• Countryside Alliance Team

Cakes baked from store cupboard essentials

Baking is an ideal activity to take up during this period of self-isolation and social distancing. Studies have proven that baking relieves stress, allowing you to express yourself creatively and gives us all that feel-good factor.

It has been wonderful to see so many inspiring and creative recipes from bakers across the country, who have been creating delicious bakes with an ingenious selection of ingredients from the store cupboard.

The wonderful Rosie Brandreth-Poynter, vet and semi-finalist on the Great British Bake Off 2019, has been setting a fantastic example of make do and mend with her rich chocolate cake made from rice and potatoes! No eggs and no flour, a recipe which is perfect for when the shelves are bare. She has kindly shared the recipe with us at Community Cheer. We hope this inspires you all to get into baking even when you don't have the usual ingredients to hand.

Mashed Potato and Rice chocolate cake (no eggs, no flour, vegan, gluten free)

Buying eggs and flour in March 2020 is near impossible, yet chocolate cake can bring a little joy to these scary and bleak times. Here is a way to turn potatoes (any kind) and rice (any kind) into a rich, moist chocolate cake. Magic!


  • 300g potatoes (peeled, boiled, mashed and cooled)

  • 200g dried, uncooked rice (I used a mix of basmati and sushi rice as that’s what I had!)

  • 250ml milk (or oat milk)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 60g cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee or ½ teaspoon orange extract or zest of 2 oranges (optional)

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 170g margarine/butter

  • 350g caster sugar/any sugar (granulated, demerara, soft brown…whatever you have!)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Peel the potatoes and boil until very soft, mash until smooth and leave to cool

  2. Blend the rice in a blender or food processor to form a powder

  3. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (fan)

  4. Add the lemon juice to the milk, stir and set aside (it will separate – this is supposed to happen!)

  5. Beat the sugar and margarine/butter together

  6. Add the mashed potato and beat until as smooth as possible

  7. Mix in the other ingredients, the mixture will look like curdled cake batter – this is how it is supposed to look, so don’t worry!

  8. Grease the cake tin/tins (I used an 8 inch tin, so if you use different size, the baking time may need to be adjusted)

  9. Bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean

  10. Leave in the tins for a few minutes, then tin out and leave to cool fully on a wire rack

  11. Ice/decorate with whatever you have, I poured a chocolate ganache (a mixture of cream and melted chocolate) over the cake then added sprinkles. This is a moist, rich cake so icing is optional

Cool the cake on a wire rack before icing, or storing in an airtight container.

We have added some other favourites below – again all made without flour.

Damp Pear and Almond Cake ( no flour, gluten free)

This pear and almond cake is huge and needs nothing else served with it. If 8 eggs seems rather a lot, try halving the recipe, there will still be plenty to around.


  • 1 large tin of Pears

  • 8 eggs

  • 325g ground almonds

  • 275g caster sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 50g flaked almonds to decorate


  1. Drain the tin of pears leaving a small quantity of syrup and puree

  2. Pre-heat oven to 180C/Gas mark 4 and lightly oil a 25cm springform tin and line the bottom with baking parchment

  3. Combine eggs, sugar, puree, lemon juice in food processor

  4. Pour quite runny batter into tin. Sprinkle flaked almonds on top (if you have them)

  5. Cook for 35-45 mins check from 35 mins onwards

  6. Cool slightly and then spring open

  7. Best served warm with a dusting of icing sugar

Orange and Polenta Cake ( no flour, gluten free)


  • 100g Polenta ( available on the internet)

  • 3 eggs

  • Zest of 1 large/2 small oranges

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (omit for gluten free)

  • 200g ground almonds

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 200g soft butter

Ingredients for syrup

  • Juice of 1 large orange or 2 if small

  • 135g icing sugar


  1. Line base of 23cm springform tin and grease. Turn oven to 180c/160c (Fan/gas mark 4/350F)

  2. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until pale

  3. Add mixed together almond, polenta and baking powder in batches followed by 1 egg alternatively until all combined

  4. Beat in orange zest and pour into tin

  5. Bake for 40 mins. It should still be wobbly but cake tester should come out clean

  6. Combine syrup ingredients and heat in a small pan until sugar dissolves

  7. Prick top of hot cake and pour warm syrup over and leave to cool in tin

  8. Remove from tin

If you have any unusual or imaginative recipes which others might like to try during the lockdown, please share by messaging us here.

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