You will need

  • 250g gluten free plain flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 30g Food Thoughts Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 10g Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder
  • 240ml rapeseed oil (or any other flavourless oil)
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 tsp Sugarflair Red Extra gel food colouring (or 2 tbs of regular liquid food colouring)
  • ½ tbs vanilla extract
  • 100ml coffee, cooled (use decaf to make it more suitable for children)
  • 240ml buttermilk
  • ½ tbs white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp fine flowing salt
  • 175g soft unsalted butter
  • 350g icing sugar, sieved
  • 300g full fat cream cheese, drained


Preheat the oven to 180⁰c / 160⁰C Fan / Gas 4.

Grease and line 2 x high sided 20cm cake tins or 3 x 20cm shallow sandwich tins.

Sift the flour, salt, bicarb, cocoa and cacao into a bowl and leave to one side.

In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a freestanding mixer) mix together the oil and sugar until pale.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are fully combined with the sugar and oil.

Add the vanilla and food colouring and make sure these are well mixed in.

Next add a few tablespoons of the flour mixture to the batter and mix together.

Whisk together the buttermilk and cooled coffee in a jug using the spoon you used to add in the food colouring to ensure you get the cake nice and red, then add half to the cake batter ensuring it is fully mixed together.

Add half the remaining flour and mix thoroughly.

Next add the white wine vinegar to the remaining buttermilk and coffee mixture whisk together well then pour into the cake batter mixing well.

Fold in the remaining flour, then beat everything well – scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary to ensure all the ingredients are fully amalgamated.

Divide between your tins and bake for about 40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the cake tin. This is a very liquid batter, so please don’t be scared that you have done something wrong!

Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make your icing by beating together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. It is sometimes easier to do it in stages to avoid clumping and the almost inevitable sugar cloud.

Add in a tablespoon of the cream cheese and beat in to slacken the buttercream.

Add in the remaining cream cheese in 2 goes, mixing and scraping down the bowl as you go. Be careful not to over mix as this will result in an incredibly runny icing.

You can ice your cakes straight away, but if you leave it to chill in the fridge for about half an hour it makes it much easier to spread.

If you have made 2 cakes, use between ¼ and ½ of the icing for the middle and the remainder for the sides. If you have made a three-layer cake, ensure to distribute evenly between the three cakes, ensuring you have about half left to cover the top and sides of the cake.