Mat Follas of the Bramble Café and Deli in Poundbury near Dorchester shares a delicious carrot cake with us that can be made with gluten free or regular flour.

"My wife is gluten intolerant, which has made a real impact on my cooking over the last few years.

"It came as a result of us trying a day gluten free and she knew immediately gluten was an issue for her health.

"We now use gluten alternatives as much as possible so she is not excluded.

"Thankfully the supermarkets seem to be catching up and they all seem to stock decent bread and other alternatives.

"In the café much of our menu can be made without gluten, our sauces use alternative flours and some of our baking uses gluten free ingredients too.

"We always test to ensure the flavour of the sauce or cake is at least as good as the one it is replacing.

"Carrot cake uses flour differently than other cakes, (to hold the ingredients together rather than forming the main structure of the cake) and the result is a soft, moist cake, that can be made with gluten free flour just as well as regular flour.

"This month's recipe is from our 'Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe Cookbook'. Give it a try with gluten free flour, it tastes great and your tummy might just thank you."

Carrot Cake





270g finely grated carrots

325g Brown sugar

325g Doves Gluten Free Self raising flour

325g Sunflower oil

5 eggs

2 tbsp 5-spice

Zest of 2 lemons

100g Plain yogurt

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp boiling water


50g softened butter

200g icing sugar

200g Cream cheese

Optional zest of one lemon


Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Using either two 10” round baking tins, to make a two layer cake, or a 10” x 12” deep baking or roasting tin, for a single layer cake. Lightly oil them and line with baking parchment.


Prepare the ingredients and add them all (except the baking soda and yoghurt) to a large mixing bowl. Fold together to combine into a smooth mixture.

Mix the baking soda with a little boiling water until it is dissolved, then add to the mixture and fold together.

Finally add the yoghurt and fold to combine all of the ingredients.

Pour the mixture into your lined cake tin or tins and bake for 35-40 minutes.

The cake is cooked when you can poke a skewer into the centre and it comes out cleanly and the internal temperature reaches 95°C .

Remove from the oven immediately this temperature is reached so that the cake doesn’t dry out.

Leave the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes in the baking tins. I cover mine with a clean tea towel while it is cooling, this slows the cooling down period to ensure a good rise but also a moist cake.

Once the cake has cooled so that it can be touched comfortably, remove it from the baking tins and finish cooling on a cake rack, before icing.


Mix the butter and icing sugar in a food mixer until it is fully combined.

Add the cream cheese, a spoonful at a time, ensuring that the cream cheese is fully combined before adding more.

Making the icing this way avoids it becoming too soft and watery.

Ice the cake generously. I like to cover my icing with some lemon zest to finish.

This cake will keep for a couple of days but is best eaten immediately.