The Gluten-Free Series – Part 1


Mianna O'Dwyer

Irish Scones

Mianna O'Dwyer, Reporter

Hello readers!

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease (an allergy to gluten) and so began my journey to make normal tasting food. Through many trials and errors, I have finally found and tweaked the recipes that make the best “versions” of the food (seriously I’ve fooled some of the gluten-eaters !) With that being said…. Welcome to Part 1!

I’m going to begin this series with my all-time favourite – carrot cake!

This recipe can be found on Bonne Appetit’s website “Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Recipe | Bon Appétit (”

I have, however, a couple of tips from making this an excessive number of times and converted the measurements for my European readers.

–> Carrot Cake

  • virgin coconut oil, melted, plus more for pans – ½ cup (64 g)                                                  
  • Almond flour, plus more for dusting pans   – 3 cups (384 g)
  • kosher salt – 1 ½ tsp
  • Baking powder- 1 tsp
  • Ground cardamom – 1 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon – 1 tsp
  • Ground ginger – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ½ TSP
  • Large eggs – 5
  • Dark brown sugar (packed)- 1 ¼ cups (160g)
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  • Carrots, peeled, coarsely shredded, squeezed firmly to expel excess water- 10 oz (284g)
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut – ¾ cup (96g)
  • Walnuts, finely chopped – ¾ cup (96 g)
  • Golden raisins – ½ cup (64 g) (NOTE: I use a dried fruit mix with regular raisins and pieces of dried orange peel …. highly recommend!! The citrus compliments the coconut and breaks the earthiness of the carrot)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 8″ parchment-lined round cake pans with oil, then dust with almond flour, tapping out excess. (NOTE: I prefer to line my pans with greaseproof/ parchment paper to ensure the cakes come out when cooked)
  2. Whisk salt, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and remaining 3 cups flour in a medium bowl.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl until more than tripled in volume and mixture holds a ribbon for several seconds when drizzled over itself, 5–7 minutes. (Beating the eggs thoroughly in this stage goes a long way toward creating an aerated, light crumb, which is critical when using gluten-free ingredients.)  Beat in vanilla.
  4. Toss carrots, coconut, walnuts, raisins, and remaining ½ cup oil in another medium bowl.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with carrot mixture in 3 additions, to egg mixture, beating well after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cake until lightly browned across the top, a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, and the top springs back when gently poked, 33–36 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edges of pans to release cake, then invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

For frosting I just use a regular cream cheese frosting that relies solely on ‘estimating’ but you are very welcome to use whatever frosting you would prefer.

–> Caramel Drizzle

I do like to decorate cake with a caramel drip and this adds a subtle buttery sweetness that complements the natural sweetness of the carrot cake. I’ve tried many recipes, but I always come back to Chelsweet’s recipe. Caramel Drizzle Recipe: Easy 5 Minute Recipe – Chelsweets


  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (85g)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature (60ml)
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt (2g)


  1. Place a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Pour in 1 cup sugar gradually, adding 1/4 cup at a time. Wait until the sugar is mostly dissolved, then add in the next bit of sugar.
  3. As the sugar melts it will slowly deepen in color.
  4. Stir occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved and has become a deep amber color, then turn off the heat.
  5. Slowly mix in 6 Tbsp of butter (2 Tbsp at a time) then stir in 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 tsp salt. The mixture will be thin but will thicken as it cools.
  6. Pour into a separate container, then place in the fridge to cool and/or store. When you’re ready to use it, heat the caramel in the microwave in short 15 second intervals until it’s a more workable consistency.

I like to add my sauce into a squeezy bottle with a thin nozzle for more control but a spoon with a steady hand works just as well!

NOTE: This can be made as a layer cake or a tray bake.

Assemble your cake and enjoy!

–> Irish Scones

Finally, here is a recipe that relates to a huge part of the Irish culture – the Irish scone!

My nanny (grandma) loves these and that’s high praise from an Irish nanny ?

This particular recipe comes from BBC Good Food. Gluten-free scones recipe | BBC Good Food



  • Mix the flour, salt, xanthan gum, baking powder and sugar together in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until you have fine breadcrumbs. You can also do this by gradually pulsing the mixture in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. (NOTE: Pulse is the key work!! If you blitz the butter it will emulsify into the flour and the scones will ‘melt’ into a blob in the oven)
  • Whisk together the milk and whole egg and gradually mix into the flour mixture with your hands until you have a smooth dough. Mix in the sultanas, if using. Knead briefly to come together into a ball.
  • Gently roll out the scone dough until 2cm thick. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment (greaseproof paper) and chill for 30 mins to firm up the dough – this makes them easier to cut out. (NOTE: Honestly, I have chilled my dough once and it made no difference. Normally I take it straight from the bowl, cut it, and put it into the oven.)
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and, using a 5cm cutter, cut out 6-8 scones (I usually get around 5 decent-sized scones). Put the scones upside down (this will mean you get a neater top when baked) onto another baking tray lined with baking parchment, spread 2cm apart.
  • Whisk the egg yolk and evenly brush the tops of the scones, making sure that the egg wash doesn’t run down the sides of the scones otherwise they will rise unevenly. Put the scones on a tray and transfer to the freezer for 15 mins. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Remove the scones from the freezer and brush the tops with the beaten egg again, then bake for 12-15 mins until golden brown. Eat just warm or cold, generously topped with jam and cream, if you like.

Serving Suggestions: Liberally top with jam and cream!! Some people like to add butter as well.