{Gluten-free} passionfruit curd tea cake

passionfruit curd tea cake pin itFor me, passionfruit are one of those fruits associated with sweet childhood memories. I have distinct memories of visiting my Nanna and Poppy’s home on the north coast of New South Wales and being allowed to eat passionfruit off the vine at will. I suspect I probably gave myself a pain in the tummy.

Passionfruit are expensive in stores here, so I rarely buy them. I have heard that you can grow them in Canberra, perhaps they’re something we should consider for the garden.

passionfruitIt goes without saying, then, that I was very happy to discover that my mother’s passionfruit vines were fruiting when we visited. Like most things on Norfolk, the passionfruit varieties are a bit of a mystery. I know Mum has at least two – one turns purple and the other stays yellow/green. Both are sweet, and we had plenty of each.

My mother has an old-school Fowlers Vacola preserving kit so my original plan was to preserve some of the passionfruit for use later in the year when there’s not so much fruit about on the island. I spent some time fishing around on the internet for passionfruit recipes and came up with a shortlist – passionfruit curd, passionfruit tea cake, passionfruit buttermilk cake and a passionfruit syrup. Yup – there were a lot.

scoopedA friend shared a lemon tea cake recipe with me years ago, which I converted into gluten-free. I decided to give it a go with passionfruit – and by goodness, it was good!

on the wayThe first step is to get your hands on some passionfruit curd. I decided to follow this recipe from the Donna Hay website. I like the technique in this recipe because I didn’t end up with any overcooked egg white in my curd as I have when making lemon curd.

whiskedI like my curds a little tart so added a few extra tablespoons of lemon juice at the end. The sweetness of your curd will depend on the sweetness of your fruit. A little bit of sour will set the curd off nicely against the sweetness of the tea cake.

curdYou can make this as one large cake, or as small cakes to share more easily with a crowd. If you decide to make the cake in individual serves, I recommend using plain cafΓ©-style muffin wraps – it makes for a more stylish presentation.

It is quite a dense cake, best eaten on the day of baking (or warmed slightly in the microwave on subsequent days…if it lasts that long).

choppedI’ll give you a heads up – passionfruit curd tea cake comes together in a strange way. But I promise – it does work.

base dolloped bakedBe sure to line your cake tin well, including the sides. The way the cake is constructed, it’s easy to get some curd spilling out towards the sides and it has a tendency to be very sticky – making removing the cake from the tin slightly perilous. Careful use of baking paper eliminates this risk! I forgot to line the sides of the tin this time and I’ll admit I held my breath as I released the springform pan.

sliceI find it a little tricky to tell when the cake is cooked, because a skewer will generally always come out covered in curd. Cooked properly, the cake is crunchy on the top, a little oozy around the curd layer – and soft on the base. Follow your gut but tend towards cooking for a little longer rather than less – the cake is naturally moist due to the curd.

If you prefer, you can substitute the plain-flour and baking powder with 2 cups of gluten-free self-raising flour – I just don’t have a brand I like using.


{Gluten-free} passionfruit curd tea cake

  • Difficulty: A little tricky, but not too hard.
  • Print


2 cups gluten-free plain flour
4 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tblsp psyllium husks (optional, but I think it helps hold everything together)
1 cup caster sugar
130g butter, chopped
2 eggs
1 cup passionfruit curd (or lemon curd)


Preheat oven to 180Β°C, and grease a 20cm cake tin.

Sift dry ingredients together and add butter. Rub butter together until mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs (I generally use a food processor for this step – just pulse the mixture until it forms crumbs).

Using a mix-master, add eggs one at a time, and mix well until a soft dough forms.

Gently spoon half the mixture into the base of the cake tin. Leave a 2cm rim around the edge of the cake tin, to keep the curd away from the edges of the cake.

Spread the curd across the cake, keeping the curd inside the ‘rim’ of dough.

Using a dessert or tablespoon, dollop the remaining dough over the curd. Put slightly more dough towards the centre of the cake. It will be uneven, and you’ll be able to see the curd in some places. That’s okay!

Bake towards the middle of your oven for approximately an hour. Watch the cake carefully and remove it when it appears cooked – the top of the cake will be golden brown and the cake will have come away from the sides slightly. See notes in the text above.

Cool cake in tin. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Serve alone, with a small dollop of extra curd, or with a little double cream.

Happy baking!

This entry was posted in baking, gluten-free, recipe, sweet. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to {Gluten-free} passionfruit curd tea cake

  1. This cake looks just incredible.

  2. This cake looks amazing!! i am definitely going to have to try this when passion fruit is “in season” here. πŸ™‚

  3. Bron says:

    Wow – I don’t tend to reserve passionfruit to get to cake stage. I can eat thousands – years of training after eating them off the vine. Looks delicious though.

  4. Wow,
    This looks totally yummy –
    can’t wait to try it!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe,

  5. Esther says:

    You take gorgious pics! Well done πŸ™‚

    • Ruth says:

      Aw, thanks πŸ™‚ Sometimes it’s a challenge when I’ve got Elena and Hugo around…and if I wait for them to go to bed, I struggle for light.

  6. Carol says:

    I can’t find on your recipe how long it is to bake. I have one ready to go in the oven and I don’t know how long to bake it. I’m going to wing it. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

Leave a reply - I'd love to hear your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s