Cherry Ripe Slice | gluten free

Cherry and coconut filling coated in dark chocolate atop a cocoa biscuit base. It’s everything you love about a Cherry Ripe bar in gluten free baked form! Get out a cold glass of milk and put your feet up with a slice of this delight by your side!Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCherry ripes were not one of my favourite chocolate bars as a little kid, but when I got to high school I took a liking to them. There’s something a little naughty sweet about the sweet cherry coconut filling coated in dark chocolate. It’s the perfect chocolate bar for a teenage girl. And it’s actually one of the oldest chocolate bars sold in Australia! There’s your Random Australian Fact for the day. Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis slice is just like a cherry ripe bar met a biscuit and they became friends. Delicious, delicious friends. These bars start off with a very simple biscuit base that is pressed into a tin and partially baked. Then you chop up pretty pink glace cherries and mix them together with sweet condensed milk, and shredded and dessicated coconut and bake it for a little while until the condensed milk caramelises slightly on top. Once this naked cherry ripe bar (ooh) has cooled the bar is topped with molten semi-sweet chocolate. Just look at those swirls.Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI could not get enough of this slice. I loved the not-so-sweet biscuit topped with the sweet and sticky cherry-coconut filling and the deeply dark chocolate coating. Paired with a cold glass of almond milk this is the afternoon delight I would choose after a long sticky summer run. This would also be the perfect treat for boardgame night. It’s a little more of a grown-up’s treat than a treat for kids given the dark chocolate and it’s just so moreish. Give yourself a treat this weekend and leave the mini chocolate bars for the kids. I know I’ll be sneaking a few slices while I’m scaring little trick-or-treaters!Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cherry Ripe Slice

Gluten Free | Makes 16 squares


For the base

  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 large egg
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour

For the filling

  • 200 grams glace cherries
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the topping

  • 150 grams dark chocolate


  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) and line an 8-inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat together softened butter, caster sugar, and vanilla essence until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together cocoa powder, buckwheat flour, white rice flour and brown rice flour.
  4. Add flours to wet ingredients and mix until well combined into a sticky dough. Place dough into the lined baking dish and use the back of a spoon to press the mixture into the tin. Ensure it is as level as possible.
  5. Bake base in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then remove and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Use a small food processor to finely chop glace cherries.
  7. Place cherries, condensed milk, and both coconuts and mix well.
  8. Spread filling over the base evenly.
  9. Bake filling for 20 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before topping with chocolate.
  11. Chop dark chocolate roughly and place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second bursts, stirring well with a metal spoon between microwave bursts until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  12. Spread melted chocolate over the cooled slice.
  13. Chill until chocolate is completely set and then use a very sharp knife to cut into squares.

Cherry Ripe Slice | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cherry, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free

Plump summer cherries are the highlight of this hearty salad that celebrates the height of summer and the end of the cherry season. Sweet cherries contrast with salty feta, and pair perfectly with puy lentils, quinoa, toasted almonds and spinach for a vegetarian dish sure to please all palates.

Cherry, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSeeking balance can be hard. Adjusting your sails is necessary on a daily basis to counter the winds that seek to knock you off your middle path. Sometimes I feel like I am balancing on a high wire trying to keep it all together and not lose my footing and plummet to the depths below. Some days I win, some days I lose. And down I fall, down, down, down into the depths from which escape is a hard climb up slippery walls. As I’m climbing I fall again, and wail, and cry out in the darkness, but I keep climbing towards the light. And there, just when hope seems lost, someone throws me a rope. I climb, and they pull, and then out I come into a sunset so beautiful I wonder whether this is why our eyes were created.

Cherry, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe’re all on a journey, and sometimes balance is hard. Balance between work and life, balance between rest and activity, balance between inner pressures and a happier outer world, balance between healthy choices and indulgent bites. This salad is here to help you with balancing those last two.

Cherry, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCherry season is fast approaching the end, but before we bid farewell to this dark temptress of stone fruits, we must celebrate its beauty one more time. Here, the cherries are merely stoned and halved, and then combined with basic store cupboard ingredients to ensure that the natural beauty of fresh fruit shines through. Hearty lentils and quinoa are cooked (together, to save time) and allowed to cool before being tossed with baby spinach, and topped with roasted almonds and crumbled, savoury feta. A simple dressing completes the dish. When you take a bite of sweet cherry flesh, salty feta, and crunchy roasted almond you will taste the halcyon days of summer when all is still, spare the breeze, and balance is oh so easy to find.

Cherry, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCherry, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 4 generously | Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days

Note: to roast almonds preheat oven to 180C (350F) and spread almonds on a baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before proceeding.


  • 3/4 cup dried Puy (French) lentils
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and halved (I use this method)
  • 60 grams feta, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam
  • Generous pinch salt and black pepper


  1. Rinse lentils and quinoa well, and then place in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, place a lid on top and simmer without stirring for a further 15-20 minutes or until lentils and quinoa are firm to the bite, but cooked. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before stirring with a fork. Place in a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
  2. While quinoa and lentils are cooling, make dressing: place olive oil, balsamic vinegar, jam, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside until required.
  3. Once quinoa and lentil are cool add spinach leaves, cherries, and dressing and toss well to combine.
  4. Place in bowls and sprinkle over crumbled feta and chopped almonds.

Cherry, Lentil, and Quinoa Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free

Sweet seasonal cherries are baked beneath a cardamom and ginger scented cake and then flipped over to magical effect. This upside down cake makes the most of summer produce – generous slices would be perfect for a Christmas Eve breakfast or as a dessert to share at your next festive get together.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life ‘Tis the season for glorious stone fruit; heaping piles of jewelled offerings on display at the farmers markets, roadside stalls, and produce aisles. Peaches soft as baby skin, nectarines brightly painted like parrots, tiny apricots as small as the top of my thumb, and there, shining like dark rubies, the sweetest of cherries.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have been eating these sweet seasonal beauties by the handful, plucked out of the fridge after a gym session, stolen bunches while I’m making dinner, and long lazy afternoon reading sessions with an abundant bowl beside me that soon becomes nothing but stalks and pits. I have never cooked with cherries before, but they are a festive food in our household. My grandmother makes a Danish dessert for Christmas some years called risalamande, which is essentially an almond flavoured rice pudding dish served with hot cherry sauce. I was never a fan as a child, but when I kept eating handfuls of cherries this season, these memories inspired me to try a baked good to celebrate their passing seasonal presence.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life I combined memories of sweet cherries, with the spices that you know I love oh so much, and baked them into a fluffy cake bottomed topped with jammy baked cherries. We enjoyed thick slices for breakfast at the markets on Saturday, and I continued snacking on it all weekend until there were only crumbs left – thank goodness there were some runs to break up the cake!

I think this cake would make the perfect breakfast on Christmas Eve, or even a dessert (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream of course) for a family Christmas dinner.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeA note on pitting cherries. My Mum has an awesome cherry pitting tool (also useful for olives I believe) however, in my current kitchen the options were limited. I found this method using a metal piping tip from Chatelaine that very easy, and while not all of my cherries made it through intact, they were tightly squished together in the base of the pan so it didn’t matter too much, any that were a little too damaged for the cake were a tasty baker’s reward.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Gluten Free | Serves 8-12 | Leftovers will keep well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days.


  • 500 grams (1 pound) cherries, pitted
  • 100 grams buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 100 grams almond meal
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 125 grams butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch (22.5cm) round cake tin and line bottom with baking paper.
  2. Place pitted cherries in the bottom of the tin in a single layer. Set aside
  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.
  4. In a large mixing bowl using handheld beaters, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, maple syrup and extracts until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
  6. Turn the mixing speed to low add half the dry ingredients, beating until just mixed. Add milk and beat well – mixture may look curdled, don’t worry this is normal. Add remaining dry ingredients.
  7. Spoon batter over cherries in prepared tin and smooth the top.
  8. Give the tin two small taps on the counter to get rid of air bubbles around the fruit.
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin. To serve, place a plate on top of the cake tin, and carefully invert the cake so that the tin is on top and the plate is on the bottom. The cake should slide easily out and onto the plate. Remove baking paper from the top and serve.

Cherry Upside Down Cake | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life