Gluten Free Apple Bun

The other night James told me that he might have a confession to make. I asked him, “Why the uncertainty – surely you do or you don’t!” He said that it depended on whether I had plans for the mashed potato in the fridge. He’d liked the look of it, and warmed it up for his lunch with mushrooms and melted cheese. Luckily mashed potatoes are quick to make, and I was able to carry out my plan in spite of the unscheduled gobbling of my mash.

The recipe I wanted to try was a new gluten free bread, which I hoped would be made moister by the inclusion of mashed potato in the batter. This gluten free apple bun was derived from a book by Lola Workman called Bread, Buns and Breakfasts: High Fibre Gluten Free Wheat Free Cookery. Now if you thought the name of the book was a mouthful, you should see the recipes. They have heaps of ingredients, and that’s why I’ve rarely bothered with them.


The many ingredients do seem to have a purpose though. This recipe was worth the trouble. I think it was moister and more bread-like in texture than either the gluten free rolls or the hot cross buns that I’ve posted about before. The report from James is that real bread is better, but if you have to stick to a gluten free diet this isn’t a bad alternative.


The bun is flavoured with apples, sultanas and spices. Sadly my Bilpin apples were well and truly eaten by the time I made this, but the ones at the greengrocer are pretty good at the moment too. I iced the apple ring pink, so that it would seem like a tea cake or a finger bun. I’ll have to get some eclair trays so that I can make finger buns next time. In keeping with the bun theme I wanted to decorate the icing, but I couldn’t decide between coconut and almonds on top. In the end I used a bit of both.


The apple pieces and sultanas are real highlights in this recipe and, as always, I’m tempted to add more fruit next time. I also think it might be easier to mix the fruit into the batter rather than make layers. As well as the moist fruit, the icing is a nice sweet touch. Just don’t overdo it or it will be overpowering. The icing is particularly valuable after a few days when the bread is drying out. This recipe is moister than most gluten free breads, but like the others it goes stale quickly. The keeping time for this recipe is only a couple of days, so eat up!

I’m submitting this post to Yeastspotting.


200 mL water
1 tsp salt
2 tabs caster sugar
1 tab gelatine
60 g mashed potato
1 tab dried yeast
75 g besan flour
40 g rice flour
75 g potato starch
60 g arrowroot (tapioca starch)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sultanas
1 apple, chopped

1 cup gluten free icing mixture
2 tsp butter (melted)
food colouring
almonds or coconut to decorate

Place cold water in a glass bowl with salt, sugar and gelatine. Stand for 1 min to soften.
Heat in microwave for 1 min.
In the meantime grease a ring pan.

Whisk the mashed potato into the warm liquid.
Stir in the yeast and stand for 3 minutes.
Add flours and spices.
Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork and then add them.
Combine everything thoroughly.
The mix should resemble a cake batter. At this stage mine was a little runny, so I added a bit more rice flour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Layer the batter and fruit into the pan. You need to make three layers of batter with two layers of fruit sandwiched between them. Don’t worry too much about the layers. You could probably just mix the fruit into the batter instead.
Allow to rise for 15 min.
Bake for half an hour until it starts to turn golden.

When the bun has cooled you can ice it.
Sift the icing mixture and add the melted butter and food colouring.
Add milk until the icing is a spreadable consistency.
Spread on top of the bun, then sprinkle with nuts or coconut.

15 thoughts on “Gluten Free Apple Bun

  1. Wow..looks super delicious, and the icing with both coconutand almond are just superb, but reading through the recipe, I think it is quite tricky yo make isn’t it?

  2. That’s so interesting that this uses mash potatoes and it looks great with the pink icing on top! I immediately thought it looked like a giant yummy fingerbun/donut in the first picture before I started reading :)

  3. Hehe.. I like the “maybe confession” :) Great to hear it’s a nice moist gluten-free apple bun, it certainly looks good and tasty – and about adding mashed potatoes….? well, I’m up for it! :P

  4. This looks delicious, Arwen. When it comes to bread, I prefer moist and dense texture than light and fluffy, so this appeals to me. I figured if you wanted to booze it up, you could even pour some Calvados or rum over it right after it comes out of the oven too. I’ve been known to accidentally spill booze into my baked goods from time to time. Last week, I accidentally spilled tequila into my pineapple upside down cake three times. :)

  5. layering is such a good idea – i find with the really doughy breads that the fruit ends up getting pushed out the sides and through to the top (where it burns) when i’m kneading it. such a clever (yet simple) solution!

  6. Ha, you coloured it pink? Credit where credit is due, girl, it wouldn’t be pink if not for me! And yes, it was absolutely delicious. The texture was a little heavy, but it was nice and apply and spicy!

  7. oh yum. This looks delicious. I love apple in cakes, and your decorating is superb. Pink is so girly and when in doubt go with both, that way you have twice the fun!

  8. Hi @idanblogi – I love apple cakes too, they’re nice and moist.

    Hi Zita – it’s more fiddly to make than a wheat based bread would be, so I wouldn’t use it unless you’re feeding someone who’s on a gluten free diet.

    Hi Steph – it does look like a giant doughnut! It didn’t occur to me until you said it.

    Hi Anita – it’s the first time I’ve used mashed potato, although I’ve had good results with apple puree in cakes.

    Hi Leela – boozing it up would be a good way to keep it moist :)

    Hi Shez – ah, so there is a point to the layering. I’ll have to keep doing it.

    Hi Alloronan – True, you added the pinkness. Very appropriate choice of colour too (you’re right that green is not so pretty – save it for St Patrick’s day).

    Hi Alexandra – I’m gluten free because I have coeliac disease. I wouldn’t choose it by choice. It’s inconvenient eating out, and a lot of the processed foods are not good (both in terms of taste and nutrition).

    Hi Maria – I do like pink I must admit :)

  9. Pingback: YeastSpotting April 24, 2009 | Wild Yeast

  10. Arwen – ah I see…yes it would be pretty hard eating out when you need to eat GF…but it looks like you’re doing a good job of it :) Especially with coming up with these baked goods…

  11. Looks yum! Pink is my fave colour in icings (also in general heh), so I’m loving the topping. I think mixing the fruit in is a good idea, especially if it’s a cake batter consistency and would mix in easily. Saves a bit of hassle.

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