The light texture and not-to-sweet lemony flavor of this cake make it perfect for breakfast, dessert, or whenever the mood strikes. The recipe gives you two choices for toppings: an easy simple-syrup glaze, or a tart lemony icing. You can also vary the cake by adding whatever berries are in season when you make it.
Why this recipe works:
- Rice flour and tapioca starch combine to create a cake that's delicate and that does not rely on xanthan gum for structure.
- Lemon zest in the batter and lemon juice in the glaze add a strong lemon flavor without overpowering the cake.
Notes: Select one glaze to finish the cake. The simple syrup glaze changes the texture of the cake a little, making it damp, while the powdered sugar icing leaves the coffee cake-like texture intact. If desired, toss together 1 cup washed berries, like blueberries, with 1 tablespoon white rice flour. Stir coated berries into the finished batter and bake as directed.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) brown or white rice flour
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest from 2 to 3 lemons
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- Option 1: Simple Syrup Glaze
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons zest and 6 tablespoons fresh juice from about 4 to 6 lemons
- Option 2: Powdered Sugar Icing
- 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, granulated sugar, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt. In a measuring cup or a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and lemon zest. Pour buttermilk mixture over dry ingredients. Whisk in vegetable oil and eggs until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Option 1: Simple Syrup Glaze Meanwhile, if making the Simple-Syrup Glaze, combine granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring gently until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and cook syrup until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
While cake is still warm, poke it all over with a fork. Brush top of cake with syrup and allow to absorb fully, about 5 minutes. Repeat until all syrup is absorbed.
Option 2: Powdered Sugar Glaze If making Powdered Sugar Glaze, allow cake to cool completely. In small bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir with a fork until smooth. Icing should be thick but spreadable; if the icing is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. Spread icing on cake and allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.
Store cake, covered, on the counter for up to 3 days.
8-inch square baking pan