Fiona Cairns’ Mini Elderflower and lemon loaf cakes [gluten free]

From Royal wedding cakes to the humble mini loaf, Fiona Cairns has a recipe for everyone; including us luckily! These are quite delicious and very moist little cakes which are perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon or even as a gift individually wrapped in a small bag with a pretty ribbon. You will need 10 mini cardboard loaf cases (8x4x4cm) available online, or from kitchen supply shops or large supermarkets. Alternatively bake 10 little cakes in muffin cases.

Serves 10 Prep time 15 mins Bake time 30-35 mins
Fiona Cairns’ Mini Elderflower and lemon loaf cakes [gluten free]


For the elderflower loaf cakes:

• 10 individual non-stick loaf cases
• 40g pistachios, roughly chopped, plus a few extra to decorate
• 160g ground almonds
• 40g rice flour
• 1½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
• ½ teaspoon fine salt
• 175g unsalted butter, softened
• 175g caster sugar
• Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1
• 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the syrup and glacé icing:

• 150g icing sugar, sifted
• Juice of ½ a lemon
• 2 tablespoons of Belvoir Elderflower Cordial (you may need a little extra)


To make the loaf cakes:

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
Place the individual loaf cases on a rectangular tray which will hold them all in one tight layer.
Lightly roast the pistachios for 5 minutes on a baking tray. Place the ground almonds, rice flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
In an electric mixer, or using a bowl and electric whisk, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and almond mixture alternately, beating well between each addition.
Drizzle in the lemon juice and finally fold in the pistachios. Divide the mixture evenly between the cases. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until risen and the centers bounce back when lightly touched.

To make the syrup:

Whilst the cakes are baking, in a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon of icing sugar together with the lemon juice and elderflower cordial. On removal from the oven, immediately prick the surface of the cakes with a cocktail stick and spoon over half of the syrup. Allow the loaves to cool down completely.

To make the glacé icing:

Gradually add the remaining syrup I teaspoon at a time to the rest of the icing sugar until it is the consistency of pourable double cream. Add a little extra elderflower cordial if the icing is too thick.
Drizzle the icing over the cooled cakes and scatter with the remaining pistachios. Allow the icing to set before serving.