gluten-free peach & mulberry cake recipe

It's been one of those weeks. You know the kind where every moment feels like you're trying to catch up? On chores, on work, on sleep. Sleep. Mostly sleep. Every parent out there knows the feeling of insomnia caused by tending to sick children. It's a killer.

After a promising start to the school week everything went down hill rapidly after the kids got chilled at Ada's swimming lessons. Runny noses, sore throats, the works. Last night was a blur of coughing fits and little legs flung over mine as both kids crammed into bed with me, while Si got the single bed treatment. When I was younger, having a late night simply meant sleeping in for the best part of the next day to recover. But see here's the hardest part... as a mother that choice, sadly is not yours.

Just before all this madness began I managed to make that peach cake I'd talked about awhile back. Actually it was my second attempt. The first cake I made looked amazing, but after taking loads of photos I actually tried a piece. Meh. It wasn't blog worthy.

So back to the drawing board for me. Second time around the end result was exactly what I had hoped for; a soft buttery almond-kissed cake topped with juicy golden peaches and mulberries, perfect served with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt or softly whipped cream.
And you know the good thing about this cake is that if you don't have peaches or mulberries, don't stress. Simply top the batter with whatever seasonal fruits you have at hand.

Right, I'm off to curl up in a ball some where and sleep xx

gluten-free peach & mulberry cake
I used mulberries I'd frozen late last year, but I know they aren't a very common berry to get your hands on, especially at this time of the year! Use whatever berries you have, fresh or frozen. Blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, strawberries and blackberries... they'd all be lovely! Or use this cake base to top with which ever fruit is in season where you are. Just note that if you use fresh berries or fruit your cooking times may differ from mine below. Start checking your cake from around the 35 minute mark. Corn flour (known as corn starch to the rest of the world) can be used in place of potato flour (know as potato starch to the rest of the world!).
serves 8-10

  • 125 g soft butter or dairy-free margarine
  • 1 cup (200g) organic raw sugar (I blitz it in the food processor or blender to make a little finer)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (105g) fine brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup (75g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1/3 cup (55g) potato flour (potato starch)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder 
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk (or any other milk of your choice)
  • 1 large golden peach, finely sliced
  • 1 cup mulberries or other berry (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 170 C/340 F. Grease a 23cm (9 inch) round cake tin and line base with baking paper. 

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add vanilla and lemon zest and mix through. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Sieve over dry ingredients and fold through until just combined, add the milk and fold through. Spoon mixture into prepared cake tin and scatter over peach slices and berries. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until cooked. A skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes in tin before turning out and cooling on a wire rack. 
Serve warm or room temperature, dusted with icing sugar (powdered) if desired or drizzle with a little honey. Lovely eaten with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt or softly whipped cream. Best eaten on the day of baking.

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  • Cass @foodmyfriend
    February 10, 2012 at 2:00 am

    This looks absolutely beautiful! I made a gluten free banana cake the other day and I really do think that gluten free cakes taste and feel better in your tummy!!

    • emma
      February 10, 2012 at 2:56 am

      I totally agree πŸ™‚

  • Domestic Executive
    February 10, 2012 at 2:00 am

    I planted a mulberry tree but i think it hasn' survived the alternate sunshine and rain punishment of this summer. It's the one berry I really want to grow well so it's back to the drawing board on that one for now! That cake looks delicious!

    • emma
      February 10, 2012 at 3:01 am

      Sadly I've not really heard of mulberry trees doing very well in NZ. I've seen back home one in Raglan, but it was tiny. Not like the mammoth ones you see over here!

  • Angry Asian
    February 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    this might be a very random question, but would corn starch work, in lieu of potato starch?

    • emma
      February 11, 2012 at 4:54 am

      Nope that's not a random question. I've suggested corn starch as an alternative above the recipe in the head notes πŸ™‚ Any starch would be fine, although I find tapioca dries cakes out more than potato and corn.

    • Angry Asian
      February 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      ah. i should've read the italics. i just got so excited that i had mainly all the ingredients in my cupboard, save the potato starch. bookmarked, thanks!

    • emma
      February 14, 2012 at 2:54 am

      Hehe, don't worry. It happens to the best of us πŸ™‚

  • France@beyondthepeel
    February 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I love cakes with almond meal and corn meal. I was first introduced to them by Shelley Adams and I have never looked back. I actually find it hard to choose other recipes now! hahaha. I'm hooked. This just looks gorgeous.

    • emma
      February 11, 2012 at 4:55 am

      I too find it hard not to add just a little bit of almond meal to most of my baked goods. I love the texture and moisture it provides πŸ™‚

  • Sonnet
    February 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog while trying to find a picked ginger recipe (yours looks delicious by the way) and I love it! Your recipes and pictures are beautiful. I can't wait to read more of your posts. πŸ™‚

    • emma
      February 11, 2012 at 4:56 am

      Hi Sonnet, thanks heaps for your kind words and happy reading!

    • Anonymous
      February 11, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Hi love your blog. Love your passion which I share for good healthy food. You mentioned your kids had caught a chill and ended up with runny noses. Getting a cold from being wet or cold is actually an'old wives tale'. We get colds from picking up cold germs. The reason we get more colds in winter is that the temperature allows the cold germs to thrive, whereas in summer the heat kills the cold germs more readily. A friendly FYI Lyd

    • emma
      February 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Call me silly Lyd, but I still believe those old wives tales πŸ™‚ I treat the kids homeopathically which does take into consideration things that they have done that day i.e if they've got wet and cold and/or been out in the wind and the good news is they are all better after just two days. Which is the most important thing in my books! πŸ™‚
      P.s we're in the middle of summer here in Perth. It was 39 C/102F yesterday! Ekk.

    • Anonymous
      April 6, 2012 at 5:06 am

      Hi there

      I made your cake a few weeks ago, with blueberries and hazelnut meal instead as that's what I had on hand. Amazing – I am about to make these as muffins to take into work next week πŸ™‚

  • Hannah
    February 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

    This reminds me of when I used to pick mulberries in primary school!! I love them! This cake looks amazing…just curious, do you make brown rice flour simply by whizzing up brown rice? I've had success by whizzing walnuts into walnut flour, so it sounds pretty similar. x

    • emma
      February 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Hi Hannah,
      I buy my brown rice flour pre-ground (Coles sell the fine brown rice flour in 500g bags. My health food store seems to only sell the coarser one). Nut flours (and some other flours like quinoa)are easily made in the food processor or spice grinder, but you need a flour mill to grind down the hard brown rice grains into flour as far as I know. I'd love to mill my own one day.

    • emma
      February 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Oh and I should have said, regular white rice flour can be substituted in all my recipes for brown rice flour if you can't find it.

    February 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    What a beautiful cake. I'm partial to any combination of peach and berries! Sorry to hear about the kiddos. I have to young ones and I always thing that one of the hardest parts of parenting is when they are sick. Particularly when both are sick at the same time! πŸ™ Take care.

    • emma
      February 13, 2012 at 5:47 am

      Thanks, we are all better now πŸ™‚

  • Lannie
    February 11, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    wow looks amazing, so many pretty colors!

  • Mairi @ Toast
    February 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

    What a stunning cake, I love how the mulberries are burst all over the peaches. Hoping everyone is feeling better πŸ™‚

  • The InTolerant Chef
    February 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

    What a yummy sounding cake, I'm picking blackberries this week so I think they'll be just perfect!
    I hope your kiddies get well soon and you all get some well deserved sleep. Maybe the excitement and fatigue of starting school was part of the reason their defenses were down?
    I was sick last week after sitting for 2 hours in cold damp swimmers after hydrotherapy. I came home and had a scalding hot bath for ages and ending up getting heat stroke from then overheating- I was terribly ill! Silly me!

    • emma
      February 13, 2012 at 5:48 am

      Oh no! Poor you, hope you are feeling better now too xx
      And yes I'm sure the exhaustion of the first school week didn't help.

  • EA-The Spicy RD
    February 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Looks amazing!! Strawberries are coming in to season now in San Diego, so I'm thinking this cake made with fresh strawberries is definitely in order! Hope your kiddos feel better soon!

    • emma
      February 13, 2012 at 5:48 am

      Fresh strawberries would be perfect πŸ™‚

  • milliemirepoix
    February 13, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Beautiful cake. Makes me happy just looking at it! And being exhausted is awful… I can't begin to imagine what it must be like with kids, but I hope your kids recover swiftly, both for their own sake and so you can get some rest! x

  • Anonymous
    February 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Beautiful colours, the stone fruit is just perfect at the moment

    Alli@peasepudding -seems the only way I can leave a comment at the moment without Crome

    • emma
      February 14, 2012 at 2:53 am

      Very strange that aye? Thanks for commenting though Alli, even with all the blogger comment dramas πŸ˜‰

  • Marie-Anne
    February 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Marvelous! πŸ™‚ All those colours are simply mouth-watering. I can't believe it's like 39C in Perth right now! In Bordeaux, it's -6 to -12C (we even had days at -15C) in the winter (it's a harsh winter though) and I'm missing all the fruits and vegetables you can't have in the winter. Can't wait for the summer!
    This is a superb recipe!

  • Katia
    February 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I wish I had peaches at this time of the year: I can get just pears in season over here πŸ™‚ by the way… that cake is lovely!

  • electric heat pumps
    February 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Looks so amazing, What a beautiful cake!

  • Claire
    November 18, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I love this cake, but I can never seem to make it without the fruit sinking into the batter while baking. Any tips?

    • emma
      November 18, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Hrrm, that's pretty strange for that to happen with a creamed cake batter and because I'm not there with you it's kinda hard to tell what's going wrong. A few tips to double check next time you make this cake, use room temperature ingredients, cream the butter and sugar really well before adding the eggs, one at a time. Or to be even more cautious you can whisk the eggs in a little bowl and add it in 4-5 goes, whisking well between each addition. By using room temperature ingredients the egg will incorporate into the butter much easier and trap air into the cream mixture, which is what you want. If it splits when you add the eggs to the butter mixture the end batter will be thinner and possibly why your fruit it sinking? If you are still worried about fruit sinking you can toss the sliced fruit in a little cornflour or tapioca flour before putting on top of the batter. This should keep the fruit on the top of the cake, where you want it to be. And lastly, make sure you slice the fruit really thinly, anything too heavy and gravity will take over, sinking them to the bottom of the batter. All the best xx

  • Deeba PAB
    March 29, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Just so gorgeous! Can't wait for mulberry season…

  • Nargess
    July 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Can I make this with canned peaches when fresh not in season ? Thank u

    • emma
      July 16, 2013 at 6:35 am

      Yes of course! Any in season fruit will work on top too, lightly cooked apples/pears, frozen berries etc xx