Teff Date Nut Coffee Quick Bread

datenut (1)

teff date nut coffee quick bread photo by vsimon

Is this temping or what?

I like to play with my food, and new ingredients. There was a bag of teff flour in the freezer, calling me.

There were a couple of ideas floating around in my head. And I searched online for other ideas. There aren’t many recipes online for teff. Maybe because teff is hard to find, it is expensive, and it is brown.

Yes, the flour is beautifully brown. I hear there is an ivory variety, but not at my store. Still, it is a highly nutritious gluten free whole grain. And it tastes good. Learn more about teff, seeds and flour, here.

Most often I use it for simple pancakes. Just teff flour, no mixtures. And the pancakes are brown. I think they are lovely, but some folks will object to the color.

I easily converted a wheat based date bread recipe from allrecipes. This uses just teff flour. Who wants to mix 15, or even three gluten free flours together?

And starches? Forget about it! They are as devoid of nutrition as sugar, so you won’t find them here. Also, there is only half as much sugar as the original recipe. The dates make it plenty sweet, I didn’t want a tooth ache.

Adding xanthan is a must. Using 3 mini tins instead of a regular loaf pan helps too.

The final dish must still taste great, have normal texture, and look inviting. This recipe does it all.

Teff Date Nut Coffee Quick Bread

yield 3 mini loaves

1 cup chopped dates

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

1 cup very hot water

1 1/2 cups teff

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup oil

1 egg, beaten

Warm oven to 350 degrees.

Oil 3 mini loaf pans and put on a rimmed sheet pan for easy movement in and out of the oven.

In a small bowl: mix dates, coffee powder, and water. Set aside while dates plump and the mixture cools a bit.

In a big bowl: mix teff flour, pecans, sugar, xanthan, salt, and soda. Mix thoroughly so there are no clumps of xanthan or soda. Pinch any little clumps of soda with your fingers to break them up.

Add oil and beaten egg to the liquid date mixture. Stir it up well.

Add liquid date mixture to flour mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly. Allow mixture to rest for about 5 minutes so the xanthan can hydrate.

Equally divide batter into 3 mini pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Completely cool before cutting.

These freeze beautifully, very nice for make ahead gluten free gifts.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Or, if you must, chance warming in the microwave to thaw. Sans any metal tins of course.


You may like our Chocolate Angel Food Cake, also made with 100% teff flour. See that posting here.

There is a tasty gingerbread recipe by Jacqueline Mallorca here. Scroll way to the end. I made it in a 9” round pan for prettier presentation. And topped it with whipped cream and diced candied ginger.


This post was submitted to the January 2011 edition of Go Ahead Honey, It Is Gluten Free. Hosted by the amazing Lauren at Celiac Teen.

Beautiful, Gorgeous, Awesome, Gluten-Free 100% Oat Flour Chocolate Cake

Oat Four Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon

oat flour chocolate cake with cinnamon photo by vsimon

I love oats, and now oat flour. This cake is decadent, moist, rich, not too sweet. Perfect for a special occasion, or any given Tuesday. 🙂

Be sure to buy certified gluten-free oat flour. Not all commercially available oat flour is gluten-free. Even from companies that sell other gluten-free oat products.

For example, Bob’s Red Mill sells many fine gluten-free products, including oatmeal, run on their dedicated gluten-free facility. But their oat flour is not produced in that facility, and is not tested for cross-contamination.  

 (Update:Bob’s Red Mill now does have a certified gluten-free oat flour which, according to their site, is made from oats grown in dedicated fields and processed in a gluten-free facility.  It is also tested for gluten to ensure purity. 


Thanks, Margaret)

It may be possible to grind your own oat flour from certified gluten-free oatmeal, but I have not tried it. Please let us know if you do this.

I use Cream Hill Estates certified gluten-free oat flour. Full disclosure: Cream Hill Estates supplies me with oat products for recipe development. 

Lets get back to the cake.

It is adapted from Best Ever Chocolate Cake on the Cream Hill Estates website. I reduced the sugar, switched it to dark brown sugar, baked the cake in rounds, and added the frosting.


To my taste, perfect! Rich dark chocolate and hit of cinnamon. Cinnamon and chocolate are natural friends. Add oats and dark brown sugar (but not too much), and now we have a party.


Oat flour gives a soft, moist crumb. And this is all oat flour, 100%. No refined starches, devoid of nutrition.

Save some cake for later. Even days later, it has the same moist texture.

We can’t forget the frosting. Silky, smooth, rich.


You just measure and beat for a few minutes to mix up the cake batter. Ditto for making the frosting. No special skills required.

Frosting the cake is simple too. The cake layers bake up with smooth shiny tops. Keep the tops up. That way, the cake doesn’t crumble into the frosting when you slather on this decadence. I always hate when that happens.

It is all fool proof, so easy the kids can help.


Yes, I dream about this cake. Make it once, and you will too.

 Oat Flour Chocolate Cake Slice

slice of oat flour chocolate cake with cinnamon

photo by vsimon

Oat Flour Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon

Yield: one two-layer 8” cake


¾ cup oil

¾ cup dark brown sugar

¾ cup milk

6 tablespoons pure cocoa powder, not cocoa drink mix

1 ¼ cup certified gluten-free oat flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

3 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon


4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

8 ounces butter (2 sticks), room temperature

¾ cup pure cocoa powder, not cocoa drink mix

6 tablespoons water

2 cups powdered sugar

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil or butter two 8” round cake pans.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth.

Evenly divide batter into both pans.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool and gently remove cake from the pans. Really, it holds together well. Just use normal gentleness, no need to get nervous.

To make the frosting:

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.

Add cocoa powder and water. Beat again until smooth.

Add powdered sugar in batches, about 1 cup at a time. It will be a cloudy mess if you try to beat all the powdered sugar in at once.

Note: if the cocoa and/or powdered sugar are clumpy, press them through a mesh strainer before beating into the butter mixture. This will ensure smooth frosting.

To frost the cake:

Put one cake layer, shiny side up on a serving plate. To keep the serving plate clean, tuck four 3” wide strips of waxed paper under the cake so the plate is covered.

Put about 1 cup of frosting on top of the bottom layer and smooth so it goes over the edge a bit.

Put the next layer, shiny side up again, and top with more frosting. Smooth it the same.

Add frosting to the sides and smooth all the way around. Carefully remove the waxed paper.

Enjoy!! I feel the need to turn on the oven. Tuesday is tomorrow.

You might enjoy other oat recipes. Cocoa Cherry Muesli and

Beef and UnBarley Soup. Or Cherry Ginger Crisp in the NFCA February Newsletter, scroll down to the Nourish column for the recipe.

I invite you to follow my Caring Bridge too. Enter lsimon in the visit a Website area.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Teff Flour

Devilish Angel Food Cake

chocolate angel food cake photo by vsimon

This ethereal gluten free cake melts in your mouth. It tastes like sweet chocolate air.

It is dairy free, and great plain for every day. Or add a sauce or two for a spectacular treat. As my daughter says, “This is a thousand times better than store bought”. That’s if you can even find it.

Homemade and preservative free, it stays moist for days. Four days on the counter and it still tastes just baked. It gets eaten at our house, so we don’t really know how long it can go.

How hot is your oven? A little story.

We bake this cake for our clients. Since we always cook multiple dishes at once, there is a lot going on in a client’s kitchen. One day, I didn’t really have a handle on how long it was baking. After a while, it seemed long though.

I tested the cake with a thin skewer and it kept coming out a bit moist. But I had added chopped chocolate to the batter that day, I reasoned that was melted on the skewer. The cake had risen to lofty heights, and I tested the top with a finger. It seemed done.

Out of the oven, the cake deflated like a pierced balloon before my eyes. The shrieking sound was mine. The cake ended up half the height it started.

I didn’t have time or ingredients to make it again. It tasted great, but fudgy instead of airy. And it looked small and sad. I cut it into pieces and artfully arranged it on a serving plate to make it look better.

That evening, I received an email that the chocolate angel food cake was “AWESOME!!”” Mind you, this was not a capitalized / multiple exclamation point type of person. I emailed back, “THANKS”, and I wish you saw how awesome it was when I took it out of the oven. 🙂

Long story short, her oven as off 50 degrees. So it did take longer to cook, and I should have cooked it longer than I did. She got the oven fixed.

And she wanted a repeat of the deflated cake. We were never able to duplicate it. But we did find a flourless fudgy cupcake recipe she liked. I’ll post that sometime.

Back to airy angel food cake.

When I started adapting wheat recipes to gluten free, I looked for recipes with a minimal amount of flour. Angel food cakes rely on eggs and sugar for structure. Wheat flour has just a supporting role here. The cocoa functions like flour too. So making this gluten free wasn’t hard.

Teff flour.

Today I used teff flour. Teff naturally pairs with chocolate. It is finely ground, there is no hint of grittiness. Even when when using it alone.

You might be saying, “Darn, I am just out of teff.” Sometimes, teff is hard to find in my grocery store. I have successfully made the same cake with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free blend too, measure for measure.

Please let us know if you make the cake with other gluten free whole grain flours. Like sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat…

Baking chops.

Homemade angel food cake from scratch takes some skill. Though it is still “AWESOME!!!” if you goof. 🙂

People avoid sifting these days, but you do need to sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, and xanthan together. I promise, you will have lumps of unmixed dry ingredients it you skip this step.

And this cake is an exercise in egg foams. You beat the egg whites until they are foamy, then soft peaks, then glossy but not dry peaks. There is some judgment involved here.

But do not be afraid. Just jump in and make this lovely cake, it is the best way to experience perfect peaks.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

serves 12 metric measures
2/3 cup teff flour 95 gm
1/2 cup pure cocoa powder,
not cocoa drink mix
40 gm
3/4 cup sugar 150 gm
1/4 teaspoon xanthan 1 gm
1/2 teaspoon salt 4 gm
1-1/2 cup egg whites (11-12 egg whites) 360 ml
1 tablespoon very strong coffee 15 ml
1 tablespoon vinegar 15 ml
1 teaspoon cream of tartar 3 gm
12 tablespoons sugar 150 gm

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Sift the teff flour, cocoa, 3/4 cup sugar, and xanthan together three times into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Put the salt, egg whites, coffee, vinegar, and cream of tarter in a very large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. The mixture will be foamy.

Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture increases in volume about 5 times. And holds very soft peaks that flop over when you lift up the beaters.

Gradually beat in the remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Beat to glossy, but not dry or stiff peaks.

Very gently fold in the sifted flour mixture, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Stirring wildly will deflate the air you just mixed into the foam, and you want to keep all the air you can.

After you think the flour is well mixed, fold about ten times more. I seem to always have unmixed streaks in the finished cake if I don’t do this.

Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan. It has a column in the middle and a removable bottom. Do not use a nonstick tube pan. The batter needs some texture on the side of the pan to cling to.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Invert pan and cool at least 2 hours. The cake will set during this time and maintain it’s height. If the pan doesn’t have “feet”, you can slip it upside down over a glass bottleneck.  Even baked properly, cooling it right side up, the cake is going to shrink some.

Super Simple Sauces

1. Thin preserves with water and add fresh fruit.

2. Thin peanut butter with an equal amount of water, stir until smooth.

3. Thin sour cream with water and add a bit of sugar and vanilla.