My Grandmother's Citrus Loaf

, from Issue #67. July, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
My Grandmother's Citrus Loaf

A nostalgic favourite is given a gluten-free update with the same deliciously moist texture and zingy fruit flavours. 


150 grams butter, at room temperature
175 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
3 large eggs, size 7
100 grams ground almonds
85 grams rice flour (brown or white)
pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
10 dried apricots, thinly sliced
¼ cup well drained, tinned crushed pineapple
⅓ cup mashed very ripe banana
finely grated zest and juice 1 orange
1½ cups icing sugar, sifted
zest and juice 1 lemon
4 dried apricots, very thinly sliced 

This loaf was one of the first recipes I learned to bake and it belonged to my grandmother. Being a farmer’s wife, she always had tins filled with delicious cakes and biscuits for morning tea. It was always a favourite and I’ve tweaked the recipe to make it gluten-free. 


Grease a 5-cup-capacity loaf tin and line fully with baking paper.

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well mixed.

Combine the almonds, rice flour, salt, baking powder and the mixed spice. Add the dry ingredients along with all of the remaining cake ingredients to the butter mixture and fold together using a large metal spoon. Tip into the tin and smooth the top.

Bake for about 40–45 minutes or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil if it’s getting too brown. Cool in the tin before removing. Icing: Combine the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick but pourable icing. Drizzle over the cake then sprinkle over the lemon zest and sliced apricots. The loaf will keep in an airtight container for 4 days. Makes 1 loaf