Gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe – yep, it’s a dessert and a cake, all-in-one! Super delicious and easily low FODMAP, dairy-free or vegan if you need it to be.
Gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe? Yep, I converted one of my fave desserts into a loaf cake that’s light and moist, topped with a toffee buttercream and that trademark sticky toffee sauce. Best of all, you’d never know it was gf!
So what is the difference between my classic gluten-free sticky toffee pudding recipe and this one?
Well actually, the sponge recipe is exactly the same – the only major difference is the cook time and a little extra xanthan gum.
As this cake is cooked in a 2lb loaf tin and not in a traybake-style tin, it needs around 5 minutes longer to ensure it’s fully cooked through. I also added a little extra xanthan gum to give the cake more strength, since it’s a much taller cake.
Otherwise, it’s the same, great sticky toffee pudding that you guys already love!
Of course, I’ve also created a sweet, toffee buttercream especially for this cake. It’s lovely and fluffy and transforms this into a different recipe of its own. Simply top with my sticky toffee sauce and enjoy.
Is it a cake? Is it a dessert? You guys decide!
Why make my gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe?
- Sticky toffee pudding is something I’ve only ever had for dessert, but now you can happily have a slice for an afternoon treat too.
- The original sticky toffee pudding recipe is tried and tested by tons of you guys!
- You’d never know it was gluten-free – it’s super light, moist, soft and NOT crumbly at all.
- It’s easy to make! Simply combine all the sponge ingredients, add your milk gradually and bake. Top with icing, toffee sauce and enjoy!
- It’s incredibly simple to adapt to be low FODMAP, vegan or dairy-free too, if you need it to be.
But what does my gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake taste like, I hear you ask?
Well since the sponge is exactly the same as it is for my sticky toffee pudding… it tastes exactly like that! It’s super light, with a deep caramel-like sweetness thanks to the black treacle and brown sugar.
Then, you’ve got that fluffy, whipped toffee buttercream, finished with a generous drizzling of my homemade sticky toffee sauce. I love the tiger stripes drizzling on top!
Honestly, every bite is pure heaven. So here’s everything you’ll need for my gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe. Keep scrolling until you see the recipe card below if you’re looking for the method ??
Gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe: Ingredients
For the sponge
- 2 large eggs
- 170g light brown sugar
- 100g butter, softened (dairy free alternative if necessary)
- 220g gluten free self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 tsp ginger (optional)
- 3 tbsp black treacle
- 270ml milk (any milk will do, if using dairy milk – use whole milk)
For the sticky toffee sauce
- 50g butter
- 25g black treacle
- 150ml double cream
- 70g light brown sugar
For the buttercream
- 150g butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 50g sticky toffee sauce, cooled
So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling.
But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time baking this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!
Gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination:
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make that that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products.
Can I make your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe dairy free?
Of course you can – and this recipe is actually really simple to make dairy free.
For the cake itself, simply substitute butter and milk for Stork hard margarine/vegan butter and dairy free milk. For the sticky toffee sauce, simply use Stork hard margarine/vegan butter again instead of butter and soya cream instead of regular cream.
Just bear in mind that when using hard margarine or vegan butter to make buttercream, you might need to add a little extra icing sugar to make it come together. It’s a lot softer, so it might help to chill it before spreading it too.
Can I make your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe vegan?
Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.
Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.
- 3 tablespoons of aquafaba – water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
- Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
- 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- 3 tablespoons of applesauce.
So use one of those egg replacement options and you’ve got a gluten free AND vegan sticky toffee loaf cake! I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below ??
Can I make this recipe low FODMAP?
As this recipe doesn’t use dates like most sticky toffee puddings, it can easily be made low FODMAP. Butter is incredibly low in lactose, making it safe during the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
However, for all other dairy in this recipe (milk and cream) just make sure that you use lactose free equivalents. Black treacle can be high FODMAP in larger serving sizes, so it might be wise to swap it for maple syrup if you’re in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.
Is your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe nut free?
Yep, this is a nut-free recipe as far as ingredients go, BUT make sure you check the ingredients label on ALL the products you use to bake this cake just to be safe.
Even if the products don’t contain nuts, they may have a ‘may contain nuts’ warning due to being produced in a factory that handles nuts.
You can never be too careful so always read the labels on everything first!
Can I make your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake in a food processor or standing mixer?
Of course you can – and it’ll save you on elbow grease! I don’t use a standing mixer or food processor to make the cake mixture personally – I use an electric whisk. Just because I’m used to it.
For the buttercream, I always prefer to make it in my stand mixer, purely because of the amount of mixing it takes to beat the butter until it becomes pale.
Can I make your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe by hand?
You can of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned silicone spatula will do. Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent and might not bake properly.
Making the buttercream by hand is definitely possible, but it’ll take longer and required a little more effort. But it’s definitely doable!
Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe?
Certainly not! You will need a good quality 2lb loaf tin though, so here’s a link to the one I use.
Can I bake this using the all-in-one method?
In case you didn’t already know, the all-in-one method involves bunging all your sponge ingredients into a bowl at once and mixing them together. That’s instead of adding them gradually.
This is one of those recipes that isn’t far off using an all-in-one method with one caveat: please make sure that you add the milk gradually!
There’s more ingredients in this bake than there is with a regular sponge cake. And as you might know already, the more ingredients, the more important that consistent mixing becomes.
You certainly don’t want lumpy cake batter, or any unmixed parts – gradually adding in the milk whilst mixing is a really easy way to avoid this.
Does this recipe need xanthan gum?
You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten free baking.
But with my original sticky toffee pudding recipe, I don’t add xanthan gum to it. But with this recipe I do! Why?
Well, though this cake requires the exact same quantity of ingredients, it’s almost twice as tall. That means, it needs a little xanthan gum to give it strength and binding power to ensure it holds well when cut.
You’re welcome to try this recipe without it and see how you get on, but I’d always recommend including it if you can!
Can I make this recipe using other gluten free flours like buckwheat flour or coconut flour?
There’s a big difference between ‘gluten free plain/self-raising flour’ and a *singular* type gluten free flour. When I say ‘gluten free plain or self-raising flour’ in a recipe, I mean a BLEND of gluten free flours, not just one, singular flour.
Most gluten free flour you buy in the supermarket typically contains a blend of rice flour, potato flour, maize flour, tapioca flour AND buckwheat flour. That’s a lot of different flours!
In gluten free self-raising flour, there’s usually even a little baking powder and xanthan gum in it too which always helps. So to replace it with just one specific type of flour… that’s not going to cut it at all. Definitely go for a gluten free flour blend.
Do I need weighing scales to bake your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe?
In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any my recipes without them. One of the worst things you can do in any baking recipe is alter the quantities by mistake or on purpose.
(unless you know what you’re doing of course)
Why? Well, you’re sort of just gambling with the recipe and praying that it turns out ok, don’t you think? And I’ve generally already done the hard work there for you, so you don’t have to do the guesswork with measurements!
A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities so I wouldn’t mess around with them unless you really know your stuff.
I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement.
Can I bake your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe with less sugar / without sugar?
I can definitely understand the need to reduce sugar in our foods, but this is one of the recipes where I wouldn’t advise it. This wouldn’t be ‘sticky’ or ‘toffee’ without sugar, all you’d have left would be a dry cake ?
Of course, the sugar isn’t just for sweetness – it’s integral to the structure of the cake once baked and is super important. This bake won’t function without sugar!
You can of course leave out the buttercream if you’re concerned about sugar – it’s up to you.
How long can I keep your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake for?
I’ve kept my gluten free sticky toffee loaf cake for 3-5 days in an air-tight container with no problems. I also keep the sauce separately in an airtight container in the fridge. If you need to keep it any longer than that, I’d highly recommend freezing it (see advice below for doing that)
When the sponge starts getting a little dry, it’s probably starting to get past its best.
Can I freeze your gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake?
Of course! I’ve frozen it for up to 2-3 months no problem. Ideally, freeze the sauce and the cake separately and slice up the cake first before freezing. Then, you can easily defrost a few slices at a time instead of the entire thing.
When you want to eat it, each slice should take around 3 hours to defrost at room temperature. Once the sauce has defrosted, simply heat it up in the microwave or on the hob until hot and gently bubbling.
How can I tell when my gluten free sticky toffee loaf cake is done?
Grab a skewer and give it a poke in the centre. If it comes out clean, then it’s done!
But if the skewer comes out moist and cake-like, it’s best to pop it back in for a bit longer.
Can I print your gluten free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe?
Yes! Just hit the print button located on the recipe below ?? (otherwise you might end up printing this entire post which would probably make your printer go into early retirement)
Gluten-free Sticky Toffee Loaf Cake Recipe: Method
Oh and here’s a printable version of my gluten-free sticky toffee loaf cake recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️ Feel free to leave your written reviews in the comments below this post.
Gluten-free Sticky Toffee Loaf Cake Recipe (low FODMAP, dairy-free/vegan option)
For the sponge
- 2 large eggs
- 170 g light brown sugar
- 100 g butter softened (dairy free alternative if necessary)
- 220 g gluten free self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon optional
- 1 tsp ginger optional
- 3 tbsp black treacle
- 270 ml milk any milk will do, if using dairy milk – use whole milk
For the sticky toffee sauce
- 50 g butter
- 25 g black treacle
- 150 ml double cream
- 70 g light brown sugar
For the buttercream
- 150 g butter
- 300 g icing sugar
- 50 g sticky toffee sauce cooled
For the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a 2lb loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Place all your ingredients for the pudding except the milk into a large bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Add the milk in slowly and continue to whisk until everything is combined.
- Pour your mixture into your loaf tin, make sure its fairly level. Make sure it's at least 1cm below the top of your tin or it might overflow when baked! Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes until well risen and cooked through.
- Allow to cool partially in the tin and then carefully move onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
For the sticky toffee sauce:
- Whilst the cake is cooking and cooling you can make your sticky toffee sauce. Place all your ingredients into a saucepan, allowing the butter to melt and the sugar to dissolve. Keep stirring. Bring to the boil and stir for a good few minutes more before removing from the heat. The sticky toffee sauce will thicken a lot as it cools.
For the buttercream:
- To make your buttercream, place your butter in a stand mixer (or electric hand whisk if you don't have a stand mixer), mix on its own on a high speed for about 5 minutes. The butter should change from a more yellow colour to being a lot more pale.
- Add your icing sugar gradually to the butter (I do this in two stages). I mix each addition of icing sugar for around 3-5 minutes before adding the second half.
- Now add in your cooled sticky toffee sauce for a minute or two to combine. It should be the right consistency at this point. If you think it's too thick you can add a little extra sauce. If too thin you can add more icing sugar.
- Once everything is cool, spoon, spread or pipe your buttercream onto the top of the loaf cake. You really can do this however you want to.
- Drizzle with additional cooled sticky toffee sauce (not too much, you can add more to each portion when you serve it up!)
- Slice and serve with extra sticky toffee sauce, enjoy!
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
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