Fava Bean, Ginger and Sweet Potato Cake

Fava Bean, Ginger and Sweet Potato Cake

by Carol Kearns 4 Comments

Carol Kearns, our talented illustrator, also writes a baking column for EDP Norfolk Magazine, a few months ago she came up with this gluten free fava bean, ginger and sweet potato cake - easy to bake with our Fava Bean Flour, great to eat.

When baking cakes to raise funds at University I found that a number of people asked for dairy-free or gluten-free options. I met the first requirement by baking either carrot cake (made with vegetable oil rather than butter) or courgette cake. Gluten-free presented more of a challenge. I came up with a very nice chocolate cake made with ground almonds rather than flour but as you’ll find a recipe for this type of cake in most cookery books I thought I’d devise something a bit different.

I’m currently working on the illustrations for Hodmedod’s gluten free flours made from quinoa, dried peas and fava beans (a variety of dried broad bean). As usual Hodmedod sent me samples to inspire my illustration work and these arrived at the same time that I was thinking about developing a gluten-free cake recipe for my column in EDP Norfolk Magazine. I chose to use the fava bean flour in this recipe and was delighted with the results - it really is absolutely delicious.

This recipe first appeared in the Eastern Daily Press's Norfolk Magazine


For the cake:
  • 150g fava bean flour
  • 3 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 150g light soft brown sugar
  • 150g soft butter or baking margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g raw sweet potatoes (peeled weight) coarsely grated
For the icing:
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp lemon extract
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Yellow food colouring (optional)
  • 1 piece crystallised stem ginger
You will need:
  • A 2lb / 900g loaf tin
  • Non-stick liner or butter and greaseproof paper
  • Wooden or metal skewer


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Lightly grease and line the loaf tin, or pop in a liner.
  3. Measure all the ingredients (except the sweet potato) into a bowl, sifting the flour, baking powder and ginger in together. Beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer for two minutes then fold in the grated sweet potato.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. Bake for about 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove and place on a cooling rack.
  6. When the cake is cold, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon extract and just enough of the lemon juice to form a soft smooth paste.
  7. Spread the icing across the top of the cake with a palette knife, allowing some to dribble down the sides. Finely chop the piece of crystallised stem ginger sprinkle on the icing along the length of the cake.

Carol Kearns
Carol Kearns


4 Responses


February 14, 2019

I was able to use sweet potatoes grown in the UK. As an alternative, I’d give the recipe a go with either parsnips or butternut squash.


January 07, 2018

While there are plenty of wheat-free cake recipes around these days, they’re usually not quite as good. This recipe, on the other hand, is exactly like one made with wheat flour – definitely worth making. In my oven, it took 50 minutes. Wonder if carrots would make a British vegetable substitute for sweet potatoes?

Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith

December 13, 2016

I love the recipes on this website. It would be really useful if you had a PDF download link to the recipe, for easy printing or to save for future use!

Lara Couling
Lara Couling

March 04, 2016

Now that the recipe has been amended and the eggs have been added (it was me who noticed the recipe wasn’t right!) this loaf is lovely. Nice texture and not too sweet

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