Gluten Free Lemon Cake is a simple layer cake with creamy lemon curd and sumptuous cream cheese frosting that will add a burst of sunshine to your springtime menu! It's perfect for Easter or anytime, really!
The gluten free cake itself is naturally dairy free, and the whole thing is made without refined sugar, baking powder, or any gums! The bright, tangy lemon flavour and moist layers of this healthy lemon cake are sure to delight!
- Gluten Free Flours - You might like to replace the flours and psyllium husk powder in this recipe with 2 ½ cups/400 g Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend. I have tested it with this recipe, and it works great!
- Lemon Juice - Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. The stuff that comes in a bottle just isn't the same.
- Lemon Zest - This comes from the thin yellow layer on the outside of a fresh lemon. You can gently grate it off with a lemon zester, being careful to avoid the whiter "pith" beneath it, as that can have a bitter taste. Meggan Hill offers good advice on how to zest a lemon over on Culinary Hill.
- Cream Cheese Frosting - My Cream Cheese Frosting in satisfyingly rich without butter or powdered icing sugar.
- Lemon Curd - Homemade Lemon Curd is deliciously creamy, tangy, and sweet - but this one's not too sweet!
Line two round 9-inch layer cake pans with parchment paper. This is the key to easy layer cakes. I don't even bother to grease the pans, because I've found that I need to loosen the edges with a knife or spatula anyway. (see below)
Whisk the dry ingredients together. Then stir in some lemon zest.
Beat the eggs and other liquid ingredients until they're nice and foamy.
Stir the two mixtures together.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake until the cake layers are just done.
Be careful not to over bake your gluten free lemon cake, as over baking will dry it out. Once you remove the pans from the oven, set them to cool on wire racks for ten minutes. Slip a thin utensil such as a frosting spatula around the edge to remove the cake from the sides of the pans. Tip them out, peel off the parchment paper from the bottom, and allow them to cool completely.
Meanwhile, if you haven't done so already, prepare Lemon Curd and Cream Cheese Frosting. Stir a teaspoon of grated lemon zest into the cream cheese frosting. Keep these in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them.
When the layers have cooled completely, place one lemon cake layer upside down onto a plate with the flat, bottom side up.
Spread all of the lemon curd over this flat, upturned side of the first cake layer.
Place the second cake layer over the first, with the lemon curd between them. By setting the second layer right-side-up, the two flat sides will be together in the middle with the lemon curd between them.
Frost the cake, beginning with a thin layer around the sides.
Spread a second layer over the sides and a layer of frosting over the top. Now use your imagination to be creative with the decorating, if you wish.
A little more lemon zest sprinkled over the top of the cake is a nice touch.
Are you having trouble finding sorghum flour? I have successfully replaced it with gluten free oat flour.
If you don't mind using xanthan gum, you can replace the psyllium husk powder with 1 ¼ teaspoons xanthan gum.
Recipe FAQ's and Tips
Your cake may be dry if you overcook it or leave it uncovered too long. Be careful not to bake the cake past the point of just being done, 210 degrees Fahrenheit in the centre. As soon as the cake layers have cooled, they should be either covered or assembled with filling and frosting so they don't dry out.
Lemon zest adds a bright boost of tangy flavour without altering the physical or chemical properties of a recipe as liquid, acidic lemon juice could.
Zest is from the very thin outer layer of the fruit, unlike the whiter pith below it, which can be bitter. Lemon rind, also called lemon peel, is the whole skin including both the zest and pith.
Looking for More Gluten Free Cake Recipes?
- 2 X 9 inch layer cake pans
Flour (or use 2½ cups/400 g Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend)
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder OR 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Remaining Cake Ingredients
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- zest of one lemon
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup raw sugar
- ¾ cup avocado oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, divided
- ½ recipe Lemon Curd
- Line bottoms of two round 9-inch layer cake pans with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk the flours, psyllium husk powder, soda, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they become foamy and pale. Beat in the sugar, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet, and beat for another 30 to 60 seconds, until smoothly incorporated. Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the centre reads 210°F (99°C). Be careful not to overcook it.
- Allow cakes to cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then insert a dull knife or other thin, flat utensil between the cake and sides of the pan. Run it around the outside edges to separate the sides of the cake from the pan. Once you have loosened the edges, tilt the cakes upsides down onto the wire racks, peel off the parchment paper from the bottoms, and allow them to cool completely.
- If you've not already done so, prepare a recipe of Lemon Curd. Chill it in the refrigerator.
- Prepare a recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting and stir one teaspoon of grated lemon zest into it.
- Once the cake layers have cooled completely, place one layer upside down onto a serving plate. (The rounded top side is down, and the flat bottom is up.) Cover this flat bottom generously with Lemon Curd.
- Place the second cake layer, right side up, onto the lemon curd, so the flat sides are together with lemon curd between them.
- Spread frosting over the cake. Begin with covering the sides first. Then spread frosting over the top. Sprinkle a second teaspoon of grated lemon zest over the top of the frosted cake for a decorative effect.
- Store unused cake, covered, in the refrigerator.
- Be careful not to overcook your cake, or it could dry out.
- If you want to be fancy, use a piping bag and tip to frost the cake.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. The stuff in the bottle just isn't the same.