Sophisticated and decadent, this is no ordinary recipe for Jaffa Cake Cake. A citrus-packed, fatless orange sponge… Layered with lightly-boozy, tangy orange-Cointreau jelly… And topped with rich and velvety chocolate ganache. It is as unique as it is deliciously ‘posh’ and ‘grown-up’. Naturally gluten free and optional dairy free.
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Introducing my very unique gluten free Jaffa Cake Cake
I searched Jaffa Cake Cake on Google. It showed me possibly the most varied and random selection of cakes ever… From sponges that looked like actual giant Jaffa Cakes… To a whole selection of large layer cakes (the sponge of which varied from chocolate to vanilla to orange)… There were cheesecakes and biscuit cakes… And the inevitable standard sponges which just had a few packet Jaffa Cakes pressed into the top. There were bundt cakes and ball-shaped cakes… Tall, flat, loaf, cupcakes and tray bakes… But the ONLY individual (mini) layer cakes I found were my own.
Yes… This is an old recipe from the blog (dating back to 2015)… But since my Jaffa Cake Cake still turns out to be as unique as it is delicious, it deserves a post upgrade… And that means it gets a recipe card too!
What are Jaffa Cakes?
I honestly have no idea where in the world they now sell the original Jaffa Cakes… So, first things first… What exactly are they?
In Britain they are an institution… Indeed, they rank at number 4 in our Top 20 Favourite Biscuits. A small round, flat sponge base on which sits a thin layer of orange jelly, topped with chocolate… They were first introduced by McVities to the UK in the 1920’s. But there-in lies the rub… The base layer of a Jaffa Cake consists of Genoise sponge… So, can it honestly be classed as a ‘biscuit’?
While they look like British biscuits in size, shape and packaging (and are found in the biscuit aisle), the ingredients and their name suggests otherwise. But there is (as always) interesting history to be had…
According to a BBC news report the conundrum played out back in 1991. It states that at the time, a tax was charged on chocolate-coated biscuits, but not cakes. And while (of course) McVities had always called the Jaffa Cake ‘Cake’ to increase their revenue, the tax office demanded they should be re-categorised to biscuits. A semantic battle ensued and after legal teams argued on no less than a dozen Jaffa Cake Criteria, the case for the Jaffa Cake ‘cake’ was won!
For a great ‘traditional’ Gluten Free Jaffa Cake recipe… click the link!
Possibly the ‘poshest’ and most grown-up Jaffa Cake ever
In love with the combination of flavours and textures offered by the humble Jaffa Cake, the recipe shared here takes the orange chocolate treat experience to new levels. This Jaffa Cake Cake may just be the ‘poshest’ and most grown-up Jaffa Cake ever!
The idea came to me after making a Flourless Orange Cake. And as is often the case of creativity on sleepless nights, the possibility of creating mini ‘Posh Jaffa Cakes’ dropped into my head… Tangy real orange sponges, rich with almonds and layered with homemade orange and slightly boozy Cointreau Jelly… All topped with decadent, oozy, sticky chocolate ganache.
Could it be done? Oh yes!
The Gluten Free Orange sponge Recipe…
The orange sponge used is based on my previous Flourless Orange Cake. However, I needed it to support the jelly without being either too wet or too ‘squashy’. Thus, it needed slightly less moisture. That is not to say ‘dry’… But I also wanted my Jaffa Cake Cake to remain flourless too. And to achieve both criteria, decided to add a very small portion of fine-ground almond flour alongside standard ground almonds (almond meal). This allowed for additional robustness while remaining tender and moist.
Best oranges for Jaffa orange sponge
The orange sponge for this recipe uses whole oranges that are boiled and pulped to a puree. The puree is then used entirely in the mix. However, the oranges you use is up to you… It honestly doesn’t matter.
My original Flourless Orange Cake used Navel oranges. However, these little Jaffa layer cakes were made with some gorgeously seasonal Blood Oranges, which not only offer bags of flavour and a slight citrus bitterness, but a darker, richer hue. I think on balance, the Navel Oranges were sweeter, but the choice is yours.
Homemade Orange-Cointreau Jelly
My mini Jaffa sandwich cakes are filled with lightly boozy, homemade orange-Cointreau jelly. Made with just 3 ingredients (orange or clementine juice; Cointreau orange liqueur; and gelatine), it is super-special, yet very simple. Obviously… If sharing any Jaffa Cake Cake with the kids, leave out the Cointreau and sub with the same quantity of extra juice.
…Because I added no extra sugar to the jelly, it provides a truly tangy jelly experience against the sweetness of the sponge and ganache… A perfect (and very grown-up) enhancement to the intended ‘orangeness’.
The chocolate Ganache…
Ganache is such a simple, yet decadent topping for any layer cake. And for my Jaffa Cake Cakes, gives a velvety and very sophisticated ‘poshness’. The recipe shared uses a combination of equal ratios of dark and milk chocolate. But if you prefer something deeper, go all dark… Or for less intensity, add more milk chocolate.
Are these Cakes Gluten free and safe for People with Coeliac (Celiac)?
There are no gluten-containing ingredients at all in this recipe for Jaffa Cake Cake and that makes it entirely safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). It remains important if you are Coeliac or avoiding gluten for significant health reasons however, to check ALL ingredients for any risk from hidden gluten or cross-contamination… And specifically for this recipe, the flour packs, baking powder and chocolate.
Can Posh Jaffa Cakes also be made dairy free?
Absolutely yes! The recipe is already fundamentally dairy free. The sponge is completely fat free as is the jelly… And the ganache can easily be made without dairy by using an alternative dairy free cream (such as coconut or soya cream) and dairy free chocolate (which would include some standard, good quality dark chocolates).
Unfortunately, the sponge relies heavily on beaten egg, so cannot be made vegan.
Is there a special baking tin for mini layer sponges?
Yes. When I make individual Jaffa Cake Cakes, I use this ➜➜ mini sandwich cake tin from Lakeland. It’s a genius bit of kit for making even, straight-sided mini sponges. And it cuts all the faff and waste out of cutting circles from a larger sponge. I’ve shared a few links below for other cakes that have been made with the same tin.
Will you make my gluten free Jaffa Cake Cake?
As comparisons go, the experience of eating these little Jaffa Cake Cakes is both familiar and unique… Yes, it conjures fond memories of the McVities original ‘biscuit-cake’. But don’t kid yourself these are children’s party food. These mini delights are (and will remain) the poshest and most grown-up Jaffa cake you may ever devour.
And yes! Of course I want to know if you try them… Leave a comment, rate the recipe (5 stars always makes me super-happy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest with your Jaffa deliciousness. If anything doesn’t make sense, or you have more questions, feel free to contact me. I will always get back to you, even if it takes a few days.
Don’t forget we have hundred’s more recipes at Gluten Free Alchemist too… Simply head over to our Gluten Free Recipe Index to search and bake.
With my love
Mini Jaffa Cake Cakes – Decadently ‘Posh’
- large saucepan
- oven + hob
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- blender/food processor
- mini Victoria Sandwich tins and/or cupcake tins
- large baking tray – (38 cm/15" x 25 cm/10")
Orange Sponge Cake
- 2 medium to large oranges
- 5 large eggs at room temperature – lightly beaten (UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 260 g golden caster sugar
- 250 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- 40 g almond flour fine ground
- 1½ tsp baking powder gluten free
- A little extra sugar for sprinkling
- 700 ml/g unsweetened orange or clementine juice
- 200 ml/g Cointreau orange liqueur for non-alcohol jelly, switch cointreau for additional 200 ml liquid of pure juice
- 8 leaves leaf gelatine Platinum grade
- 110 g dark chocolate dairy free as necessary
- 110 g milk chocolate dairy free as necessary
- 230 ml/g double cream heavy cream (or dairy free alternative)
- orange zest grated/zested
Orange Sponge Cake
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
- Wash the oranges and place whole into the boiling water.
- Boil for 2 hours until soft and then drain. Set aside to cool.
- 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/blender so that you have a smooth, even puree.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Lightly oil 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).
- In a large bowl and using an electric whisk, beat the eggs with the caster sugar until well combined.
- Add and fold in the orange puree, ground almonds, almond flour and baking powder.
- 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 surface.
- 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.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool completely in the tin, before transferring to a clean cutting board.
Orange Jelly (NOTE: You may wish to make this while the oranges are boiling)
- 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.
- Soak the gelatine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Heat about half of the orange juice in a saucepan until just beginning to come to a simmer, then turn off the heat.
- Drain the gelatine and add to the warm orange juice and stir until completely dissolved.
- Pour in the rest of the orange juice and stir through. Then add the Cointreau and stir again.
- Pour the jelly liquid into the baking tray and carefully transfer to the fridge to set completely.
Chocolate Ganache (make when the jelly is set)
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium-sized glass bowl.
- In a clean saucepan, heat the cream until just starting to simmer at the edges, then immediately remove from the heat.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate (poke any pieces below the cream surface if possible) and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
- 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. Then remove from the heat immediately).
- Set the ganache aside to cool at room temperature, and stir occasionally so that you can check its consistency as it thickens.
While the ganache is cooling and thickening, assemble the cakes
- Cut each of the individual sandwich cakes in half horizontally (and (if you have made any) core out the cupcakes).
- Carefully ease the set jelly still on the parchment onto the worktop.
- 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 cupcakes, use the off-cuts of jelly to spoon into the centre of each before topping with the cake lid.
- Sandwich the jelly with the upper side of the cake.
- When the ganache has thickened enough to form a spreadable paste, place a large spoonful on top of each cake and smooth.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist