Reads: Clean Cakes

“Clean” and “cake” are not two words we often hear together – cake is sticky, messy, indulgent. Anything but clean. But what if it were possible to keep all of cake’s delicious, tactile attributes, only with a healthier-than-usual ingredient list?

That’s the option offered by pâtisserie chef extraordinaire Henrietta Inman, in her new book Clean Cakes. It’s a crash course in baking which is free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar, and includes recipes for cakes, cookies, biscuits and sharing desserts, with some savoury choices thrown in for good measure too.


Inspired by a move from the busy kitchens of London back to her family home in Suffolk, Henrietta set herself a challenge to create great cakes with wholesome, local ingredients (some of which even come from her family’s own garden). Here, her years of experience and pâtisserie training came in handy, and she was soon able to come up with some creative solutions.

Unwilling to compromise on flavour, Henrietta simply replaces some standard cake ingredients with healthier alternatives. Her innovative recipes switch out standard wheat flour for brown rice flour, sunflower oil for rapeseed oil, and brown sugar for Palmyra nectar powder. Though these components might be slightly more difficult to come by, we think it’s worth the effort for the sorts of mouth-watering results Henrietta reports.


Clean Cakes includes recipes as diverse as biscotti, mousse cake and lush, sweet loaves. Each is given Henrietta’s signature transformation without sacrificing on enjoyment at any level. ‘Skinny’ quick fixes her recipes are not - as she told AnOther magazine, they have “still got sweeteners in and they’ve still got calories, but just good-for-you calories.”

As well as emphasising the importance of balanced, in-the-know eating, Henrietta is also a champion of proper sourcing. Much of the ‘cleanliness’ of her recipes presumably comes from their low environmental impact, as they are made with close-to-home ingredients. And seeing as she favours seasonal baking, those ingredients are often as fresh as possible too, and they’re much more flavoursome for it.

We can’t wait to get our hands on Clean Cakes and whip up one of the many inspiring recipes in its pages. We’re huge fans of the concept because Henrietta’s creations show that healthy eating doesn’t always mean restriction and isolation. The results of her kitchen experiments are still just as sumptuous as ordinary cakes, but with a little thought and some replacements made here and there, they’re also a little better for you. And who can complain about that?


All images: Henrietta Inman
Words: Lauren O’Neill

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Eco-Conscious Fragrance

    We unbottle the perfume industry and speak to some of our favourite sustainable scent-makers.

    More +
  2. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Pisces

    ​It’s that time of the month again, where we rejoin our resident astrologer, Daliah Roth. This time we’re exploring Pisces season, and finding out more about this compassionate, sensitive and imaginative sign.

    More +
  3. Q&A: Basho Skincare

    ​We sit down with Mimi + Tor, founders of Basho Skincare, to dive deep into their inspiration behind their organic, plant based skincare that is both ethically sourced and responsibly made, placing everyone’s unique, natural rhythms and cycles centre stage.

    More +
  4. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Aquarius

    We rejoin our resident astrologer Daliah Roth, who is guiding us through one of the zodiac’s most opinionated, knowledgable and bohemian signs - Aquarius.

    More +
  5. Reduced Waste Hair Care

    Get the lowdown on Glasshouse Salon’s new reduced waste service and follow these five simple steps to make your hair care routine more eco friendly.

    More +
  6. Astrology with Daliah: Capricorn

    As we ease into a new decade, we turn to Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, for a closer look at the ambitious, organised and practical Capricorn.

    More +
  7. The Glasshouse Guide to a Conscious Christmas

    From zero waste wrapping to dropping the turkey from your Christmas dinner, here’s the Glasshouse guide to making your festive season more eco-friendly.

    More +
  8. A Sustainable Department Store, Edition No. 2

    Everything you need to know about Edition No. 2 of A Sustainable Department Store, plus some top tips on how you can shop more sustainably this Christmas from our independent makers.

    More +
  9. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Sagittarius

    As we being to approach the final month of the year, we turn to Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, to tell us more about the free-spirited nature that defines Sagittarius.

    More +
  10. Sustainable Sleep Rituals

    ​From ethically sourced loungewear to low waste makeup removal, we speak to some eco-conscious bloggers about all the ways you can practice good sleep hygiene without harming the planet.

    More +
  11. Masterclass: Air-drying Curls

    Winter has definitely arrived and with it brings a shift in the way we care for our hair. On balmier days we welcome air drying our curly hair, but in the depths of winter this is less appealing. With the help of Glasshouse Salon stylist Tori’s expert advise, we’ve got some tips for achieving a frizz-free curly style throughout the colder months.

    More +
  12. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Scorpio

    As our mornings and evenings get darker and the clocks turn back this weekend, we are entering the beginning of Scorpio season and have once again enlisted the help of Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, to tell us all about this illusive and intriguing sign.

    More +
  13. Gender Neutral Prices

    As we launch a new gender neutral price list that makes hair cuts and colour the same for both men and women, we’re take a look at some of the other industries affected by the so called ‘pink tax’ and why many women end up paying more than men for the same products.

    More +
  14. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Libra

    ​Autumn is officially here and with it comes the beginning of Libra season. Balanced, social and often romantic, Daliah Roth of The Highgate Astrologer helps us delve deeper into the qualities of this sign.

    More +
  15. Hair Trend: Slicked Back

    From Molly Goddard to Roland Mouret, we spotted the slicked back look all over the SS20 catwalks. Though the style may seem more high fashion than everyday, hair that’s swept of the face is surprisingly flattering and easy to achieve. With help from our Senior Stylist Mel, we’ve put together some tips on the bold yet sophisticated trend.

    More +
  16. Plastic-Free Periods

    ​As more and more alternative period products become available, we chat to four real women to hear their experiences transitioning from conventional feminine care to more sustainable and healthy options.

    More +
Load more posts