Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

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Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf was the first gluten-free cake I developed for the cake stall three years ago. It is a firm favourite amongst my customers and ever since its creation I have never failed to include it as part of my weekly menu at the market. It is always the first to sell out and the one which provokes the most conversation with my customers.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I don’t know why I have waited so long to write about my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle, I guess I wanted to do it justice as it’s my most requested recipe. I’m glad I waited this long though as the photographs were finally taken in collaboration with Tara from Fork & Dram as part of our food styling day last month. Tara is an amazing photographer and stylist and has been of invaluable help in focusing the look of my photography.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I have limited time to work on the website these days as I am a full-time mum to Cole during the week and bake and work on the market stall at the weekends. Pockets of time where I can make and photograph my food specifically for the website are like gold dust. Tara has helped me understand how I can achieve photos I can be proud of efficiently and without any complicated set-ups or props.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I was thrilled then that Tara helped me capture the beauty of this cake. No to go all crazy-cake lady on you but this cake is kind of like my BFF. I can make this cake in my sleep, I never go to a market without it and it’s reliably delicious. That’s not to say that it was the easiest recipe in the world to develop, on the contrary getting the cake to rise evenly without falling in the middle was a bit of a stumbling block at first but there are tricks to ensure perfect results every time.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Do follow the recipe precisely, mix the butter and sugar on a low-medium speed until light and fluffy which ensures a good rise and then when the cake is finally in the oven don’t open the door for at least the first 40 minutes. I do like to check on my cakes to make sure they are all nestled comfortably in the oven after the first 20 minutes but this cake has a tendency to fall like a sozzled sailor on a two day shore leave. Resist the temptation.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

All the faffing is worth it though and to be honest even when the cake did fall, or didn’t rise properly, it was still amazing in flavour. Boy, does the Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle pack a punch. It made sense to me when I initially developed the recipe to add blueberries into a lemon drizzle. Blueberries provide such a delightful gentle counterbalance to the tang of citrus. But the cake is then taken stratospheric with the inclusion of peppery aromatic Basil. Lemons, fresh blueberries and basil are all added into the cake batter and then dredged over the top of the just baked cake to form the signature drizzle.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

The recipe method was originally inspired by the lemon drizzle cake featured in Outsider Tart’s cookbook Baked in America which is one of my favourite baking books. The key to their Drizzle is to use an almond paste which imbues the cake with an unbeatably moist texture. The taste of the almonds is barely noticeable, especially with the over-the-top citrus notes, the fragrance of the basil and the gentle pop of blueberries.

The beauty of using an almond paste here also means you don’t have to use very much flour as the ground almonds in the paste do a lot of the work for you. So with only a scant amount of flour in the recipe, an easy shop bought gluten-free flour is more than fit for purpose.

I’m very happy to finally share my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf and thank you to Tara from Fork & Dram for helping me bring the cake to life.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.
Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free} simply sings with citrusy aromatic flavour. This everyday teatime cake is an absolute showstopper.
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Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 504kcal


For the almond paste:

  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white

For the cake:

  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries

For the drizzle:

  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C on the fan setting* and line and grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf tin.
  • First make the almond paste by placing the almonds in a food processor and blitzing until finely ground. Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and blitz again until a paste has formed. Set aside for a moment.
  • Place the basil leaves, lemon zest and orange zest in a food mixer along with the sugar. Whisk for a few minutes together until fragrant.
  • Add the butter, one cube at a time and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape the almond paste into the creamed butter and sugar and beat until combined.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then beat it into the rest of the batter.
  • Roll the blueberries around in the empty flour bowl so that they are gently coated with the remaining dusting of flour then stir into the batter.
  • Pour into the cake tin, smoothing the top then bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • To make the drizzle place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a dash of water and heat for about a couple of minutes until the blueberries are just beginning to soften but not so that they have burst. Leave to cool.
  • Pour the blueberries into a medium sized bowl along with the lemon juice, basil leaves and granulated sugar. Mix together.
  • Remove the cake from the tin onto a wire rack, making sure there is a baking tray underneath to catch the excess drizzle.
  • Prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick and then spoon the drizzle over the cake.
  • Leave to cool completely before serving.


*I find that due to the moistness of this cake that the fan setting helps set the cake a bit better. However, if you don’t have a fan setting on your oven then 180°C is fine for a conventional oven but do check after half an hour to make sure the top of the cake isn’t browning too much. If it is, then pop a piece of loose foil over the top of the cake.


Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!


I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

The link above is an affiliate link which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

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  1. Hi Georgina,
    Just made this today & it tastes scrummy altho mine took much longer to cook for some reason. Can you freeze it with the blueberry drizzle on top?
    Thanks so much for the delish recipe!

    • Hi Clare, this cake also bakes well in a fan-assisted oven at 160C as there is so much moisture in the cake it doesn’t dry out baked this way. That may reduce the timings for you if it took a long time in a non fan-assisted oven. Yes, you can freeze the cake with the blueberry drizzle on top. It freezes excellently!

  2. Clare Blake says

    This recipe looks yummy but are you using medium eggs or large?

  3. Super excited to try this!! Thank you for sharing!! Question – instead of making the almond paste, would it be ok to buy almond paste at store? Would the result still be as fantastic?

    • Hi Susan, yes you can buy the almond paste and it would be an excellent substitution. However, by making the almond paste fresh then it does have a more pronounced flavour. I usually use unblanched almonds which add a lovely texture. Thank you for your comment and do let me know if you give it a try!

  4. This sounds amazing! Would there be any issue if I substituted the gluten free flour with regular plain flour?

    • Hi Sarah, I haven’t tried the recipe with regular plain flour. Please do give it a go but the results won’t be exactly the same. I would imagine the cake to have a slightly different texture. Also be warned that the oven times will be different as gluten-free flours are baked low and slow. You might want to switch the heat up a jot and check after half an hour. Let me know how you get on as I’ll be interested but don’t expect the cake to turn out the same as the gluten-free version.

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