Gluten-free Lemon Cake with a hint of coconut is the spring and summer dessert that’s perfect for potlucks! Slices of this cake are perfect just the way they are – no ice cream needed!
Today I bring you a delicious lemon coconut bundt cake that is not only gluten-free, but dairy-free, tree-nut free and peanut-free also! You won’t miss any of that though, as this cake is full of lemon and coconut flavor, has the perfect cake crumb, and a sweet and tangy lemon icing you’ll want to lick off your plate! I think this will become your favorite gluten-free dairy-free lemon dessert!
You all know that I love baking for myself and my family, but I love baking for other people even more! Seeing the smiles on the faces of friends with food allergies or intolerances when they have one of my desserts is so rewarding!
I made this gluten-free lemon cake for our church potluck recently. In our small church family of about 200 people, there are several other people with celiac, several with gluten intolerances, and quite a few with allergies to dairy, nuts and/or peanuts.
I wanted to make something that they could all enjoy at the evening dessert potluck. This gluten-free dairy-free cake is also free of nuts and peanuts of course.
Notes about the ingredients and substitutions for this gluten-free lemon cake recipe:
- Since I needed to use a nut-free flour blend, I grabbed one of my favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour blends, gfJules. It has xanthan gum in it already, so the xanthan gum listed in the recipe is just for if you use a gluten-free flour blend that doesn’t have xanthan or guar gum in it already. Results with gluten-free all-purpose flour blends vary, but you should have good results with any good quality flour blend that is very fine and doesn’t contain bean flours. I can guarantee it’ll be great if you use gfJules though since that’s what I used!
- For the liquid in this recipe, I opted for canned coconut milk from Trader Joe’s. You could use any coconut milk, regular milk or nut milks in this recipe as well, if you aren’t dealing with those allergies.
- I used coconut oil to keep it dairy-free. You could also use organic vegetable shortening with good results. I have not yet tried this with other oils, but you can absolutely try!
- If you really love coconut, you might want to sprinkle shredded coconut on top of the cake to finish it off too!
- The lemon flavor in this cake is all natural – that is, you use actual lemon juice and lemon zest from fresh lemons. I do not recommend using any lemon extracts in place of actual lemon.
This gluten-free lemon bundt cake is made in a bundt pan. Since bundt pans come in such a variety of sizes, and also a variety of thicknesses of the metals, the baking time given is a range. Don’t rely so much on the time listed for baking, instead check for doneness in regular intervals with a toothpick.
Thanks to the sweet and flavorful lemon glaze, slices of this are yummy served plain!
Here’s a look at how I brought it to a potluck. Since it was a potluck and I wanted to minimize the risk of cross-contamination during serving, I brought the cake already pre-sliced and ready to serve from this two-tiered serving plate. Each person could just grab their slice and enjoy!
One of the families from church eats all gluten-free and dairy-free, and since they enjoyed the cake I sent the few remaining slices home with them. Thankfully, I’d kept another a few slices at home for my family too!
At home, since we can have dairy, we enjoyed some cake slices with homemade whipped cream. I recently found this black raspberry ice cream and think the flavor would go amazing with this lemon cake!
Hope you can make this lemon coconut cake recipe soon! I think you’ll love it even more than a gluten-free coconut cake!
If you make this cake and love it, please come back and give this recipe a 5 star rating in the recipe card! Feel free to comment with tips or to share any successful substitutions you made.
Gluten-free Lemon Coconut Cake Recipe:
- 2 1/4 cups (294 g.) gluten-free flour blend*
- 1 tsp. xanthan *see note
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's light coconut milk that comes in a can)
- 10 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-5 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a bundt pan very well, then set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, xanthan or guar gum (if needed), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium for one minute.
- With mixer on low speed, slowly add sugar to the eggs. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Slowly pour in dry ingredients on low speed and mix just until combined.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, warm the coconut milk and coconut oil while whisking, until the oil is melted and mixture is well mixed.
- Pour the coconut milk/oil mixture into the batter in the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until you have a smooth, thin batter.
- Pour batter into the greased bundt pan and bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted into the center should come out with only moist crumbs, not wet batter. Baking time will vary depending on your bundt pan's shape and size and can be anywhere from 35 minutes to 60 minutes or so, based on comments from others that have tested this. Rely on the toothpick!
- Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in pan, over wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a long skinny spatula or butter knife to gently help release the sides of the cake so it doesn't stick to the pan. Flip cake pan over, removing cake from pan onto wire rack. Allow cake to cool until room temperature or slightly warm.
- While cake is cooling, prepare lemon glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice until it reaches your desired thickness for glazing the cake. I made mine pretty thin and it soaked more into the cake, which I liked. If you want it to mostly stay on the top of the cake, you'll want to make it thicker so it won't run down the sides of the cake and onto the pan. When I made this again for new photos, I actually double-glazed it. I poured the glaze over the cake once. Then after that soaked in, I poured the rest over the cake again.
*I've tested with gfJules gluten-free flour blend and King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour Blend and recommend either. See blog post for more information.
*If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe. (both the blends I tested this with have xanthan, so I did not add the additional xanthan listed here. It is listed in case you are using a blend that does not have xanthan)
*Since bundt pans come in such a variety of sizes, and also a variety of thicknesses of the metals, the baking time given is a range. Don't rely so much on the time listed for baking, instead check for doneness in regular intervals with a toothpick.
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I hope you and your family and friends enjoy this gf lemon cake recipe.