Forest brunch sweet treats: a delicious gluten-free vegan Tosca cake. This traditional Nordic cake is a soft spongy cake with almond caramel topping. The original recipe calls for butter and eggs, but these ingredients are easy to replace with vegan alternatives.
Swedish Tosca cake or Finnish Tosca cake?
The origin of the classic Nordic Tosca cake is unknown, but most likely the recipe is based on traditional almond cakes from Tuscany. Tosca cake or Tosca kaka in Swedish and Tosca kakku in Finnish is popular in both Sweden and Finland. The original Swedish and Finnish recipes are pretty much identical. Norwegians have their own version of the cake too.
How to make traditional recipes gluten-free and vegan
When I start changing a traditional recipe I first analyze it in detail to figure our what makes it unique. This core is what I’ll keep in the gluten-free vegan version, although the ingredients might look very different.
Veganizing a recipe
If the recipe calls for more than three eggs it’s honestly pretty difficult to veganize. It won’t be the same texture wise, but you can still try to imitate the essential flavor and other elements of the cake.
The original Tosca cake recipe calls for a few eggs depending on the size of the cake baked, but they are pretty easy to replace not with just one ingredient but a few. We’re also replacing butter with these same ingredients. The key is to use other moistening ingredients to make up for the fluffiness and butteriness:
- Light syrup instead of sugar: caramelly flavor and moist
- Thick plant-based milk: oat milk for coffee is naturally a bit sweet and adds a lovely texture, because it’s so creamy.
- Liquid natural oil: good both texture and flavor wise.
These tips are applicable in many recipes such as vegan sponge cakes and muffins.
Making a recipe gluten-free
Making treats gluten-free is very easy when using a gluten-free flour mix. I usually use a store bought gf flour mix, but of course you can make your own mix too. It would most likely consist of at least 2-3 flours and some psyllium or xanthan gum to make up for the missing gluten. I usually use white rice flour and either buckwheat flour or oat flour for the mix.
Sometimes using a gluten-free flour mix makes baked goods a bit too dense or a bit too rubbery for my liking. One way to improve the texture of gf cakes is to use almond flour or other nut flour together with the flour mix.
Almond flour or ground almonds are actually an essential part of Tosca cake so it’s a natural addition to the recipe.
Dairy-free almond caramel
The topping of Tosca cake is a decadent almond caramel, which is easy to make dairy-free. The original recipe calls for a lot of butter, and I could use vegan butter / margarine in the recipe. But I’ve actually come up with an even better caramel topping: I’m using plant-based cooking cream such as oat cream or coconut cream to make the caramel.
The fat from these creams together with sweetener and a pinch of salt is what makes the caramel taste exactly like caramel. It’s gooey and sweet and with slivered almonds it makes a perfect topping for the cake.
Sunday brunch in the forest
We enjoyed this Tosca cake along with other sweet treats for a delicious forest birthday brunch last week. It was my son’t birthday and he was more than happy to sample all the treats I made for this special day.
I also made this gluten-free vegan carrot cake with caramelized pecans. This recipe has become our favorite fall cake recipe because of its warming spicy flavors and moist texture.
Gluten-free vegan blondies, which are soft and chewy on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside straight from the oven. My kids and hubs love these easy-to-make treats.
Gluten-free vegan tosca cake
- Springform pan about 20 cm / 8 inches in diameter.
- 130 g / 0,85 cups white gluten-free flour mix
- 60 g / 0,6 cups almond flour
- 1,5 tsp baking powder
- 0,5 tsp salt
- 0,4 cups (100 ml) light syrup
- 0,4 cups (100 ml) thick oat drink for coffee Or any other thick plant-based milk
- 0,4 cups (100 ml) natural flavored liquid oil
- 0,4 cups oat cream for cooking or coconut cream
- 0,4 cups light syrup
- 50 g almond flakes
- pinch of salt
- For serving: plant-based whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 200 C / 392 F. Line a springform pan with parchment paper.
- Mix dry ingredients. Add syrup, oat drink and oil.
- Pour into the pan and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Mix all almond-caramel ingredients in a skillet. Let bubble away in medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring until the caramel is thicker and light brown.
- Spread caramel on top of cake evenly and bake in the oven for another 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for a while and enjoy with plant-based whipped cream!