I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut for the last few months – just being lazy and going back and forward between banana cake or chocolate brownies, two delicious, tried and true recipes that I love but, honestly, was getting a little tired of. I never thought I’d get tired of banana cake! But it happened.
Seeing as we’re trying to make the most of the last days of summer, I felt a tropical, refreshing flavour was called for – so lemon and coconut it was. Lemon and ginger was another flavour contender but it’ll have to wait for another day. Maybe until next weekend…
These cakes are incredibly light, fluffy and moist – something that doesn’t come as easily to gluten free baked goods as wheat flour products. Honestly, I’m pretty proud of them. The subtle lemon and coconut flavour is gorgeous, not in your face at all, as I know quite a few people who aren’t coconut fans. For those who are, simply add in a few drops of coconut extract to up the flavour. Voila. I think the best compliment that I received for these cakes was Ev eating an entire muffin himself and enjoying it. If you knew him, you’d know he hates cakes, he’s a pastry man. These are that good.
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- Lemon zest has not been tested for FODMAP content, to my knowledge. However, the zest is taken from the outer layer of the peel, which contains the essential oils, fatty acids, pigments and other compounds.
- Coconut milk/cream are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (125 ml) serves. The 1/2 cup in this recipe is split between 12-16 serves, so is quite safe. Coconuts are also not tree nuts; they are seeds and are considered safe for those with tree nut allergies.
- Coconut oil has been tested and is low FODMAP. FODMAPs are carbohydrates and as coconut oil is an oil, it makes sense that it’s safe. Beware that the high saturated fat content of coconut oil can stir up IBS symptoms in those with fat malabsorption issues.
- The flour blend that I recommend is low FODMAP, follow the link for the recipe.
- Turbinado sugar is low FODMAP, with a fructose ratio of 1.0. If you wish to learn more about sugars and their FODMAP content, please read this post.
- Eggs do not contain FODMAPs but can cause gut issues in those with egg intolerances. If this is the case for you, please substitute in your favourite egg replacement.
- Xanthan gum contains no FODMAPs, though some can have separate issues to gums. Chia seeds are low FODMAP in 2 tbsp. serves, this recipe suggests half that as an alternative to xanthan gum, so is safe.
Lemon Coconut Cake
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup turbinado or raw sugar
- 145 g coconut oil, softened (or butter if dairy is okay)
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 250 g gluten free plain flour blend
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. chia meal soaked in 1 tbsp. water
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- Optional – 2-3 drops coconut extract
Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F.
Grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin, or a 12 hole muffin pan.
If not already soft, in a small saucepan, very gently melt the coconut oil, do not let it boil. Set it aside to cool (refrigeration will help). If using the chia gel, rather than the xanthan gum, mix the chia seed meal in the water now, then set aside.
Next, separate the eggs, putting the yolks aside. Beat the egg whites and salt at a high speed until light and fluffy, then add in the sugars and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form (as if you were making a pavlova).
Thoroughly mix the cooled coconut oil, egg yolks, vanilla extract and coconut cream together and whisk briskly, then pour into the meringue batter and stir on a medium speed until combined. Add in the chia gel at this stage, if you are using it instead of xanthan gum.
Place the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum (if you are using it rather than the chia gel), baking powder and lemon zest in a small, separate bowl, mix through and then pour into the rest of the batter in thirds. Mix the finished batter on a medium speed for a minute to properly combine all the ingredients, scraping down the sides as required.
Bake at 180C/350 F for:
- 9″ round cake tin – 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before upending it onto a cooling rack.
- Muffins – 18 to 20 minutes, or until a muffin tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack.
I serve these dusted with icing sugar (as it looks pretty) at dinner parties but it does not need it for the flavour, so if you’re just baking for you, feel free to leave it off.