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Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's gluten-free Rose and Pistachio Cake recipe

This gluten-free cake is ideal for sharing at The Big Lunch on Sunday

Rose and Pistachio Cake
16 June 2017
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Whether you're taking part in The Big Lunch this weekend or just enjoying a picnic with friends, this gluten-free rose and pistachio cake from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!


  • 230g salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 180g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 tsp rosewater
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 160g potato starch
  • 3 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 160g ground almonds

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For the filling and topping

  • 225ml double cream
  • 250g quantity rose buttercream, or extra whipped cream
  • 50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • Fresh or crystallised rose petals (optional)


  • 2 x 20cm sandwich tins
Rose and Pistachio Cake


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Line the base of the cake tins with discs of baking parchment and butter the sides.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar, rosewater and vanilla extract together in a bowl with an electric hand whisk or balloon whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition. If it looks like the mixture is starting to curdle, add a couple of tablespoonfuls of the potato starch and beat again – it should come right.
  3. Sift the potato starch, baking powder and ground almonds together over the mixture and fold in gently but thoroughly.
  4. Scrape into the prepared tins and gently level the surface. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Leave in the tins for 10–15 minutes, then run a thin bladed knife around the inside of the tins. Turn out the cakes and place, right side up, on a wire rack. Leave to cool.
  6. When the cakes are completely cold, whip the cream until thick, but not grainy. Put one of the cakes onto a plate and spread the cream almost to the edge. Place the other cake gently on top and twist it back and forth a little, just until the cream is peeking out between the layers.
  7. Pipe or spread the buttercream over the top of the cake, or top with more whipped cream. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and scatter over a few fresh or crystallised rose petals if you have them.

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