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Can I Make the Lemon Tendercake Gluten Free?

Asked by magickhour. Answered on 8th September 2023

Full question

Can almond flour or ground almonds be substituted for plain flour for the Lemon Tendercake? If not, how much GF flour with xanthan gum should I use? I can add eggs as vegan not essential if required! Thank you.

Image of Nigella's Lemon Tendercake
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin
Lemon Tendercake with Blueberry Compote
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella’s Lemon Tendercake With Blueberry Compote (from AT MY TABLE) is a vegan cake made with coconut milk and vegetable oil. It has a damp, tender texture, rather like an aerated pancake. The cake is made with regular plain (all-purpose) flour and we would not recommend making it with almond flour, almond meal or ground almonds as the fat in the almonds will make the cake too heavy and oily.

Unfortunately, we have not tried the cake with gluten-free flour ourselves. But we have found with some other vegan cakes that switching plain flour for gluten-free flour can make the cakes slightly heavy or dense and they do tend to break apart easily. This cake is already quite tender, so there is a risk that the cake breaks up when you try to remove the it from the pan if it is made with gluten-free flour. Adding eggs makes significant changes to the cake batter and unfortunately are unable to advise without completely retesting the recipe. If you do try the cake then we would suggest using a gluten-free flour blend that has been adapted for cakes, as these often have xanthan gum added. If you are adding xanthan gum then it is probably best to use the amount recommended on the packaging. However, if you would like a lemon cake that is gluten free but not necessarily vegan then we would suggest instead trying NIgella's Lemon Polenta Cake. If you look in the "additional information" box at the bottom of the recipe page you will also see how to adapt the cake for using oil instead of butter.

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