My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake. Simple. I love how the slightly tart, moist cake meets with just a hint of sweetness. My friend Judi gave me a handful of fresh lemons from her tree and I wanted to experiment with a gluten free lemon cake for my daughter's upcoming wedding. I have been experimenting with a couple different types of cakes and seeing which ones taste the best and hold their shape. This one is definitely in the running. I shared the cake with some friends (since I don't want the temptation of eating it all myself!) and they felt this was great and recommended I make this as one of the wedding cakes. You could also just bake it into a loaf pan and drizzle a glaze on it. I took a couple of different lemon cake recipes and tweaked them into one recipe to work for what I had in my house. You could very easily make this with fresh oranges or limes instead of lemons. There are a lot of recipes out there for lemon cake but I wanted one that used fresh lemons and didn't add lemon pudding mixes or anything that had artificial lemon flavor into the batter. You could easily substitute almond flour for the gluten free flour blend and you can toss in a handful of poppy seeds if you desire.

Forgive me for taking the month of December off of writing for the blog. I was still baking and experimenting in my kitchen but I just needed a break from the computer. December was a busy month for us so I gave myself a "vacation" from the blog. I will be catching up on some recipes to post.

Lemon Cake Recipe: (makes one loaf or one round 9" single layer cake). Recipe can be doubled.
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend or substitute finely ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (only add if your gluten free flour doesn't contain xanthan gum or guar gum. Don't add this if you are using regular flour or if your GF flour already contains it).
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar (I used unbleached non-gmo sugar)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (I used lemon infused olive oil that I received as a gift but you can use olive oil or substitute vegetable oil)
  • zest & juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese (or you can substitute a non-dairy version of cream cheese or just use Crisco)

Grease (or use a non-cooking spray) to coat a 9x5 loaf pan or 9" round cake pan. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Beat the sugar, eggs, oil and zest. Beat in eggs one at a time. Continue to beat until mixture is creamy and pale in color, about 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cream cheese or Crisco. Slowly add the flour (or ground almonds), xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy.

(The creamy batter)
 Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake in center of the oven for 20-25 minutes for 9" round pan or 45-60 minutes for a loaf pan. Oven temperatures & altitude may vary your cooking times so check it at the earliest cooking time and adjust the time as necessary. Bake until toothpick or sharp knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cook 15 minutes before removing from pan.

You can either frost with a lemon butter cream frosting, lemon ganache or a simple powdered sugar & lemon juice drizzle. I chose to use a lemon butter cream frosting today for this trial run. I would consider adding lemon curd to the layers also. Yummy!

For the Lemon Butter Cream Frosting I made today:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner sugar)
  • 1/4 cup real butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • lemon zest
  • 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice

Mix until smooth and spread over cooled cake. Since I only wanted to do a "trial" on this cake, I only baked one 9" round layer. I cut the layer in half (half circle) and made a layer cake out of it. (Basically, I just folded the cake in half). I frosted the top of one half and topped it with the remaining half to form a layered cake. If I decide to make this for the wedding, I will double the recipe for two layers. Keep in mind that I only wanted to test the cake portion so the pictures are not great and I didn't take any time to try and decorate it fancy. I leave that fancy cake decorating up to my mom and my sister-in-law, Becky. They are the professional cake decorator's in our family!

fresh out of oven & cooling

I just cut the cake down the middle making two half moon shapes & frosted

Ready to eat

See how moist?

Up close view

Gluten Free Lemon Cake (My talented sister-in-law decorated it for me!)

The gluten free lemon cake is on the right. It turned out moist & delicious!

I will definitely keep this cake in the running for potential gluten free wedding cake options. It was a big hit with friends and it was nice & moist. I will post pictures if I decide to use this for one of the wedding cakes after my sister-in-law decorates it. We are having a regular wedding cake that my mom is making & decorating & since we have several gluten free guests...we are making a smaller version of a wedding cake that is gluten free that my sister-in-law graciously offered to decorate for me! :)

Happy New Year 2015! Let it be a great year for everyone! Although last year had some difficult times, the good times took over and made it a great year overall in 2014. I am determined to slow down a little and enjoy my family and great friends more.

I do challenge you to make this cake...and share it with at least one person that is special to you. Life is short...enjoy it and share it! :)

Gluten Free Casually

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