Grandma's Honey Cake - Gluten-Free Variation

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Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr

A delicious fluffy cake that is virtually indistinguishable in taste and texture from the original recipe I posted a while ago (Grandma's Honey Cake (Non-Dairy)). I came up with this variation because this is one of my family's favourite cakes, and I wanted to share it with a coeliac friend at a dinner party. It got the thumbs up from coeliac and non-coeliac alike! The only real trick here is to remember you are using egg whites for most of the rise. Be sure to whisk them well without overbeating, and take your time removing the cake from the oven. The honeycomb is not necessary; I've made the cake without it to great success. A word to the cinnamon fans: it doesn't belong in this recipe. Neither do nutmeg, cloves, allspice or ginger. The idea here is to have a rich distinctive honey flavour; adding spices will overpower the aroma and flavour of the honey. For the same reason, it's best to use good-quality, tasty honey: what you get out is what you put in!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 12-23 cup sugar
  • 23 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon honey comb, real honey comb piece, not candy (optional)
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 12 cup almond meal (ground blanched almonds)
  • 12 cup cornflour (corn starch)
  • 23 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 teaspoon white vinegar (not malt!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F) if fan-forced, 160°C (320°F) if not. Line a 31 cm x 21 cm (12" x 8") tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, start beating the egg whites (optionally add a few drops of concentrated lemon juice or a pinch of cream or tartar to strengthen the foam). Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until the mixture is very thick (about 3 min with an electric mixer on high speed).
  3. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until pale and creamy. Beat in the honey, oil, and optionally a piece of honeycomb the size of a tablespoon.
  4. In a cup, combine the almond meal and cornflour and mix with a spoon until no lumps remain. Gradually beat this flour into the honey mixture.
  5. In a tablespoon, combine baking soda with vinegar (the mixture will fizz) and add to honey mixture. Beat on high speed until well combined.
  6. Add the chopped walnuts.
  7. Fold the honey mixture into the egg whites. Stir very carefully using a spoon until just combined; do not beat again. The batter will be thick but airy, like a mousse.
  8. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 50 min, or until a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean.
  9. Do not open the oven immediately; turn off the heat and leave the cake for at least 10 mins in the cooling oven before removing it.
  10. Cool cake in tin. To serve, slice into diamond-shaped slices and arrange on a platter. Keeps well at room temperature for several days, and magically keeps improving!