Delicious Gluten Free Christmas Bakes It used to be the case that those suffering with coeliac disease were forced to stick to a diet with very limited options consisting of bland prescription breads and a very narrow gluten-free section on the tiniest shelf in the supermarket. Thanks to many clever and thoughtful people out there however, there are now thousands of different dishes that can be made gluten free with some slight changes, and thousands more that are devised specifically for gluten-free eaters. You don’t want to be restricted in what you’re able to eat at Christmas time in particular, so the following recipes are essentially the (gluten-free) icing on the g-free Christmas cake you can indulge in this year! 1. Gingered rich fruit cake For many, the traditional Christmas fruit cake is a staple for the Santa month; this is a rich fruit cake that lacks only gluten but delivers some seriously hefty flavour, helped along by the fiery heat and comforting flavour of ginger. As one should expect from any fruit cake, the list of ingredients isn’t a quick read, but the usual suspects – figs, prunes, sultanas, raisins, and ginger, and warm Christmas spices – are all present. The only different between this and a regular fruit cake is in fact the gluten-free flour used in its making. Allow plenty of cooking time for this cake: it needs a minimum of 2 hours in the oven, if not an extra half hour depending on how it’s looking at the 2-hour mark. Initial preparations should only take around 30 minutes however, and it’s one of the easier recipes/methods on this list. Most impressive of all however, is how the cake manages to be so rich and flavoursome whilst being gluten-free, dairy-free, and even suitable for vegetarians! This is a must-make recipe for Christmas to be found here. 2. Flourless chocolate & pear cake Some recipes swap out regular flour with the gluten-free kind, but this BBC Good Food Flourless Chocolate and Pear Cake dares to omit the flour altogether. The usual butter, sugar, and eggs act as a base for this cake, while the separated egg whites provide the cake’s open texture, mimicking the role of flour. The recipe would be painlessly easy if it weren’t for the act of whipping up the egg whites into soft peaks and being required to handle them gently lest they lose their light, fluffy texture. This cake has a short 20-minute prep time however, and requires a convenient 40 minutes in the oven; this recipe serves 8 people While not quite as sumptuous as Nigella’s Chocolate Pear Pudding, this flourless cake still manages to bring the flavour as well as offering its eaters a light yet rich texture on the palate. You’ll notice that it’s not only gluten-free, but also suitable for vegetarians as well. 3. Crumble-topped mince pies When it comes to the perfect mix of flavour, tradition, and ability-to-fit-a-whole-one-into-the-mouth concerns, the mince pie is the king of kings. There’ll be no lack of flavour or texture in these Crumble-topped versions either. The pastry is made from scratch either by hand-rubbing or pulsing in a food processor, then shaped and filled with mincemeat as well as helped along by some orange zest. To top it all off (literally), there’s the crumble-heavy topping. This recipe is labelled as “moderately easy” on the BBC Good Food website, the “moderately” referring to making your own pastry and shaping these by hand. The rest is easy however: they take 25 minutes to prepare and around 20 minutes in the oven with no more fiddling around. The crumble on top makes a nice difference to the usual pastry lid, and the luxury mincemeat packs a hell of a flavour-punch in the mouth so there’s no way of not linking to these: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4972/crumbletopped-mince-pies. NB These are not vegetarian, though they are gluten and egg-free. 4. Gluten-free sundried tomato bread Making this recipe is as simple as bringing the ingredients together and getting the timings right. If you’ve got a spare 15 minutes for prep and an hour for cooking time, you’re set. Making this bread is an easy task as it uses gluten-free flour and baking powder as well as buttermilk to give it a wonderfully rich, full-bodied flavour. It’s vegetarian as well as gluten-free – you can even freeze it for later use. 5. Fruit-filled clementine cake This is a great alternative to the standard Christmas cake baked by so many at this time of year. The clementine make for a very zingy flavour while the polenta gives it a moist texture. It will take you 30 minutes to prepare it for the oven and has a baking time of around 2 hours and 10 minutes. This is another easy recipe where combining ingredients is as taxing as it gets; you can then just leave it in the oven to bake. Another vegetarian and gluten-free recipe, this would go well with a cup of tea though has the texture and flavour to stand on its own merits.