Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gluten Free Almond Flour Lemon Muffin/Cake Recipe

Almond flour lemon muffins - this was my favorite flavor.
The past two weeks I've been slowly working towards making all of my meals and snacks paleo (basically no grains, sugar, legumes, or dairy).  I feel so much better when I eat less sugar, less grains, and less baked goods... however... I just can't help it. I love to bake. (Although admittedly, not really as much as I used too... I'm starting to think I like cooking more than baking now... what is happening to me? lol!)

So a few weeks ago I made an amazing lemon cake for a friend's birthday. It was SO good. Especially since I made it using Meyer lemons which are just wow. So I wanted "lemon" something else. I couldn't decide between cake or muffins and honestly, they aren't that different... so the recipe I'm sharing today could be used either as cake or a muffin. You pick. Don't you like it when you get to pick?

Just pretend you don't notice the stray cathair on the up front cupcake. No, you don't see it. And if you want to make that nut-butter frosting, here you go:

This cake is lower in sugar than most gluten free cakes. For the main sweetener I used coconut palm sugar. If you don't like coconut palm sugar or can't find it... just use plain ol' white sugar. It will work just as well. I also used lemon gelatin in this cake for flavor. I've tried in the past to use a lot of citrus and/or lemon juice in cakes and it never goes well. SO I'm sorry if you're opposed to lemon gelatin... if you come up with another alternative let me know! All I know, is I made a vanilla version of this cake minus the lemon gelatin and I didn't like it nearly as much... so apparently I like the lemon gelatin. I'll pretend it's paleo.

I also used liquid stevia in this recipe. I used the "NOW" brand, but there are many different brands available. The cake would probably taste fine without it and honestly I wasn't a fan of using the stevia in the plain vanilla version... so take it or leave it... again, you pick. See how easy this is?

I'm including the vanilla variation at the bottom of the recipe, but I will tell you, it wasn't my favorite. ALSO... the almond flour batter is heavy... therefore it rises better as muffins or cupcakes. They are taller, prettier, and much less dense as cupcakes than it is as a cake. SO... you pick. :-)

Gluten Free Almond Flour Lemon Muffins or Cake, with a Vanilla Variation
free of grains, soy, dairy/casein, and gluten (also low in processed sugar)
created by Carrie Forbes of
printer-friendly version

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almond flour, gently packed in the cup
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 baking soda
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons lemon gelatin (about half of a 3 oz. package)

Wet Ingredients:
1 teaspoon lemon extract
10-12 drops liquid stevia
3 large eggs
1/2 cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners -or- an 8" cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom and grease pan with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil. In a large mixing bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl whisk together all wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients  and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into lined muffin/cupcake pan or cake pan. For cupcakes/muffins bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean. For one-layer cake bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack until completely cool. For cupcakes frost with your favorite frosting or you can use a low sugar/low glycemic nut frosting such as this one.

Vanilla Variation -- If you want plain vanilla cake/muffins instead of lemon simply use 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract in place of the lemon extract and leave out the lemon jello. You may want to leave out the stevia in a vanilla version as I felt you could really taste the stevia since the cake was so plain. Using vanilla paste or the seeds from a vanilla bean might really improve the flavor of the plain cake. If you try it, please let me know what you think!

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  1. I am always up for lemon anything. The cake looks like it rose nicely. I made a cake similar to this for a bridal shower with a dusting of powdered sugar and it was a hit. The texture was more like a muffin and less sweet. I think yours look wonderful.

  2. Given your blog name, who would have guessed you were a lemon fan? Those muffins look lovely

  3. These are simply beautiful. I'll have to stop at the visual, since I don't do well with any sweetened baked goods at this point. Of course, that could simply be because I don't know how to stop eating them once I've started. These sound great.

  4. I found your blog through Pinterest, and I am totally hooked. I have been paleo for a year or so. I am always looking for baking suggestions. I have found sugar free gelatin, and I suppose that would work if you also added lemon juice. I will definitely be trying some of your recipes.

    1. Hi molly! Thank you SO much!! So glad you found me! RE: lemon juice in the recipe. I tried it in a regular GF cake that I made for a friend (3 times actually) and it was a complete flop... the acidity in the lemon juice just wouldn't let the cake rise (or something, i'm not really sure! lol) so I had to go with the lemon gelatin. You could JUST use lemon exact and that would be fine though, just use more of it! :-) Also lemon zest would be a lovely addition!

  5. So these sound amazing, but since I'm a poor student I'm stuck with a plain old gluten free all purpose blend. No almond flour here yet. Any idea what the substitution ratio between almond flour and a g-free all purpose would be?