strawberry almond cakes recipe {gluten + dairy-free}

strawberry almond cakes (gluten + dairy-free}

So spring has well and truly arrived here in Perth. The weathers been as fickle as ever, 12C degrees one day, 29C the next! 

Everyone always seems to wax lyrical about autumn (fall) and I get it I really do... but spring, spring is my most favourite season of all. New life is starting up everywhere you look, the flowers, the trees and the birds. I love that spring is warm, but not crazy hot, although it sure gives us a taste of what's to come once summer hits. And when I say hits, I really mean it. It gets STINKING hot over here, unbearably so. I'll be making the most of this perfect temperature while I can.

strawberry almond cakes (gluten + dairy-free)

Now, coming from New Zealand strawberries mean summer, Christmas in particular. What would a pavlova or trifle be without a few blushing berries on top? One of the first things I noticed when we made the move over the ditch was how early strawberries start showing up around town. If you are desperate, you can even start eating strawberries in the middle of winter! But sadly, like most things grown hydroponically they lack the true flavour of a properly grown berry. Come spring time however, real strawberries are everywhere and really cheap. I won't tell you how little I paid for that huge boxful above, so as not to upset my NZ readers. I already do enough of that when talking about the weather over these ways eh... sorry guys.

strawberry compote
All weekend I've been busy finding ways to use up my farmers market score. There's been strawberry sorbet and muffins, bags of them have been frozen to later add to smoothies and these babies below were the berries last stop. Moist little almond cakes that I topped with honey-sweetened strawberry compote. The compote was a complete afterthought, as the piddly little strawberry half on top of each cake just wasn't cutting it. We enjoyed the cakes as is, but if you tolerate I have a sneaky feeling a dollop, or two of softly whipped cream on the side wouldn't go astray also...

strawberry almond cakes (gluten + dairy-free)


strawberry almond cakes (gluten + dairy-free)

strawberry almond cakes {gluten + dairy-free}
I use Billingtons unrefined cane sugar, found in healthfood stores in Australia and Countdown supermarkets in NZ, but any fine-grain sugar will do. And if strawberries aren't in season where you live, top with your favourite in-season fruit, or use frozen strawberries.
Makes 6

1 1/4 cups (135g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup (65g) raw unrefined cane sugar
a good pinch of fine sea salt
zest 1 lemon
3 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 strawberries, sliced
icing sugar, to dust, optional

250g strawberries, cut in half
juice 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease 6 friand tins or 6 regular 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins.
Combine almond meal, baking soda, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla then stir into the dry ingredients. Mix batter until just smooth, spoon into friand tins, making sure to only fill the tins 3/4-full. Top each cake with 1-2 slices of strawberries.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. To test, insert a skewer into the centre, pull out and if it's clean you're good to go. Remove from the oven, set aside for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool further. Dust with icing sugar and serve with strawberry compote. Store airtight for up to 2 days, although like most baked goods they are best eaten fresh from the oven.

To make the compote place all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 8-10 minutes until tender and liquid reduced.

This is my entry to Sweet New Zealand being hosted this month by Alessandra Zecchini. 

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  • jess
    September 11, 2012 at 12:01 am

    These look divine! Love the pop of strawberry red sunken into their tops. Perfect for the glut of strawberries at the moment. πŸ™‚ Imagine they would be quite delish with a hazelnut meal too.

    • emma
      September 11, 2012 at 12:02 am

      Hazelnut meal would be lovely! Especially topped with a little chopped dark chocolate too πŸ™‚

  • Domestic Executive
    September 11, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Strawberry glut already – how wonderful for you :o) Have run out of Almond flour but will restock this afternoon and try these for later in the week.

  • Shirley @ gfe
    September 11, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Such gorgeous cakes, Emma! The sunken strawberry half is genius! πŸ˜‰


  • Janet NZ
    September 11, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Oh go on! Tell us how much you paid!
    These look gorgeous. We are on the rinse and spin cycle with our weather lately – and we've had hail today too. Strawberries are still a distant promise πŸ™

    • emma
      September 11, 2012 at 4:44 am

      $5 for 5kg, but only because you made me! πŸ˜‰ Your strawberry time will come soon love xx

    • Janet NZ
      September 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm


  • Christie @ Fig & Cherry
    September 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

    I was already sold and then you mentioned the whipped cream and I drooled onto my phone. These look amazing!

  • Lizzy (Good things)
    September 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Lovely post! Sadly, there is a strawberry glut happening across Australia. There is an interesting interview from the ABC here

    • emma
      September 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Wow, that is interesting! I feel stink for the farmers, more places should do pick-your-own. I'd pick them by the trailer load.

    September 11, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I won't be jealous, hubby works in the strawberry industry so brings them home by the crate. Funny though, I have been using AU strawberries this week to photograph and bake with for the new season. Loves these little cakes.

    • emma
      September 12, 2012 at 3:28 am

      Lucky you Alli! Crates of strawberries sound perfect πŸ™‚

  • The InTolerant Chef
    September 11, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Oh so yummy indeed! Such riches to buy a whole box at once!

  • erin @ yummy supper
    September 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Emma, your little almond cakes look awesome! Friands, right? When we were in NZ and Australia I fell in love with them. But here in the US, we can't even get a Friand tin.
    I'm with you that Spring is the best. All the possibility of newness. And all the tasty STRAWBERRIES.
    Gorgeous post Emma as always,

    • emma
      September 12, 2012 at 3:27 am

      Thanks Erin! Yep these are kinda like friands, the recipe is a little different but they turn out similar, a little less buttery but super moist.

  • EA-The Spicy RD
    September 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    These look healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast :-). Really, they look divine and I am pinning them to make soon. Strawberries are in abundance here in San Diego late winter through early fall, although I agree that springtime makes the best ones! I've been getting New Zealand travel update emails from Trip Advisor since our trip in April, and just got one saying that it is snowing in Queenstown. Crazy! Sounds like you are having better weather in Perth-enjoy!

    • emma
      September 12, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Yes my Mum said things have turn really cold once again in NZ.

  • Hannah
    September 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Beautiful little cakes! I have some hazelnut meal I'd like to use, so I think I'll be baking later today. Our strawberries have faded, but we still have some blackberries, and fresh figs are abundant. Cute shoes, too!

    • emma
      September 12, 2012 at 3:25 am

      Fig and hazelnut sounds lovely!

  • chinmayie @ love food eat
    September 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    I will always wish I could get really cheap and really good strawberries πŸ™ I live in Southern India and even when it's in season they are never so great.

    Love the look of these little cakes! they look so fluffy and moist πŸ™‚

    • emma
      September 12, 2012 at 3:24 am

      They were really lovely and moist, even the next day πŸ™‚

  • Colette Zabo
    September 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    YUM-O. Love your shoes! Hah!

    • emma
      September 12, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Thanks! My Dad makes them πŸ™‚

  • Jacquie
    September 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I live in U-pick strawberry country,not a bad spot at all.Our season is usually for 3-4- weeks in july,this year was even shorter!!The heat wave took care of them.I will definatly remember this for next year,perfect for a picnic.

  • Suzanne Perazzini
    September 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    $5? Oh wow, that is so sad for us. That would pay for only a little over a chip here at the moment – and, as you say, they taste of nothing. I am using more and more almond meal but it is so expensive. I must find a cheaper bulk source of it, but I am wondering how long it lasts because usually nuts go rancid quite quickly unless frozen.

    • emma
      September 12, 2012 at 3:23 am

      I always keep my almond meal in the fridge and tend to use it up before it has time to go rancid. I grind my own sometimes too from whole almonds. I'm not sure where in NZ you live but I used to get bulk bags of ground almonds from Gilmours (
      for a really good price.

    • Suzanne Perazzini
      September 12, 2012 at 6:21 am

      Thanks for that. I live in Auckland so will send my husband to get a bulk bag when we get back from Italy (going in two weeks). I have been using it up quickly too but only because the bags are so small.

  • Alessandra
    September 12, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Thank you for your yummy entry Emma! Strawberries still look yuk here (imported) and today is sunny but… not really really spring yet, too much rain and cold! We are all waiting for spring!

  • Juliet
    September 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I have made something similar before, but used tinned mandarin segments instead of the berries listed in the recipe, and was pleasantly surprised! Sometimes necessity (ie my frugal-ness for not paying $$$ for out-of-season fruit) is the mother of the best inventions. But i will definitely try these when strawberries are in season.

  • Alex
    September 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    The photos are really nice and the recipe sounds delicious. Wonder if it's good with raspberries instead of strawberries..

    • emma
      September 16, 2012 at 2:48 am

      Raspberries would be perfect πŸ™‚

  • Sherilyn @ Wholepromise
    September 16, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Aren’t strawberries wonderful in just about anything. I agree – hazelnut meal would be absolutely delightful here also. I am hungry just thinking about it.

  • Lydia Bakes
    September 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Yum! I got given a friand tin recently which I've been dying to use! Also love that this recipe is nice and simple, no tricky GF ingredients! Thanks for sharing!

  • ajlbeasley
    September 23, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Looks delicious, cannot wait for summer here and the berries that come with it

  • Gabby Houghton
    January 7, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    i have been asked to make cupcakes for a friends afternoon tea. she is expecting the traditional type, would this recipe work in normal round cupcake tins, and iced american style? sorry if this is a silly question. x

    • emma
      January 8, 2014 at 12:34 am

      This would totally work in normal round cupcake tins and iced, no worries xx

  • Weronika ChrapczyΕ„ska
    December 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    I would like to make a full cake (22 cm baking tray) of this recipe, would it work out or is it safer to make smaller cakes instead?

    • emma
      December 10, 2014 at 2:14 am

      I've not tried cooking this exact recipe in a large cake tin, however I don't see why it wouldn't work xx

    • Weronika ChrapczyΕ„ska
      December 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Thank you so much for replying!
      I will try tomorrow and see what happens:)