Healthy lemon cake is easy to make and the dairy free buttercream frosting is full of lemon zest and flavor. This is a great gluten free sheet cake for parties and birthdays!
Spring brings warmer weather, flowers and all things lemon!? Although you can make this cake anytime, it's so fun to bust out all the lemon zest when they're in season and the weather turns. Here's what you need to make this healthy gluten free lemon cake.
Ingredients for healthy lemon cake:
- Almond flour
- Tapioca flour
- Coconut flour
- Coconut oil
- Lemon juice + zest
- Baking soda + salt
Why do you use 3 different kinds of flour?
They all serve a purpose for the texture! The gluten in a traditional cake gives it structure and when you remove it you need a combination of flours to create a similar texture. One of the flours alone, like almond flour, doesn't have the same structure so a combination is necessary.
You can get each one at your local grocery store and they're great in other healthy baked goods like paleo chocolate cake and paleo banana bread.
How do you make a gluten free cake moist?
They key to a moist gluten free lemon cake is the balance between wet and dry ingredients. If you don't have enough wet ingredients the cake can be dry. Be sure to measure everything correctly so the ratios are exact.
What flavors go with lemon cake?
Of course more lemon (like lemon frosting!) goes with lemon cake. But here are a few other flavors that go well this this gluten free lemon cake:
- All berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
Feel free to experiment with adding some of these flavors to your healthy lemon cake! Add blueberries to the batter or top it with some toasted coconut!
How long do lemon cakes last?
This lemon cake will last 3 days at room temperature or up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
To freeze: Bake the cake and allow it to cool completely then wrap well in cling wrap and store in the freezer for three months. Thaw overnight then make the frosting!
How to make healthy lemon cake:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients
- Beat the coconut oil and honey together for 3 minutes then add the eggs one at a time.
- Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients and beat well then add ½ of the lemon juice/zest and beat well. Repeat until both are gone, ending in the dry ingredients.
- Transfer to a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool and top with buttercream!
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More healthy cakes:
- Healthy banana cake
- Gluten free angel food cake
- The best paleo chocolate cake
- Paleo pumpkin coffee cake
Healthy Lemon Cake
For the cake:
- 1 ⅓ cups super fine blanched almond flour packed
- 1 ¼ cups tapioca flour
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 3 tablespoons poppyseeds optional for lemon poppy seed cake
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup room temperature coconut oil soft, but not melted
- ½ cup raw honey
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 4-5 small lemons
- Zest from juiced lemons 4-5 lemons
For the frosting:
- ¾ palm shortening
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Zest from 2 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and set the rack to the middle position. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper or thoroughly grease it with coconut oil and st aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all flours, baking soda and salt. If you’re using poppy seeds,whisk them in this bowl with the flour mixture. Set aside.
- With the stand mixer and paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat coconut oil and honey for 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides. Be sure to beat for the full 3 minutes. Next, beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition for 1-2 minutes. Mixture will be very wet and runny.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and beat well then add ½ the lemon juice and zest and beat again until combined. Then add another ⅓ of the flour mixture and beat well to combine. Add the rest of the juice and zest and beat well then finish by adding the last ⅓ of flour, beating until completely combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan completely before frosting, at least 1 hour.
- To make the frosting, add the palm shortening and coconut oil to the bowl of your stand mixer or to a large bowl with a hand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes until combined. Add the honey, tapioca flour, vanilla and salt and bet well until fluffy. Finish with the lemon zest then spread onto baked cake. Serve right away. See notes for freezing the cake.
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I am from Australia and tried this recipe and it was unfortunately quite awful that we had to throw the cake out. The mixture does not rise, it is gluggy and the taste of the cake itself is not very nice. The picture above shows the cake to be yellow on the inside however the cake came out to be a very very light yellow colour. The icing is also not very nice and does not come out white as pictured above. Pretty disappointed.
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Can you use cassava flour instead of the coconut flour? How do you think it would adjust the cooking time if I tried these in mini bundt pans? Thanks!
Molly Thompson says
Hey! Coconut flour absorbs a ton of moisture so it wouldn't be a fair sub. The flour shouldn't affect cook time!