It’s funny how some events and times of the year provoke a certain feeling or vibe. Even living in Australia I sometimes think Christmas should include hot chocolate and roaring fires (I suppose marketing does work huh!). So I think that’s why whenever I think of Easter, I imagine a bright and colourful Spring full of bunnies and flowers. Even though Easter in Oz is Autumn and we don’t have any of those damn things here. But alas, come Easter I don’t just crave chocolate, I crave lightness and sweetness. Something simple but delicious, something like my Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake .
Lemons and Blueberries, a winning combo
Hello, my name is Stacey and I am a Chocoholic. In fact I have such an issue with it that I try and hide it from myself in my pantry…. well that is I did. Then I became a professional baker and now I store approx 25kgs of the stuff in there. Can’t really hide that! But it’s no surprise to folks when I write a delicious and decadent chocolate dessert. I mean, it’s my jam right? But here’s the shocking truth, when I make desserts to take to a family event I almost never include chocolate!
*insert gasps here*
Yeah, I know right? I mean who am I and what have I done with myself? But when it comes to taking a delicious dessert or plate of something to a family event I love to stick to classic and light flavours. My favourite of course being lemon and coming a very close second, blueberry.
They’re like cookies and cream. Bacon and eggs. Wine and cheese. Sonny and Cher (bet the millennials reading this are like WHO? anyway). My point is the combination is a winner, ALWAYS, so naturally I had to make something delicious out of them. A family lunch was the perfect test run.
Lunch with the Nans
I don’t know but there’s something about having lunch with my Nanna’s. Yes two, my Nanna and my Nanna Joan (technically my great grandmother, but we shant remind her of that). I know they’re not hugely into sweet things and I know lemon is always a winner.
I needed to whip up a dessert that was quick, (hello working Mum here), but one that was sure to wow and travel well! They do live an hour and a half away, so I had to be able to chuck it in the car and go. With all these things in mind I decided to make a loaf cake. Not only was it easy and fast to prep but I knew the oldies would love it.
Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake
After a little brainstorming and thinking I turned to my favourite cook book, the CWA. Ahhh yes, when in doubt turn to the CWA ladies, you’ll always find the perfect recipe there, or maybe just a quick run down on how to make brunch for 100 people. Either way.
I turned to their Lemon Feather Cake recipe for inspo and after a little tweaking, tuning and messing about I came up with my Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake. A stunning little loaf cake that has a beautiful crumb, moister than a scone, but not as cakey as a, well, cake.
Throw in some blueberries and of course an even zestier lemon/blueberry drizzle and dessert was done. Served with vanilla ice cream it went down a treat. The silence whilst everyone dug in and that lovely sucking of the teeth that shows a truly lemony experience was all I needed.
The Key to a Great Cake
The key to this Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake is not only the lemon and blueberries of course. It’s the crumb. A loaf is a touch more bread like and touch less cake like. In fact it falls somewhere in the middle. So your gluten free flour choice really matters here! I’m normally a firm believer in recipes being able to use any basic gluten free flour blend, but in this case I definitely recommend a specific brand. The Bobs Red Mill 1:1 flour is made of predominately rice flours so gives you a beautiful light crumb. It’s the key to achieving that light and fluffy texture.
The other key is extra Xanthan gum. Just like in my Classic Gluten Free Pumpkin Scone recipe I recommend adding extra xanthan gum (the flour blend already has some in it!). But here you need just a touch more, otherwise it crumbles like nobodies business. Honestly, I tried, it’s so much better with Xanthan gum.
A note on blueberries. Yes I recommend tinned blueberries in this recipe. Why? Because they’ve been soaking in juice and add extra moisture to the loaf. You then also get to use the extra juice to make a stunning zesty glaze to finish your gluten free loaf off beautifully. But also because they’re year round, you’re not limited to the blueberry season or using frozen blueberries. However I have included a tip to working with fresh/frozen blubes in the notes below the recipe should you absolutely wish to.
Now let’s stop yammering and get baking!
Try my Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake today and be sure to share your pics with me over on Instagram for your chance to be featured on my page @champagneandgumboots #champagneandgumbootsbakes
Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake
- 50 grams Salted Butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup Caster Sugar
- 2 lrg Eggs
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice approx. juice of one large lemon
- 210 grams Gluten Free Plain Flour Bobs Red Mill 1:1 flour mix
- 1 tsp GF Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
- 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1 large Lemon zested
- 1 cup Tin Blueberries drained, juice kept aside
- 1/2 cup Icing Sugar
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Blueberry juice from tin
- Extra lemon zest to serve
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 22cm x 10cm loaf tin with baking paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl place your room temperature butter, add the sugar and using hand held beaters cream together. They won't cream like you're used to, instead it will go very grainy and breadcrumb like. Cream together for 1 minute.
- Add in the eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat again until you have a light, well incorporated mix.
- Place your bowl onto a set of scales, zero them and measure in 210grams of Bobs Red Mill 1:1 flour mix. This is approx 1 + 1/2 cups of flour. Add in the baking powder, bicarb soda and xanthan gum. Use a large spoon to bring together until all the flour is incorporated.
- Strain out your tinned blueberries, ensuring your keep the juice for later. Add blueberries into your mixture and mix well. Some blueberries will mush here but it just adds to the flavour and beautiful purple hue. Once the blueberries are roughly distributed spoon mix into loaf pan and smooth out the top.
- Place into your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. You'll be able to tell it's done when the scent of lemon wafts through your kitchen and your loaf has turned a golden hue all over. An inserted skewer into the center will come out clean when it's ready.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in it's pan. I know it's tempting, it smells so good, but don't cut it yet! The cake will simply crumble apart at this point, you must let it rest, preferably for a good 1 hour before serving. Transfer loaf to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to fully cool.
- Just before you want to serve your gorgeous cake you'll want to prepare your zesty blueberry glaze.
- Sift your icing sugar into a small bowl (trust me it makes a difference if its not sifted), add in the lemon juice and blueberry juice and keep mixing until all the icing sugar is "dissolved" into the glaze. It will become a vibrant purple, zesty, smooth glaze.
- Arrange your loaf on a serving platter and graciously drizzle over the top. If it's a tiny bit thick and not running nicely add just a tiny drop more of lemon juice. Too much and it will be too thin to drizzle well and just run off the cake.
- Cut your loaf cake into thick slices, serving with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or even a slather of salty butter. Leftovers… who am I kidding there aren't any…..
- You can certainly use fresh or frozen blueberries here, but note that it will change the texture slightly. You also wont have any blueberry juice to make your glaze with. Instead use an additional 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice and make an extra zesty white glaze for the top.