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GF French Lemon Cake

Gluten Free French Lemon Cake with lemon rum syrupWe had a cooking unit in my high school french class and everyone was given a more or less traditional French food to cook. I had to make this lemon cake.

A year later, in college, I had my dad find the recipe, type it up and email it to me so that I could impress the other girls in the dorm. In European fashion, it was by weight and I definitely made it by eyeballing it.

Lemon cake for Bastille day Two years ago, I went back to the yahoo email address I used back then to find it, but I didn’t make it – this whole gluten-free baking thing was a bit too scary for me.

I dug it out yesterday because today is Bastille day and a French treat was in order.

It is a bright, lemony cake with a delicate crumb. There is absolutely no need for any gums or even flax in this cake – you want it to disintegrate into lemony goodness  in your mouth.


GF French Lemon Cake with Lemon Rum Glaze
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Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 8
The original recipe was given to me as a handout in my high school French class by Mme. Czarnecki. I have made it gluten-free and changed a few things to make it even better than the original.
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar, divided (75 grams for the cake, 75 for the syrup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams/ 1/2 stick) VERY soft butter
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) sweet white sorghum flour
  • 30 grams (1/3 cup) brown rice flour
  • 30 grams (1/3 cup) sweet white rice flour
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) tapioca starch
  • 5 grams (1 Tablespoon) ground flax
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 lemons (3 zests for cake, 2 zests and juice from 3 lemons in syrup)
  • 3/8 cup (6 Tablespoons) dark rum
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place eggs & half the sugar (75 grams or 3/8 cup) sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the butter, flours, baking powder, salt and zest from 3 of the lemons.
  4. Mix well. The batter should be thick and look creamy.
  5. Pour into a greased 8 or 9 inch round pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. While cake is baking, combine remaining sugar (75 grams or 3/8 cup), the juice of 3 lemons and the rum in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and stir regularly while the cake is baking.
  7. Remove cake from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Invert over a cake plate and pour syrup over cake while still warm.
  9. If you can wait, the lemon flavor will intensify over night, but the cake can be enjoyed immediately.

You can replace all flours with 1 cup GF all-purpose flour, such as Jules’ Nearly Normal Flour.

You cannot make this cake without the rum. In high school we used rum extract because of laws and such, but with real rum it is 1,000 times better.

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