Monday, 31 March 2014

Vegan & Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake GF

It was Mother's Day in the UK yesterday and the perfect excuse to bake a cake! But in order to satisfy everyone's dietary needs, it HAD to be vegan AND gluten free. I have to admit that some of my attempts at baking vegan cakes with gluten free flours have turned out to be very disappointing, in fact quite disastrous really! However, as soon as I saw the beautiful vegan lemon drizzle cake on Bit of The Good Stuff, I knew that I MUST attempt to make it gluten free and yesterday was the ideal occasion since my daughter was visiting and she adores lemon drizzle cake.

For the last couple of weeks I've been researching egg substitutes and have come across some great information. Flax and chia seeds are the preferred choice for vegan baking since when they are highly gelatinous when combined with water. I have used ground flax seeds in some recipes such as my gluten free scones and my gluten free and egg free chocolate cake but I find they can sometimes leave an nasty after taste, even when freshly ground. I don't use chia seeds either, it's not something everyone has in their store cupboard or can easily get hold of in the UK and I've discovered that they can make baked goods overly moist.

Since I also don't like to use xanthan gum if I can possibly help it, I needed to find another ingredient which would help to bind all the ingredients together. After all my reading, I decided to try gram flour also known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour or besan. I've been cooking with this fine, yellow gluten free flour for years. I can happily recommend the Doves Farm Gram Flour since it's guaranteed to be gluten free and of high quality. It's fantastic for egg free batters and perfect for vegetable pakoras and onion bhajis - a great favourite of ours - as well as for egg free pancakes and burgers.

Sharon's original recipe provided a fantastic starting point to develop a gluten free recipe. I used a xanthan gum free flour mix, cut down on the sugar a little and used my own home made almond milk (though since originally making this I now use organic soya milk for vegan cakes since I believe it gives a much better result). I think it isn't quite as fluffy as the original recipe but it's definitely the best vegan gluten free cake I've made.

Vegan & Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake GF

235 g Gluten Free Plain Flour mix (I used Doves Farm GF plain flour which doesn't include xanthan gum)
15 g gram flour
2¼ tsps gluten free baking powder
¼ tsp salt
170 g unrefined granulated sugar
85 ml extra virgin olive oil
265 ml organic soya milk or almond milk (or other non dairy milk)
zest of 2 lemons

Lemon Drizzle
50 g unrefined granulated sugar
2 tblsps freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Set the oven to 170° C (I have a fan/convection oven).
  • Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment of a loaf tin liner.
  • Sift the gluten free flour, gram flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, oil and almond milk then stir in the lemon zest.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined and smooth but don't over stir ( I use a balloon whisk).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and place on the middle shelf of the oven.
  • Bake for 50 - 60 minutes (mine took 60 minutes) or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile make the lemon drizzle by stirring the freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar together in a small bowl.
  • When the cake is baked, remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes then pierce all over with a skewer or tooth pick.
  • Pour some of the drizzle all over the cake while it is still warm, start with half the drizzle only, don't drench the cake.
  • Leave in the tin to cool down for 30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Please visit Sharon's blog, Bit of the Good Stuff, where she writes about

  "....the stuff I'm currently passionate about, including my journey into the world of whole food plant-based cooking."