I love the simplicity of this Gluten Free Lemon Poke Cake. The tangy lemon curd is cooked up while the cake is baking, and in no time, you have a cake that is so moist, and definitely company-worthy.
I’m going retro again with this Gluten Free Lemon Poke Cake. If you haven’t tried making a poke cake before, you really should.
I’ve got a few more flavour ideas in my head, and I can’t wait to try them out, but today I’m sharing this tangy gluten free Lemon Poke Cake, so pucker up!
What is a poke cake?
Simple – bake a cake, poke it full of holes, and then pour something (pudding, curd, Jello) over the cake, and let it seep into the holes that you poked.
It’s sort of a genius way to add more topping to your cake.
Instead of the cake just having lemon curd across the top (which would also be good), it goes down into the cake, leaving little pockets of lemon curd throughout.
The best way to zest and juice lemons:
Use a handheld stainless steel zester to remove the zest from citrus. You just grate the colored part of the fruit, not the white part. The white is pith, and it will make your curd bitter.
Be sure to zest the lemons before you juice them. Cold lemons are easier to zest, while warm lemons yield more juice.
Once you have removed the zest, warm the lemons slightly by microwaving them for 30 seconds, then roll the lemons with the palm of your hand on the counter while pressing down slightly. This will help you to get the most juice from your lemons.
More gluten free lemon recipes you’ll love:
- Gluten Free Lemon White Chocolate Cheesecakes
- Thick and Tangy Gluten Free Lemon Bars
- Gluten Free Warm Lemon Pudding Cake
- Gluten Free Lemon Pound Cake
- Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes with fresh blackberry buttercream
- Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
Gluten Free Lemon Poke Cake recipe:
- 2/3 cup( 107 g) brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup (57 g) potato starch
- 1/4 cup (31 g) tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) xanthan gum
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- 3 large eggs
- zest of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons, 30 ml)
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter
- Whipped Cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, starches, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar and lemon zest, pressing the lemon zest into the sugar to release the oils (you can use your hands for this). The sugar should look like wet sand when you are done.
- Whisk in the eggs, and once the mixture looks smooth and light yellow, whisk in the milk, oil, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 33-37 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and lemon zest in a LARGE microwave safe bowl (an 8 cup glass measuring cup works well).
- Microwave the curd for 5-6 minutes, WHISKING EVERY MINUTE, until the curd comes to a boil and thickens. How long this takes will vary depending on your microwave.
- Place the butter, cut up into cubes, in a glass bowl, and place a mesh strainer over the bowl. Pour the cooked curd into the strainer, over the butter. This will remove the lemon zest and any bits of egg that may have accidentally cooked, giving you a smooth curd.
- Stir the curd until the butter is fully melted.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake, about 1-inch (2.5 cm) apart.
- Pour the hot curd over the cake, being sure to fill in all the holes. Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before placing it in the refrigerator to cool completely.
- Because the top of the cake is slightly domed, the curd will run to the edge of your pan, giving you a thicker layer of curd along the edges than in the middle. No worries, when the cake has been refrigerated for about an hour, use a spoon or offset spatula to spread the curd in an even layer over the cake. Store the cake, covered, in the refrigerator.
- Top with sweetened whipped cream before serving (optional).
- Be sure to zest the lemons before you juice them! Cold lemons are easier to zest, while warm lemons yield more juice. Once you have removed the zest, warm the lemons slightly by microwaving them for 30 seconds, then roll the lemons on the counter while pressing down slightly. This will help you to get the most juice from your lemons.
- Although this cake is baked in an 8x8-inch pan, you can double the recipe (cake and curd), and bake it in a 9x13-inc pan. Baking time will increase slightly, insert a toothpick into the cake to test if the cake is completely baked.
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Recipe and images updated February 2020. Originally posted February 2015.