Gluten-Free Naked Lemon Cake

IMAG3777.jpgGetting married last year did get me thinking about cake designs. Granted I don’t typically like cake. And I ended up making 9 cheesecakes instead, but I was drawn to the rustic, naked cakes. I liked there raw beauty appeal. It feels like it suits my soul. I am a simple soul. I love the woods. Hiking trails. I consider mountains to be a magnetic force that I am drawn to, even if it’s just to stand and stare in awe of one. I don’t like extravagance. I would have less, and be rich in experiences and adventure. I just want to love people and bake. In a nut-shell that is it. I appreciate beauty, but not the bling, over-the-top beauty. I enjoy a subtle, natural beauty. As I said I am a tree, nature girl. I enjoy baking pies. And when I do make cake, I seek that same rustic appeal. That raw edge. And I seek flavors that I enjoy. Like lemon. And coconut (coming next)

Especially being a recovering perfectionist, I need to challenge myself to pursue projects that don’t need to be perfect. The slight messiness, is what makes this beautiful to me. And it breaks my habit (that’s why I usually like wearing my hair curly rather than straight anymore, curly it is meant to be wild and untamed, not perfect). Lemon curd that drips down the sides, and frosting that doesn’t have to be flawlessly smoothed, is good for my recovery.

Easter is coming up, which means I’ll be heading to my grandparents. We have several non-gluten eaters, so I like to make something festive. Plus I had some leftover coconut flour, which is tricky to work with (it can get dense or chalky), but I have found it works well in cakes.

What is also about this cake is you can add and subtract if you want. Take the rosemary out of the lemon curd (lavender would be lovely too). Or subtract the meringue. Maybe you just want frosting and some lemon slices. Or you just wanted frosting and fresh flowers (or succulents). Make this cake fit your personal tastes and desires. This is just to give you options. Let your creativity run free.

IMAG3770.jpgLemon Cake

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flour

Lemon Curd:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • Dash salt
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 1 sprig rosemary

Buttercream Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Meringue:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp honey

 

Let’s Make it Happen: Preheat oven to 350.

In a bowl, sift together the coconut flour, baking powder, and sea salt.

Beat eggs for several minutes. Turn the speed down, as you gradually add in the coconut sugar. Turn the speed back up and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Turn the speed back down and carefully add the dry ingredients.

Melt the butter in a saucepan with the milk. It doesn’t need to boil, but should be hot. Add this to the mixer (when it’s off).

Pour into a greased cake pan (I use coconut oil). Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes cleanly out of the center. Cool for 5 minutes, then place the pan on a wire rack. Allow it to keep cooling before flipping it over.

For the Lemon Curd: whisk the eggs, honey, salt and lemon juice in a saucepan. Add the coconut oil, rosemary, and zest, cooking at a medium heat. Cook until starts to thicken. Strain. Cool. Refrigerate.

For Frosting: Whip the butter until light and fluffy, add the maple sugar and vanilla. Keep beating until light in color.

For the Meringue: whisk the egg whites, using the whisk attachment to a mixer. Beat until frothy. Add the honey. Keep beating until peaks form.

IMAG3748.jpgAssembly: Cut the cake into 2-3 layers. Place the first layer on a cake round, place a smear of frosting there for the layer of cake to stick to. Pipe a border of frosting around the parameter. Spread ¼ cup of lemon curd into the center. Add the next layer of cake. Repeat. Once you get to the top, place a rough layer of frosting on the top and sides, it doesn’t have to be perfect, we are going for that rustic, naked look here. Smooth meringue around the sides. Torch so it gets toasted. Spread lemon curd on the top so it begins to drip down the sides. Decorate the top with lemon slices, rosemary sprigs, fresh flowers or succulents.

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