The best tasting lemon loaf cake out there – made even better with a crunchy sugar topping.
When making gluten free cakes there are 4 important steps you need to keep in mine:
#1 – Be sure to take the time to cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy, then add the eggs in one at a time – only adding the once the batter is smooth again. This process of creaming/beating the eggs in stages, incorporates air into the mixture, which is what keeps the cake light and fluffy – instead of heavy and dense, which is a common occurrence when using gluten free flours.
#2 – In a separate bowl, combine all the flours/starches/gums together and mix them very well together before adding to the wet ingredients. Xanthan gum (a starchy powder made from corn) is used to replace the properties of gluten (which is what makes cakes rise), but if it is not mixed in thoroughly into the other flours before a liquid is added to it, it can clump into jelly-like pieces and ruin the consistency (and overall taste) of the batter.
#3 – Once the batter has been mixed and scraped into the prepared baking pan, set it to rest on the counter for 15-30 minutes prior to baking. Because gluten free flours are tougher/dryer/grittier than wheat flour, it needs time for the moisture in the batter to absorb in the the flours to soften them. Gritty-tasting baked goods is one of the biggest problems with gluten free baking, so be sure to take the time to let the batter rest to avoid this.
#4 – Baking time are usually a bit long when using gluten free flours. Because the flours take longer to absorb the liquid, then are able to react with the leavening agents in the recipe (baking soda/powder, eggs, etc) it extends the overall bake time by about 10 minutes. Gluten free baked goods that have not been fully cooked will have a slightly gummy texture, to avoid this use an instant read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the cake (not touching the pan), once it has reached an internal temperature of 204°F it is ready!
For this lemon loaf, mix the sugar with just enough of the lemon juice to create a paste-like consistency. Once the loaf has been removed from the oven, while it is still warm quickly spread the sugar mixture in a thin layer over the top of the loaf. Let sit at room temperature until the sugar has cooled and creates a nice crust, then slice and enjoy!
Lemon Loaf with Sugary Crust
- 1/4 cup margarine or butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk or milk alternative
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then add zest.
- Mix dry ingredients, then add into wet mixture, alternating with milk.
- Pour into greased (4 cup) loaf pan and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. This will allow the flours to be completely absorbed by the liquids, preventing any 'gritty' aftertaste.
- Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until done.
- For topping: add lemon juice and add enough sugar to make a thick mixture (like wet sand). Immediately after cakes are done, spoon a thin layer over cake.