DessertApril-May 2012

Gluten-Free Luscious Lemon Cake


 [Updated June 28, 2016]

Gluten-Free Lemon Cake

© Thinkstock 2012/Hemera

With its sweet-tart lemon curd filling and lemon frosting, this moist gluten-free lemon cake by Mary Capone is a crowd pleaser. The recipe makes two 9-inch rounds. For two 12-inch rounds, triple the recipe. For a three-tier layer cake (two 6-inch rounds, two 9-inch rounds and two 12-inch rounds), multiply the recipe amounts by 6. See cake-building instructions, here.

Note: This recipe can be made egg-free with good results; see instructions here.

4 large eggs*
2 cups sugar
1 cup coconut milk or milk of choice
1 cup mild vegetable oil of choice
¼cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2½ cups Mary’s Flour Blend  or gluten-free blend of choice
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon fine-grind sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans.

2. In a heavy stand mixer with a whisk attachment or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk or milk of choice with oil, lemon juice, zest and extracts.

4. In another bowl, whisk together Mary’s Flour Blend, xanthan gum, sea salt and baking powder.

5. At low speed, slowly add dry and wet mixtures to egg and sugar mixture just until combined.

6. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Place in preheated oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake center springs back to touch. For 6-inch rounds, bake 28 to 30 minutes. For 12-inch rounds, bake 40 to 45 minutes.

Each serving of cake without filling or frosting contains 146 calories, 8g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 22mg cholesterol, 73mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 1g protein.

TIP: For wedding-size portions, use a large chef’s knife to cut the finished cake into 1x2-inch portions.

Egg-Free Luscious Lemon Cake:

Replace 4 eggs by combining 2 tablespoons of arrowroot, 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer, and 6 tablespoons of warm water to make a paste. Add to sugar in Step 2 and continue recipe.

Piece of Gluten-Free Cake

Lemon Curd Filling


For easier spreading, spread lemon curd while it’s still warm over cooled cake. This recipe makes enough for one 6-inch or one 9-inch 2-layer cake. For a 12-inch 2-layer cake, double the recipe. Triple it for a 3-tier wedding cake. Lemon curd can be made up to a week in advance. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. This recipe can be made egg- free with good results; see instructions below.

4 egg yolks*
½ cup granulated sugar
2 lemons, zested and juiced
4 tablespoons unsalted cold butter or dairy-free butter alternative, chopped

1. In small saucepan, mix yolks and sugar. Whisk in lemon zest and juice. Add butter or dairy-free butter alternative.

2. Warm mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until curd thickens. Do not let the curd boil.

3. Place mixture in a bowl and let cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

*Egg-Free Lemon Curd Filling:

Replace 4 egg yolks with 3 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch + enough water to make a paste. (Use cold water with cornstarch.) Mix with sugar in step 1 and proceed with recipe.

Lemon Chiffon Frosting


Lemon extract and coconut milk make a light yet rich-tasting frosting that holds up to a warm day. This recipe makes enough for one 6-inch or one 9-inch 2-layer cake. Double the recipe for a 12-inch 2-layer cake. For a 3-tier wedding cake, multiply the recipe by 4.

1 cup organic palm shortening
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, more as needed
¼ cup coconut milk or dairy-free milk of choice, more as needed
1 teaspoon lemon extract
¼ teaspoon salt

1. In a heavy stand mixer or with a hand mixer and a large bowl, blend shortening and sugar together on low speed until incorporated. Add coconut milk or dairy-free milk of choice, a little at a time. Blend in lemon extract and salt.

2. If frosting is too loose, add more confectioners’ sugar, a tablespoon at a time. If frosting is too thick, thin with more milk, adding 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Each serving of cake with filling and frosting contains 262 calories, 15g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 48mg cholesterol, 95mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 2g protein.

Lemon cake, filling and frosting recipes by Mary Capone.

Mary’s All-Purpose Flour Blend


Brown rice flour contains more flavor
and nutrients than white rice flour.

2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups white rice flour
1 1/3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour

1. Mix ingredients together. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until used.

Each cup contains 564 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4mg sodium, 127g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 7g protein.

Comments (13)

Hello, First make sure you are using large rather than extra large or jumbo eggs as that can add a bit of liquid. Sometimes folks measure out too much additional liquid for the recipe. I would cut back on the amount of milk from 1 cup to 3/4 cup and see if that makes a difference. See if that helps. All the best, Beth

Posted by: Moderator | December 2, 2015 11:17 AM    Report this comment

I made this and it was very chewy. I followed the directions exactly and added a single drop of yellow food color gel. I was hoping for a light fluffy cake for my sons birthday saturday. Help! What did I do wrong?

Posted by: Coluembe | September 3, 2015 4:49 PM    Report this comment

This was an amazing cake - light and moist and flavorful. It did not taste gluten-free. I made cupcakes and they were perfect.

Posted by: gloriah | April 12, 2014 11:15 AM    Report this comment

Made a test run of this cake today using Namaste Perfect Flour Blend which contains sweet brown rice flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, sorghum flour and xantham gum. Cake tasted wonderful, had a good texture, but was difficult to cut as it was a little dense and springy. I did not modify the recipe. I plan to use the recipe for my wedding cake. What changes would you suggest I make to make it easier to cut? Also is there anything to substitute for palm shortening in the frosting? I cannot find it in my area.

Posted by: Lynette L | March 30, 2014 11:11 PM    Report this comment

Does the lemon curd filling go between two layers?

Posted by: | March 13, 2014 6:32 PM    Report this comment

Wow! This recipe looks amazing! Can I use this recipe for cupcakes?

Posted by: chefH | July 10, 2013 5:11 PM    Report this comment

We were asked if we tested this recipe using egg's unusual to see 4 eggs replaced in a cake recipe. We did. Our test kitchen director was very pleased with the texture and taste; her egg-free husband deemed it "the best cake ever." - Moderator

Posted by: LW Moderator | April 24, 2012 3:58 PM    Report this comment

My cake turned out wonderful. Everyone loved it. I used a GF all purpose blend I had on hand. And the only other change I made was that I used 3 9in pans instead of two. Because of this I overcooked them by about 4 min BUT they turned out great anyway. REALLY enjoyed the cake, curd and the frosting all together. Very easy to put together. So happy to have a good recipe on hand.

Posted by: Emily M | April 9, 2012 10:48 AM    Report this comment

Thanks Mary for answering the question about the coconut milk. Made the lemon curd today (with eggs and with the butter alternative) and it turned out thick and delicious!

Posted by: Emily M | April 6, 2012 7:51 AM    Report this comment

It is one and one-third cups potato starch (not potato flour) and
two-thirds cup tapioca starch/flour

Posted by: LW Moderator | April 5, 2012 2:41 PM    Report this comment

In "Mary's All-Purpose Flour Blend" the amounts for potato starch is listed as a division sign and the tapioca amount is listed as quote and a zero with a line through it. Could you tell me what those amounts should be in words so I can get the amounts?

Posted by: GB | April 5, 2012 11:16 AM    Report this comment

Chef Mary Capone responds: "I used the box variety of coconut milk. It has just the right amount of fat. So Delicious Coconut Milk unflavored or original will make a great cake!

Posted by: LW Moderator | March 30, 2012 1:07 PM    Report this comment

Going to try this for Easter. Would you use canned coconut milk like Thai Kitchen or boxed like So Delicious? Thanks.

Posted by: Emily M | March 29, 2012 7:28 PM    Report this comment

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