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Italian Buckwheat Cake


I came across several recipes for this traditional Northern Italian "Torta de Grano Saraceno", buckwheat cake, on the internet and this recipe is developed from several sources, one of which suggested adding a grated apple to the traditional ingredients: I find this addition gives the cake a delicious moistness.  The cake is traditionally split and filled with lingonberry jam, but you can serve it plain, or filled with whatever jam you prefer: I like to fill mine with home made lemon curd, which accentuates the lemon zest flavour.  In Northen Italy it is served as a breakfast cake, but it is ideal for teatime, or with poached fruit and ice cream as a dessert.

I tried this cake out on my mother-in-law who was noted for her cake baking - serving a traditional farmhouse tea with at least tree types of home baked cake everyday - she pronounced it to be "delicious", a rare accolade indeed!



  • 200g buckwheat flour

  • 175g ground almonds

  • 2tsp gluten free baking powder

  • pinch salt

  • 175g butter

  • 300g caster sugar

  • 4 eggs, separated

  • large lemon, finely grated zest

  • 1 eating apple, grated

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 180ml milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175ºC

  2. Grease and line a 9"/23cm springform cake tin

  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the buckwheat flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and lemon zest

  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter with 250g of the sugar until light and fluffy

  5. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well between additions

  6. Beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk

  7. Add the grated apple and mix until well combined

  8. In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites with the remaining 50g of caster sugar until it forms stiff glossy peaks

  9. Stir 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the cake mixture, then gently fold in the rest

  10. Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top

  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  12. Cool on a wire rack, removing the outer ring when it is cool enough to handle

  13. When the cake is cold, split and fill, and dust the top with icing sugar

  14. The cake will keep in a sealed container for about 3-4 days.

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