Towards the end of my pregnancy with Max I found myself with copious amounts of lemons from my parents orchard. The sort of gift you happily receive and then wonder what on earth you are going to create. So I put out a call on Facebook, as you do these days, seeking delicious lemon recipes. An old school friend sent me a simple, yet delicious lemon sour cream cake recipe. It was an instant favourite - and I began filling the freezer with them, cake after cake. I was known to have a giant slice in the wee hours of the morning while feeding Max in the dark. It is that kind of cake.
The original recipe calls for huge amounts of sugar and white flour, which at the time, didn't bother me. Over the years, I've refined my eating habits and for the most part removed refined sugar and gluten from my diet. I'll still dabble with a loaf of crusty bread smothered in pate or an ice cream at the end of a hot summers day occasionally, but I love the way my body and mind feels when I go without and I notice the difference in my children's behaviour and energy levels when they eat gluten free.
This recipe has been adapted so much over the past six years and is now made with a handful of wonderful wholesome ingredients, free of gluten, grain and refined sugars. I far prefer the texture these days, using a combination of almond meal and coconut as the base, it is delicate and moist - with a lovely hint of lemon and a kick-ass tarty syrup drizzled on top!
The cake can be thrown together in minutes, which makes it a wonderful recipe if you are short on time and feel like making something extra special.

Cake Ingredients

125g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature 
rind of 1 large lemon 
1/2 cup rice syrup - honey or pure maple syrup would also be lovely
3 large free range eggs 
1 1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup fine desiccated coconut 
1/4 cup natural, unsweetened yogurt 
2 tsp baking powder 

Syrup Ingredients

juice of 1 large lemon
4 tbsp rice syrup 

Optional Garnishes:

slivered almonds 
coconut chips 
lemon rind 


Preheat oven to 180°.
Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper on all sides, and rub with a little melted butter.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and place into preheated oven. 
Cook for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from oven and remove paper from the sides of the cake and gently turn onto a wire rack to cool. 
To make the syrup, combine lemon juice and rice syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium/high heat and allow the mixture to bubble for five minutes, stirring with a small wooden spoon occasionally. Remove from the heat.
Turn the cake onto a cake plate and drizzle over half of the lemon syrup. Reserve the remaining syrup in a small bowl for serving. 
Garnish with a generous serving of slivered almonds, coconut chips and a little lemon rind. Serve with a dollop of natural yogurt and a small extra drizzle of the syrup.
This cake is lovely served warm and will keep for several days in an airtight container, or can be frozen for several months. The recipe can also easily be doubled. 

Enjoy. x Zoe


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