This gluten free lemon cake by Alanna Taylor Tobin is not just gorgeous and delicious. It’s also easy to make and can feed a large group of lemon cake lovers. Bring it to a potluck and steal the show.
Gluten Free Lemon Sheet Cake with Lemon Cream-Cheese Frosting
This lemon-tastic butter cake has a fine crumb and a generous layer of not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting. Made in a 9- by 13-inch pan, it’s large enough to feed a crowd, but if you only need a small amount of cake, you can halve the recipe and bake the cake in an 8-inch square pan. An optional dusting of bee pollen adds a bit of bling if you’ve got some on hand—they’re nature’s sprinkles! Leftover cake will keep, refrigerated, for 3 days.
Lemon Butter Cake:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
- Finely grated zest from 3 large lemons (preferably Meyer)
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups (210 grams) sweet white rice flour
- 1 cup (100 grams) gluten-free oat flour
- 3/4 cup (90 grams) millet flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup whole milk
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Finely grated zest from 2 large lemons, preferably Meyer
- 2 cups (200 grams) powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon strained lemon juice
- Bee pollen. for decorating (optional)
Make the cake: position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325ºF. Line a 9- by 13-inch cake pan on all sides with parchment paper (or butter well).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture may look curdled; that’s okay.
In a medium bowl, sift together the sweet rice, oat and millet flours, and the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Beat in the milk, mixing until just combined, then beat in the remaining flour mixture, beating until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir with a flexible silicone spatula to make sure the batter is homogenous.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake the cake until the top springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, 1 to 2 hours. Remove the cake from the pan and peel away the parchment. Place on a large serving board.
Make the frosting: in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with an electric beater or wooden spoocombine the room-temperature cream cheese and butter with the lemon zest. Beat on medium-low speed until smooth and combined, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl and paddle as needed.
Sift the powdered sugar into the cream cheese mixture and add the salt. Beat the frosting on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the lemon juice.
Spread or pipe the frosting over the cake and decorate with the bee pollen. Store at cool room temperature for up to 2 hours, or refrigerate until needed, letting the cake come back to room temperature before serving.