Gluten-free lemon cake recipe

(3 ratings)

This gluten-free lemon cake is easy to make and it takes less than an hour.

gluten-free lemon cake
(Image credit: Future PLC)
Preparation Time20 mins plus cooling
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories340 Kcal17%
Fat21 g30%
Saturated Fat11 g55%
Carbohydrates34 g13%

Serve this gluten-free lemon cake as a dessert or afternoon treat that everyone can enjoy and we’re certain people will think you’re the host with the most! 

It can be difficult to find bakes that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their dietary needs but this gluten-free lemon cake is a real crowd pleaser. The sponge is light and moist and the combination of clotted cream and lemon curd for the filling is an indulgent win. 


  • 2 lemons
  • 3 eggs
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 75g cornflour
  • 1/2tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 25g melted butter
  • Icing sugar, for the top

For the syrup:

  • 4tbsp sugar

For the filling:

  • 175g clotted cream
  • 4tbsp lemon curd




  1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan, Gas 4). Grease and line two 16cm round cake tins. Zest the lemons and set the zest aside. Cut a few slices of lemon and coat them in some of the golden caster sugar, arrange in the base of one tin. Squeeze the juice and reserve to make a syrup later.
  2. Whisk the eggs and remaining sugar together until the mixture is pale and thick and leaves a trail on the surface. Gently fold in the cornflour, ground almonds and baking powder followed by the melted butter and lemon zest. Divide between the tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until the sponge springs back when pressed. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge and turn out. Carefully peel off the baking parchment making sure the lemons stay intact.
  3. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Warm the lemon juice in a pan with the sugar, stir until dissolved. Have a taste and if it is too sour for your taste add a little more sugar. Drizzle the syrup over the cake sponge while both are still warm.
  4. Once the cakes are cool and soaked in syrup, place the bottom half (the one without the lemons) onto a serving plate. Spoon over the clotted cream and spread to the edges, followed by the lemon curd. Top with the other cake sponge and dust with a sprinkling of icing sugar just before serving, if liked.

Top tips for making gluten-free lemon cake:

You will need to keep the cake in the fridge because of the clotted cream filling but the sponges can be made ahead and stored at room temperature until you’re ready to fill it and serve. If you’d like a lighter filling we have some ideas below as well as other flavour variations. 

How can I make gluten free lemon cake healthier?

Clotted cream is very calorific. Consider only using some lemon curd to sandwich the sponges together or use some thick yogurt for a refreshing flavour twist. You could also use a combination of oranges and lemons if you would like a slightly different flavour. Deputy food editor Rose Fooks says: 'lemon curd yogurt such as The Collective Dairy Sicilian Lemon Curd yogurt.'

How do you make gluten free cake not dry?

The syrup for this recipe will help keep your cake sponge nice and moist. The clotted cream and lemon curd filling will also create a lovely moist texture. Try not to over-bake your sponges and remember they will continue cooking for a few minutes once out of the oven due to the residual heat in the cake tins.

The ground almonds in the sponge will also keep the cake moist. You could increase the ground almonds and reduce the cornflour however this sponge will be denser. 

Can gluten free flour be used for baking a cake?

Yes you can use gluten-free flour to bake a cake but the results will still be a little different compared to if you used regular flour. Cornflour is gluten-free and we have used it alongside ground almonds to give the cake structure and keep a light, fluffy and moist texture. 

Using an electric hand mixer in step two of this recipe is much quicker and easier than mixing by hand. If you don’t yet have a set, consider this set from Kenwood which also comes with an attachment for kneading dough. 

Kenwood Hand Mixer - View at John Lewis 

Kenwood Hand Mixer - View at John Lewis 

This compact hand mixer will soon become one of your most used pieces of kitchen equipment. They have five speed settings and also come with dough hooks to make light work of kneading bread or pizza dough. The beaters are made from durable stainless steal and can be washed in the dishwasher.  

For a classic lemon drizzle cake that isn’t gluten-free, we love Mary Berry’s recipe. If you’d like another lemon-flavoured bake your gluten-free loved ones can enjoy, try this gluten-free lemon shortbread. We also have lots more gluten-free recipes including options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you need some inspiration. 


Rose Fooks
Deputy Food Editor

Rose Fooks is Deputy Food Editor at Future Publishing, creating recipes, reviewing products and writing food features for a range of lifestyle and home titles including GoodTo and Woman&Home. Before joining the team, Rose obtained a Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management at London’s Le Cordon Bleu. Going on to work in professional kitchens at The Delaunay and Zedel.