Gluten Free Ghoulish Cupcakes

Well its certainly that time of year, Halloween is everywhere!

These little cupcakes may look like hard work but as I used a gluten free packet mix from Delicious Alchemy, it cut out a mass of work.

The other fiddly bits on top of the cupcakes, really aren’t that fiddly. have a little patience perhaps. But just take your time and plan a little ahead – may be the night before or a couple of hours before your start baking.



I managed to make 12 cupcakes with the mix which gives you some rather full on cupcakes!

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and line the cupcake tin with your cupcake cases.

1 packet of Gluten Free Malted Milks biscuits (I got these from Tesco Free From range) – you will need 6 of these for the cupcakes.

50g icing – mixed with a few drops of water to dip the biscuits in. Don’t make it too thin otherwise the icing drips off the biscuits.

1 Packet of Marshmallows

150g white marzipan

1 Packet of Delicious alchemy Vanilla Sponge Mix

3 eggs

180g soft butter for the cake mix

Orange, green, black and purple colouring

100g extra butter for the buttercream topping

160g Icing sugar

40g Cocoa

50g chocolate (melted for decoration of the eyes and ‘RIP’

Start off making the tombstones and the ghosts

Marshmallow Ghosts

  • Cut the biscuits in half and dip each biscuit in the water icing and leave on a lined tin to dry out.
  • use 12 of the marshmallows. Roll out the marzipan and cut out 12 rounds, using a 6cm cutter (I used an espresso cup!). Drape the marzipan round over the top of the marshmallow and gently pinch the top of the ‘ghost’ so that the marzipan starts to look like a ghost.
  • Once the tombstones have dried, gently pipe (or use a cocktail stick) the chocolate ‘RIP’ and then pipe on the eyes of the ghosts.



This should then all dry out by the time you need it.

Mix the gluten free cake mix as per the instructions and then divide into 4 small batches and colour. Divide then this cake mix equally between the cupcake cases. Roughly one table spoon (not heaped) of cake mix colour should be enough for each of the cases. Once all the mixes have been used up – BAKE! For about  20 – 25 minutes or until and inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Gluten free Halloween cupcakes

Make the buttercream topping by beating the butter until soft and adding the icing sugar and the cocoa a little at a time. When you have the desired consistency and the cupcakes are cold – spread on the buttercream. It really only needs to be deep enough to balance the tombstone in.

Decorate with the Ghosts and the Tombstones and enjoy.

Happy Halloween…




Gluten Free Gingerbread and Gluten Free Stuffing

In my ongoing quest to get to grips with the blog I like to try out another little review.

The lovely people at Delicious Alchemy asked if I would like to try out some new products prior to launch. Having no idea what they would be – I love a secret challenge – I said ‘Yes’. What could these new product/s be I wondered?? I duly waited for the parcel to arrive…

The tension mounted….

The box arrived… but shhhhh I mustn’t say a word, but of course I would love to play around with them🙂

First up out of the box….

Gingerbread mix!  Gingerbread Biscuits – gluten free too!


The smell from the open packet was divine. The guys were certainly going to love this. And, again, if mixed with a dairy free alternative you would have dairy free and gluten free biscuits. But I made them with butter so just the gluten free for us.

Again simple enough to make, but leave a bit of time a side to make these as they need resting in a fridge/freezer. Once poured into a bowl you mix the mix with golden syrup and butter (or DF alternative). And preheat the oven to 180c/Gas 4. Mix the mix well, wrap in cling film and pop into the freezer. Although I popped it into the fridge for a bit longer.

Once ready to roll (pardon the pun) cut the dough into 4 and roll each quarter between to ‘sheets’ of cling film to a thickness of around 5mm! and then cut out with your desired cutter.

Now it depends on how big your cutter is as to how many biscuits you get. I got about 10 biscuits out of the mix, but the cutter I used are rather big.

Place the cut gluten free gingerbread biscuits onto a lined baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing from the tray.

These did not last long at all. They tasted fantastic. Crispy and chewy. I didn’t want to add too much icing, as I needed to taste the biscuit, but of course you can top these with whatever you can. I put some chocolate eyes in place so that you can tell what they are…. #Halloween.. They only just lasted just the day!.

Next up. some Sage & Red Onion Stuffing…such generosity

I had a couple of ideas for this…but ultimately it was for what it said on the packet.. some stuffing. And as timely as it came, we had a very impromptu roast chicken dinner on a Saturday night and this was going to be a great accompaniment. The mix is not only gluten free but also dairy free🙂

Gluten free Sage and Red Onion Stuffing

Once poured out into a bowl, the stuffing mix is finer than most traditional stuffing mixes and you would be forgiven that the final made mix is therefore finer. The stuffing mix is made up of gluten free crumbs, dried red onions and dried sage. To this you add olive oil and boiling water, mix well and leave to stand for the crumbs to absorb the liquid. Now here of course I did something a little different.

Most people would make little stuffing balls. Once the mix is cool enough, roll an amount of the stuffing into a ball using your hands. Place the balls of stuffing onto a sheet of greaseproof on a tray and bake in the oven – 200c or Gas 7 – for about 20 minutes.

However because time isn’t always on our side in this old house, I lined a little dish with greaseproof and put the whole lot in, to make one big piece of stuffing. Popped it into the oven and baked it for about 30 minutes, until lovely and crisped on the top.

When all was done and dinner was served, the stuffing went down a treat. Despite the smooth nature of the stuffing, it tasted great and was a great gluten free accompaniment for  dinner. Thank you DA🙂

There is a Christmas Cake mix as well! But I haven’t made that yet…its only a matter of time..

Thank you Delicious Alchemy for the opportunity to trial these new products and just because I was supplied these, the end result and opinion is most certainly mine.






Gluten Free Mocha Caramel Pie

Now whilst the baking world is going batter mad – Who knew a ‘pie’ could take on such a form! An idea I have had for a while and have finally been able to make and I’m sure there are many combinations that will similarly work…

It’s basically a cheesecake base, caramel filling and a no-bake cheesecake topping and I think it’s fairly easy to make. But I’ll let you decide on that.

I used an 8″ loose based cake tin, but I’m sure it’ll work with the spring-loaded variety too. Buts it’s all I had to hand. The base will need lining with greaseproof paper, to stop the biscuit base from sticking.


3 packets of gluten free biscuits (approx. 350g – I used 3 packets of Schar Bourbon Biscuits crushed – save some for the topping and put to one side – but no more than a couple of biscuits worth.

100g melted butter

1 tin of ready-made Carnation Caramel

280g Full Fat Cream

150ml Double Cream

70g icing sugar

2 tablespoon of camp coffee

Mix the melted butter into the crushed biscuits and press into the base of the tin, and slightly up the side to create a ‘case’ in which to pour the caramel. Push the base down well so that the biscuits firm together and don’t break up when you cut the pie. Pour on the Carnation Caramel and spread evenly. Cover and pop in the fridge whilst you make the topping.

To make the topping whisk the cream cheese with the icing sugar for a couple of minutes, then add the double cream and Camp Coffee. Whisk then until then mixture thickens. But be careful not to over whisk or you will spilt the cream and it’ll turn sour. No more than 2 minutes.


If your heart desires, reserve a small piping-bags-worth of the cream cheese mixture to use as piping/decoration. But otherwise remove the Pie base from the fridge and spread the coffee cream cheese mix evenly over the top of the caramel. Pipe if required and then return to the fridge for a couple of hours to set firm.

To serve, carefully run a knife around the edge of the tin to release the Pie. Run a knife under the base of the Pie to release it from the base of the tin also and cut with a sharp knife. You could serve with added cream – if your faint heart will take much more cream! Or just serve it on its own.. with the remainder of the crushed biscuits…

You’ll be going back for seconds🙂




Gluten Free Blueberry Loaf Cake

Finally I get around to posting this!

Sometimes, despite all the planning, it just all falls apart and something else just gets in the way. Others’ priorities take over, it goes above and beyond your control.

I’m  very proud to say that this gluten free Blueberry Loaf cake won me winner of  Week 2 of the Delicious Alchemy ‘Gluten Free Magic Bake Off’ or #GFMBO. Now in its 3rd year, it’s a great way for the gluten free community to showcase any and all of their bakes, through the magic of social media. Weekly winners are picked over 6 weeks and those winners, win a hamper of goodies. Then finally, all the bakes entered, go out to a massive public vote and there is then a final bake-off, before a winner is crowned.

Its my second year of entering and it really is such fun, especially trying to think of something different for each week.

That and with the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong, being run by my Twitter friends The Baking Nanna and Robert Allen, there is plenty of baking to be done, as the Country goes baking mad over the course of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ on the Beeb.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase…

Gluten Free Blueberry Loaf Cake

Preheat the oven to Gas 3/170c and line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper or a loaf tin liner.

180g soft butter

170g caster sugar

3 eggs

210g gluten free self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

60ml milk (I used semi skimmed)

200g fresh blueberries

120g Mrs Darlington’s Wild Blueberry Jam

approx 200g icing sugar

water to mix the icing sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. You may need to add a little flour to stop it splitting. I’ve learnt over time, to be patient with this bit. Get the beat going and throughly mix this bit together.

Add the vanilla extract and beat again.

Pour in the rest of the flour and baking powder and mix well, you’re can add the milk at this point so the mix isn’t to stodgy.

Just before adding to the loaf tin, stir in the fresh blueberries, pour into the loaf tin. If you wish, at the point spread the jam over the top of the mix and gently mix in, into the top of the cake before popping into the oven on the middle shelf for 50 – 60 mins. Or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool, before taking out of the tin, and then when cold remove the greaseproof/liner, before adding the icing.

To make the glacé icing, add a tablespoon of the water to icing a little at a time, until your desired thickness is achieved. I love my icing thick, but you may prefer it thinner. If you add to much water, add a little more icing and vice versa.

I have another similar recipe with blackcurrants and almond…..I’ll save that for another day perhaps…

Slice and enjoy 😄😄


Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes

Never one to shy away from an offer of a free sample and never one to then have to adapt a recipe around that product. I was very eager to try a sample of some speculaas spice from The Speculaas Spice Company. And of course its gluten free!

There are further details on the website of the origins of the spice, but it is a wonderful blend of – according to the literature – ‘9 spices including real, high grade cinnamon from Sri Lanka, cloves, ginger and 6 others’ its really quite heady. The smell whilst baking is certainly very festive as well.

But what to make? I had a few ideas and they may yet appear, but for now I went with gluten free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcakes. Chocolate may be the next one… there are a few possibilities….

Gluten Free Spiced Coffee and Pecan Cupcake

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray and pre-heat the oven to 170c/gas 3.

150g soft butter

130g light brown sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of Camp Coffee

120g Gluten Free Plain Flour

30g Ground Almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Van Dotsch Speculaas Spice Mix

50g Crushed Pecans (plus 12 extra for decoration)


100g soft butter

200g icing sugar

1 tablespoon Camp Coffee

1/4 teaspoon Speculaas Spice Mix

Firstly mix/sift the flour, almonds, baking powder and spice mix together and set aside.

Cream the soft butter with the sugar until light and fluffy and the beat in, one at a time, the eggs, adding a little of the flour mix if needs b,e to stop the mix from curdling.

Mix in the flour mix and finish with the crushed pecans.

Divide between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes – or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray before removing onto a cooling rack to completely cool.

To make the buttercream, cream the butter till soft, stir in the icing sugar, speculaas spice mix and Camp Coffee and them finish beating – I used an electric hand mixer to get a smooth finish. Pipe as required onto the cupcakes and finish with a pecan. You could also just use plain water icing mixed with the spice.

Thanks again to Steven Dotsch at the Speculaas Spice Company for the sample, I’m looking forward to the next recipe









Gluten Free Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

I do like to try to mix things up occasionally. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

We’ve had a few visitors over the past few weeks, the school holidays playing havoc with the normal routine (But then what is normal?) and it’s been a little chaotic!  Sometimes I’ve had time to bake, other times, sadly not. And in the hope of bettering myself I even baked some gluten free Caramel Shortcake for a job interview!! I was asked to talk about something I’m passionate about……. 😀

I think I’ve said it before, planning what to bake normally ends in epic failure! Make-it-up-as-I-go along mostly works out well and this was one of those occasions.

Pre-heat the oven to Gas 3 / 160c and line a small baking tray (20cm X 10cm) with greaseproof paper.


Gluten free Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares

90g soft butter

80g soft peanut butter

160g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

120g gluten free self-raising flour

40g Cocoa (I used Food Thoughts)

40g ground almonds

1 tsp bicarb of soda

200g chocolate (I use Callebaut)

80g melted butter

1 Bag of Reece’s mini peanut butter cups

First of all scatter about half the bag of mini chocolate peanut butter cups on the base of the baking tin.

Then mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Beat the butters with the  brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. I used a stand food mixer, so I also had to remember to scrap the sides occasionally. When beating in the eggs leave the to beat in well before adding the next. Ensure the mix is smooth and not curdled. Mix in the vanilla extract. Then alternate mixing in the sour cream and dry ingredients. Dry – cream – dry – cream – dry. Until all mixed in well. Pour over the scatter mini cups, smooth out to an even surface and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30mins.

Leave to cool for about 30 minutes before removing from the pan, and making the topping.

Melt the chocolate – in a microwaveable bowl – in 30 second bursts. Or in a bowl over simmering water. Ensuring no water gets into the chocolate and the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl.

Once melted stir in the melted butter and pour over the chocolate cake. Spread evenly and then decorate with the remaining mini Reece’s chocolate  peanut butter cups.

Leave to cool and set at room temperature before cutting as it will cut easier. If you need it quick pop in the fridge. But beware……it’ll be harder to cut.

As with most gluten free fresh bakes,  it’ll only last a couple of days before it starts to dry out. The chances are though it won’t last that long😃😃

Enjoy 😀😀😀


Gluten Free Star Biscuits

Biscuits. For the me the gluten free baker, are a bit of a devil.

The lack of gluten to hold the ingredients can prove a little tricky during baking as the mix just doesn’t hold and the ‘biscuits’ flood the baking tray. You’re left with a very tasty slab of biscuit.

So you have to think a little differently and a little outside the box sometimes. A little less of this and a little more of that. Trial and error. At least that’s what I’ve found.

I’ll keep at it, but I’d like to share this recipe with you in the meantime. You can of course eat these as simple biscuits without putting a filling in or drizzle some sauce on.

Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180c and make sure the shelf is in the middle of the oven. Line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof, or get sheets ready to put on baking sheets when you have cooked a tray of biscuits. This recipe will make about 20 biscuits, but that’ll depend on how big your cutter is.

Gluten Free Star Biscuits

100g butter

100g caster sugar

1 beaten egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

180g Gluten free Plain flour

100g Rice flour

Filling –

80g soft butter

160g Icing sugar – I used Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugar. The Cherry Bakewell Icing is Gluten free.

Your choice of jam

Cream and the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the beaten egg and the essence. Stir in the flours until well combined and you have a lovely dough.

Place this on a floured surface and roll out to you desired thickness – about as thick as a pound coin.

Using your cutter of choice, gently cut out your shapes. Use a smaller cutter of the same shape and press into half of the biscuits to get a ‘hole’ – a bit like the Jammie dodgers you see. When done, you can bring the ‘bits’ together, form another dough ball and roll out again. Repeat again of needs be. Place your cut shapes on the greaseproof.

Before baking you need to rest the cut shapes in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Once rested, bake one tray at a time for about 8 minutes. Once cooked leave the trays of baked biscuits to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the greaseproof. They need to set and rest otherwise they’ll break and bend.

To make the buttercream beat the soft butter until fluffy then stir in the icing sugar before beating again – I used a hand-held electric whisk – until nice and smooth. Fill a piping bag using a plain nozzle.

To make the gluten free Bakewell Biscuits – pipe a little of the buttercream onto half of the biscuits – the ones without the hole, leaving a little gap in the middle for the jam. Put half a teaspoon of jam into the little space and then top with the holey biscuit.

If you want to buy some lovely flavoured icing sugars, the link is here. There is a fantastic range of flavours to get your imagination going.


Mrs Darlington’s Jams, curds and pickles are now available on-line too.