Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Red Gooseberry Cakes – A Tart Taste of Summer

Little Red Gooseberry Cakes

Small Cakes, Summer | 9th July 2014 | By

These light and fluffy little red gooseberry cakes hold a tart surprise inside for those not in the know. They’re simple to make and have no fussy icing, which makes them easily portable. Perfect treats for summer parties and picnics.

Homegrown Gooseberries

It’s year three and our gooseberries have finally decided to crop. They were by no means laden, but I was happy to at least get some this year – 200g to be precise! I’m hoping this is the start of an increasing yield year on year and in 2015 we will get considerably more. The birds nicked all of our redcurrant and strawberries, so I was in a bit of a panic about the birds taking my precious crop. This meant I picked them before they were fully ripe. If I’d left them a little longer, they would have been a bit sweeter and have gone a deeper red. Hey ho, I was not going to take any risks.

Red Gooseberries

Red Gooseberry Cakes

I debated making a small jar of jam. I was very tempted by this, but after attending a preserves course at River Cottage recently, I had a few jars of strawberry & gooseberry jam in the cupboard. Cakes were, of course, my very next thought. As I had Pam Corbin very much in mind after the recent course, I had a quick thumb through her book Cakes. She has a recipe for gooseberry friands.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of friands. However, I didn’t want to use only egg whites and end up with a load of egg yolks. I went my own way as usual and came up with a rather different recipe. But like Pam, I used a single gooseberry in each mini cake. I wanted to add some elderflower cordial to the mix as this hedgerow plant pairs so well with gooseberries, but I had some lilac syrup that needed using up, so I used that instead.

Red Gooseberry Cake - halved and showing the gooseberry in the middle.

The cakes rose well and had a lovely light texture. Biting into the sweet cake and coming across a tart gooseberry was pure delight. The colour inside was appealing too; the gooseberries had baked to a beautiful dark dusky rose. With an upcoming birthday party to bake for they went straight into the freezer. Defrosted, they were just as good as fresh and proved to be popular at yesterday’s party.

Larger Gooseberries?

My gooseberries were quite small ones. If you have larger fruits, you might want to make 15 larger cakes, instead of 30 small ones. Just use standard cupcake moulds or cases, instead of mini cupcake ones and cook for a few minutes longer. Alternatively, you could try my gooseberry upside-down cake.

Show Me

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these red gooseberry cakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Red Gooseberry Cakes. PIN IT.

Red Gooseberry Cakes

Red Gooseberry Cakes – The Recipe

Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Gooseberry Cakes

Simple to make, these little light cakes hold a tart surprise inside. They work best with red gooseberries for the colour contrast, but would be fine with green.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Picnics, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cakes, gooseberries, simple
Servings: 30 mini cakes
Author: Choclette


  • 200 g (7oz) flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white)
  • 60 g ground almonds
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 60 g white chocolate – finely grated or ground (I used Mortimer white chocolate couverture powder)
  • 130 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50 g unsalted butter – melted
  • 2 heaped tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial (or rose syrup or lilac syrup)
  • 30 small gooseberries – topped & tailed


  • Sieve the dry ingredients, then stir in the sugar and chocolate.
  • Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Add the yogurt, cordial and butter and stir in until just incorporated.
  • Spoon into mini cupcake moulds filling to about 3/4. Push a gooseberry halfway into each one.
  • Bake at 180℃ for 20 minutes until well risen and golden on the top. Allow to cool for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Depending on the size of your gooseberries, you might want to make 15 larger cakes instead of 30 small ones. Just use standard cupcake moulds or cases, instead of mini cupcake ones and cook for a few minutes longer.


I’m sending these red gooseberry cakes off to Sally at My Custard Pie who is hosting Simple and in Season this month on behalf of Ren Behan.

I’m also entering sharing them with Shaheen’s new event Vegetable Palette over at Allotment 2 Kitchen. This first theme is Summer Reds.

These summery little bites are easily portable. They’d make fantastic picnic fare, so I am sending them off to Four Seasons Food where the theme is El Fresco. Hosted by Lou of Eat Your Veg and Anneli of Delicieux.

I’m also filling up The Biscuit Barrel over at I’d Much Rather Bake Than … where the theme this month is In Season Fruits.

Cute as these are and most definitely summery, I’m entering them into Treat Petite where the theme this month is summer. Hosted by Kat of The Baking Explorer and Stuart of CakeyBoi.


  1. Harmony Marsh

    10th July 2014 at 8:30 am

    You could have used the egg yolks for custard! But no, your recipe does sound great! As I don’t have gooseberries what could I substitute that would work with elderflower cordial? (I made a coconut elderflower cake with blackcurrant filling and it was DIVINE)

    • Choclette

      10th July 2014 at 9:06 am

      I think you’ve answered your own question there Harmony. I’ve used elderflower with strawberries to great effect before and I suspect most berries would work well. I like the idea of making these with 4 to 6 blackcurrants added – mmm, I can feel some more baking coming on!

      True, I could have used the eggs for custard, but I didn’t want to make custard at that point as I was in a bit of a rush. But homemade custard is delicious.

  2. Mollie at Yumbles

    10th July 2014 at 9:55 am

    These look amazing. Picked mine early too this year, first time I’ve ever beaten the birds too it!

    • Choclette

      10th July 2014 at 11:08 am

      Hooray Mollie – this must be the way to go.

  3. Sisley White

    10th July 2014 at 10:37 am

    It is bad to admit I have never tried a gooseberry, other than drinks, but I am really tempted to try them for this.
    The chocolate part seems to be missing 🙂

    • Choclette

      10th July 2014 at 11:07 am

      Gosh, I am rather stunned you’ve never tried gooseberries Sisley – they are fabulous fruit. There is white chocolate in the recipe.

  4. hurny2009

    10th July 2014 at 11:18 am

    Oooh lovely! I love it when people make white chocolate cakes! I think they taste a little bit lighter and nicer. Dark and Milk Choc cakes can be a bit heavy. I can honestly say though, I’ve never ever tasted a gooseberry before haha xx

    • Choclette

      10th July 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Another one whose never had a gooseberry? Surely not. I think white chocolate works really well in baking, though I do like dark chocolate too.

  5. Corina

    10th July 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I love this idea – I keep going to the local pick your own with my toddler and I was looking for more ideas to do with the gooseberries rather than just stewing them.

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:08 am

      Oh yes, so many lovely things to do with gooseberries – gooseberry jam is one of my favourites Corina.

  6. belleau kitchen

    10th July 2014 at 9:38 pm

    what a sweet idea… a perfectly simple cake with a hidden gem inside. We have a bush of purple gooseberries and they were just ripening before we left for Spain and we’re now stuck down in London for 2 more weeks so no doubt they’ll all be bird food whilst we’re away which is such a shame but I’m hoping they’ll still be there and I can make these adorable little cakes x

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:09 am

      Will cross fingers that the birds leave you some Dom. I remember your purple gooseberries from last year.

  7. Angie Schneider

    11th July 2014 at 3:25 am

    wow gooseberries from your own garden…amazing! These mini cakes look fantastic, Choclette.

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:10 am

      Thanks Angie – we didn’t get many, but at least we got some 🙂

  8. Ren Behan

    11th July 2014 at 10:25 am

    Gorgeous and I can honestly say I’ve never seen red gooseberries! Thank you for the lovely entry to Simple and in Season x

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:11 am

      Thanks Ren. Red gooseberries are usually much sweeter than green ones and when ripe are good eaten raw.

  9. The Tiny Marmalade

    11th July 2014 at 10:35 am

    oh my! Can’t wait to try them!!!!!!!!

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:12 am

      Do let me know how you get on if you do make them.

  10. Shaheen

    11th July 2014 at 10:51 am

    Utterly gorgeous. I would love to try some. I have only seen fresh red gooseberries once in my life, on a Glasgow allotment plot, and then frozen. I do miss growing the green variety, may have to pick up a plant soon for the garden. Thank you for sharing on The vegetable palette.

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Shaheen. Red gooseberries are worth growing as if you leave them to be fully ripe, they are quite sweet and are good eaten raw.

  11. Johanna GGG

    11th July 2014 at 12:56 pm

    good luck with your gooseberries – we had all our blueberries eaten by birds in summer – but at least it is easy to buy blueberries – never seen red gooseberries before – only green – I have much to learn – the cupcakes sound great

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:19 am

      Oh what a shame Johanna – birds can be such a nuisance. Would love to have our own blueberries. Red gooseberries are much sweeter than green ones, so if harvested ripe are delicious raw.

  12. Jennifer Ferris

    11th July 2014 at 1:44 pm

    What a wonderful recipe. I have never eaten gooseberries, but I love tart fruit!

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:20 am

      Oh, in that case, you will like gooseberries Jennifer.

  13. Nazima

    11th July 2014 at 9:23 pm

    lovely idea Choclette. I have not cooked gooseberries for years! love the sweetness of chocolate with the tart gooseberries. clever idea

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Nazima, I’m a big fan of sweet and tart.

  14. Janice Pattie

    11th July 2014 at 8:54 pm

    They look great, red gooseberries are so pretty

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Janice, pretty and tasty 🙂

  15. Phil in the Kitchen

    11th July 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Gooseberries and elderflower are just a perfect summer combination. These look lovely. When I grew gooseberries years ago, the birds would steal most of the other fruit in the garden but rarely touched the gooseberries. Maybe they had a sweet tooth (or beak). Personally I think gooseberries are a wonderful fruit.

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Yes, I remember blackcurrants going long before the gooseberries in my mother’s garden Phil, but we don’t have a great deal of fruit and lots and lots of birds. Last year they ate everything before we could get to it.

  16. Kristin @ Dizzy Busy and Hungry!

    11th July 2014 at 10:13 pm

    This makes me want to try gooseberries! I have never had them before. Love this idea!

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Ooh Kristin, do get hold of some if you can, gooseberries have a lovely flavour. Red ones are generally sweeter than green though.

  17. fiona maclean

    12th July 2014 at 6:37 pm

    funnily enough I did a version of these with chocolate cake and raspberries a year or so ago. Sounds gorgeous!

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Your version sounds good to me Fiona 🙂

  18. The Caked Crusader

    13th July 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I love red gooseberries – they’re so much nicer than their green counterparts. Love these little cakes!

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Yes CC, red gooseberries were bred to be dessert fruit I believe.

  19. Kate Glutenfreealchemist

    13th July 2014 at 9:44 pm

    How cute are these? I love the hidden fruit…… I am not too keen on green gooseberries though… are the red ones any sweeter?

    • Choclette

      14th July 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks Kate. Red gooseberries are meant to be dessert ones and if left to fully ripen can be very sweet and quite delicious.

  20. Laura Denman

    15th July 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Yay, I’m so glad you linked these up because they are a bit unusual but sound really yummy =)

    • Choclette

      17th July 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks Laura – you know me, I like a bit of unusual 😉

  21. Sally - My Custard Pie

    13th August 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Lucky, lucky you to have bushes laden with these beauties. I love the surprise in the middle of each cake. Gorgeous. Thank you so much for entering Simple and in Season. The round up is now published.

    • Choclette

      3rd September 2014 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Sally, it was very exciting to finally get a crop of gooseberries. Hoping for more next year.

  22. Gooseberry & Apple Jam & my feature in The Sun - Fab Food 4 All

    13th July 2015 at 1:08 pm

    […] Red Gooseberry Cakes […]

  23. Jacqui Bellefontaine

    23rd July 2019 at 2:26 pm

    These little cakes look delicious I can almost taste the little gooseberry jem in the middle.

    • Choclette

      23rd July 2019 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Jacqui. I do love a gooseberry bake. I’ve got a load of red gooseberries sitting in the fridge at the moment. I want to bake a cake with them, but it’s too hot!

  24. Alison

    26th July 2019 at 8:08 am

    These look lovely. You got about the same amount of gooseberries that I did from my bush so will bookmark this to try next year! Luckily my bush is well hidden so the birds didn’t spot it

    • Choclette

      26th July 2019 at 11:06 am

      Well done on keeping those gooseberries from the birds. We’ve just taken on an allotment which has a couple of gooseberry bushes, so I’ll need sort out some sort of protection next year. A decent crop would be so nice.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *