Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Syrup (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Sugar-Free) and a Honeyville Almond Flour Review

Anyone in the mood for cake? I'm sorry, what was that? I didn't hear anything. I guess I'll just have to take this cake back and save it for myself. Oh, you said you do want cake? Well, I suppose I can share it then...

Ideally, I would have one big gluten-free birthday party, invite you all, and we'd each bring a cake to share. How much fun would that be? At least until we ended up in a giant food coma from testing every cake! I don't know about you, but I can't turn down homemade gluten-free cake.

This particular cake is my first entry into the Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Challenge. I say first because I'm hoping to come up with a variety of cakes this month. One of my lovely friends can't do nuts, so I'd like to have a cake I can share with her. Another dear friend has her own birthday coming up, so I think it's only fitting that she get a cake too. And I really need more reasons to make cake?

I didn't think so.

This particular cake was made with Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm co-authoring a cookbook and guide to gluten-free flours with Brittany Angell. (I say this so casually as if it's not a big deal, when in fact I do a little dance in my head every time I think about it. Unless I'm alone, in which case I do the dance for real. It goes a little something like this.)

So here's the thing about writing a guide to gluten-free flours: You have to actually know how to use all the flours. You can't write a chapter on almond flour when you've never used it.

I suppose that goes without saying. But when Brittany and I picked the flours we wanted to focus on, we knew that some of them would have a steep learning curve since neither of us had ever used them. Of course that was our plan: to learn how to use all the flours so that you wouldn't have to go through that same learning curve. And that was the case with almond flour. You may recall that I was avoiding nuts, which is why I'd been ignoring all the other bloggers who were telling me how wonderful almond flour is. Luckily, I've been able to add nuts back into my diet, and just in time for our almond flour month! Honeyville was kind enough to supply us with some of their blanched almond flour to test out our recipes. Now see, almond flour is one of those flours where the brand does matter. And Brittany and I had both heard that Honeyville was pretty much the gold standard for blanched almond flour. I'll be testing as many brands as I can manage (and afford) over the next month so that I can let you all know with assurance which brands will produce the best tasting baked goods. But first, I wanted to start with Honeyville. To be honest, if I weren't testing for the cookbook, I would be happy to stop with Honeyville too. Here's the truth. Even my failures tasted good. It seems almost impossible to make something taste bad when I use Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour. So far, I've made cake, chocolate chip cookie cake (three versions), chocolate drizzled coconut pecan cookie bars, molasses cookies, and flatbread. Plus I'm working on English muffins. And I've got an idea for lemon squares.

Is your mind whirling yet? Mine is.

But that's what happens when you find yourself suddenly making success after success. Gluten-free baking can be hit or miss. I think we all know that. But with Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour, it's a hit every time.

Do I sound like an infomercial? As a blogger, of course I had to be honest that Honeyville sent me the flour for free. But I wouldn't be heralding its arrival in my kitchen like this if I didn't really love it. Brittany felt the same way. Believe me, I'll definitely be ordering more once this bag is gone!

This cake goes well with blueberry syrup too.

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Syrup (Print-Friendly Option)

My friend, Alta, said it best when she described this as a "tea cake." Dense and moist, with a hint of lemon, this cake goes best with a glaze or syrup rather than traditional frosting. I used raspberries in my syrup, but you can choose any berry you like.

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons hot water
2 1/2 cups Honeyville blanched almond flour
1 cup sorghum flour (sub: brown rice flour)
1/3 cup potato starch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup extra light olive oil (sub: grapeseed oil)
2 teaspoons liquid stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 inch cake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir flaxseed meal and water together. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Add the applesauce, oil, stevia, vanilla, lemon zest and juice to the flaxseed and water. Whisk together.
4. With a fork, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined.
5. Pour into the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool. Drizzle with raspberry glaze just before eating (I recommend just drizzling individual slices so any leftover pieces don’t get too moist).

Raspberry Syrup

1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed (sub: any berry you like)
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
20 drops liquid stevia (I recommend NuNaturals or Sweetleaf)

1. Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. You can strain the sauce if you don’t like seeds, but I left them in.

Now, have I convinced you to buy blanched almond flour yet? If not (or you can't do nuts), don't worry. Next month, Brittany and I will be focusing on a different flour, so I'm sure I'll have a ton of non-cookbook recipes to share then too! But for now, I've got to go work on those flatbread and English muffin recipes! Did I mention that the English muffins don't have yeast in them? You have no idea how excited that makes me...


Gigi said...


Absolutely gorgeous cake - nuts and all! ;)

I loved using a variety of nut flours before the reaction occurred, so appreciate the challenges and the tasty results that you and Brittany face with the book (which I cannot wait for!!).

And (((hugs))) for the mention and thinking of me when you think of baking a nut-free cake! I'll be your chief taste-tester for all such endeavors!


The Gluten-free 'Dish' said...

Oh, my goodness! I wish I could eat this cake! Do you suppose I could substitute pecan meal for the almond flour? that is something maybe you could add to your experiments for the cookbook! ;)

Barb said...

I am so glad you're writing a cookbook that uses different flours. This cake looks amazing. I use Honeyville unless the recipe says to use Bob's Red Mill. Some of them do and they say that results will not be the same with Honeyville. I've been playing with different flours lately. I like that teff goes so well with anything chocolate!

Maggie said...

Gorgeous cake Iris! I love the looks of it and I love that it's egg-free! It rose so well for you. The cake I'm working on (!!!) wasn't as high as I'd hoped. Hmmm. Working on that. I wish Honeyville would send me some flour!

Ricki said...

Gorgeous! I can't seem to find Honeyville here--I wonder if homemade would do? How would you describe the texture of the Honeyville vs. Bob's Red Mill?

Iris said...

Ricki, Honeyville flour is much finer than Bob's Red Mill so I'm not sure how the recipe would work. I know there are a lot of brands online that sell the fine blanched almond flour. Maybe there's one in Canada?

Carol, Simply...Gluten Free said...

Congrats on co-authoring the book! The cake looks lovely. Really lovely!


Harika bir kek afiyet olsun
Ziyaretiniz icin tesekkurler

Amy said...

Just printed it off. I can't wait to try it!

Stephanie said...

Yum! Yum! YUM!!! This looks delicious. I love Honeyville. I buy the 5 lb bags on their website, and I've been so happy with it as well.

P.S. I am dancing for you and your cookbook. I can't wait to get my hands on it :)

Stephanie said...

Yum! Yum! YUM!!! This looks delicious. I love Honeyville. I buy the 5 lb bags on their website, and I've been so happy with it as well.

P.S. I am dancing for you and your cookbook. I can't wait to get my hands on it :)

Tressa said...

Ricki, JK Gourmet sells almond flour and ships to Cananda,

It is a bit more expensive than Honeyville, $40 for 5 lbs versus $30 for 5 lbs.

Hope that helps!

Lisa, in NZ said...

What a great recipe! Just had this after tea with the family, all enjoyed it and had seconds. We are a sugar free family so I was excited to find a cake I wouldnt have to change.
Cant get almond flour in NZ easily, so ground almonds, but I can imagine the cake done properly and I will have to try find Almond flour!
Thanks so much

Iris said...

Thanks for your feedback, Lisa! It's always nice to know when someone's tried one of my recipes. I have a hard time finding sugar-free and gluten-free recipes too, so I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

Marisa said...

Can you use powdered stevia instead of liquid stevia?

Iris said...


I haven't used that myself, but I don't see any reason why not. You might want to increase the vanilla extract by 1 teaspoon to keep the liquid-dry ratio similar.


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