Gluten-free Dough Cakes (Inspired by The Secret Garden)

This family-pleasing flat bread will bring the smell of a Victorian cottage to your kitchen!

By Andrea Fabry of It Takes Time

You, like Dickon, will love these Dough Cakes. A gluten-free dough is gently patted into discs and enriched with butter and sweetener. Fifteen minutes later these lovely lightly sweetened cakes emerge from the oven ready for tea time.

These Victorian-era Dough Cakes are based on the book The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Dough cakes are made from old fashioned cottage loaves, a favorite of English “cottagers”.

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite children’s book. It’s filled with references to natural health, extolling the benefits of fresh air, clean water, and wholesome food.

In Chapter eight, Martha, Mary Lennox’s  good-natured maid, and companion, offers a glimpse into the life of a poor, loving family.

Martha recounts her recent visit to her home and tells Mary about the delicious Dough Cakes she and her mother prepared for each of the 12 children.

“I had’em all pipin’ hot when they came in from playin’ on the’ moor. An’ th’ cottage all smelt o’nice, clean hot bakin’ an’ there was a good fire, an’ they just shouted for joy. Our Dickon he said our cottage was good enough for a king.”

Text from The Secret Garden

What is a Dough Cake?

Dough Cakes rely on bread dough taken from cottage loaf dough, a rustic Victorian bread made in the bottom of a brick oven.

Amy Cotler, the author of The Secret Garden Cookbook, describes Dough Cakes this way:

“Stotty cake or oven bottom cakes were often made for a quick meal. Pieces were pulled off the bread dough; they were flattened and baked quickly at the bottom of the oven for 20 minutes, then split and buttered for served with bacon. As there was plenty of bread dough on hand, cottagers baked small pieces and filled them with brown sugar for a special treat. ”

This recipe can be adapted to suit any preference. Add some sweetener and cinnamon to the dough for even more flavor!

Resources:

(Amazon links affiliate)

Other Recipes Inspired by Books

 Dough-Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of your favorite bread dough. (Since we’re grain-free I rely on my Gluten-free Sourdough Quinoa Bread which uses kombucha as a starter. Find the recipe here.)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee.
  • 4 teaspoons sweetener of choice. (We use Monk Fruit sweetener)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Divide dough into four portions.

3. With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

4. Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.

5. Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with 1/2 teaspoon of butter.

6. Let rest for 15 minutes

7. Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through. (Approximately 15 minutes.)

Serve warm.

Makes four medium Dough Cakes.

Gluten-free Dough Cakes (Inspired by The Secret Garden)
 
Author:
Serves: 4 medium Dough Cakes
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups of your favorite gluten-free bread dough
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
  • 4 teaspoons sweetener or sweetener alternative
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide dough into four sections.
  3. With your hands, pat each portion into a flat disk and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Use a spoon or your thumb to make a slight indentation in the center of each.
  5. Drop 1 teaspoon sweetener into each indentation and top with ½ teaspoon of butter.
  6. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Bake the cakes on the lowest oven rack until dough is browned and cooked through.
  8. Serve warm.

 

London Fog: Earl Grey Latte

A delicious, creamy, dairy-free Earl Grey delight that is perfect for a chilly or rainy day. Warms you down to your toes. Paleo and AIP-friendly. The perfect treat for an overcast day! – The Nourishing Gourmet

The full flavor of Earl Grey tea is enhanced with vanilla and steamed coconut milk for an amazing dairy-free tea latte. With grey skies above and a chilly rain falling, this seemed fitting and appropriate for a delicious hot drink when I was first introduced to it. Now when the day seems a little depressing, I turn to this special drink for a pick-me-up for both my spirits and energy. It helps so much! It’s also AIP compliant.

On a cold drizzling day I was looking for a place to have a cup of tea while I wrote, and I ended up seeing London Fog on a menu as a new item to try. I’m so glad that I did! This drink originated in Canada, where weather can be chilly during the winter, and this is just the right type of drink to enjoy on a grey afternoon or morning.

Earl Grey has always been a favorite tea of mine, but I never thought to make it into a tea latte. For those who like variety from coffee, or who don’t indulge in coffee, this drink gives you the frothy milky experience without coffee beans. I truly do love it. Another tea latte recipe is this Pumpkin Chai Latte recipe. Yum!

What makes a London Fog

To make a London Fog you need a couple of ingredients – Earl Grey tea, vanilla, sweetener of choice,  and milk of choice. Of course, you could use regular milk in this recipe with no problem. I’ve made mine dairy-free with the use of coconut milk, which is also AIP (Autoimmune Protocol Diet) safe. Another dairy-free option, though not AIP, would be homemade almond milk – very creamy and decadent. Some of the local shops in my area also use homemade coconut milk in their dairy-free lattes, and I plan on trying that too!

(Below links are affiliate).

A couple of notes on ingredients:

  • To be fully AIP, I use this gum-free Coconut Cream.
  • Also, my understanding is that for AIP recipes, you should use an alcohol-free vanilla extract .
  • Loose tea is always going to give the best flavor. Though I also tested this recipe with this brand of organic Earl Grey. I liked using heaping portions of loose tea, or double bags of Earl Grey as I like a strong cup of tea.
  • Honey makes a perfect sweetener for this drink! The two teaspoons give a very nice sweetness to make this a special drink – especially for those of us who are used to unsweetened teas. In fact, with the natural sweetness of the coconut milk and vanilla, you could get away with using less. However, I will admit that the cup I had at my local shop used much more honey, so sweeten to taste, as desired.

A delicious, creamy, dairy-free Earl Grey delight that is perfect for a chilly or rainy day. Warms you down to your toes. Paleo and AIP-friendly. The perfect treat for an overcast day! – The Nourishing Gourmet

London Fog: An Earl Grey Latte

Ingredients:

  • 1 (or 2) tea bag, half a cup of water, 2-3 brew time
  • ¼ cup each water and coconut cream, or 1/2 cup of coconut milk or milk of choice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

1. Brew tea according to the directions for you tea (it can vary a bit) in about ½ cup of water. I like a stiff cup of tea, so I brew on the longer side and do heaping servings of loose tea or double tea bags.

2. While the tea is brewing, heat your milk of choice in a small saucepan along with the honey over medium heat. Using a wide whisk, whisk the milk as it heats until it is just hot. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Remove tea bags from the cup, and pour the steamed milk into the cup. Enjoy.

London Fog: Earl Grey Latte
 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (or 2) tea bag, half a cup of water, 2-3 brew time
  • ¼ cup each water and coconut cream, or ½ cup of coconut milk or milk of choice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Brew tea according to the directions for you tea (it can vary a bit) in about ½ cup of water. I like a stiff cup of tea, so I brew on the longer side and do heaping servings of loose tea or double tea bags.
  2. While the tea is brewing, heat your milk of choice in a small saucepan along with the honey over medium heat. Using a wide whisk, whisk the milk as it heats until it is just hot. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Remove tea bags from the cup, and pour the steamed milk into the cup. Enjoy.

 

Peppermint Hot Carob

Peppermint Hot Carob: Sweetened with maple syrup, and dairy-free! A delicious caffeine-free drink that's great right before bed. Yum! -- The Nourishing Gourmet

Frothy and rich, this peppermint flavored hot carob drink is a delicious and soothing way to end the day. Since it’s caffeine-free, it’s great for having at nighttime, or for serving to children. Made with rich coconut milk or cream, it’s dairy-free deliciousness!

Carob is an antioxidant-rich food and has been cultivated for thousands of years. Many think of it as a “chocolate alternative”, but as a chocolate-lover myself, I find it better to think of it as its own distinctive flavor.

However, having said that, once you add the peppermint extract to this recipe, you could easily think that you are drinking peppermint hot cocoa!

If you prefer, feel free to use homemade almond milk too.

Ingredients:

(Affilate links)

Other Hot Drinks: Chai Latte Powder and Coconut Ginger Apple Cider

OTHER 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS POSTS:

Peppermint Hot Carob

  • 1 cup of coconut milk (or ½ cup of coconut cream and ½ cup of water)
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (for less sweet option, use 2 teaspoons. You can also substitute stevia extract)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – ½ teaspoon peppermint extract  (I love peppermint, so I really add a lot, but a reader emailed to say it was much too strong for her – so start with a scant 1/4 teaspoon, and add more only if desired).

1. Combine coconut milk carob powder and sweetener in a blender, and blend until smooth.

2. Pour into a pan, and heat over medium-high heat, until just barely simmering. Remove from heat and add the two extracts.

3. Enjoy!

Optional Topping Ideas: Homemade Honey-Sweetened Marshmallows or Coconut Whipped Cream

Peppermint Hot Carob
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (or ½ cup of coconut cream and ½ cup of water)
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (for less sweet option, use 2 teaspoons. You can also substitute stevia extract)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon peppermint extract (I love peppermint, so I really add a lot, but a reader emailed to say it was much too strong for her - so start with a scant ¼ teaspoon, and add more only if desired).
Instructions
  1. Combine coconut milk carob powder and sweetener in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a pan, and heat over medium-high heat, until just barely simmering. Remove from heat and add the two extracts.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Gluten Free Scottish Shortbread Cookies (Maple Syrup Sweetened)

vScottish Shortbread Cookies, gluten-free and sweetened with maple syrup: These cookies are wonderfully flakey and rich. Just like shortbread cookies should be.  --- The Nourishing Gourmet

These gluten free Scottish Shortbread Cookies are everything that I look for in a shortbread recipe. They use nourishing, real food ingredients, are flaky, gently sweet, rich, and delicious! Gluten-free shortbread cookies have an advantage over their wheat peers – they don’t have any gluten to toughen them. This means it is easy to get that perfect flaky texture!

I was looking for a recipe that fit my children’s dietary needs, but that held together well. This one fits the bill! In fact, it was so successful, I think I am going to use this same recipe for cut out Christmas gluten-free sugar cookies this year!

I love that it uses pure maple syrup as the only sweetener. And because it is free of gluten, cane sugar, eggs, and even nuts, it makes a great cookie for those with many allergies.

I feel a certain nostalgia over shortbread cookies. Not only were they a favorite for me growing up, but when I was in the hospital on bed rest with my second daughter, my body was craving healthy fats (that is, butter), and so my mother would bring me shortbread cookies whenever she came to visit me. Just one of many reasons shortbread cookies are one of my favorite cookie recipes!

Because shortbread is so rich, it only needs to be lightly sweetened – a fact I appreciate since so many special treats are very saturated with sugar.

Notes on Ingredients:

  • I used sprouted brown rice flour. If you can’t find it locally, you can (affiliate links) order it from Amazon. You can probably use brown rice flour or white rice flour as well (don’t use sweet rice flour in replacement though).
  • I made this nut-free by making my own sunflower seed flour. See how to make it here. You can also use almond flour with good results, I’m sure!
  • Tapioca Starch helps make a great texture, and keeps it really flaky too! See notes below for replacement ideas.

OTHER 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS POSTS:

Gluten Free Scottish Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 cup sprouted brown rice flour,
  • 1 cup of finely ground nut or seed flour (See notes above)
  • ¼-1/2 cup tapioca starch, plus extra for rolling (you could probably replace with arrowroot flour or sweet rice flour, if desired)
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, gluten-free
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt

1. In a medium bowl, whip the butter until smooth and fluffy with a hand mixture. Drizzle the maple syrup over the butter and add the vanilla extract. Mix in until smooth. Add the flours, tapioca starch (I started with ¼ cup), and salt, and mix until just combined.

2. Test the mixture by rolling a small portion into a ball. Is it too dry? Add a little more maple syrup. Is it too wet? Add some more flour until it becomes slightly moist, but firm, and is holding its shape when pressed into a ball. (I started with the ¼ cup of tapioca starch, and then added the second ¼ cup, and it was perfect. The moisture level of your cookies will vary by what nut or seed flour you use, so adjust the recipe as needed. It’s a very flexible recipe!)

3. Preheat the oven to 350F

4. Form the dough into two balls. If it’s too hard to handle, you can refrigerate until the dough is chilled. Take two sheets of parchment paper. Lightly dust one with tapioca starch, place one of the dough balls on the sheet, then dust the top of the dough with tapioca starch. Place the second sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough ball, and then roll out using a rolling pin until about ½ an inch thick. Remove top parchment paper, and cut out into desired shapes. (I used a 1 ½ inch biscuit cutter, and it was perfect).

5. Use a spatula to carefully remove cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a fork to artfully poke holes in the cookies.

6. Put in oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are set and just barely browning on the sides. Remove from oven, and cool.

7. Repeat with second half of the dough.

Keep in an airtight container. Will keep about a week. You can also freeze the dough, if desired.

Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies (Maple Syrup Sweetened)
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sprouted brown rice flour,
  • 1 cup of finely ground nut or seed flour (See notes above)
  • ¼-1/2 cup tapioca starch, plus extra for rolling (you could probably replace with arrowroot flour or sweet rice flour, if desired)
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, gluten-free
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whip the butter until smooth and fluffy with a hand mixture. Drizzle the maple syrup over the butter and add the vanilla extract. Mix in until smooth. Add the flours, tapioca starch (I started with ¼ cup), and salt, and mix until just combined.
  2. Test the mixture by rolling a small portion into a ball. Is it too dry? Add a little more maple syrup. Is it too wet? Add some more flour until it becomes slightly moist, but firm, and is holding its shape when pressed into a ball. (I started with the ¼ cup of tapioca starch, and then added the second ¼ cup, and it was perfect. The moisture level of your cookies will vary by what nut or seed flour you use, so adjust the recipe as needed. It’s a very flexible recipe!)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F
  4. Form the dough into two balls. If it’s too hard to handle, you can refrigerate until the dough is chilled. Take two sheets of parchment paper. Lightly dust one with tapioca starch, place one of the dough balls on the sheet, then dust the top of the dough with tapioca starch. Place the second sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough ball, and then roll out using a rolling pin until about ½ an inch thick. Remove top parchment paper, and cut out into desired shapes. (I used a 1 ½ inch biscuit cutter, and it was perfect).
  5. Use a spatula to carefully remove cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a fork to artfully poke holes in the cookies.
  6. Put in oven and cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are set and just barely browning on the sides. Remove from oven, and cool.
  7. Repeat with second half of the dough.
  8. Keep in an airtight container. Will keep about a week. You can also freeze the dough, if desired.