Gluten-free afternoon tea? A piece of cake for Wivenhoe House

PUBLISHED: 12:02 10 June 2016 | UPDATED: 13:12 10 June 2016

Gluten free afternoon tea

Gluten free afternoon tea


Everything stops for tea! and that shouldn’t change if you are gluten free. At Wivenhoe House Hotel, pastry chef Louise Rowlands is happy to accommodate gluten free diets with inventive recipes.

Gluten free afternoon teaGluten free afternoon tea

Any celebratory occasion is a good excuse for an afternoon tea but don’t be put off the idea if guests are gluten-free, everyone can still eat cake!

Louise Rowlands, pastry chef at Wivenhoe House Hotel, Colchester, has noticed a growing demand for gluten-free afternoon teas, since the four-star hotel opened four years ago.

“We used to get one request a week, now it is five or six,” she said. “But we are always happy to adapt our menus to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.”

Scones are of course the staple for every afternoon tea and Louise and team prepare both plain and flavoured scones using gluten-free flour and gluten-free baking powder.

“Everything that we serve that is gluten-free is prepared separately to avoid cross-contamination,” she stressed. “The scones are of a dry consistency so there is no need to roll and as there is no elasticity you can use all the dough. They take the same time to cook and there is a slight difference in texture as there are different starches in it.”

“Different bread is used for our sandwiches, but the wide choice of fillings is the same.”

“We offer a delicious carrot cake, which is also nut-free, and the new summer menu includes chocolate and orange macaroons and a St Clement posset, combining orange and lemon flavours with a grapefruit gel on top”, which everyone can enjoy.

Wivenhoe House HotelWivenhoe House Hotel

Gluten-free carrot cake recipe


140 g unsalted butter

200g castor sugar

250g carrots, grated

140g sultanas

2 eggs lightly beaten

200g gluten-free self-raising flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

(optional) 50g mixed nuts, chopped

For the icing

75g butter

175g icing sugar

3tsp cinnamon

Heat your oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the grated carrot and sultanas. Gradually pour the eggs into the mix. Then add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and most of the nuts, mixing everything together well. Tip the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before moving from the tin and cooling on a wire rack.

To make the icing, beat the butter until it is really soft, add the icing sugar and cinnamon, then beat again until thick and creamy. When the cake is cool, spread the icing on top then dust with a little bit more cinnamon and the chopped nuts you have left.

For more details visit the Wivenhoe House Hotel website


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