Our gluten-free lemon drizzle cake recipe is filled with bright lemon flavor thanks to copious amounts of lemon zest and a two-ingredient lemon icing that is out of this world. Greek yogurt and butter ensure the cake stays moist during baking. Plus, we use a secret ingredient to doctor your basic gluten-free flour blend for the perfect texture.
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I love serving lemon cakes for Easter. Making this the perfect gluten-free dessert for Spring. But my whole family asks for this gluten-free cake recipe all year long. It is that good. And I love using a bundt cake pan to give it a show-stopping look without having to do any cake decorating.
📖Why This Recipe Works
This recipe uses a traditional GF cup for cup flour blend plus corn starch to create a dense but delicate crumb associated with drizzle cakes. Using a pre-made blend of gluten-free flours is much easier than purchasing individual flours. Most blends contain the following gluten-free flours; brown rice flour, white rice flour, and a mix of starches such as tapioca starch and potato starch.
A lemon sugar ensures a tart and strong lemon flavor. Nothing is worse than the lemon cake with no lemon flavor. And we aren't using any fake lemon extract either.
The sweet lemon drizzle is made of confectioner's sugar and lemon juice rather than water giving it extra flavor.
- Lemons- This recipe uses both the zest and juice. You will need at least 5 lemons.
- Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free All Purpose Flour- You can use any gluten-free blend of your choosing. I used Bob's Red Mill when testing this recipe but there are many wonderful brands on the market today. If using a self-rising flour omit the baking powder but keep the baking soda.
- Cornstarch- If you are avoiding corn try substituting almond flour.
- Sugar- I used white granulated sugar but you can also use coconut sugar.
- Greek Yogurt- Use the full-fat variety.
- Unsalted Butter
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda- Both are required to get a proper rise on the cake.
- Confectioner's Sugar- Also called icing sugar or powdered sugar.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cake
Start by preheating your oven to 350 F degrees. Bundt pans can be notoriously hard to butter, you have to get every nook and cranny covered in butter to ensure the cakes slide out easily. I recently included a hack for this on my TikTok.
Step 1- Dry Ingredients
All the dry ingredients should be well combined before they are added to the batter. To do this, combine the flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Set aside.
Step 2- Lemon Sugar
What makes this recipe different is mixing the lemon peel with the sugar in a food processor. This extracts all the lemon flavor getting so much more flavor than zesting with a microplane.
Peel the yellow rind off of the lemons. You do not want to remove as little of the white part as possible. Place the yellow part only and the sugar in a food processor and pulse until the lemon peel is completely broken down. The sugar will be slightly yellow and look a bit damp from the oils.
Step 3- Lemon Cream
Cut the lemons in half, squeeze out the juice and be sure to remove any seeds. Add ½ cup of juice into the yogurt and stir to combine, set aside.
Save any remaining juice for the frosting.
Step 4- Cream the Butter
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter and lemon sugar in a large mixing bowl for 2 minutes. The butter is ready when it is light and fluffy. Be sure your butter is softened before you start.
Step 5- Cake Batter
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar and beat to combine. We are going to slowly add the dry ingredients and lemon cream until combined. Alternate adding ⅓ of each until they are used, and the batter is smooth. Do not overbeat.
Step 6- Bake
Pour the cake batter into your buttered bundt pan (which you also dust with a little GF flour). Do your best to flatten it out. Rest the cake for 10 minutes to help the flour hydrate. A must for all gluten-free baking recipes.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done cake is golden and a tester comes out clean. Undercooking the cake slightly will result in a softer center, but it won't be as golden brown.
Set the cake on a cooling rack. Carefully run an offset spatula or table knife around the center of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Place the cooling rack on top and then flip the cake over to unmold. Fully cool before making the lemon drizzle.
Step 7- Lemon Drizzle
I like to make the drizzle in a large measuring cup so it is easier to pour. Combine the confectioner's sugar and 2 tablespoons of reserved lemon juice. Stir well, and add more lemon juice until you get a glaze that is thick, yet pourable.
Add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, to achieve a pourable consistency. I typically use 3 to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in total.
Once the cake has completely cooled, pour the glaze over the top of the cake. Allowing it to run down the sides.
Allow 30 minutes for the glaze to harden before serving.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
Use an elaborate bundt pan and decorate with candied lemon peel and berries and mint for an elegant presentation.
This recipe can be made using any citrus fruit such as key limes, blood oranges, or grapefruit. Or do a combination.
For a more American take, swap out the lemon glaze for cream cheese frosting.
I prefer to use my stand mixer for creaming butter and sugar, it does seem to get just a tad fluffier. But I have been obsessing over my new cordless handheld mixer lately.
This recipe does use a lot of mixing bowls and a large glass measuring cup makes pouring the glaze easier.
Lemon drizzle cakes do not need to be stored in the refrigerator. Store on the countertop and cover with a cake cloche or aluminum foil.
How to Freeze a Drizzle Cake
Slice the leftover cake into individual pieces before freezing. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a zip-top bag. Push out all the extra air. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the individual pieces on the counter, not in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes or until soft.
Alternatively, you can freeze the whole cake before glazing. Tightly wrap the baked, but unglazed loaf, in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. It will keep for two months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before glazing and serving.
More Gluten-Free Cake Recipes
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Lemon drizzle cake is a traditional English cake. It is made either in a loaf pan or a bundt pan. In the US is often confused with lemon pound cake.
Yes, lemon drizzle cake freezes easily. Slice the cake into individual pieces before freezing. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a zip-top bag. Push out all the extra air. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the individual pieces on the counter, not in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes or until soft.
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Gluten-Free Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Bundt Pan
- 3 cups gluten-free flour blend plus more for the pan
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your flour blend already contains
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter softened plus more for greasing the pan
- 5 lemons
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- pinch kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a bundt pan, set aside. Be sure to get all the nooks and crannies of your pan as the cake will stick.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the GF flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.3 cups gluten-free flour blend, ½ teaspoon xanthan gum, ½ cup cornstarch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Peel the yellow rind off of the lemons. You do not want to remove as little of the white part as possible. Place the yellow part only and the sugar in a food processor and pulse until the lemon peel is broken up. Set aside.
- Cut the lemons and half and juice. You need ½ cup of juice. Save the remaining juice for the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup of lemon juice with the yogurt. Set aside.1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar mixture at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on medium until incorporated.2 sticks unsalted butter, 2 cups granulated sugar, 4 large eggs, 5 lemons
- Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients, beat until in incorporated. Add ⅓ of the yogurt mix and beat until incorporated. Alternate until both are used up. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and give a quick mix to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 50 minutes, until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean.
- Set the cake on a cooling rack. Carefully run an offset spatula or table knife around the center of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool for 20 minutes, then unmold and fully cool.
- Place confectioners' sugar in a liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice (glaze should be thick, yet pourable). Add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, to achieve a pourable consistency.2 cups confectioners sugar, pinch kosher salt, 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pour over the cooled cake. Allow to set for 30 minutes for the glaze to harden.
- Sour cream can be substituted for yogurt.
- Limoncello can be substituted for lemon juice in both the loaf and the glaze.
- An additional ¼ cup of GF flour or almond flour can be used in place of the cornstarch but the cake will be denser.
Has anyone made this in a different pan? Wondering about two loaf pans or a large round?
Jen Wooster says
Yes you can divide between two loaf pans. Reduce the cooking time slightly.