Gluten-free Pink Cakes

Gluten-free Pink Cakes

These gluten-free pink cakes are inspired by roze koek, a pink fondant topped fairy cake, popular in the Netherlands.

Well, they’re really inspired by this recipe for pink cakes. When I actually read the introduction to the recipe (something I rarely do) I realised they’re made only to look like the popular cakes. So I’m not sure they taste like the real roze koek.

But I really liked the sound of that recipe for pink cakes. And I thought I could use ground almonds to tie it in with another popular Dutch treat rondos and make them gluten-free.

Look at me sounding as if I have a clue about these… I haven’t tasted either of them. Strongly suspect I’d like rondos though.

I also thought about making a vegetarian version of Frikandel, a spiced sausage. Mostly because I loved the thought of having a dish called Frikanvegetables. I found a great recipe for vegetarian sausages and a great one for vegan sausages as well. But in the end my sweet tooth won out.

I want cake!

Why didn’t I make a cocktail?

As I was looking up things to see and do there, I read that Amsterdam has a long-standing tradition of cocktail making. I did look up Dutch cocktails but the only two recipes I found were for the Dutch Courage cocktail and Dutch Count Negroni.

I actually was going to make the Dutch Courage cocktail but forgot to buy Avocaat.

But I’ve since discovered that I could have made the Avocaat myself. It’s apparently Eggnog. And that sounds delicious! I think I may well try recipe next Christmas.

But who needs drink when you’ve got cake?

Things to see and do in the Netherlands

Oh, before I look up some lovely stuff to do there … did you know that Holland and the Netherlands are not quite the same? I didn’t know this. Holland is the name for two provinces in the Netherlands; North and South Holland – Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. So possibly the Netherlands is better name to use.

But what is there to do there? Quite a lot. A lot of cultural stuff too.

And I found this site which has information about spending Easter in Amsterdam – in 2019. Obviously with the way things are it wouldn’t have been applicable for this year. But hopefully next year.

What is the Netherlands like for coeliacs and the gluten-intolerant?

I’ve never been but I think it might be easy enough. Also, reading through a page on what to eat there I was reminded that they have loads of liquorice there. The good stuff. I would probably just live on gluten-free liquorice there. But not everyone can do that. And I’m not sure anyone should even try.

Going by this excellent guide on, yes, I think it’s probably fairly easy to manage. And apparently they’re trialing gluten-free burgers at McDonald’s in Zaandam. Damn Zaandam, I want to go there and try that out.

So about the Gluten-Free Pink Cakes

Yeah, I changed the quantities of the amount of butter, sugar and flour (ground almonds here) because almonds are much sweeter and fattier than wheaten flour. I was really pleased with the way they worked out. Less sweet than the normal type of ground almond cake I make. And it was actually a really welcome change. They were buttery – and just yummy.

I was not so lucky with the pink fondant stuff. I think maybe I added to much lemon juice. I just squeezed in lemon juice rather than measuring it out and the mix was very runny. Also I had just washed the raspberries and they may have had a bit too much moisture on them.

I added in more icing sugar to try and make it less runny. But it remained quite runny so I added in a little butter and let it chill for a bit.

And then after 15 minutes I got impatient and just spooned it over the cakes.

I wanted some cake, OK?

They taste good. They just don’t look like they should.

ingredients for gluten free pink cakes
Raspberries, lemon, sugar, butter, eggs, ground almonds and almond extract.

Gluten-free Pink Cakes

Makes 12


    For the almond buns
  • 110g salty butter, softened
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • For the raspberry glaze
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 10 fresh raspberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10g sweet butter, melted


    To make the buns
  1. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray and turn the oven on to 180 C. I used fairy cake cases for the buns but I dont this this is really necessary. If you are worried about the cakes sticking to the tray add a circle of greased baking paper on the base of each cup in the tray.
  2. Place the (salted) butter in a deep bowl with the sugar and lemon zest, and beat until fluffy.
  3. Add the three eggs and again beat in well. Mix in the ground almonds and finally mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Divide the mixture among each of the cups - about two teaspoons of batter in each cup.
  5. Put the filled tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the buns have risen to be domed and golden brown on top.
  6. Take the tray out of the oven. Turn the oven down to 150 C. Let the buns cool for about 5 minutes an then gently push down the tops of the buns to flatten them a bit.
  7. Place the buns back in the oven and bake for a further 20 - 30 minutes. When you place a fork into a cake and it comes out clean the buns are cooked.
  8. Take the tray out of the oven and turn out the cakes upside down on a plate. Leave to cool completely.
  9. To make the soft raspberry glaze
  10. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
  11. Place the raspberries in the sieve and push through with a spoon, into the sifted icing sugar. When no more juice is coming through pour the lemon juice over the mushed raspberries and again just scrape through any juice.
  12. Combine the juice and icing sugar together until totally smooth.
  13. Beat in the melted (unsalted) butter until well combined. Then leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
  14. To make the pink cakes
  15. Spread some of the glaze over the tops of each of the buns.
  16. Enjoy!

after 20 minutes
After 20 minutes in the oven
baked gluten free buns
Another 25 minutes at 150 C
trial and error
Was a case of trial and error for the glaze
gluten free pink cakes
Yeah… Not quite the thing. But tasty all the same.
pink cakes sorta
Better? No?
OK. Maybe they don’t look quite right. But they do make for a nice bank holiday treat.
I think that little pink cake is laughing. Little rascal.