Gluten-free Runeberg torte – a Finnish almond cake with raspberry jam

On 5th February, Finland celebrates their national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg with a dedicated almond flavoured cake. I had never done these, so adapted a version of my own from a Finnish gluten-free recipe by Valio. I want to share the recipe, as I think they turned out great and I am sure you might enjoy the crunchy bits of almond and sweet raspberry jam on top. If you are partial to a bit of alcohol in a bake, you can drench these in a sugar syrup with almond liqueur, cognac or rhum, or for non-alcoholic version flavour the syrup with a few drops of (bitter) almond extract.

My adaptations

GF Flour mix: Since the original recipe is Finnish, the gf flour mixture isn’t available in the UK, where I am. There’s no reason you couldn’t still enjoy the torte where ever you are in the world – use any gf plain flour mix, just be mindful that it can change the end result a bit for GF flour mixes differ from each other. If you are using self-raising gf flour, you can leave the baking powder out. I avoid corn and rice, so my GF flour mix was half potato starch and half tapioca starch, which I found worked well.

Psyllium husk powder: Due to the differences in the flour mix used, my batter was in my mind too thin. It needs to be soft but still hold it’s shape a little bit, similar to soft cake batter. You can either add the amount of flour or like I did, mix 1 tsp of psyllium husk powfer into your flour (I ended up sprinkling it on top of the batter and then whisking vigorously to mix it.

Using yoghurt instead of cream: The original recipe uses cream as liquid. I opted to try with Greek yoghurt, as I find soured milk products give a better structure to GF bakes and keep them more moist. You can choose which one to try.

Gluten-free Runeberg Torte recipe:

The recipe is quite straightforward. It will take you about 30min to make if you need to chop your own almonds and grind cardamom. Overall with baking and cooling, you should be enjoying these in 1.5-2hours. If you want to moisten these with syrup, you want to give them several hours to absorb the liquid, preferably prepare them the day before serving and keep them covered before decorating.

The recipe makes 5-6 large tortes and 10-12 smaller ones if you use fairy cake casings.

Ingredients:

Cake

100 gbutter
0.5dlcaster sugar
0.5dllight muscvado sugar
1egg
1.5dlgluten-free plain flour mix (omit baking powder if using self-raising gf flour) (I used a 50/50 mix of potato starch and tapioca starch)
3/4dlchopped almonds
1 tspgluten-free baking powder
1/4tspground cardamom (I used a few cardamom pods without husks and ground with mortar and pestle)
1 dlsingle cream (or plain Greek yoghurt like I used)
Ingredients for the cake batter
2tbsphot water
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsprum, cognac or almond liqueur
(for alcohol-free you can use 4tbsp of water and a few drops of (bitter) almond extract
Ingredients for the flavour syrup (optional)
1/2dlicing sugar
appr. 1tsp cold water
appr 0.5dlraspberry jam
Ingredients for icing and decoration

You need non-stick cupcake casings or fairy cake casings (6 large ones, 12 smaller ones). If you use a muffin tray or regular casings, you need some extra butter to grease them and some ground almonds or gf breadcrumbs to flour the tins/casings to keep them from sticking.

Method:

  1. Turn your oven on to 200C/180C fan assisted.
  2. Melt the butter (on a saucepan or in microwave).
  3. Pour into a bowl and mix in the sugars.
  4. When the butter has cooled down a bit (so that it doesn’t cook the eggs), mix in the egg.
  5. Shift the flour(s), psyllium husk and baking powder into a separate bowl.
  6. Add the chopped almonds and cardamom and mix together.
  7. Stir part of the flour mix with the butter+sugar+egg mixture making sure there are no lumps. You can use a whisk, an electric whisk or a spoon.
  8. Stir in half of the cream/yoghurt and mix again.
  9. Repeat steps 6&7 with the rest of the flour mix and cream/yoghurt.
  10. Pour the batter into the cake casings, leave an edge about 1cm. If using muffin tray or plain casings with no non-stick coating, remember to grease the tray or casings and flour with gf flour, ground almonds or gf breadcrums.
  11. Bake the tortes in the middle rack of the oven for 20-30min if using large casings or 10-15min if you are making smaller cakes. Check that they are cooked by sticking a cocktail stick or skewer on the thickest bit and see if any batter sticks to it.
  12. Cool down before decorating, is you used a metal tray, take the tortes off when still slightly warm and place on a rack or plate to finish cooling.
  13. Once the tortes are cooled, you can drizzle the flavour syrup on the tortes and let them absorb the syrup for several hours or overnight. If you don’t want to use the syrup, you can decorate the tarts when they are cooled.
  14. Make a sugar and water icing by mixing the icing sugar and water. Add the water a few drops at a time and  check the consistency. You want the icing to be fairly stiff so that it doesn’t drip, but still a bit fluid.
  15. Using either a piping bag or just drizzling with a spoon, make a circle on top of the tortes with the icing. If the middle has sunk when cooling, it is handy that you can go round it and hide whatever is underneath then with the jam.
  16. Add a generous dollop of raspberry jam on top.
  17. Enjoy with a beverage of your choice (mine is coffee with milk)

I hope you give these a go as they are really tasty and I especially enjoy the crunch of the pieces of almond in the dough. When you make them, do tag me in any Instagram post (@gf_lifetweaks) or come and send me a direct message on my Facebook page (@gflifetweaks) and I can share pictures of your bakes. If there are any questions or comments about how the recipe works, I would appreciate feedback in the comments, too. Ingredients differ based where you are in the world and I’m happy to troubleshoot and add notes or make adjustments to the recipe where needed.

If you want to learn about how I approach gluten-free cooking and how we can add joy in our gluten-free diet, I am hosting a free webinar in a couple of weeks. Join the waiting list now and I’ll email you the date when it’s confirmed!

Happy baking!

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