Apple blackberry cake (gluten & lactose free)

Another birthday, another cake!

A couple weeks ago I presented Jan with several options for his birthday cake, and of them he chose an apple & blackberry cake. Since we were going to be sharing with friends, one of them needs to eat gluten & lactose free, I went and adapted the original recipe. And here is my version.


  • 125 grams (refined) coconut oil1
  • 125 gr (cane) sugar 2
  • 3 eggs 3
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 50 grams ground almonds 4
  • 50 grams oat flour 5
  • 50 grams fine corn flour (not cornmeal, not cornstarch!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 apples
  • 150 grams blackberries
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar + 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C / 150°C if using convection. Line the bottom of a 20-22 cm spring form with baking paper.
  2. Soften the coconut oil by either leaving it in a warm place or microwaving it at low power for 30-45 seconds. Add the sugar and mix until well combined and sugar starts to dissolve into the oil.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the oil-sugar mixture, and mix well. Add the vanilla essence and mix.
  4. Combine ground almonds, oat & corn flour, salt & baking powder in a bowl. Add to the oil-sugar-egg mixture slowly and mix until a smooth dough has formed.
  5. Peel and core the apples, slice them in 12-14 pieces each. Separate 8 slices for decoration, and cut the rest in smaller pieces.
  6. Add the apple pieces and most of the blackberries (leave 4 for decoration) and fold gently.
  7. Pour the batter onto prepared spring form and spread (more or less) evenly. Decorate with the reserved apple slices and blackberries.
  8. Mix sugar and cinnamon for topping and sprinkle on top of cake.
  9. Bake cake in preheated oven, middle rack, for 50-55 minutes. A cake tester inserted in the middle will come out clean (albeit greasy) when cake is ready.
  10. Loosen the edges of the cake with angled spatula / knife, let cool enough to remove cake from spring form and let cake cool on cooling rake.


8 servings


  1. Refined coconut oil tastes and smells less than non-refined, thus making it ideal to bake with when you aren’t planning on a coconut tasting cake
  2. I’m picky with sugar, I like raw / cane sugar, not white. Use whatever you prefer
  3. Be kind to the hens, try to get eggs from free range / bio producers, but that’s just me
  4. You can grind the almonds yourself. Use raw almonds.
  5. You can make the oat flour yourself too. Just grind some oats in a blender.

Lemon blueberry swirl cake

Having friends over to visit means I get to bake. And I love it.

Having friends over to visit with allergies and food intolerances, means I get to experiment with baking. Which I love even more.

So after a week of searching the internet for a lemon blueberry cake that fitted the bill (vegan, gluten free, nut free, and preferably banana free), I found two recipes I could mix & match and adapt to my taste. From those two recipes a third was born, and I bring it to you.

Lemon blueberry cake

Lemon Blueberry Cake


Blueberry compote

  • 225 gr (frozen or fresh) blueberries (I used frozen, because available all year long at a reasonable price)
  • 30 gr (coconut) sugar
  • 30 ml water

Lemon cake

  • zest & juice of two lemons
  • 120 ml soy milk (or any other plant based milk)
  • 2 egg replacers (I used v-eggie by P38, a local Belgian company, feel free to use any egg replacement available to you, or flax / chia egg)
  • 50 gr (coconut) sugar
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 90 gr fine polenta
  • 110 gr fine almond meal (almonds are seeds, not nuts)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


Blueberry compote

  1. Put blueberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, and simmer, stirring from time to time, for 15 minutes. The compote will have thickened and have a glossy look.
  2. Let cool while preparing the cake batter

Lemon cake

  1. Line the bottom of a spring form with baking paper and set aside. Heat oven to 175°C.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add all wet ingredients (from lemon up to and including vanilla essence) and mix thoroughly so sugar dissolves.
  3. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, and whisk until no lumps remain.
  4. Pour 1/2 to 1/3 of the cake batter in a prepared form. Spoon half the compote on top of the cake batter. Top with the remaining cake batter, and then the remaining compote. Swirl with a knife / toothpick if wanted.
  5. Bake cake in pre-heated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in tin for 15-20 minutes, then loosen rim, remove cake, and let cool on a cooling rack.


As an aside, I realize I need to work on taking better pictures of my recipes. It’ll never be a step by step because who has time for that?!

But I really want to remember to take a picture of the plated cake, not just the teaser picture of the cake cooling on a rack, before diving into it. I keep forgetting, because I want to try it! And I want friends to try it!

Pumpkin muffins (lactose & gluten free)

Lately I am experimenting with dairy / gluten / egg free baking. Having friends that are allergic / intolerant to one of more of those, and me liking a challenge, baking for them is a good opportunity.

Pumpkin Muffins Photo credit: Nadege

Pumpkin Muffins
 Photo (c) Nadege Biojout


These muffins are both dairy & gluten free, but do contain eggs. I will experimenting with the egg part next. I am happy to say that they have a nice earthy spicy flavour, and a fantastic soft moist crumbly texture. Texture wise, they are faboulous, to be honest!


  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (to make: cut sweet pumpkin in quarters, scoop seeds out, and steam pumpkin for 25-30 minutes, or until the flesh starts to separate from the skin, scoop the flesh from the skin, mash, and measure) (to be updated with metric measurement)
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 grams cane sugar
  • 75 ml olive olive (use a mild one)
  • 60 grams corn-based all purpose gluten free flour (basically a mix of corn starch, corn flour, guar gum)
  • 60 grams quinoa flour (ground quinoa flakes works well)
  • 60 grams (white) rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2  tsp each cinnamon, ground ginger, all spice & chinese 5 spice


  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Place rack in middle of oven. Line 12 cavity muffin tray with paper liners or silicon liners.
  2. In a big bowl mix pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar and oil very well with an immersion mixer. Alternatively you can use a blender.
  3. In a small bowl mix all flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices. Add to wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until no blobs (very technical name) of flour are left.
  4. Divide batter among the cavities of the muffin tray.
  5. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let muffins cool enough to remove from tray, transfer to cooling rack and let cool (or enjoy warm, if you cannot wait).

Open muffin showing the texture

I really couldn’t wait to eat them so I forgot to take a picture before I started. Here you can see the nice crumb & fluffy texture of the muffins.