Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free Cake with Raisins and Walnuts

This is a recipe for the truly unique cake. It does not have any type of sugar in the list of ingredients, and even more, any type of natural sweeteners, including honey. But it is a sweet cake, with a settled balance of a mature fruit cake flavour, with quite dense, but very soft texture and a buttery crunch of walnuts chunks. I was afraid, that the flavours would be too delicate, and a bite into the cake would not be very satisfying, so I used cranberry and honey sauce, to lift the flavours and add sweetness to the cake.  I am delighted to admit, that cranberry sauce was not a necessary extra, and the cake was splendid without it, on its own.


I think it is my best cake within the frame of the ingredients for this blog – grain, dairy and sugar free, baked from the short list of simple everyday ingredients. This opinion is shared by the person, for whom this cake was created. The recipe still leaves options to use extra spices, found in traditional fruit and Christmas cakes, if desired. I used only cinnamon, and plenty of it.

When developing this recipe, I was conscious of all specific difficulties grain free and sugar free cakes have. My first concern was its texture, usually fragile in grain free cakes, where buckwheat, quinoa, tapioca or arrowroot are not allowed to be used. I did not use coconut flour either, but nevertheless, the texture of the cake happened to be super stable. Slicing this cake was surprisingly easy, no heavy crumbling, expected in grain free cakes without any binding agents. Burned crust is another problem, present in all sugar free cakes when honey or dates are used as a source of sweetness. I decided to exclude both honey and dates from the recipe, two ingredients which give cakes the ability to burn very easily and demand tricky baking regimes. As the result, the recipe is easy to master and reproduce in any oven. My final concern was with a baking tin. I wanted to make sure, that baking regime was full proof, with even baking through the whole body of the cake. Only round baking tins can guarantee no burnt corners in grain and sugar free cakes. So, I took risks and went for a deep pudding baking pan, to protect batter by the high sides of the pan, and to provide the room for expansion for a raising batter and avoid split crust on the top.

All that preliminary thinking paid off. The cake did not disappoint, either from the outside


or from the inside.



  • 170g organic raisins, soaked 2-3 days in orange juice (alternatively you can pour boiling water over raisins, keep them 15-20min in it, and dry them before using in a batter)
  • 2 table spoons orange juice (apple juice can be used)
  • 150g thick peach puree (see preparation here)
  • 100g apple pieces, processed to rice grain size
  • 2 large eggs (106g weight without shells, just for the reference)
  • 100g almond meal, sifted
  • 100g pumpkin seed, freshly ground and sifted
  • 15g cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon pure vanilla bean powder (can be substituted with any natural vanilla source you can tolerate)
  • 100g walnuts, cut in big chunks
  • 5g, 1 tea spoon baking soda
  • grapeseed oil to grease baking pan

cranberry sauce

  • 50g frozen cranberries
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tea spoons of organic honey


I have to apologise for the absence of step by step photos of the process, but the process was straight forward, without any specific issues to address. Preparation of peach pure is presented in the previous post, including the look of cooked peaches at every stage, and peach puree as a final product.

  • heat orange/apple juice and pour it over raisins
  • cover the bowl with glad wrap and leave it for 2-3 days at room temperature, to allow  raisins to absorb liquid and plump up
  • before using raisins in batter dry extra liquid, if any is left, on paper towel
  • mix raisins with walnuts, put aside
  • grind and sift pumpkin seeds
  • sift almond meal
  • mix both flours together, add sifted baking soda and cinnamon
  • combine all dry ingredients with a whisk to have homogenous dry mix, put aside
  • peel and core an apple, cut it in 2 cm pieces and use 100g
  • process apples in small cup blender, to achieve apple pieces the size of rice, do not blend them to the stage of homogenous puree
  • place apple, peach puree and eggs in a bowl and beat them together on high for 7min, either in benchtop mixer or using handheld mixer
  • alternatively process apple in a bowl of food processor until rice size, add peach puree and eggs to the same bowl, and process on high speed for 7min (mixing and beating can be done both ways)
  • add dry ingredients to eggs, beaten with apple and peach puree, mix dry ingredients in (I did it with a whisk), batter will be quite thick
  • mix in raisins and walnuts


  • generously grease baking tin
  • cut piece of baking paper to fit the bottom of the tin


  • spoon batter into the tin, spread and press it down with silicon spatula dipped in water
  • dip your fingertips in water and level the batter on perimeter in fluted sides of the baking tin


  • bake the cake in preheated to 160C oven for 60-70min (no fan)
  • let the cake rest for 5-7 min in the tin and turn it over to a wire rack lined with baking paper


  • you can put the cake on a wire rack to a switched off oven to completely cool down (optional)
  • this cake was a gift, so I cut it in half with serrated bread knife the next day to make photo, put the cake back and applied cranberry sauce as icing


  • to make cranberry sauce, cover frozen cranberries with water in a small sauce pan and cook them until they become soft
  • blend with a stick blender and put liquid through the sifter
  • return liquid to the sauce pan, add honey and cook to reduce, until the sauce thickens, let it cool until warm, but not hot
  • pour on top of the cake


  • carefully spread the sauce on top of the cake


  • let the sauce drip down the cake


I had a piece of the cake 5 days after it was baked. It was still soft with a pleasant texture, all the flavours melted together. Even cinnamon was not coming strong and was not a prevalent flavour at all. As much as I wanted, I could not separate individual flavours, they interacted to come together as a bouquet.   I am surprised myself, that the cake, based on simple goals to use ordinary ingredients and avoid difficulties as much as possible, can deliver taste and texture, as good as they were.


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