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Grain-Free/Gluten-Free Apple and Pear Sponge Pudding

This is a recipe for cold winter nights when a pudding is needed to finish the day.  Its fast and easy to mix together, a great way to use up all kinds of overripe fruit, or if you are really pressed for time you can even use tinned pie fruit.  This recipe was originally made by my grandmother.  It is very traditionally Australian and reflects my grandmother’s English heritage.

I have been refining the grain free version of this dessert for a few years and finally have something that tastes very close to her wheat flour version.

The Stewed Fruit

I generally use whatever fruit I have on hand that is ripe and needs to be used.  Apple and pear work well.  You just slice/dice it and cook in a saucepan with a little water until very soft and falling apart.  I like to add a little extra water, which I strain off when I pour into the baking dish – and use it to pour over at the end as an alternative to cream if you want/need to be dairy free.

The trick to getting the sponge to not be soggy is to ensure the stewed fruit is hot before you add the sponge topping.  The quantity for this part really doesn’t matter.  Just have enough to cover the base of your small or medium-sized baking dish (an average cake size) by 1 to 2 inches / 2 to 5 cm.  I use a glass Pyrex baking dish.

The Sponge Topping

3 oz / 85 g coconut oil – you can also use melted butter.

1/2 cup of coconut sugar – you can also use any granulated sugar

2 eggs

Cream together (mix until smooth, creamy looking and well blended), then add the sifted dry ingredients:

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup potato starch (this is needed to lighten the cake mix so it is not too heavy or dense, I don’t think this recipe will work too well without it)

If you can’t eat any of these flours just swap them out for another, although that will change the texture and flavour. If you try a different mix and it works please let us know by leaving a comment. You are after 1 1/2 cups total flour, blending together a few kinds makes for a more balanced flavour. Coconut flour will not work.

1 tsp of cream of tartar

1/2 tsp bicarb (also called baking soda or sodium bicarbonate – not baking powder)

pinch of Celtic sea salt (or whatever salt you like – if you have used salted butter you can leave out)

The Method

Throw everything in a bowl.  Mix or beat well.  That’s it!
(If you are using a Thermomix just throw everything in together and blast for 20-30 seconds at speed 6).

Once you have a nicely combined mix spoon it evenly over the top of your hot stewed fruit. (Make sure your stewed fruit is HOT or you will get a soggy bottom on your sponge)

Smooth the top and bake at 180 degrees (a moderate oven) for about 35 min.  When the top is a golden brown and springs back to the touch it’s done.


Serve hot from the oven.  It is amazing served with pouring cream or the stewed fruit juice or even maple syrup.