Gluten free lemon cake that is covered in strawberry buttercream, this cake is light, not grainy, and delicious. Egg free and dairy free options, plus top 8 free! Simple + Easy.
Yesterday was the first day of Spring, though you can’t tell it looking out my window. Rain and snow don’t exactly inspire thoughts of warmth. So, I decided to bring a little bit of sunshine into my house with this gluten free lemon cake.
Free From: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
Lemon cakes always remind me of spring and summer for their light and delicate flavor profiles. In these photos, I attempted some new decorating techniques with the frosting and had some turn out nice and others were a flop, but that’s okay! That’s the fun part about baking is that you get to eat even the ugly cupcakes, haha.
Speaking of frosting, this buttercream was made with a strawberry syrup to give it both color and flavor. How many spoonfuls of syrup you add will determine how dark the color and how strawberry-y the flavor will be. Full disclosure, I also added a bit more of beet-based food coloring to get a darker color, but I found that it also masked some of the strawberry flavor. Next time I will just use strawberry and have a pastel pink on all my cupcakes.
Tips for Making a Gluten Free Lemon Cake
Gluten free baking, and baking with the rest of the top eight allergens for that matter, require a bit more technique than a traditional wheat cake.
First, you want to make sure you get the right moisture into the cake. Gluten free flours are drier and require more to hydrate the flours.
You also want to make sure your cake batter can rest for a few minutes before baking to give the flours more time to hydrate.
If making dairy free, a one to one substitution for both the butter and milk work great. Soy and oat milk would work best, but try out other flavors and let me know how it turns out!
If making this egg free, your best bet is to use a combination of 1 flax egg and 1 Ener-G egg replacer. This way you get both the required moisture and the lift that eggs provide.
Gluten Free Lemon Cake
- ½ cup butter of choice, room temperature
- ⅞ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 ⅛ cup gluten free flour
- ¼ cup corn starch or tapioca starch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs egg free, use 1 flax egg and 1 Ener-G egg
- ½ cup milk of choice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 3-4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon strawberry glaze (see note)
For the Lemon Cake
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F / 177°C. Prepare your cake pan or cupcake pan by greasing and flouring, or lining with cupcake liners.
- Pour your lemon juice and lemon zest into the milk. Set aside.
- Cream butter in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until a light color is achieved. Add sugar and cream again until almost white. This is where a lot of volume for the cake is developed so don't skip this step!
- Add your eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, milk mixture, and applesauce. Blend well.
- In a seperate bowl, combine your flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In 2 stages, add your dry ingredients to your wet, making sure that the dough is well mixed before adding the remainder of the flour. Turn your mixer on high for one minute to make sure the ingredients are well combined. Don't need to worry about over mixing because hey, no gluten!
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan or cupcake pan. Fill cupcakes about ⅔ full.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
- In your stand mixer or with your hand mixer, whip your butter until it is almost white in color. Add the sugar and strawberry glaze. Mix again, stopping every few minutes to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the frosting has at least doubled in size. This normally takes about 7 minutes.
- Frost your cake and enjoy!