Gluten, Wheat and Dairy Free Date and Walnut Traybake Recipe

Reputedly the late Queen Mother's favourite cake this is one of my most popular traybakes. It is wonderfully moist and sticky with a lovely crunchy top and keeps very well if stored in an airtight tin. If you prefer you can always make this as a 20cm (8 inch) round cake, which will serve eight to ten people.
Makes: 16 squares
Preparation: 20 minutes
Baking: 40 minutes
Cooling: 30 minutes
Freeze: Yes
18cm x 27cm (7 x 10 inch) shallow brownie pan
200g (7 oz) chopped dates
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g (3 oz) dairy free baking block or spread
200g (7 oz) soft light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g (5.5oz) wheat and gluten free plain flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
100g (3.5oz) ground almonds
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
50g (2 oz) chopped walnuts
5 tbsp soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp dairy free baking block or spread
2 tbsp soya, coconut or oat cream
  • preheat the oven to 170c/150cfan/gas 3. Grease and line the baking tin with baking parchment, leaving a couple of centimetres over at the ends to help lift the traybake out of the pan when baked
  • Soak the chopped dates in 175ml (6fl oz) boiling water with the bicarbonate of soda and put to one side whilst mixing the other ingredients
  • Place the dairy free baking block or spread, light brown sugar, beaten egg, vanilla extract, flour, xanthan gum salt, ground almonds and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and stir with a large metal spoon until combined
  • Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and level with the back of a spoon. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the traybake comes out clean. Remove the traybake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin
  • Whilst the cake is cooling you can make them topping. In a heavy based saucepan, mix together the light brown sugar, dairy free spread and dairy free cream of choice, bring to the boil and continue to boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes
  • Remove the traybake from the tin and carefully remove the baking parchment. Slowly spoon the toffee syrup over the surface, dribbling down the sides. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts before cutting into squares

Tip: To save time buy pre chopped dates and walnuts