making gluten-free lemon drizzle cake

October 3, 2010 at 10:21 am 22 comments

Marvellous looking cake isn’t it!  Moist, buttery, my mouth’s watering just looking at that little bubble of lemon loveliness drizzling down the side.  If I tell you this cake is made without any flour will you believe me?
Oh you do?  You’re waiting for the BUT about how it tastes though.
Well, drum roll please…. no ifs, no buts, no maybes.  This cake really tastes as good as it looks. Double helpings all round proved that!  It’s  the perfect choice for anyone who usually has to pass on the delights of baked goodies.  Like 4 year old coeliac Megan who can now have her cake and eat it.
The best gluten free cake I ever made rejected wheat-free flours in favour of ground nuts (mmm cue drooly memories of Chocolate and Orange cake).  This lemon drizzle cake demands the same but with an added twist.  Did you notice the hidden extra in the mixing bowl?

I’ve been wanting to use mashed potato in a pud ever since I visited the Ministry of Food exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.  I doubt a wartime version of this cake would have been as tasty minus the lemons and with rationed amounts of sugar and butter.  I’m willing to find out though and feel re-inspired to have another thumb through my ‘Thrifty wartime ways to feed your family‘ cook book.

to make gluten-free lemon drizzle cake
200g butter, softened
200g sugar
4 eggs
175g ground almonds (replace with polenta or wheat-free flour for a nut free version)
250g cold mashed potato
zest of 3 lemons
2tsp gluten free baking powder (Supercook does one)
For the drizzle:  juice of one lemon, 4 tbsp sugar

  • Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
  • Butter and line a deep, 20cm round cake tin (serves 8-10)
  • Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then gradually add the egg, beating after each addition.
  • Fold in the almonds, cold mashed potato, lemon zest and baking powder.
  • Tip into the tin, level the top, then bake for 40-45 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Turn out onto a wire rack after 10 minutes cooling.
  • Mix the granulated sugar and the lemon juice together, then spoon over the top of the cake*, letting it drip down the sides.
  • Let the cake cool completely before slicing.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 3 days (this won’t be difficult!).  In my experience the moistness and greater quantity of eggs in flour-less cakes means they don’t keep as well (things start to grow!)

* you may have noticed I drizzled the bottom of my cake.  Two reasons for this:
1) I didn’t want to risk the cake collapsing by trying to flip it over
2) the top was so beautifully crusted I thought it would soak in better bottom up.
This is what you can expect it to look like fresh from the oven.
© recipe from the
BBC Good Food website, one of my favourite sources of food porn.  There are many more gluten-free recipes including other deserts and savoury pastries and bakes.

Entry filed under: in the kitchen.

the place to bee – Durham’s Botanic Gardens making purple potato salad

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes  |  October 3, 2010 at 11:40 am

    What a fabulous recipe! I will have to share that with my sister who has many coeliac friends who she bakes goodies for. Thanks Nic!

  • 2. Tom  |  October 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm


  • 3. nina - tabiboo  |  October 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Blimey that does look good.

    I haven’t tried baking cakes with mashed potaoe (yet) as it’s eggs that gets my little one – though I did try an egg free lemon drizzle cake – it came out flat!

    Emjoy the rest of the day,

    Nina xxx

  • 4. Everlovin' Dad  |  October 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Nic, I take it you will keep a piece for your mum
    when you see her this week won’t you?

  • 5. Johanna GGG  |  October 4, 2010 at 2:25 am

    What a great recipe! I am sure megan would have been excited to have some cake

    love mashed potato in baking – I’ve tried potato bread, chocolate cake, pizza bases but my favourite would have to be the boston bun! My mum even tried a GF pastry recently which had mashed potato – she loved it

  • 6. Simon  |  October 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Reading this recipe and looking at your pictures has got my mouth watering and I have only just had my breakfast.

  • 7. Norm  |  October 4, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Looks gooooooood! I had a colleague who was gluten-intolerant at my last school and often made cakes which used ground almonds in place of the flour. I have never tried mashed potato in one though!

  • 8. Nip it in the bud  |  October 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Joanna – a pleasure. When you find a recipe this good you just have to share it!

    Tom – couldn’t agree more 😉

    Nina – that’s a bind not being able to eat eggs. Will keep little Boo in mind if I come across any suitable cake recipes. At least there are lots of biscuity/flapjack alternatives for her

    Dad – ‘fraid not. This is the cake you missed out on at Nan’s last month when everyone had two slices! (always posting a few weeks/months behind!)

    Johanna – I’ll be trawling your archive for sure. Intrigued by the potato pizza base – have been dabbling with the idea of using polenta.

    Simon – I know the feeling! You’d get on well with G who started the day with apple pie for breakfast

    Norm – I shall definitely be doing further experiments with my mash. Perhaps even with my peruvian purples!

  • 9. mangocheeks  |  October 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    ID would love this, not sure what he woudl think of the mashed potato in it though. Well I will just have to try it out someday.

    • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  October 4, 2010 at 9:08 pm

      don’t tell him it’s there and he’ll never know. None of my tasters could guess what the secret ingredient was!

  • 11. Margaret  |  October 5, 2010 at 9:52 am

    What a lovely lemon drizzle cake. The mashed potato must have made it lovely and moist too.

    • 12. Nip it in the bud  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      thanks, it did. I used floury red skinned potatoes from the allotment – they broke down beautifully in the water and needed hardly any mashing

  • 13. Ann  |  October 6, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Looks delicious, I must try it, I love lemon flavour and also fancy trying the mashed potato idea.

    • 14. Nip it in the bud  |  October 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      reckon it would work well with all sorts of combinations :o)

  • 15. Mel  |  October 15, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Tracy made the lemon drizzle cake for Megan and Olivia’s Christening yesterday and it really was delicious. Nobody guessed the secret ingredient!

  • 17. Choclette  |  November 7, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Now just think how this would have looked if you’d used the Peruvians. Sounds like a fantastic cake – really moist and delicious.

  • 18. Nip it in the bud  |  November 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Purple cake is definitely next on my list (still not loving the dry texture of Peruvians on their own). I wonder if the lemon flavour with a non-yellow coloured cake will be too much of a mind bend?

  • 19. Gilllie  |  June 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Cake in oven now! Can I freeze when cold?

    • 20. Nip it in the bud  |  June 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Gillie, I hope you were pleased with how it turned out. re. freezing, I have no idea I’m afraid – ours was eaten so quickly it wasn’t something I even had to consider. All I would say is that as it’s so moist I’d be a bit wary of freezing as I’m not sure if it would be soggy when it defrosted? that’s just me though as I’ve never been very successful at freezing things and being happy with the thawed result.

  • 21. when life gives you lemons… | Nip it in the bud  |  October 10, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    […] but other favourite recipes where it would certainly come in handy are:  lemon cream surprise, gluten free lemon drizzle cake , lemon curd sponge cake, Quinoa tabouleh and Elderflower cordial. […]

  • 22. baking with chickpea flour | Nip it in the bud  |  October 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    […] to avoid being duped by the palatability of gluten free puddings laden with sugar.   I do have a gluten free lemon drizzle cake recipe on my blog but that is a case in point – it’s so totally delicious and moreish because […]


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