder
A little extra sugar for sprinkling

Jelly :
700 ml freshly squeezed clementine (or orange) juice
200 ml Cointreau (orange liqueur) Optional - for a non-alcoholic jelly, just add the extra 200 ml liquid of pure juice
8 leaves leaf gelatine

Chocolate Ganache : 
110g dark chocolate
110g milk chocolate
230 ml double cream

Orange zest to decorate


  1. Cake : Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
  2. Wash the oranges and place whole into the boiling water. Boil for 2 hours until soft and then drain. Set aside to cool.
  3. Once the oranges have cooled to room temperature, remove the 'stalky' bit from the end and cut into quarters. Remove any obvious pips and then liquidise the orange (including the skin) in a food processor so that you have a smooth, even puree.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3. Lightly oil and flour the inside of individual-holed mini sandwich tins and then base-line with circles of baking paper. (if you only have a 12 hole tin as I do, then use the remaining batter in cupcake cases and core holes when baked to fill with the jelly).
  5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the caster sugar until well combined.
  6. Add and stir in the orange puree, ground almonds, almond flour and baking powder.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake tin holes (about two-thirds full) and smooth the top. Lightly sprinkle a little extra caster sugar across the top.
  8. Bake for approx 30 to 40 minutes until the cakes are set, the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  9. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool completely in the tin, before transferring to a clean cutting board.
  10. Jelly : While the cake is cooling, make the jelly. Completely line a baking tray 38 cm/15 inches by 25 cm/10 inches (at least 2½ cm/1 inch deep) with baking paper, making sure the corners are folded (not cut) so that the paper fits the tray and the edges come up high above the sides to form a hole-free parchment 'container' in the tray.
  11.  Soak the gelatine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  12. Heat about half of the orange juice in a saucepan until just beginning to come to a simmer, then turn off the heat.
  13. Drain and add the gelatine to the warm orange juice and stir until completely dissolved.
  14. Pour in the rest of the orange juice and stir through. Then add the Cointreau and stir again.
  15. Pour the jelly liquid into the baking tray and carefully transfer to the fridge to set completely.
  16. Ganache : Cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium-sized glass bowl.
  17. In a clean saucepan, heat the cream until just coming to a simmer, then immediately remove from the heat. Immediately pour over the chocolate and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  18. Stir the melting chocolate into the cream until you have a smooth chocolate liquid. (If you have any remaining lumps of chocolate, place the bowl over the saucepan containing a little simmering water and stir for a few more seconds until smooth. Remove from the heat immediately).
  19. Set the ganache aside to cool at room temperature, and stir occasionally so that you can check its consistency as it thickens.
  20. Whilst the ganache is cooling and thickening, assemble the cakes :
  21. Cut each of the individual sandwich cakes in half horizontally (and core out the cupcakes if you have made any of those).
  22. Carefully ease the jelly still on the parchment onto the worktop.
  23. Using a round cutter the same size as the circle of the cakes, cut out circles of jelly and very carefully transfer them one at a time onto the bottom half of each cake (you will need to use a spatula or palette knife wide enough to hold each jelly piece completely). If you are using cored cup cakes, use the off-cuts of jelly to spoon into the centre of each before topping with the cake lid.
  24. Sandwich the jelly with the upper side of the cake.
  25. When the ganache has thickened enough to form a spreadable paste, place a large spoonful on top of each cake and smooth.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated


  1. I love your multi-cultural entry into Treat Petite! Thank you so much for entering with your 'Spanglish' entry ;)

    1. Thanks Stuart. I see we did particularly badly in the context as always! Hope you had a good party anyway x

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  3. Oooh now these look incredibly swish and VERY moist - and very tempting!! Really lovely photos!

  4. They look gorgeous - I have some vegetarian gelatine that might work in these - have been wondering what I could use it for

    1. Thanks Johanna. I haven't used veggie gel for some time, but I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work. Let me know if you try!

  5. Loving your take on a Jaffa.. these cakes look super delicious and I can imagine they taste pretty incredible too! Chocolate and orange is a perfect flavour combination.

    1. Thank you Thaila. The surprise was how instant the familiarity with Jaffa Cakes was there.... one mouthful and there was no mistaking the connection.

  6. These look so pretty and so very tempting. My GF sister is staying at the moment so we've been turning to your blog for lita of cake recipes recently. I've not shown her these though!!

    1. Thanks Dom. I hope your sister is finding the recipes helpful. I always have a base fear that they work for me.... but what if they are a disaster for everyone else??!!

  7. Oh my god. I am in awe of these!!

  8. These are amazing!! Love everything about it - the bite sized treat to the flavour and colour and that chocolate topping. Yum!

  9. These look sooo cute! And such vibrant colours. Thanks for linking with #freefromfridays

    1. Thanks Emma. You're welcome. They were too good not to share....

  10. These look divine Kate. A real treat :)
    Angela x

    1. Thank you Angela. Occasionally a treat is well needed and deserved and these definitely hit the mark!

  11. Oh my word! Seriously? These look amazing. AGAIN. Well done!!!

  12. These look so good. I can't believe they're gluten free too! I really could polish off one of these right now.

    Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Cheers Angela. Sadly for my waistline I can (and did) polish off far too many!!!! Yummy!


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