This cake. What can I tell you besides I am not a lover of cake but this one got me. I ate a giant slab of it after dinner the day I made it. Or remade it, I should say. I’m updating and revisiting past recipes from the early years of the site and I am revamping things for you. As ingredients, methods and tastes change, I think a food blog should, too.
This used to be Lemonade Layer Cake, but truthfully, the images were not appealing enough to be here (I’m working on my photography skills, so bear with me in that department… I am NOT a natural.) and in carefully studying the recipe, I saw ways to make the cake lighter, better. And I wanted to use my Old Fashioned Gluten-Free Cooked Frosting recipe on it, too. That frosting.
So together, the cake and frosting make the lightest, fluffiest partners, kind of like a sweet lemon cloud of cake right there on your plate, waiting for you to eat the entire slab… I mean, appropriately sized piece. :)
It’s an easy hand mixing cake, no fancy things needed here. That’s a good thing, too, because I’ve pared down dramatically since we moved to France in April. You’ll see what I mean with these little peeks…
Get started with zesting your lemons first. A micro-plane didn’t make it into my luggage, but a more useful (to me) flat hand-held grater with very small openings did, and it works like a charm for zesting.
I zest into a shallow bowl and juice the lemons right in there, too. No dishwasher means being considerate of Dreamy. He washes ALL our dishes, for our family meals and also for all my recipe development work, so I try to think of his time when I cook.
I no longer have a juicer, either, so my small sieve does the seed-catching. (Note: I did bring my wormy maple cutting board/cheese board from Maddox Wood Designs. Priorities.)
Once you get the lemons out of the way, you can move on to the cake, but I recommend thinking about the type frosting you will use before you get too far into things.
If you want to use the Old Fashioned Gluten-Free Cooked Frosting that is pictured up top (it is delicious!), I recommend making the base for that first, before beginning with the cake. That way, the base for the frosting (the cooked part) has time to cool completely. Then, after the cake is baked, you can move on to finish the frosting while the cake cools. (Or you can do what I do and ask your own Dreamy to beat the devil out of the frosting for you. I also am without an electric mixer, so all the work you see here these days is by hand. I always complained about stand mixer cleanup anyway.)
If you decide on something like the BEST Cream Cheese Frosting Ever (which is a mighty fine choice as well), you can just make it after the cake is baked while the layers are cooling.
Regardless of the frosting, I strongly recommend you make a layer cake and use the jam. It makes all the difference.
I use a strawberry and gooseberry confiture that we get here in France, but use what you like. Strawberry, raspberry and even blackberry make nice flavor combinations with the lemon cake.
If you make a 9×13-inch cake, you can always cut the cake in half, remove each half-section and use those as rectangular layers. It makes a pretty cake and a nice change from round layers, at least to me.
Light & Fluffy Gluten-Free Lemon Layer Cake
This recipe is free from: gluten, dairy/casein, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, corn.
- 195 grams (approximately 1 ¾ cups) Gigi’s Everyday Gluten-Free Flour Blend (Gum-Free) OR similar blend with no added gums
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened coconut milk; use any dairy-free or dairy-based milk you like.)
- 2 eggs
- Zest from 2 lemons
- Juice from 2 lemons (the ones you used for the zest)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup jam (use strawberry, raspberry or blackberry)
- 1 recipe Old Fashioned Gluten-Free Cooked Frosting (or other frosting of choice)
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9×13-inch cake pan; set aside.
- Zest and juice the lemons first; set aside.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda in a large bowl; whisk to blend.
- Add oil, milk, eggs, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla extract.
- Stir to combine, then use a large whisk to blend (if by hand) or use a stand mixer, if you prefer.
- Pour batter into pan(s) and bake 20 minutes (for round layers, a bit longer for a 9×13-inch pan) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a plate.
- Once cake is completely cooled and you are ready to frost, spread jam on bottom layer of cake (or over top of cake if making a 9×13-inch sheet style cake).
- Frost and stack if using layers.
- Once assembled, slice and serve immediately, or store in refrigerator if serving later.
- To zest a lemon, use a microplane or the smallest openings on your grater to skim just the yellow oily outer peel (not the white pith below; it is bitter) from the outside of a lemon.