First of all, a very happy Easter to you! One of my favourite times of the year, purely because I absolutely love hot crossed buns and anything egg related – especially of the chocolate variety. So this was my first time baking a cake in the style of a loaf! Since then I have been drooling over all of the delicious possibilities – dreaming of turning my favourite cakes/muffins into loaves that can be toasted & topped for a yummy, warming breakfast. And that is exactly the best way to enjoy this particular fruity loaf – I highly recommend serving it warm by either toasting or microwaving your slice, then topping it with whatever you fancy! Whether that’s butter (0r a DF spread), jam, yogurt, honey, nut butter, berries or my personal fave – chopped banana!
So here’s how I made this lovely little loaf. It’s gluten & dairy free, so that it can be enjoyed by more of you, but you could easily substitute in wholegrain flour/butter/milk in place of my alternatives. The sweet currents and dried fruit combined with the spicy, warming cinnamon and nutmeg give this cake its deliciously festive, slice-of-home flavour. Buckwheat flour is a great gluten-free base and has almost 4 times the fiber content of plain flour, per serving. But nutritional’s aside, this scrummy loaf makes enough for around 10 generous slices and can be frozen & toasted to be enjoyed for longer!
Easter Loaf Cake: (Makes around 10 slices)
- 100g mix of currents/dried apple (finely chopped)/raisins/cranberries
- 180g buckwheat flour
- 1 – 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 – 1 tsp ground nutmeg (amount of spice down to personal preference!)
- 80g dairy-free spread
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 125ml almond milk
- 120g brown sugar/coconut sugar
- pinch of salt
- small handful of GF rolled oats (optional – to top)
- Optional glaze – 1 tsp warm water + 1 tsp runny honey, mixed
Start off by heating the oven to 180°C fan (nearer to 200°C if not fan oven). If your currents/fruit are a bit hard, soften them for a few minutes in some warm water and then drain before adding to the mix. Combine the sugar, milk, egg and spread until well mixed – if you have a food processor or blender this works best! Add to a large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Fold in the fruit pieces until everything is nicely mixed. Use some spread/oil/spray to grease the edges of your loaf tin, you could line with baking paper but it’s not totally necessary as the loaf should come out easily if the sides are well greased. Pour in your mix as an even layer, you can then sprinkle over your oats if you’re using them! The cake should take around 25 – 30 minutes to be perfectly golden and cooked through, but be sure to take it out at 25 mins to do the knife test – it should come out clean (or very nearly clean at this point), and you don’t want the loaf to burn so watch it carefully in the last few minutes! Once out of the oven, leave to cool completely and remove from the tin . If you’re glazing the top, combine your honey and water and lightly brush over an even layer, maybe then sprinkle with a few more oats or currents or whatever you fancy!
Since making this gorgeous Easter loaf I have been thinking about all of the ways that I could improve it, something I tend to do a lot, and I think next time I might try sprinkling on a little brown sugar before baking – to give the top a deliciously light, caramelly crunch. Or possibly lay on a few banana slices that will bake with the cake and go irresistibly sweet. But I would really love to hear any of your suggestions/ideas for either this loaf or any other kind of loaf cake/Easter treat, so give this one a go and be sure to make it your own!
Now I can’t sign this one off without mentioning the other yummy dish of the day – the most tender and flavoursome beef-steak fajitas! A simple combination of spicy seasoning, finely sliced peppered steak, roasted rainbow veggies, and a deliciously refreshing (dairy-free) ‘sour cream’ creation, all wrapped up into a tasty wholewheat tortilla. Fajita’s are such a fun way to serve and eat a meal, I love the hands-on approach of preparing your main from a choice of delicious components that all combine into one big party in your mouth! And just look at that steak…drooling!
The DF ‘sour cream’ is just a mix of plain soy yogurt, finely chopped fresh chives and lemon juice – I’m always searching for creative ways to replace the delicious ingredients that unfortunately used to upset my tummy, and this one is a real success – a perfect way to cool down those spicy seasoned veggies and meat.
I’m currently snacking on my new favourite combo – celery sticks, hummus & dry roasted peas (a kind of scoop and dip situation) – before carrying on with some well overdue uni work! Have a lovely rest of your week and a wonderful Easter weekend. I’ll try and post some more recipes, maybe even a chocolatey addition or two, over the bank holiday! But meanwhile make sure you look out for my next post, all about my fave omega-3 super food – salmon! (insert heart-eyes emoji here!)