Gluten Free Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

gluten free lemon cake oh

This gluten free Lemon Cake is one of my favorite cake recipes. Its fresh, tart flavor and light, moist crumb seem to please nearly every palate. Frost with my Lemon Buttercream Frosting for the proverbial icing on the cake!

Bake as a sheet cake, in two rounds or as cupcakes — any way you chose, it’s delicious! The glaze helps to permeate this delectable cake with tart flavor, while the Lemon Buttercream Frosting offers enough sweetness to make this dessert a delight for all your tastebuds.

gluten free lemon cake

And seriously, how pretty is it with just a simple decoration of sliced lemon rounds atop a thin layer of frosting? No fancy cake decorating skills needed. It’s a winning combination any way you slice it.

Of course, feel free to pipe on some frosting if you feel the urge. That’s pretty fun, too.

Gluten free lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting
Gluten free lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting made entirely by my daughter for my 50th birthday — so proud!!!


Have a look at some of the comments on this recipe and you’ll see what a crowd favorite it really is. And if my love for this cake needs more proof, it’s now been my choice as both my gluten free wedding cake and my 50th birthday gluten free cupcakes. It really is THAT good.

And because it’s been proven in these special occasion cakes, I can assure you that this delicious cake stands up to layers — even wedding cake layers. It’s pretty much the perfect cake for anyone who loves lemons.

gluten free wedding cake with slice_

As for technique in making this delightfully light, sweet and tart cake?

Nothing much special — just the right ingredients which, in gluten free, must start with the right gluten free flour.

Gluten Free Lemon Cake sq

This amazingly spongy and wheat-like cake only turns out as magically as it does because it’s made with my award-winning gfJules Flour. It’s light, fine, not gritty or funky-tasting and yet it has enough structure to support a delicate cake like this without sinking or becoming dense.

It just works and it just makes your life easier and so much tastier.

making lemon syrup

After the right ingredients, the other secret to this amazing gluten free lemon cake recipe is to poke holes in the top after baking and drizzle on the yummy lemon syrup!

It turns a great lemon cake into a fantastically dreamy lemon delight! 

pouring syrup gluten free lemon cake

Simply boil the sugar and lemons, drizzle the glaze over the cake (first poke holes in the top like a traditional “poke cake”) and then use the lemons to decorate. It’s a beautiful presentation for what’s bound to become a favorite cake.

gluten free lemon cake

Yield: serves 20

Gluten Free Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

gluten free Lemon Cake piece

The perfect light, sweet and tart cake for any occasion: gluten free lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting! Birthdays, weddings, or anytime you crave the perfect cake or cupcakes, this will be your go-to recipe!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 3 cups (405 grams)  gfJules All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered gluten free vanilla pudding mix (like Jell-o brand) or almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (or alternative like Swerve)
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk (or substitute)
  • 2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup milk (dairy, coconut, almond, hemp, soy ...)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon zest
  • 1/2 Tbs. poppy seeds (optional)


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or alternative like Swerve)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly and seeded for top of cake (optional)


Preheat oven to 350° F (static) or 325° F (convection).

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl, beating until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and yolk, one at a time, mixing to integrate. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Then alternately beat the dry ingredients and milk into the mixing bowl, just until combined and batter is smooth. Stir in lemon zest and poppy seeds, if adding.

Oil one 9×13 pan lightly. Pour in cake batter and smooth with a rubber spatula. Bake until cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan, approximately 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake – if it is clean or has very few crumbs, the cake is done.

OR if baking cupcakes, line pans with 22-24 cupcake lines or oil well. Fill 2/3 full with batter and smooth tops. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, testing with toothpick for doneness.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, if necessary to release the cake, and invert onto a wire rack if desired.

While cake is baking, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add lemon slices and reduce to simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the lemon slices and set aside; stir 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into the syrup.

Using a toothpick, poke holes into the warm cake while it is cooling. Pour lemon syrup over top and into the holes. Let cool completely before frosting. Add the cooked lemon slices to the top of the cake for decoration after frosting.

Hop to Lemon Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 219Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 53mgSodium 181mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 1gSugar 29gProtein 3g

Please keep in mind that nutrition information provided is per serving, which may vary. While we have taken care to provide you with the most accurate nutritional values possible, please note that this information may differ significantly depending on the exact ingredients and brands that you choose to use to make this recipe. Additionally, where options are given for ingredients, the resulting calculation may include all ingredient options instead of only one per line, skewing the totals significantly.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Pin it for when you feel like some lemony goodness!

The light, fresh flavor of lemon really comes out in this yummy gluten free lemon cake recipe, and the glaze permeates the cake with extra lemony flavor!


Gluten Free Lemon Buttercream Cake - moist, tart & sweet, all in one!


Gluten Free Lemon Buttercream Frosted Cake

gfJules Award Winning Products

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    • Hi Pat, thanks for letting me know that link didn’t work. I’ve fixed it now. If in the future you’re trying to find a particular recipe, just type it into the search bar and it should pop up for you. Happy baking!

    • Hi Erin, I assume you’re talking about my homemade flour blend recipe from Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten Free Eating? If so, yes, this will work. I have improved upon that recipe markedly in recent years, by using some different ingredients you can’t find in the store and modifying proportions, so it likely won’t be quite as light and airy with the homemade blend as it is with my gfJules flour, but it should still be yummy. 🙂

  1. So using scratch recipe, I cream the additional two cups of sugar with the butter, or do I cream the two cups from scratch recipe to the butter?

    • Hi Autumn, cream the butter and the sugar together and whisk the dry ingredients from the scratch recipe up separately. Then follow the directions for the lemon cake’s liquid ingredients, adding the dry ingredients at the end. Hope that makes more sense!

      • I’m unable to find a scratch recipe to use. It redirects me to a blank page. Can you list what specific recipe for me to use? I don’t have time to order a mix to make a cake for a party this weekend! HELP!!

        • Hi Amy,
          So sorry that link wasn’t working. When we migrated all of our site over to the new platform, some links were lost and a lot of formatting was off. I’m still trying to go back and fix the problems as I find them, so thanks for pointing this out! I have fixed the recipe for you, so have fun at your party this weekend and enjoy this yummy cake!

  2. I’m all out of your cake mix so I followed the link to the birthday cake recipe. I see the birthday cake recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar and this one calls for 3 cups. Do I use 3 cups or combine the two recipes?

    • Hi Lisa, they both call for 2 cups of sugar. Perhaps you were looking at the number of eggs instead? Hope it worked out for you!

  3. Made this cake today for my son. Can’t wait to try it out tomorrow! I put a few drops of yellow food color in the Lemon Buttercream Frosting and it turned out looking real nice. Thanks for the great recipe!!

    • That’s fantastic, Londa! So glad you tried it and I’m sure with the yellow food coloring, it was gorgeous, too!

  4. I made the cake and understand why Julie thought it tasted like flour. The cake was very dense, like a bread. I used the Jules A-P Flour (scratch) and Stevia Baking Mix (to reduce the calories). Not sure if this is what caused the dense final product. I used the “cake” as shortbread with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. It wasn’t bad, but was not a light fluffy cake.

    • Hi Karen, I haven’t worked with the Stevia for baking in a while, and I’ve never used it in this recipe. I can imagine though, at these proportions, that it would definitely have an effect. Creaming real sugar with butter or Earth Balance gives lift and adds a lighter cell structure to the cake. If you can swing the calories, next time try real sugar and see how it goes. :)

  5. Hey Jules

    This is my first cake after chandler was diagnosed on August 14. It tasted like flour to me but I sweetened up the glaze and put it on when it was warm. He liked it. What did I do wrong? Also, I didn’t see a temperature. I am legally blind I could have missed it. I didn’t do the icing.

    He also likes your glaze on chicken. We call it lemonade chicken.

    Plus, chandler says your oats are the best in the world! He has never said that about anything. We need a bulk deal on them! Thanks Julie

    • Lemonade chicken?! What a great idea, Julie!! And that’s great to hear about my oats – I love them too. They’re so soft and wonderful to bake with or for breakfast! I’ll suggest a bulk deal on those, as I’m sure you’re not the only one who would appreciate that! As for the cake, did you add the sugar? Did you use the cake mix or make it from scratch? I’m not sure why it would have tasted like flour. Why don’t you send an email to [email protected] and we’ll walk through the recipe with you to see where it might have gone wrong.

  6. Hi Jules,
    I’m from canada too and would like to try
    your lemon cake recipe but the birthday cake
    recipe doesn’t have any flour ingredients to blend.It only lists your packaged mix which is not available here :-(

    • Hi Maggie – there’s a link in the recipe from the cake mix (look for the asterix) for a scratch recipe in place of the cake mix. Hope that works for you!

  7. Made this cake today with my daughter for my birthday celebration tomorrow. I am having trouble NOT digging in. But, if I take it to my mother-in-law’s tomorrow with a small corner missing, that would NOT be good! So, I will be a good girl and wait. :-)

  8. Hi, I don’t quite understand how to make this ‘from scratch’ using your flour. Are you saying to use your birthday cake recipe, plus add more milk, eggs, sugar and the lemon? I’ve been trying to use the flour rather than the cake flour, but it might be easier to get the cake flour? HELP! Thanks

    • Sorry for any confusion, Gina. If you’re making this cake from scratch, mix up the dry ingredients from the scratch recipe with the liquid ingredients from the Lemon Cake Recipe. Hope that helps!

  9. Hi,

    I would like to make this it sounds yummy, how would I go about incorporating the lemon cake recipe with the from scratch cake recipe. I am from Canada and cannot get your cake mix here. Thanks!

    • Hi Marilyn, sorry if the recipe wasn’t clear. If you’re making this cake from scratch, mix up the dry ingredients from the scratch recipe with the liquid ingredients from the Lemon Cake Recipe. Hope that helps for you!

  10. I am GF but am diet conscious! Do you have the calorie count on this? How long is baking in mini loaf pans or cupcake pans? Does it freeze well? In other word, I can’t wait to try the recipe, but I need smaller portions! Thanks!

    • Hi Karen, I don’t have the calorie count on this recipe, unfortunately, but if you want to make into cupcakes to mete out portions, bake them for approximately 30 minutes, but start testing them at 25. Enjoy!

      • In regards to cupcakes out of this lemon cake recipe, mine took less than 20 Minutes…large cupcakes. I used cupcake papers ( silver foil outside) made the mistake of trying to take them out( of course to quality control sample!Lol! Seemed to come out better after cooled. I tried some in a mini pan sprayed with Pam, they didn’t come out at all. Question about baking as cake. I usually grease and FLOUR pan, they didn’t come out as easily as most cakes I have made as I just oiled as instructed? Could I FLOUR as well? If so which flour would I use? Kim From Canada

        • Hi Kim, I agree completely about the quality control sample! 🙂
          Were you able to use my gfJules Flour? That makes a big difference in most recipes. As for greasing and flouring, you can absolutely do that, especially in pans with lots of ridges to stick to; I use more of my gfJules All Purpose Flour when I flour pans but if you don’t have it you could use a gluten free starch like cornstarch. Also, allowing the cakes to cool some first does help the crumb to set and they turn out better than diving in while warm, although there’s nothing like that first warm bite only the cook can sneak!
          I hope that helps – check into my gfJules Flour next time if you haven’t used it yet – it makes recipes turn out light and fluffy and no grit at all!

  11. Oh, yeah, that’s what I’m wanting….maybe some ginger, too as I still miss those ginger cookies with the lemon filling…(hint, hint…)

    • Hey Jules – 

      So…egg substitue for the eggs? That is about my only option for my egg-free little dude who would gobble up this cake. 

      Thanks for all you do! Seems like your wedding was a hit! Congratuations. 


  12. Can’t wait to try this one, Jules. My husband is not GF like I am, but he LOVES lemon cake. This one might actually convince him that GF baked goodies can not only be good, but better than their flour-based alternatives! :)

  13. Jules, I’ve been drooling over this recipe since you posted your sneak peak photos on Facebook and Instagram. This cake looks and sounds so delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

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