This is a treat that many with food allergies don’t get to enjoy very often. It is commonly offered in American coffee shops and bakeries; and often appears in the office break room after a kind soul has generously brought some in to share. What’s not to love about slice of a filling but tender lemon cake? It’s so wonderful with tea or coffee.
Pound cake is the name of the original recipe (said to have originated in Northern Europe in the early 1700s) that calls for a pound each of flour, eggs, butter and sugar. As with any traditional recipe, variations have been made over time and the word “pound” in the name has come to more aptly define the expected taste and texture of the cake more so than the use of ingredients.
This recipe utilizes mayonnaise to replace the fats from dairy sources such as butter, cream cheese and sour cream, which are often called for in pound cake recipes. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free and tree-nut free. It does have eggs. If you replace the eggs, add an additional measure of baking powder and a slight increase in mayonnaise to support the structure and rise of the cake (measurements given below).
Note: We make general recommendations for avoiding the top 8 food allergens, however, please be careful to check the ingredients lists of all products you are using to ensure you are avoiding your allergens. Note that the mayonnaise or Vegenaise has not been evaluated by Safe Eats to be corn-free or free of pea-protein (pea and legume protein is a known cross reactive allergen to those who suffer from peanut allergies). So, please double-check.
In the meantime, enjoy this gorgeous lemon cake as you celebrate the arrival of Spring!
Lemon Pound Cake
1 and 1/3 cup (7 oz. or 198 grams) Basic Gluten-free Flour Mix
1 teaspoon of baking powder (add another teaspoon of baking powder if omitting eggs)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1 and 1/3 cup (7 oz. or 198 grams) of granulated sugar
The zest of two lemons (approximately 1.5 Tablespoons)
The juice of one lemon for the batter (approximately 3 Tablespoons)
Set aside the juice of the second lemon for the glaze (approximately 3 Tablespoons)
4 large eggs (omit if egg allergies)
1/2 cup (4 oz. or 118 ml) mayonnaise (if omitting eggs, use 3/4 cup [or 6oz or 177 ml] of mayonnaise substitute such as soy-free Vegenaise)
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup (4 oz. or 110 grams) of non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening such as Spectrum
For the Glaze:
The juice of one lemon
1 cup (8 oz. or 22 grams) of fresh confectioner’s sugar (look for one made with tapioca starch if you have a corn allergy)
*Note that confectioner’s sugar, particularly if it is made with cornstarch will go stale very quickly after it is opened. I recommend that you taste the sugar before using it or pick up a fresh small pkg of it and store the remaining in the freezer and use within two weeks.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (162 degrees Celsius).
In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Using a handheld electric mixer or electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the shortening, eggs (if using), and mayonnaise. Add the lemon zest, the juice of one lemon, and the vanilla extract. Once blended, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed for 5 minutes.
Let the mixture rest in the bowl for another 5-10 minutes. While the batter is resting (rice flours need extra time to absorb moisture than wheat flour requires), coat the inside of a loaf or cake pan with a little bit of palm oil shortening and dust with a little bit of gluten-free flour.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes, or until wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn cake onto wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the glaze by pouring the lemon juice into a bowl and slowly adding the confectioner’s sugar to get a very thick consistency. Slowly pour 1/2 of the glaze onto the cake. Let drip and wait approximately 2-3 minutes to set. Slowly pour remaining glaze onto cake.
After serving, store leftover cake in refrigerator.
Bring leftover cake to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before serving, or warm in the oven at 200 degrees F (93 degrees C) for 7-10 minutes just before serving.
Cake is best eaten within 3-5 days of baking.