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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Lemon Gluten Free Cake

Searching Lemon Gluten Free Cake?  Today we are sharing our lemon gluten free cake with you!

Gluten free lemon cake mix is difficult to find, so I am sharing my recipe for gluten free lemon cake with you.  You could even make this as a gluten free lemon bundt cake if you fancy.   

Mr. VS celebrated another trip around the sun this week.  I knew I wanted to make a dessert for him, but I was not exactly sure what that was going to be.  He loves lemon, hence why I made the lemon curd last year.  Whew, what a lot of work that turned out to be.  It's so fickle and such a needy dessert.  

I wanted to make something a little more simple, and I wasn't exactly feeling very adventurous in creating a whole recipe and praying it would turn out.

I decided to pick up a white cake mix, Kinnikinnick was the exact name brand I purchased.  If you decide to give this recipe a try, the name brand may make a difference since all cake mixes are not created equal.  

At first I began looking for a lemon cake mix, gluten free to be exact so I too could partake in the birthday fun.  Only guess what?  I could not find a gluten free lemon cake mix to save my life.  

Then I had a wonderful idea... and we sometimes know how my wonderful ideas turn out, but I was willing to give it a shot.  When I put in our grocery order, I also ordered two lemons.  I knew we had lemon juice on hand in the fridge so those two lemons was all I needed besides the white cake mix.  

Do you see where I am heading here?  Those who cannot find gluten free lemon cake, make it themselves!  I went with a box cake mix since I didn't exactly want to develop a scratch cake recipe too on his birthday.  Sometimes there is trial and error when you are creating, so the box cake mix seemed likt the best option for success.  I only had to cross my fingers for the lemon part to turn out.

You know my go to person, my mother with her many more years of experience in the kitchen than I have, I asked do you think 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the zest of two lemons will be enough flavoring to create a lemon cake?  Well, it had better since I was making it that day, and I could not get a cake order in quickly enough to make up for lost flavoring.

Do you know what she replied?  I am doubting the zest of two lemons is enough, and I am doubtful the lemon juice will be enough either.  If you have never zested a lemon before, can I tell you there is a lot of zesting happening with very little return on your lemon work.  I learned this lesson with the lemon curd.  

You see, I had already mixed up my cake batter, had the lemon juice mixed in, with the zest, and was ready to pour my cakes into their pans.  What's a gal to do?  I went with my gut and thought to myself, you better not fail me now gut!  I need birthday cake today, stat!

I set my timer for 25 minutes and stayed close to the kitchen, no wondering off getting into other projects.  I could not afford to lose those precious birthday cakes, I mean Mr. VS deserves a birthday cake for all of his hard work, and finding one on short notice would be a difficult task!

When the timer went off, I ran to the oven, pulled open the door, and said hmm... I cannot really smell lemon, but I went ahead and removed the cakes from the oven and let them sit to cool.  You see, this is where I usually get into trouble, my excitement at my latest creation usually causes me to remove the cakes from the pans too early and ice when the cakes are still warm causing the icing to melt.  Ha!  Talk about a kid in a candy store... yep, I get pretty excited when I am creating something new.

I put my need to see how everything turned out on lock down, and went away to cleaning and laundry duties.  Let me tell you, I was antsy, but I knew I had to keep myself busy so I would not make a mess of my lemon cakes.  

Finally!  The time came to remove the cakes from their pans, I used one of my vintage cake plates and put the bottom layer on the plate, then I smoothed over a thin layer of lemon icing that I also picked up on our grocery order.  Next I sat the second cake on top of the first, and walked away.  

I have been wanting to try my hand at cake decorating for so long, so I washed my dessert decorator and then realized I was not sure I would have enough icing to ice the cake, AND place those pretty icing flowers on top of the cake too.  Well darn it Cara, why did you not think of that?  Umm.. rooky mistake?  Too excited to think about it?  I have no other excuses...

I considered trying my hand at making lemon icing, but then was afraid my icing would be too different from the store bought icing.  Back up plan?  Well, take those lemons I zested and use them on our cake!  I try to be quite resourceful, and have a back up plan to the back up plan when things go awry.    

You can see I only put just enough icing on the bottom cake to get them to "glue" together.  I was hoping I could use the remainder of icing to decorate with.

What you will need:
  1. 1 Kinnikinnick white cake mix (follow the ingredient list on the box, but remove 1/4 cup of water from their directions)
  2. Add in 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. 2 lemons zested
  4. Lemon store bought icing, I used Duncan Hines

What you will need to do:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease cake pans, you can use two 8 inch cake pans or one 9x13 pan, your choice
  • Mix the 4 eggs, water, vegetable oil (what is called for on the box directions), and lemon juice together with mixer, just enough to break up the eggs and mix the water and oil
  • Add the cake mix, fold together and mix for 2 minutes, you will see how much the cake batter will thicken to nearly double in size, I was surprised - it was like magic!
  • Spoon cake batter into greased pans evenly 
  • Bake for 25 minutes, remove from oven, let cool for about 40 minutes
  • Ice cake to your liking

With my limited cake decorating skills, I tried a pattern with my icing knife I purchased so many years ago.  You see, I have always wanted to try cake decorating, but I am not sure how they will turn out so I tend to change my mind at the last minute and go for the simple approach.  

For you cake decorators out there, you may be chuckling, but one of these days, I will try my hand and share the fruit of my labor.  Then you may get a good laugh, who knows, maybe I will be a savant at decorating cakes!  Now I am laughing. 

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the top so I quartered the lemon and made a slit in both pieces and slid them on top of each other so they were locked together.        

It was a good thing I got an early start in the kitchen on these cakes because my husband came home from work early.  I did not mention I had made cake, and let him find it on his own.  I left it sitting on the countertop to see how long it would take.

It did not take long, and it was found.  He said you did not have to do that.  I said... well, it is a lemon cake since I know you love lemon, but I tried something new.  He groaned... and there was mention of can you not just leave things as they are, to which I did not reply.

I will just tell you, this brand was the best gluten free cake mix I have tried, not that I have tried many, but this one was so moist.  The lemon I added was the perfect amount, not too overpowering, or underwhelming.  

The lemon icing was a nice touch and it spread so easily.  I sliced the lemons and as you can see, I put them all around the cake for an added touch.  I am just betting that a gluten free lemon cake with lemon curd filling would be delightful!  Maybe next year...

He loved it!  Which made my heart soar since I was both happy he enjoyed this cake, but then I thought what a win to share with you too.  I love it when a plan comes together and a recipe turns out, don't you?

When most people are making your standard birthday cakes in the winter, I am making lemon cake while the snow falls and the temperature is dropping.  That's okay, we were celebrating like it was summer in our home.  Do you know we have had snow this week!  Kind of exciting, I know since it is my favorite!   

Now, if you have any cake decorating suggestions for me, suggest away.  I am thinking I will begin small and try cookies, and then move on to cakes later if I am successful.  I will try to fit them in this holiday season, but the season is filling up quickly... so much to do, and so little time.    

Some questions you may have regarding gluten free cakes.  Sometimes when I am creating I find out after the fact I actually did something correctly.  What a win for me, plus I can pass on the knowledge I have learned so you do not make the same mistakes as I do, or sometimes I even get to pass along a bit of knowledge too.  

How to make a gluten free cake rise?
  • I found adding an acid to gluten free baking will cause your recipe to rise and make it more moist.  I believe the lemon juice I added to this recipe may have been the cause for the moistness of the cake.
How do you keep a gluten free cake moist?
  • Unbeknownst to me at the time, the lemon juice may have been the cause for the very moist cake instead of it being the actual cake mix.  Talk about a win, all gluten free cakes will be citrus flavored from this point forward.  Just kidding!
  • Add fruit to your gluten free cakes, it will also cause your cakes to be moist.  Our spice cake was very moist and so delicious.  
Can you use lemon juice instead of fresh lemon in cake?
  • Yes, after a bit of research, I have found the lemon juice is the attribute to the moistness of this cake.  
  • Maybe I should research before I just jump in?  Nah, I like my jumping off a cliff affect when in the kitchen, makes for a more adventurous day around here. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Looks good, I think hubby would like this. I'm more of a chocoholic :) Thanks so much for linking up at Food Friday 8 for Thanksgiving Recipes. Shared.

    1. I love chocolate too Dee, but my husband loves lemon!

  2. I love lemon cake so I will be trying this recipe! Thanks for all the great tips, pinning now! I think it looks beautiful and I love the idea of adding fresh lemon around the sides!

    1. I hope you like it Donna, I was so happy with the way it turned out. I experimented with orange extract recently, and loved it too!