Gluten Free Lemon Cake with Lemon Butter Icing

If you have been reading my blog posts you will have read that I attended an awesome cookbook club meeting and we lemon cakediscussed the recipes in The Epicurious Cookbook. One of the recipes in the book was for a Gluten-Free Lemon Layer Cake. One of the participants made this cake at the event and it was lemony and I thought a perfect cake to bake for a baby shower later in the week for a gluten free friend.

The baby shower took place on Thursday of this past week, so on Wednesday night I rolled up my sleeves and pulled out my gluten free baking flour. I have never baked gluten free before so I was anxious to see how it all turned out. It was an easy recipe to follow and tweak which is what I always do when baking or cooking.

Below is my adaptation of The Epicurious Cookbook’s gluten free lemon layer cake recipe. I did a few small changes that make this recipe a bit easier (for me) and less daunting (I think) to anyone else who wants to try it.

The original recipe can be found in their cookbook (which is a great book so check it out) but the main differences is that I eliminated the xanthan gum, used olive oil instead of canola oil, used lemon juice instead of lemon zest in both the cake and icing, used a store bought lemon curd instead of making it myself, didn’t line the pan with wax paper, and I also used a premixed gluten free flour. I also changed up the way in which the cake ingredients were put together to make it quicker and use less bowls.

I baked the cake and made the icing the night before the event, refrigerated them and both turned out great. The frosting does harden in the fridge so you need to let it sit at room temperature for a few hours before frosting the cake. Because it does harden, I think you could easily ice the cake and leave it in the fridge and it would work. As I was traveling, I did not want to take the chance of the cake falling, slipping, or being smashed so I brought all of the parts of the cake in separate containers and assembled them at the party.

For the cake in order of ingredients used:

4 whole eggs

2 cups of sugar

1 cup of skim milk

1 cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/4 cup of lemon juice

2 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour (I used the Gluten Free Mama Mama’s Almond Blend flour)

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the lemon butter icing:

1 cup (2 sticks) of sweet cream salted butter

3 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup of lemon juice

Will also need lemon curd – I used Trader Joe’s lemon curd but you can use any brand you like or you can make your own.

For the cake:

Whisk the eggs until well beaten. Then mix in the sugar.

eggs and sugar

Next add the milk, oil, vanilla extract and lemon juice and mix well.

adding oil

Add the dry ingredients next and mix well. The cake batter will be runny.

adding dry ingredients

Pour cake batter into two 9-inch round cake pans that have been sprayed liberally with non-stick cooking oil.

batter in pan

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and done in the center when a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

baked cake

Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the cake pans.

At this point you can start on the lemon butter frosting for the cake. In a microwave safe bowl, soften the butter until it is not quite melted.

butter and sugar

Using a spatula, mix in the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 a cup at a time. When you have mixed in about 1 cup of the sugar, add in the lemon juice. Continue to add in the sugar until gone and the icing thick.

lemon butter icing

To assemble the cake:

Run a thin knife around the edges of the cake pans to loosen the cake. Gently tap and shake the cake to remove from the pan.

Place one of the cakes top side down on a plate or cake stand. Spread a thick layer of lemon curd on top of the first cake layer.

spreading lemon curd

lemon curd

Place the second cake on top of the first – this time with the top side up. Scoop a large bit of the lemon butter icing on the top of the cake and then smooth over the sides and top.

adding the icing

cake iced

Once your cake is put together, slice and serve!

slice of cake

sliced cake

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6 responses to “Gluten Free Lemon Cake with Lemon Butter Icing”

  1. finnhoward says :

    I see it went over really well!! I love the idea of a cookbook club, that is so smart. I haven’t worked with gluten free before either, so this would be interesting to try!

  2. Tammy says :

    Wow! You did an awesome job on that cake! It looks like omitting the xanthan gum wasn’t a problem at all, which is great because I’m sure that’s hard to find.

  3. divedaddy03 says :

    You make this look and sound soooooo easy! My cakes always flop….unless they’re from a box. 🙂 Lessons please….

    • vermontfarmheart says :

      I’ll have to figure out a good “cake baking” lesson plan to post! Most of my cooking and baking is a “throw that in and cross your fingers” kind of kitchen magic! Once you have the basics, it is all about having fun and experimenting with what you have on hand 🙂

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