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Buckwheat and Almond Tea Cake

Buckwheat, my whole grain pick for Whole Grains Sampling Day is gloriously gluten-free and despite its alarming name, wheatless. Buckwheat, kin to sorrel and rhubarb, loves many of the same flavors we do — nuts, apples and maple. They all come together in this tea cake/quick bread. It tastes tantalizingly of caramel but provides a gluten-free high-energy breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. It’s a cake to celebrate Whole Grains Sampling Day.
Servings 8 servings.


  • 1 cup buckwheat flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup blanched almonds * toasted and ground
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed sunflower or other neutral oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar for garnish optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8-inch cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the buckwheat flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Pour in the ground almonds, Stir well to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, gently whisk together grapeseed or other neutral oil, apple sauce, maple syrup, evaporated cane sugar and almond extract.
  • Pour the apple sauce mixture into the buckwheat and ground almonds. Fold them together with a light hand until flour is entirely incorporated and mixture forms a batter.
  • Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Cake should be sweet-smelling, rich cinnamon brown and spring back when prodded gently with a forefinger.
  • Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.


*To blanch almonds, pour whole raw almonds into a small heatproof bowl.  Cover with boiling water and leave for 15 minutes.  Drain. Rub the almonds between your fingers. Their skins will slip off off, leaving you perfect, bare nut kernels.