Gluten Free Layered Lemon Cake with Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting

Gluten-free Layered Lemon Cake | The Baking Beauties
I had just bought a bag of lemons (with no real purpose, impulse buy). And although my birthday isn’t until next week, I decided to make Gluten Free Layered Lemon Cake with Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting  for supper yesterday. We had some friends/family (when they’re both, what do you call them…friends or family??) and since 3 of us have March birthday’s, I figured we’d have a birthday cake for all of us to celebrate.

Alright, as soon as you’re done reading this post, please, go buy yourself some lemons. TRUST ME, it was a fantastic impulse buy. This cake is amazing! Fantastic flavour, great texture, and super moist. I made it yesterday, and for research purposes (the things I force myself to do for you guys), I had a piece today to see how it was. Still just as moist, if not moister than it was yesterday. Perfect! I’m sure that this cake would hold up for days, although the whipped cream frosting may start breaking down by day 4 or so.

All of us loved this cake, the lemon flavour, combined with the berries was a great springtime treat. The flavours are light, the frosting is not super sweet, which makes it easy to eat. You can top it with any kind of fruit that you like, if you so choose. I served it with strawberries, but raspberries or blueberries would have been great also.

Thank you so much, Jenny, for suggesting this recipe! It is a definite winner!

Gluten-free Layered Lemon Cake | The Baking Beauties


Gluten Free Layered Lemon Cake with Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting
Cake Layer
  • 2 1/2 cups Featherlight Flour mix (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
Lemon Curd
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups Lemon Curd (see recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons instant vanilla (or lemon) pudding mix (dry)
Cake Layer
  1. Put oven rack in middle of oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and grease sides of pan & paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour mixture, salt, baking powder & xanthan gum until combined. Stir together milk, canola oil, vanilla and zest in another bowl.
  3. Beat together sugar and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed just until combined, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and milk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing until just combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly between cake pans, smoothing tops, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of each cake layer comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
  5. Cool cakes in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of 1 cake layer and invert rack over cake pan, then invert cake onto rack. Repeat with second layer. Peel off paper and cool layers completely.
  6. Cakes can be baked a day in advance, and wrapped tightly with plastic wrap once cooled completely.
Lemon Curd
  1. Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appears on surface, about 6 minutes.
  2. Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least one hour.
Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting
  1. In a medium bowl, whip whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  2. Beat in confectioners sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. In a large bowl, place 2 cups of lemon curd. Take a scoop of the whipped cream, and stir it into the lemon curd (this lightens it). Next, fold the remaining whipped cream into the lemon curd.
  4. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of pudding powder over the top of the mixture. Using a whisk, stir it into the frosting. It will thicken up instantly, giving you a stable, light frosting.
Assembling Cake
  1. Using a long serrated knife, halve each cake layer horizontally. Spread bottom half of each cake layer with 1 cup of lemon curd, then top with remaining cake layers to form two sandwiched cakes. Put on sandwiched cake on a cake stand or platter and spread a heaping 1/2 cup of frosting over top, then cover with remaining sandwiched cake. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Cover and store cake in refrigerator. Remove from fridge 1/2 hour before serving.
Featherlight Flour Mix: 3 cups Rice flour (white or brown), 3 cups Tapioca starch, 3 cups Cornstarch, 3 Tbsp Potato flour (note: flour, not starch).
Lemon Curd can be chilled up to 1 week. The Lemon Curd recipe makes approximately 4 cups of curd. You can use 1 cup to sandwich each cake layer (if necessary), and 2 cups to stir into the frosting.
To cover the cake with plastic wrap, insert toothpicks into the cake to keep the plastic wrap from touching the cake.




  1. betty r says

    Wow..great looking cake Jeanine! I perk up when I hear 'lemon anything' and I usually do have lemons in the house.
    And just to make sure the cake is really that good..have another piece:) grin

  2. Jeanine says

    Betty, I may have to have another piece later…you know, just to make sure. 😀 Can never be too sure!

  3. • friX • says

    Looks great ! I think it's kind of similar to the birthday cake I baked, but with other toppings, ofcourse :-)

  4. Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen says

    I just came across your site and think I just fell into heaven! My husband was diagnosed with celiac last September and I am learning my way around gluten free flours. I have really fallen in love with them and am surprised all the time with how much we all love them. Thank you for sharing your recipes and discoveries. I am enjoying looking through everything!

  5. Melanie says

    I made this delicious cake for Easter Sunday dessert and the whole family loved it! It was lemony without being too tart. Just Perfect!My husband said it reminded him of everything he likes about a lemon meringue pie.(his favorite dessert!) That was the highest compliment! Thank you for all your GF reipes!

  6. Jeanine says

    Sarena, thanks for the comment. Going gf seems very scary at the beginning, but thanks to the internet, there are so many great recipes & information available. Can't imagine having to go GF before the internet, the thought of that scares me.
    Melanie, I'm so glad that you had a chance to try this cake. I've been craving it ever since making it. Mmm…sweet & tangy, but not too sweet, or too tangy…I think I need to buy more lemons. lol

  7. Bryn says

    I made this for my birthday, with one slight variation. Instead of doing a cake from scratch, I used the GF betty crocker white cake mix. Super easy! Once everything was assembled the cake was so yummy! I wish I made a little bit more of the lemon curd to put inbetween the layers, but man was it good. No one in my family believed it was GF!!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I believe it is now my favorite cake!!!

  8. Jeanine says

    yeah! So glad that you and your family liked it too. Nice! and super easy if you're starting with the cake mix, great short-cut to take! Thanks for that suggestion. :)

  9. Debbie Sandland says

    This was awesome!! I made it for a big dinner, which turned out to be 2 of us, and we don't mind having the leftovers to deal with!! Will it freeze? I might try…

  10. Jeanine says

    @Debbie Sandland Hmm…that's an interesting problem to have. I'd say, grab a fork & dig in! :) I'm sure the cake would freeze well, but I'm not sure how the whipped cream frosting would hold up to freezing. It may deflate & slide off the cake when you defrost it.

  11. Leah Skinner says

    This was a lovely tasting cake but I sure had some trouble with it. My cake turned out beautifully (I use my own cake flour blend because we have corn allergies as well) but my curd would not thicken. I reheated with tapioca starch added which helped but it was still too thin when I added it to the whipped cream frosting. After much frustration, I used some small skewers to secure the cake layers together and refrigerated the whole cake for several hours. It was yummy!!! I will try again but need to figure out how to reduce the 1 cup of oil, 10 eggs, 1.5 cups of butter and 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Thanks for a beautiful cake idea!

    • says

      Oh no, sliding cakes isn’t a good thing. I’m not sure why it wouldn’t have thickened up. Did you chill it completely? Glad that you figured out how to rescue it though, phew!

  12. tamara says

    Hi there,
    I just DOUBLED this cake recipe, but made it GLUTEN, DAIRY and SOY free. These are the adjustments for the cake:
    5 cups of flour = 1.25c. of each of the following flours: Almond, sorghum, sweet rice, and brown rice.
    Instead of 2 cups of oil = I used 3/4 of one cup of oil and 1c. applesauce.
    I used 1.5c sugar instead of 2, all 8 eggs, and tripled (instead of doubled) the zest to 3T.
    Split between 2 standard size cake pans (9×13?) and baked 15 minutes before checking.
    The one on the top rack was done in 20 minutes, the one on the bottom was done in 30 (at 350) – the bottom cake is slightly thicker than the top cake (I guess I did not divide the dough evenly).

    They taste HEAVENLY. Wonderful light cake, no way anyone will know these are GF.

    For the lemon curd, these are the adjustments I made:
    (again, I doubled the recipe): 2 cups fresh lemon juice, 4 T finely grated fresh lemon (instead of 8tsp) zest, 1 cup raw sugar (instead of 2), 10 large eggs (instead of 12). Instead of butter, I used a dairy/soy free ricotta cheese (you can find the recipe here – and..I doubled it! ).

    Lastly, for the frosting: with a dash of lemon juice and zest, and just a tad bit of cocoa.

    The cakes were not thick enough to cut horizontally (unless I was super careful, and I just didn’t trust myself), but were PERFECT for cutting in half vertically. Cutting both cakes like this made 4 squares, and I put the lovely lemon mascapone between them all (including as the bottom layer!) and topped it all with the frosting. Took a bit of work, but totally worth it. I hope this helps some ppl out there enjoy a GF, DF, SF Sicilian Lemon Cassata cake with Lemon Mascarpone and Coconut Lemon Frosting (wow, what a mouthful!)

    • says

      Wow, sounds like you’ve made some great adjustments! I love versatile recipes, and this one is just that. Great substitutions that you made, so glad that you shared!

  13. Debbie lester says

    Will the whipped cream icing hold up at room temperature for a few hours? Sounds light and delicious. I’m planning to make some gluten free cupcakes for my daughter’s wedding, and they will have to be displayed on the cake table during the dinner reception.

    • Jeanine says

      I think a few hours would be OK (depending on temp & humidity), but definitely do a test run first. The vanilla pudding mix in the frosting helps to hold it, and it would be beautiful piped onto cupcakes, but please, for such an important event, test run it. :)

  14. Sarah says

    Just made this for our 1st anniversary! Delicious. I cheated and used a GF yellow cake mix and added a box of lemon pudding to the mix. Super easy. Very good!

  15. sarah says

    I don’t know why my review shows just three stars–it should be 5!!! And the cake is, perhaps, even more delicious on day 2!!!

    • says

      Haha, no problem, Sarah! I just added the star rating for fun, just so people could mark their favorites, maybe others would see that and be willing to try the recipe. So glad that you liked the recipe, it’s one of my favorite cakes as well (and very versatile too).

  16. says

    I made this cake on the weekend to celebrate 2 family birthdays. I subbed in 1/2 cup Only Oats oat flour and used a different recipe for the lemon curd that had less butter. “I would never know this is gluten free” is the best compliment and this cake got it!

    • says

      Ah, that is a great compliment, Mia! I love hearing that when people eat something I’ve baked too. :) This recipe is written a while ago, but I love adding a heartier flour now, even in cakes, it really does great things for the texture. :)

  17. Linda billingsley says

    I made these into cupcakes. They were awesome, i put lemon curd injected in the cupcake . Very good!

  18. Val says

    Delicious cake…but had same problem as one of the earlier comments with my curd not thickening. My thought is too much butter? I fixed things up on the fly with some strawberries and added some of the thin curd to the whipped cream between the layers. The GF folk in my family loved it.


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