Breast Cancer Now: Jane Devonshire Afternoon Tea Recipes!

Allison Hay © Apricot and Almond Cupcakes

Recipes and food styling by Jane Devonshire

Dust off your aprons and get baking for an outdoors Afternoon Tea to help raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Now!

Jane Devonshire’s story…Jane Devonshire's Vegetarian, Hassle Free, Gluten Free cookbook cover

Former MasterChef winner Jane Devonshire was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2012. Raising funds for further research is something very close to her heart, which is why she is supporting Breast Cancer Now Afternoon Tea.
Even better, all of her recipes are gluten-free!

Jane recalls the dificulty time she’s been through,” says Jane.

“I’m still here 12 years after being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.

“I was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. I did the classic thing: I’d been checking myself in the shower and I found a pea-sized lump. I remember it vividly.

“I went to the doctor and was originally told I was fine. I felt uncomfortable about it, though, so I ended up going back and getting a referral to the breast clinic.

“I was then given a mammogram, and we found out that it was actually a small lump covering a much larger lump.

“I needed a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It was a rough year but I got through it.

“As I was coming up to my five-year ‘all clear’, I started feeling really tired all the time and just not myself. It was then discovered that I had secondaries in my liver.

“I needed a liver resection, which was quite brutal, but I’m still here 12 years later, so I celebrate that I was able to access treatment.”

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Breast Cancer Now Afternoon Tea logo

4 Breast Cancer Now Afternoon Tea Recipes from Jane Devonshire

Try some of Jane’s recipes for your afternoon tea spread!

Apricot & Almond Cupcakes

These delicious cakes are so easy to do, are naturally gluten-free and will look stunning at any tea. They are also really easy to transport as there’s no icing to stick!

Ingredients (Makes 12)

◆ 12-hole bun tin and cupcake cases
◆ 250g ground almonds
◆ 1½tsp of baking powder
◆ ¼tsp salt
◆ 4 large free-range eggs
◆ 125g caster sugar
◆ 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

To finish:

◆ 12 teaspoons apricot jam
◆ Flaked almonds to decorate
◆ Icing sugar (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan, Gas Mark 4, then line a 12-hole bun tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until double in size and mousse-like – this is easier to do with an electric or stand mixer – then add in all the other cupcake ingredients. Whisk together well and evenly divide between the 12 cases.
  3. Add a teaspoon of apricot jam in the middle on the top of each. Sprinkle over flaked almonds and place in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown. They can dip a little in the middle – don’t worry, they will still be delicious!
  4. Remove from the oven, dust with icing sugar and leave to cool before eating.

No-Bake Bounty Bar Cheesecake

Breast Cancer Now Afternoon Tea, Bounty Bar Cheesecake

I love this recipe as it’s packed full of flavour and can easily be made vegan or dairy free by replacing the Bounty bar with free-from chocolate. I used coconut cream for an added coconut flavour boost, but normal double cream can be used instead.

Ingredients for the base:

◆ 300g Hobnobs, blitzed/crushed (I used gluten-free)
◆ 75g desiccated coconut
◆ 200g melted unsalted butter
◆ 50g cocoa powder

For the filling:

◆ 220ml Coconut Collab double cream
◆ 290g coconut-based plant based cream cheese (any cream cheese will work)
◆ 1 can coconut cream
◆ 2 Bounty Bars, chopped
◆ ½tbsp vanilla essence
◆ 75g icing sugar, sieved


◆ 220ml Coconut Collab whipped
◆ Melted chocolate
◆ Bounty bar
◆ Toasted coconut flakes

  1. Combine all the base ingredients well (really easy blitzed in a food processor) and press firmly into the bottom of a 9cm spring-loaded baking tin. Place in the fridge.
  2. Whip the coconut cream until stiff and holding shape. Open the can of cold coconut cream and just take the top thick, white layer off, leaving the oily bit out. Whisk into your cream until thick and fluffy, then add in the rest of the ingredients. Whisk until combined.
  3. Spread evenly on to your chilled biscuit base and chill for an hour.
  4. To decorate I whisked more cream, then piled on chopped Bounty bars, melted chocolate and toasted coconut flakes. Delicious!

Jane’s tip: Put your can of coconut cream in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Gluten-Free Scones

Breast Cancer Now Afternoon Tea, Gluten-free scones

These taste exactly like scones but because they are gluten-free, the mix is much wetter so you can’t roll out the dough. I cook them in muffin cases, wait for them to cool then cut them in half and serve them exactly like a scone. Perfect!

Ingredients (Makes 12 scones)

◆ 450g gluten-free plain flour
◆ 80g butter
◆ 1tsp salt
◆ 4tsp caster sugar
◆ 4 large free-range eggs (separated) + 1 egg for glazing
◆ 2tbsp baking powder
◆ 200ml milk
◆ Jam and cream (optional)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, 200°C Fan, Gas Mark 7, then separate the eggs and put the whites into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, sift the flour, then add the sugar, salt and cubed butter to the flour. Use your fingertips to lightly work the butter into the flour until a breadcrumb-like texture is achieved.
  3. Add the egg yolks and baking powder, then use a wooden spoon or spatula to lightly mix while slowly adding milk.
  4. Whisk four egg whites until they form stiff peaks (I find it much easier to use an electric whisk!) then add the flour mixture into the beaten egg white, one tablespoon at a time, and continue whisking until it is all combined. Take your time to make sure there are no lumps.
  5. Fill the muffin cases with the mixture (around ½ tablespoon of mixture to each muffin case).
  6. Mix the spare egg with a fork and, using a pastry brush, put the egg on the top of the scones to glaze them. Use this opportunity to smooth the top of the mixture flat.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes – they will turn out a little paler than normal scones.
  8. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then cut and serve with jam and cream!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Whoopie Cakes

Breast Cancer Now Afternoon Tea, Whoopie Cakes

These are lovely cakes to bake as they are so easy – literally throw everything in and mix! – and they are great fun. They can be made with a normal whisk but it’s much easier if you have an electric one as the batter is quite firm.

Ingredients (Makes about 9)

◆ 75g unsalted butter, softened or melted
◆ 125g caster sugar
◆ 150g gluten-free plain flour
◆ 4tbsp cocoa powder
◆ 2tsp gluten-free baking powder
◆ 2 large free-range eggs
◆ 1tsp vanilla bean paste
◆ ½tsp xanthan gum

For the filling (choose any/all of the following):

◆ Marshmallow fluff
◆ Chocolate fudge icing from a can
◆ Fresh whipped cream and fruit

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan, Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a big bowl and whisk them together well until you have a stiff batter.
  3. Carefully place heaped tablespoons of the mixture on to the baking tray, about 3cm apart as they will spread. Try to make sure they are the same size as you want to sandwich them together and they need to cook evenly.
  4. Place the baking tray in the oven (you can do this in batches) for about 8 minutes, until the cakes are cooked through and have cracks, but no moisture, on the top.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then carefully sandwich together using Marshmallow Fluff, chocolate fudge icing or fresh whipped cream and some fruit.

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Allison Hay

I joined the "My Weekly" team thirteen years ago and, more recently, "The People's Friend". I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazines. I manage the digital content for the brands, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters.