Gluten-Free Lemon Layer Cake: A Sweet Delight

Allow me to dazzle your senses with the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked Lemon Layer Cake. This delightful creation is perfect for those who are looking for a healthy yet indulgent recipe. Not only is this cake gluten-free, but it’s also dairy-free and bursting with the zesty flavor of lemon curd and buttercream frosting.

My dear readers, I urge you to give this recipe a try. Don’t fear the idea of baking a cake from scratch because I have got you covered with step-by-step instructions, tips, and tricks that will make you feel like an accomplished baker.

Imagine yourself slicing through layers of moist, tender gluten-free cake with bold lemon zest flavors. Picture each bite melting in your mouth while being perfectly balanced with a touch of sweetness from the fluffy, tangy frosting.

This recipe will certainly be the highlight of any celebration or gathering. Its bright, sunny appearance and burst of zesty flavor will leave your guests wanting more.

So let’s roll up our sleeves and get ready to bake this masterpiece. With this Lemon Layer Cake recipe, you’ll have a delicious dessert that’s not only visually stunning but also healthy and guilt-free.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lemon Layer Cake (Gluten Free)
Lemon Layer Cake (Gluten Free)

Dear readers,

You’ve landed on the perfect dessert recipe that will blow your mind away. This lemon layer cake stands out for its beautiful texture and irresistible flavor. What’s more? It’s gluten-free and dairy-free, making it a winning recipe in every aspect.

Imagine a beautifully baked cake with a tender crumb that is infused with the citrusy tang of fresh lemons. Sounds divine, doesn’t it? Well, this is precisely what this recipe offers. The bright yellow cake layers are filled with a luscious homemade lemon curd that oozes with every bite. And let’s not forget about the rich and creamy lemon buttercream frosting that perfectly complements the tanginess of the cake.

But what truly sets this recipe apart is its gluten-free and dairy-free nature. Having dietary restrictions doesn’t mean you have to miss out on flavorful baked goods. With this recipe, you can indulge in a deliciously moist and tender cake without any gluten or dairy products.

Moreover, this cake tastes just as good the next day, staying moist and soft, making it perfect for any occasion, from birthdays to weddings or any other special event. You’ll love creating sweet memories by sharing this delectable dessert with loved ones.

In conclusion, this recipe is perfect for anyone who wants to satisfy their sweet tooth while keeping things healthy and indulgent at the same time. Treat yourself to the best-ever gluten-free and dairy-free lemon layer cake that you won’t regret!

Ingredient List

 The delicate layers of this gluten-free lemon cake will have your mouth watering!
The delicate layers of this gluten-free lemon cake will have your mouth watering!

Gluten-free Flour
– 2 and 1/2 cups (300g) of gluten-free flour
– 3/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum or guar gum (depending on what type of gluten-free flour you are using)

Dry Ingredients
– 1 tablespoon of baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Wet Ingredients
– 3/4 cup (170g) of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
– 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) of granulated sugar
Zest of two lemons
– 4 large eggs, at room temperature
Juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed
– 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
– 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened almond milk, room temperature

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon, freshly squeezed
– 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or milk

Substitutions for Dairy Free Version
– Replace unsalted butter with plant-based butter or margarine
– Replace heavy cream/milk with plant-based milk

– Lemon Blueberry Cake: Add in 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries into the batter before pouring it into the cake pan.
– Pistachio Cake: Substitute half cup of gluten-free flour with finely ground pistachios. Add a few drops of green food coloring to the batter.
– Blackberry Cake: Follow the instructions for Lemon Layer Cake. Instead, layer on some blackberry filling while stacking the cakes.

– For substitutions and variations of specific ingredients like gluten-free flour, butter, or milk, make sure to check the labels before purchasing.
– Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before baking.
– Use fresh lemon juice and zest for best results.
– Baking powder and xanthan gum may be difficult to get clumps out of. Sift them together with your dry ingredients if desired.

The Recipe How-To

 Who says gluten-free can't be delicious? This Lemon Layer Cake is sure to impress!
Who says gluten-free can’t be delicious? This Lemon Layer Cake is sure to impress!

Now it’s time to dive into the actual recipe and create a delicious Gluten-Free Lemon Layer Cake. Be sure to gather all your ingredients and read the instructions carefully before beginning.


| Amount | Ingredient |
| ¾ cup | Unsalted Butter, at room temperature |
| 1 ½ cups | Granulated Sugar, divided |
| 2 tbsp | Lemon Zest, from about 2 lemons |
| 3 | Eggs, at room temperature |
| 1 tsp | Vanilla Extract |
| 2 cups | Gluten-Free Flour blend |
| 2 tsp | Baking Powder |
| ½ tsp | Salt |
| ¾ cup | Unsweetened Almond Milk |
| 2 tbsp | Fresh Lemon Juice |


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease two (8-inch) round cake pans with butter, line the bottoms with parchment paper, then grease and flour the parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter with one cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the lemon zest, eggs one at a time, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. In another mixing bow, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, and salt until well distributed.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in small amounts while alternating with additions of almond milk until well combined
  6. Pour the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  7. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans on wire racks
  9. Run a knife around the edge of cake plates; invert onto wire rack; invert again onto greased wire rack. Cool completely.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Place one layer of cake on a platter or cake stand.
  2. Spread lemon curd over the top of the first layer.
  3. Place the second layer of cake on top and press lightly to secure in place.
  4. Spread lemon buttercream frosting generously over the whole cake with a spatula, creating swirls and peaks on the surface as desired.

Enjoy your delicious gluten-free lemon layer cake topped with lemon buttercream frosting and tart lemon curd.

Substitutions and Variations

 The tangy lemon frosting drizzled over each layer is the star of the show!
The tangy lemon frosting drizzled over each layer is the star of the show!

Oh, how often have I found myself in desperate need of a recipe, only to find that the ingredients are either too pricy or simply unavailable. Hence, I present you with my favorite section of any recipe – the Substitutions and Variations. Fear not, my dears, for even those with dietary restrictions and budgetary constraints can enjoy indulging in a sweet treat now and again.

Firstly, let’s discuss the substitution of gluten-free flour. My recipe boasts the use of xanthan gum, which acts as a binding agent to ensure that your cake does not crumble apart. However, if xanthan gum is elusive to your local shops, guar gum serves as an adequate replacement.

Are you dairy-free, love? Not to fret. For the cake itself, coconut oil or any other neutral flavoured oil works wonders as an alternative to butter; whilst almond or soy milk provides an excellent substitute for cow’s milk. For the frosting aromatically infused with lemon zest (how delightful!), cream cheese frosting may be substituted with a plant-based cream cheese alternative.

But do not allow my substitutions and variations strip this lemon layer cake of its charm. The melding of tangy citrus with creamy notes creates something quite special that should be enjoyed by everyone – regardless of circumstance. To add a jazzy twist to this classic delight, consider filling it with a blueberry compote, layering it again with fresh sliced berries and white chocolate ganache for a Lemon Blueberry Cake experience like no other. Or perhaps take it down a more earthy route and replace lemon zest and juice with pine nuts and olive oil to produce – wait for it – Pistachio cake!

In conclusion, although we Austenians remain steadfast in our ways, refusing change when unnecessary (*ahem* Mr. Darcy), but fear not too much experimentation in the kitchen! For beauty may lie in tradition but there is always a grand adventure awaiting in moments of ingenuity.

Serving and Pairing

 Forget boring cakes, this gluten-free lemon cake is bursting with flavor!
Forget boring cakes, this gluten-free lemon cake is bursting with flavor!

Ah, serving and pairing! Such a exciting prospect for any baker. When it comes to this gluten-free lemon layer cake with its zesty layers, moist crumb, and lemon buttercream frosting, the possibilities are endless. As one can imagine, the cake makes for a tantalizing dessert as well as a perfect companion to tea time.

Since this citrusy goodness is the star of the show, I would suggest nothing more than a simple sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar on top. Personally, I prefer to serve it chilled as it brings out the sweetness and tanginess even more—especially when paired with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

However, for those who prefer something more indulgent such as pairing it with cream cheese frosting, this is entirely possible! The tanginess from the cream cheese and richness from the lemon layer cake will emphasize each other’s flavor notes in a truly delightful way.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to take your experience a notch higher, try pairing this layered cake with fresh berries such as blueberries or blackberries—they’ll compliment the tartness from lemons and add a refreshing element to the experience. A gift for those health-conscious individuals who still want to indulge in some sweet treats!

Overall, whether you’re serving this cake at parties or enjoying it on your own, one thing is certain—this gluten-free lemon layer cake is sure to leave you satisfied and craving for more!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfect for brunch or dessert, this Lemon Layer Cake is a showstopper!
Perfect for brunch or dessert, this Lemon Layer Cake is a showstopper!

My dear readers, when it comes to lemon layer cake, there is nothing quite like the freshness of just-baked goods. But let’s face it, we do live in a world where time is often a scarce commodity. Luckily, this gluten-free and dairy-free lemon layer cake recipe can be made ahead of time and stored for later consumption.

To make ahead, wrap the cooled and frosted cake tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. In fact, I recommend making the cake up to a day ahead of any special occasion or party so that you are not caught up in last-minute preparation.

When ready to serve, take the cake out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap while it’s still cold. This will prevent condensation from forming on the frosting while bringing it to room temperature. Leave it out at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

If you have any leftovers (a rare occurrence, I assure you), store them by wrapping them up tightly and placing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The cake will remain fresh for up to 4 days if kept refrigerated.

Now let’s talk about reheating this glorious gluten-free lemon layer cake!

Firstly, I must warn you that reheating baked goods often causes them to dry out and lose their tender texture. However, with this recipe’s moist crumb and tender gluten-free characteristics ensured by xanthan gum and guar gum (gluten substitutes), I would advise microwaving individual slices on high for 10-15 seconds until warm. Alternatively, place single slices of the cake onto oven-safe plates and heat up in preheated oven set at 300°F (150°C) for 5-10 minutes until warm through.

I implore you not to freeze this cake as its delicate structure may suffer; however, if absolutely necessary, wrap individual slices with parchment paper and tightly wrap in plastic wrap before storing them in a freezer bag. This way, the cake can be frozen for up to a month.

There you have it: my helpful tips and tricks for keeping this luscious gluten-free and dairy-free lemon layer cake fresh and ready to enjoy no matter what your schedule throws at you.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get ready to pucker up with the zesty lemon flavor in every bite!
Get ready to pucker up with the zesty lemon flavor in every bite!

Creating a gluten-free and dairy-free cake may seem intimidating at first due to the different techniques and ingredients needed. But don’t let that discourage you! I have some tips to help you achieve perfect results and make your lemon layer cake a showstopper.

First tip: do not overmix the batter. Gluten-free flour blends are delicate, and overmixing can cause them to develop too much structure, making your cake tough or rubbery. So stir just until the ingredients are combined, smooth, and free of lumps.

Secondly, it’s important to measure all of your ingredients accurately. With gluten-free baking, precision is key. Use a kitchen scale whenever possible for the best results.

My third tip is to use room temperature ingredients. Softened butter and room-temperature eggs ensure an even mixture and a fine crumb for your cake. Cold ingredients may result in a curdled or lumpy texture.

Next up – xanthan gum and guar gum! These are often used in gluten-free baking to mimic the texture of gluten found in traditional flours. If your recipe calls for them, don’t skip them – they’re essential for achieving the right texture.

Another tip is to add lemon zest into both the cake batter and buttercream frosting because it intensifies the lemon flavor without making it taste artificial.

Letting your gluten-free lemon layer cake cool entirely before frosting it is also crucial! Gluten-free baked goods need time to set up completely as they cool down, so avoiding frosting them when they’re still warm will help prevent them from falling apart.

Lastly, read through the recipe a couple of times before mixing anything together. Familiarize yourself with each step so you can avoid mistakes that may impact your cake’s final appearance or texture.

With these essential tips, you’ll be well-equipped to make the best ever gluten-free lemon layer cake with tangy lemon curd filling and delicious lemon buttercream frosting. Happy baking!


Before we conclude this recipe article, let’s take a moment to address some frequently asked questions about this gluten-free lemon layer cake. Whether you’re an experienced home baker or trying gluten-free baking for the first time, you may have some questions about ingredients or baking methods. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding our lemon layer cake recipe.

How do you keep gluten-free cake from falling apart?

When preparing gluten-free baked goods, it’s important to note that the absence of xanthan gum or guar gum may lead to crumbly and fragile results. These substances are necessary as they act as binding agents that ensure the structural integrity of the baked items. In case your flour mix doesn’t contain these elements, try adding approximately ½ teaspoon of either xanthan or guar gum per each cup of flour. However, the amount can vary depending on what you’re preparing, so it’s best to adjust accordingly.

How do you keep gluten-free cake moist?

To avoid a gluten-free cake from becoming hard on the outside and losing moisture, certain precautions need to be taken. One way to ensure this is by including buttermilk in the recipe, which aids in keeping the cake moist. Additionally, adding a little extra fat to the batter can help balance out the potential dryness that comes with gluten-free ingredients.

Will gluten-free flour work in a cake?

Fortunately, there are numerous options for gluten-free flours that can be used to make scrumptious cakes, breads and pastries. Some of these natural alternatives include corn, potato, buckwheat, soy, chestnut, rice and chickpea flours. With the right recipes, you can whip up delectable treats without worrying about gluten.

What makes gluten-free baked goods fluffy?

To achieve a more flexible and voluminous texture in your cooking, incorporating certain ingredients may prove beneficial. These include eggs, unflavored gelatin, guar gum, and xanthan gum.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Lemon Layer Cake recipe is the perfect gluten-free and dairy-free option for all cake lovers out there who want to indulge in a decadent dessert without sacrificing health. With its tangy lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, this cake recipe will tantalize your taste buds in every bite. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a sweet treat, this cake is sure to impress.

Moreover, with its versatile nature, you can easily customize this recipe by adding different flavors like blueberry or blackberry, making it suitable for various occasions. This Lemon Layer Cake recipe is not only good in taste but also provides numerous health benefits as it’s made with gluten-free flour.

So, don’t wait any longer! Try out this cake recipe today and serve it up at your next gathering or simply enjoy it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed with the result, and your guests will be amazed by the deliciousness of this lemon layer cake!

Lemon Layer Cake (Gluten Free)

Lemon Layer Cake (Gluten Free) Recipe

Published in Gourmet magazine, November 2005. Use Recipe #208712 for the brown-rice flour mix. "If any cake could be called refreshing, this would be the one. Rich but light, it loses absolutely nothing from the absence of white flour."
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Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-free
Calories 1193.3 kcal



  • 1 cup canola oil, plus additional for greasing cake pans
  • 2 1/2 cups brown rice flour (use brown-rice flour mix, recipe 208712)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Lemon Curd

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Lemon Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest


  • Make cake layers:.
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F Brush cake pans with canola oil. Line bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with a round of parchment or wax paper, then oil paper.
  • Whisk together flour mix, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum until combined well. Stir together milk, canola oil (1 cup), vanilla, and zest in another bowl.
  • Beat together sugar and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed just until combined, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and milk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until just combined.
  • Divide batter evenly between cake pans, smoothing tops, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of each cake layer comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of 1 cake layer and invert rack over cake pan, then invert cake onto rack. Repeat with second layer. Peel off paper and cool layers completely.
  • Make curd:.
  • Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar, yolks, a pinch of salt, and guar gum in a 1-quart heavy saucepan. Add butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 5 minutes. Whisk in extract. Immediately pour curd into a bowl, then cover surface with wax paper and chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
  • Make frosting:.
  • Beat butter with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add confectioners sugar, lemon juice, extract, and zest, then mix until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Frost cake:.
  • Halve each cake layer horizontally using a long serrated knife. Spread bottom half of each cake layer with half of lemon curd, then top with remaining cake layers to form two sandwiched cakes. Put 1 sandwiched cake on a cake stand or platter and spread a heaping 1/2 cup frosting over top, then cover with remaining sandwiched cake. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  • Cooks' notes:.
  • Cake layers can be made (but not halved) 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
  • Lemon curd can be chilled up to 3 days.
  • Cake can be completely assembled and frosted 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, or 1 day ahead and chilled, loosely covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 305gCalories: 1193.3kcalCarbohydrates: 153.4gProtein: 9.1gFat: 62.7gSaturated Fat: 22.5gCholesterol: 264.9mgSodium: 343.2mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 111.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Citrus, Dessert, Free Of..., Fruit, Lemon, Spring, Summer, Sweet
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