Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Showstopper

three tier round and square cake with autumn leaves flower and gold soft pearl decoration gluten free lemon drizzle recipe

So the Great British Bake Off is over for another – Wednesday nights won’t be the same again! I was really pleased that Nadiya won though, she was my favourite going into the final and really excelled with her 3 bakes. A very worth winner and so humble too. Was anyone not crying in that final scene??

I wanted to pull out all the stops for my final bake for the Great Bloggers Bake-Off, and loved the idea of a three-tiered classic British cake. I asked Rob what he’d like and lemon drizzle was the answer – can’t say no to that!

This gluten-free lemon cake really vamps up the lemon, and is deliciously easy to make and moist when done. It’s very well complemented by the lemon curd filling (keep reading), but works just as well as a standalone cake, without any filling or frosting. And it’s one of those great bakes where you can’t even tell it’s gluten free!

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake
(makes 1 each of 8 inch round, 7 inch square and 4 inch round cakes. Halve the recipe to make one 8 inch round cake)

300g butter
300g caster or granulated sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
50g ground almonds
3 medium eggs
200g gluten free plain flour (I use Dove’s Farm)1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
20ml milk or warm water

Lemon Drizzle
100 ml lemon juice (approx. juice of 2 large lemons, I used bottled for this)
150g caster or granulated sugar

Method
– beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
– add the almonds, and beat in the eggs, one at a time
– add the lemon juice, zest and milk and beat again until smooth
– sieve in the flour and baking powder, and gently fold in until all combined
– split between 3 greased, lined tins – a 4-inch round, a 6-inch round, and an 8-inch round
– bake at 180 degrees C until the cakes are springy to touch and starting to come away from the sides of the tine. If you’re not sure then check with an inserted skewer, which should come out clean.
Each cake will need a different amount of time. Check first after around 20 minutes to see if the first is done, if not give another 5 minutes. The middle will take around 30-35 minutes, and the larger around 45 minutes. The time is very dependent on your oven and tin so keep an eye on them! Once you’ve taken the smaller one out, check the other two at least every 10 minutes, if not more often.
– Prepare the lemon drizzle by mixing the lemon juice and sugar. Microwave for 20-30 second until all the sugar is dissolved
– Once each cake is removed from the oven, prick small holes all over the top with a skewer or cocktail stick, and generously spoon over the lemon drizzle. Leave to cool fully in the tin.

gluten free lemon cake easy recipe three tier showstopper

I took a great tip from Nadiya on the show and popped the cakes in the freezer once cool, (wrapped in baking paper) for an hour or so before slicing in half and levelling the tops. It really did make it much easier – no cracking and much less crumbs.

Whilst the cakes were cooling and freezing I made the lemon curd – as this did take quite some time to cool as well. I used Delia’s recipe as a starter – but halved it (3 jars of lemon curd seemed a bit excessive!), and upped the cornflour to give a thicker set that would hold in the cakes. Maybe a bit of a blonde moment but I’d never realised that lemon curd was made mostly of eggs! I would say though that it is really easy to make and waaay better than shop-bought stuff, I’d highly recommend trying it!

Lemon curd

Grated rind and juice of 2 large lemons
3 medium eggs
175g golden caster sugar
100g butter
20g cornflour

Method
– in a large saucepan, beat together the eggs then add the remaining ingredients
– put on a medium heat and whisk continuously for 7 – 8 minutes until it starts to thicken. At this stage cook for another minute, before transferring to a bowl to cool. It will continue to thicken as it cools as well.

homemade lemon curd easy recipe from delia for cake filling

As the curd was cooling I went onto the next step. Nadiya had made marshmallow fondant look and sound so easy (“I make it all the time…!”), so I thought I’d give it a go. Well I’ll be honest. I’d like to meet Nadiya and introduce her to ready-to-roll fondant. It’ll save hours and countless amounts of kitchen cleaning!

Needless to say my attempt was rather less than successful. The online methods I read in advance made it sound relatively easy, however completely failed to mention that it is the stickiest substance ever made by man. Seriously, super glue has nothing on this stuff!

marshmallow fondant kitchenaid disaster sticky hands

The other downside about marshmallow fondant is that it uses a lot of icing sugar. Add that to the sugar in the marshmallows and you’re practically bouncing off the walls with every bite! I’d put in as much sugar as the recipe recommended and it was still nowhere near a fondant consistency, I was struggling to see how this would ever roll out. Additionally I was starting to run out of time – it was nearing midnight and I wanted to get the cake assembled at least that night! So I improvised and turned it into a marshmallow frosting – with the simple addition of a little more water and lemon juice. The good thing about this frosting is that it keeps well (in a sealed container), and if it starts to harden up before you’ve used it all, it can easily be ‘melted’ back down again by popping in the microwave.

Another grumble about these marshmallow icings is that I found it rather tricky to locate all-white marshmallows in the UK shops. I went to a good 5 or 6 big high street retailers / supermarkets, and was just about to give up when I found what I needed in The Range. Really though, does anyone know why they come in pink and white in the first place?!

Marshmallow frosting
(sufficient to cover 3 cakes as made above)

200g (white) marshmallows
400g icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water, plus additional as needed

Method
– put the marshmallows, lemon juice and water in a large bowl. Microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the marshmallows are fully melted to a smooth paste
– add the icing sugar and beat well to a smooth consistency (no lumps)
– the consistency should be thin enough to spread, but thick enough to hold its shape without dripping (hold the spoon upside down over the bowl to check). If it’s too thick, add a little more water and beat again, if it’s too thin, add a little more icing sugar. Once ready use straight away, or keep in the fridge in a sealed container until you need to use. Microwave to melt back to a spreadable consistency on removing from the fridge.

With the lemon curd filling and marshmallow frosting finally ready the cakes could be assembled. I layered up with lemon curd in the centre of each tier, and marshmallow frosting between the tiers and all round the sides. After refrigerating for half an hour to set the first layer, I added a second layer of marshmallow frosting to ensure a good thick coating.

luscious lemon curd homemade generous filling inside gluten free drizzle cake spreading marshmallow frosting onto tiered showstopper cake greatbloggersbakeoff

As the weather in the UK has recently taken a turn for the chillier, I decided to theme the decorations with an autumnal twist. To go with this rustic look I dimpled the frosting all over to give a more weathered effect.

textured effect stipling on marshmallow frosting tiered lemon cake

The leaf and flower decorations I made from coloured (normal) fondant – no more marshmallow icings for me! I may be blowing my own trumpet but I love how these marbled autumn leaves turned out. They were really simple to make too – I started with some green, yellow, orange, red and brown fondant, and mixed together in varying proportions, rolling out while they were only part combined. I used a leaf plunger cutter to get the veined and pronged leaves.

ombre marbled fondant icing autumn leaves for cake decoration

The marshmallow frosting stayed quite sticky so it was easy to attach the decorations the next day. Starting with some yellow flowers (a nod to the lemony inside), I arranged the leaves in an ombre graduating colour pattern down the cake. To finish – what showstopper is complete without a little sparkle – gold soft pearls around the base, in the flower centres and amongst the leaves.

gold soft pearl edging decoration around cake base

Fondant leaves and flowers with gold soft pearls decoration on autumn showstopper cake

Despite my various doubts (and wanting to give up!) in making this cake, I’m so pleased with how it turned out. Everything came together perfectly in the end and I’ll be honest – it tasted amazing! The homemade lemon curd had such a great zing, I want to put this in all my cakes going forward 🙂 I’m less enamoured with the marshmallow frosting – it really does taste just like marshmallows, which personally I’m not a fan of on a cake. I’ll stick with buttercream and ready-to-roll fondant from now, thank-you-very-much.

gbbo lemon drizzle gluten free showstopper three tier autumn decoration cake recipe autumn leaves decoration

The inside of the cake had a perfect wow as well – not to brag but look at those layers!

gluten free lemon drizzle three tier cake with homemade curd and marshmallow frosting moist recipe

lemon layer cake three tier showstopper with flower gluten free homemade lemon curd marshmallow frosting

Although I’ve not been able to participate every week this year, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the Great Bloggers Bake Off again. As always massive thanks to Jenny for being an amazing organiser. Please click the banner below to visit her blog and for more information on the bloggers bake-off.

Mummy Mishaps

Lemon and Lavender Cake

lemon and lavender cake recipe british summertime treat fresh

What to get the baker who has everything – well a cake calendar of course! This one hangs pride of place in our kitchen, and proved a great inspiration for this cake, which I made for my Dad for Father’s Day a couple of weeks back (we celebrated early this year due to various trips away).

lavender bundt cake calendar inspiration

For some reason, a quirky disconnect in my blonde brain, I didn’t choose to follow this recipe, but instead borrowed from this wonderful National Trust recipe. As a lifetime NT member, I’m sure my Dad will approve! Scaling down the recipe to fit my size of tin, and replacing the ground almonds with some essence, I adapted the recipe as follows. The lemon, almond and lavender are a great compliment to each, making a floral, fruity and balanced cake. Finish with a lavender syrup and a crunchy lemon icing for a super spring and summer treat!

Ingredients
125g butter
125g plain flour
125g sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of almond essence
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1 heaped teaspoon of fresh lavender

Lavender syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lavender
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons water

Lemon icing
100g icing sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Lavender sprigs and/or lemon rind to decorate

Although you can buy cooking lavender, I used some fresh from my garden, pulling the flowers off the stalks, and crushing gently to get more flavour. You can use any fresh lavender plants, as long as you’re sure they’re chemical free (so homegrown is best).

Method
– My favourite kind of method – put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well!
– Spoon into a well-greased tin, I used the smaller size of my Ikea Sockerkaka round silicone bundt moulds, which holds around 500ml
– Bake at 150 degrees C, until baked through (test with a skewer, when it comes out clean it’s done). Time will depend on the size and shape of your mould, anywhere from 45 – 75 minutes. Mine took around an hour, in a fan oven.
– Once the time is nearly up, place the syrup ingredients in a heavy bottomed / non-stick saucepan. Heat gently and allow to bubble for a minute or so. The sugar should start to thicken into a sticky syrup. Remove any large pieces of lavender
– When the cake is cooked, removed from the oven, and quickly (but gently!) prick small holes all over with a fork or skewer, so the syrup will absorb in
– Put the cake on a cooling rack, with a drip tray underneath, and spoon or pour the syrup all over the cake
– Set aside and allow to cool completely
– Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice to form a thick paste, that will slowly drip off the back of a spoon. Spoon or drizzle over the cake, finishing with lavender or lemon decorations

ikea sockerkaka silicon cake moulds review usage

lavender sugar syrup cake recipe

dousing cake with lavender sugar syrup lemon and almond flavourings summer treat

lemon icing drizzling over lavender cake for fathers day

lemon and lavender cake recipe decorative topping with sprigs and citrus rind

I had great plans to take some beautiful photos in front of my lavender plants – but sadly the great British weather put paid to that. Soggy cake is not a good look!

british summer rain blossoming lavender plant cake recipe

Nevertheless I still managed to snap a couple of shots through the patio windows – and the rest safely in the dry of my own kitchen.

lemon and lavender cake with flower sprigs decoration icing drizzle

IMG_0541 lemon and lavender sponge cake recipe with hints of almond fresh garden summer

Little and Large Lemon Loaf Cakes

little and large lemon cakes two loaves one with white dripped icing lemon sugar glaze on ikea glass cake stand

When life gives you lemons, well, who among us would actually make lemonade? Not me, for one! A moist, fluffy, sweet-but-tangy lemon cake? Now you’re talking!

It was one of those weeks in the office, where nobody has brought us cake / chocolate / biscuits / sweets (yes, we are very spoilt, and it’s amazing), and free highlighter pens just don’t quite help with sugar cravings in the same way….
I had some lemons in the bottom of the fridge that had been need a use for a week or so now, and after a long conversation about lemon cake in the office the previous week, whereby we decided it was the best cake for all our tastes, well, it was a match made in heaven really!

After flicking through several recipes, I settled on a lemon drizzle cake recipe that I can’t for the life of me find now. I upped the lemon so it had more flavour, and, as you’ll see, split it into two cakes so I had one for work, and a smaller one to take with me for dinner at a friends the next evening.

The only difference between making these and one big loaf (other than the tin size!), would be the cooking time, which you’d need to up to around 45 minutes, if not more, to make sure it’s thoroughly cooked in the middle.

Ingredients

225g butter
225g white sugar (caster or granulated)
3 eggs
225g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Juice and finely grated rind of 2 lemons

For the sugar crust
Juice and finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
80g white sugar

For the lemon icing
Juice and finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
80g icing sugar

Method

– Make as per normal sponge cakes – beat the sugar and butter until fluffy, add the eggs and flavouring, then fold in the sieved flour and baking powder
– pour into your prepared tin(s) and bake at 180 degrees C for 25- 30 minutes (2 cakes) or 45-60 minutes (1 big cake), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean

– if topping with the sugar crust: keep the cake in its tin, and lightly prick small holes all over the with a thin skewer. Mix the sugar and lemon together, and pour all over the top of the cake. Leave in the tin until cool, when the sugar will have formed a crust in the top

lemon loaf cake with sugar drizzle glaze recipe

– If topping with lemon icing: take the cake out of its tin and allow to cool completely. Mix the icing sugar and lemon well; and pour all over the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

lemon loaf cake with glaze icing light and fluffy recipe

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! One recipe and two light, fluffy and so deliciously lemony loaf cakes.

little and large lemon loaf cakes sugar drizzle crust white drip icing

Best enjoyed in big, thick slices. YUM!

lemon loaf cake slice moist sugar crust drizzle top light and fluffy recipe