Feijoa Crumble Cake
The feijoa season is almost over, but before it’s through, make sure you try this cake!
Well, half cake that is. It’s cake on the bottom, but CRUMBLE on top.
What’s more, the flour blend just happens to be gluten free, but tastes so good (and holds so well), you’d never know it. Jump below to try it with your feijoa stash!
How to Make the Feijoa Crumble Cake
The inspiration for this cake came from two things – firstly, it’s Mothers’ Day next week, and what more can you make for your mum than a love-infused homemade cake.
Second piece of inspiration? Feijoas. Raining. Like buckets from the heavens. If you’re not from New Zealand, then you may not have seen or tasted one of these glorious fruits before. In which case – (a) plan a trip here asap, and (b) keep reading, as I’ve included some easy substitutions you can use to make this crumble cake if you can’t get your hands on our beloved feijoa. Either way, you have to tryit! I am betting it will become a new favourite in your house for years to come.
Falling for the fabulous feijoa
Fejioas are a green fruit, originally from Brazil, and were introduced to New Zealand in the 1920’s. They took to the climate like wild fire, and are able to be grown very easily without the use of sprays. In fact take a walk down any suburban New Zealand street right now, and you’ll likely find feijoas rolling out onto the sidewalk from numerous neighbourly front lawns.
Elsewhere fejioas are called the “pineapple guava”, and they are indeed from the guava family. They have a very distinctive flavour that’s aromatic with tropical overtones including both guava and pineapple. But to be honest my description can’t do them justice – you need to try one to fall in love with them, like most of us Kiwis are!
Not only do these lovely little green fruits taste amazing, they’re also a powerhouse of nutrients. Two feijoas (100 grams) contain a whopping 20.3mg of vitamin C, almost half of your daily recommended intake. Vitamin C is often known for its immune boosting properties, but its superstar feature is actually as one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. That’s right, feijoas = anti-aging. They’re also a fantastic source of folate, at 38mcg per 100g (10% of your RDI), which is needed for DNA synthesis and cell division. This is important for all of us, so that our cells can repair, heal and regenerate, but is also particularly important for pregnant ladies and young children. I tested this cake on Mila tonight and she said, yes please, I approve of your DNA-synthesising cooking ma!
The only concern I think one could ever have about feijoas, is that when they’re in season here in New Zealand (March to June), it doesn’t just rain, it pours. I’m betting most Kiwi homes have a pile of juicy feijoas attracting fruit flies on their kitchen bench right now. SO, for your Mum, for your feijoa pile, and for your taste buds, let’s get making this cake.
I’ve tried many regular crumbles (or “crisps” as they’re known in the US) with feijoas before, but wanted to do something a bit different here on the blog, so thought what about a crumble cake? That’s right, a cross between a cake and a crumble – with lots of fruit and barely any added sugar. And I’ve made it gluten free just for fun too, and of course vegan and plant-based as all my recipes are. I am SO in love with this cake, I feel obliged to use capitalisation in this writeup. It’s THAT good.
This cake is surprisingly easy to make – simply whisk up the crumble ingredients, sift the dry, blend the wet and pour into dry, add feijoa flesh, fold lightly to combine, pour into tin, top with crumble then bake. All up you’ll need 20 minutes max to make it, then let it bake away for 45 minutes and allow your house to begin smelling of buttery crumbly feijoa goodness.
As I’ve used a gluten free blend of flours for this cake, I’ve cooked it at a slightly lower temperature and longer than normal, as gluten free flours have a tendency to brown quicker than regular wheat flour. This is a good thing, as it also means we’re retaining as much of the nutrients as possible by not raising the temperature too high. If you’re using regular flour or wholemeal spelt, you can raise the temperature slightly and reduce the cooking time if you like.
The base of this cake is so moist and tender, while the crumbly topping is deliciously buttery and sweet. This cake is perfect with a big dollop of coconut yoghurt on the side, and a nice cup of tea. Oh, and your mum.
Want more cake recipes? try these…
- Vanilla Almond Cake
- Banana Ginger Cake
- Orange Almond Cake
Have a wonderful week ahead!
Feijoa Crumble Cake
- 1 c flour blend
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 c rice milk or soy/almond milk
- 1/2 c dates + 2 tbsp boiling water to soak
- 1/4 c coconut oil melted
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c feijoas flesh
- 1 c flour blend
- 1/4 c oats
- 1/4 c coconut sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 c coconut oil melted
- 1/4 c plant-based milk
- Preheat your oven to 150°C (305°F) on fan bake and grease a 24cm (9 inch) cake tin with coconut oil.
- Put dates in a blender and pour over boiling water to soak.
- Mix all crumble ingredients in a bowl, then pour in coconut oil, stirring with a knife to create a crumbly mixture.
- Sift dry ingredients into another bowl.
- Add remaining wet ingredients except feijoas to the blender and process until smooth, then pour into the dry mix.
- Lift and fold the mixture until almost combined, then add the feijoas and stir through – you want a few flour flecks to remain.
- Dollops large spoonfuls of the mixture into your tin and spread gently to the edges, then sprinkle over the crumble mixture.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out relatively dry in the middle.
- Remove and let cool, then remove from the tin and slice.
- I used a gluten free blend of 1/2 c buckwheat flour, 1/2 c brown rice flour + 1/4 tsp guar gum for both the base and the crumble = which turned out perfectly!
- Make it paleo: use a flour blend of 1/2 c buckwheat flour, 1/2 c ground almonds + 1/4 tsp guar gum, use almond milk instead of rice and replace the oats in the crumble topping with quinoa flakes.
- You can replace the flour blend with your favourite mix if you’d like – or swap either of the flours I’ve used for oat flour which would also be lovely, just be sure to add your guar gum if using wheat/gluten free flours. You could also use 100% wholemeal spelt and omit the guar gum. Note my photos here though are with the above specified buckwheat/brown rice/guar gum blend. If you are using spelt you may wish to increase the temperature to 170°C and reduce the time to 30-40 minutes.
- If you don’t have feijoas you can substitute with diced pears, apples, plums, apricots or your favourite berries. This recipe is so versatile, it’s bound to become a favourite for using up any leftover fruit you have lying around!
- Sifting is important – it gives air to your mixture and will help your cake to rise.
- Be sure not to over mix your wet and dry, only mix until there are still a few flour flecks left, and use a lift and fold technique to keep air in the mix.
- Oats do contain a small amount of gluten called avenin, albeit one that the vast majority of people can have. If you have coeliac disease, you can easily replace the oats with quinoa flakes for an equally delicious and nutritious crumble topping.
- Don’t be scared by the lower bake temperature and longer time, it will mean your gluten free cakes will turn out perfectly moist, luscious and not overly brown. AND you’ll maximise your vitamins while you’re at it. Every oven is different, so if your skewer is not quite dry at the 45/50 minute mark, simply continue baking for another 5-10 minutes and test again. The lower/longer bake approach really makes a gorgeously moist and tender cake.
- Thanks to the particular flour blend I’ve used here, this cake can be sliced and enjoyed while still warm (unlike many gluten free baked goods which have to be left to cool completely or else fall apart) – just be gentle when removing each slice and plating so as not to disturb the crumbly topping.
- Serve with a large dollop of coconut yoghurt on the side, a cup of tea, and of course your lovely mum!