Lemon Curd Cake {gluten-free}

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This Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cake is a real homey cake with bright fresh citrus flavour. Homemade lemon curd is sandwiched between lemon and vanilla infused sponges which are covered with a cloudlike lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream. I’ll take you through the recipe step by step, offering tips and advice on how to make this the best gluten-free cake you will have ever tasted.

A slice of lemon curd cake on a

Everyone is still talking about this gluten-free Lemon Curd Cake, two weeks after I made it and shared it with friends and family. There are some cakes that you know are going to be a hit and anything lemony is usually an absolute winner. The fact that it was gluten-free was never on anyone’s radar.

It doesn’t hurt that this cake makes the most of delicious homemade Easy Lemon Curd which provides a real zing to the proceedings. Paired with the dreamy buttery Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream this cake is taken to the next level and beyond.

lemon curd cake on a plate on a wooden board

Top Gluten-Free Baking Tip

I’m going to start out strong by giving away the ultimate gluten-free baking secret. Yup, this gluten-free Lemon Curd Cake utilises my favourite tip for achieving an easy drop jaw yummy gluten-free cake.

Plain Gluten-Free Flour + Ground Almonds

This flour combo means you don’t get the dry, slightly gritty or crumbly drawbacks that affect some gluten-free offerings. There is also no gummy mouthfeel. It’s gluten-freeness will be totally undetectable.

The best thing is you can use pretty much any gluten-free flour blend from the supermarket. I use Doves Farm Plain Gluten-Free White Flour as that is the most widely available in the UK and is xanthan gum free which suits my intolerances. However, this recipe will work with Bob’s Red Mill or even a home DIY blend.

If you want more tips on how to make perfect gluten-free cakes with loads of tips and tricks, then visit this Ultimate Guide to Gluten-Free Cakes.

hand holding a spoon dipped into lemon curd

What makes this Lemon Curd Cake so brilliant?

  • The lemon sponges are a doddle to make with no complicated method. They use shop bought plain gluten-free flour and ground almonds.
  • No xanthan gum
  • Homemade Easy Lemon Curd. So bright, zesty and full of flavour. It’s sandwiched between the cake layers and used copiously in the buttercream.
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This incredibly buttery cake frosting is a perfect contrast to the light zingy lemon flavours. It’s easier to make than you think and all the tips and tricks are below.

How do you make Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cake?

  1. Beat the sugar with the lemon zest and butter.butter, sugar and lemon zest in a bowlbeaten butter and sugar in a bowl
  2. Add the whole eggs one at a time then the vanilla.cake batter in a bowl
  3. Whisk the gluten-free flour, almonds, baking powder and salt. Then mix well into the batter.gluten-free flour and ground almonds in a bowlcake batter in a bowl
  4. Divide into two lined and greased 8 inch round cake tins and bake for 30 minutes at 160°C fan assisted.cake batter in two cake tins
  5. Remove from the oven, carefully insert cakes out of the cake tin and cool on wire cooling racks.lemon curd cake sponges resting on wire racks
  6. Spread the lemon curd over one of the sponge surfaces then place the other on top.lemon curd cake and lemon curd
  7. Cover the cake with lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream.

overhead image of lemon curd cake on a white plate

Baker’s Tips

  • Make sure to add the whole eggs one at a time. It makes the sponge lighter. If the eggs are dumped in all at once you risk losing the air you just whipped into the butter and sugar.
  • I use Doves Farm Gluten-Free Plain White Flour. It’s the most widely available in the UK. However, any gluten-free flour blend will be fine here.
  • You don’t want the almond taste to be too strong or compete with the lemon. The almonds are used to give the cake texture and bind it together so ready ground almonds from the supermarket are perfect. If you grind them yourself the almond flavour will be more pronounced.
  • You can use shop bought lemon curd which is lovely if you buy a good brand. However, why not take it the extra mile and make this homemade Easy Lemon Curd. You won’t be disappointed.

lemon curd cake cut into on a white plate

It’s all very well having deliciously lemony sponge with perfect texture and taste but we want to make this cake really special. So let’s take it up a notch and make a Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream to really impress.

If you haven’t made Swiss Meringue Buttercream before you might find the equipment needed (sugar thermometer, double boiler and food mixer) a bit intimidating.

Plus the number of steps required are also a couple more than your regular icing sugar + butter method.

Please though don’t let it put you off. Try it once and I guarantee it’s pretty hard to mess up as long as you follow my troubleshooting tips below. You’ll also find it hard to go back to icing sugar, the taste and texture is pretty unbeatable.

How do you make Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

  1. Heat the egg whites and sugar in a bain marie or double boiler, whisking all the time.egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl
  2. When the sugar has completely melted and the temperature reached 71°C then remove from the heat and immediately pour into a stand mixer.
  3. Whisk on a medium setting for about 10 minutes until a glossy meringue has formed and the temperature has lowered to about 32°C.close up of whipped swiss meringue in a bowl
  4. Change the whisk attachment to a paddle beater and beat on low adding the butter one cube at a time.swiss meringue buttercream in a bowl
  5. Once all the butter has been added and the buttercream looks beautifully smooth then add the lemon curd and salt and mix in until thoroughly combined.close up of lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream in a bowl

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Tips

  • I recommend buying Two Chicks Liquid Egg Whites as it saves wasting the yolks or finding a use for them. You will only need about half the carton but you can freeze the other half for your next foray into SMB.
  • The temperatures here are important. If you have made SMB a few times then you can intuit when the sugar has melted into the egg whites or when the meringue has cooled enough to add the butter. However for newbies a sugar thermometer is invaluable.
  • The butter must be at room temperature before you add it. Slightly soft to the touch but not melty.
  • If your butter is too cold then just keep on mixing the buttercream once it’s all added, the butter will soon warm and melt into the buttercream. If that doesn’t work then warm slightly over a bowl of boiling water. Once the edges of the buttercream start to soften then start whipping again off the heat.
  • If your butter is too warm place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill then try re-whipping it.
  • As you are adding the butter your buttercream will look a bit curdled. This is absolutely normal. Keep on mixing the buttercream and don’t lose faith, it will always come together in the end.
  • If your buttercream does not come together and looks too soupy that means your butter was too warm – see above on how to fix.

A slice of lemon curd cake on a plate on a wooden table

Can I freeze Lemon Curd Cake?

You certainly can. I recommend chilling the whole finished cake first in the fridge so that the buttercream gets quite firm. Wrap well in cling film then tin foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost thoroughly before removing the tin foil and cling film.

Variations on Lemon Curd Cake

  • You can replace the lemon curd with any curd of your choosing. Passion Fruit Curd Cake? Raspberry Curd Cake?
  • If the Swiss Meringue Buttercream still seems intimidating to you then why not swap it out for a simple cream cheese buttercream which would be amazing. (Try the buttercream from this Carrot Cake recipe and add in a couple of spoonfuls of lemon curd).

Have you tried these gluten-free lemon cake recipes?

Whole Lemon Thyme Cake
Lemon Raspberry Cake
Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins
Blueberry Basil and Lemon Drizzle
Vanilla Almond Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze

If you make this Lemon Curd Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

A slice of lemon curd cake on a plate on a wooden table

Lemon Curd Cake {gluten-free}

This Gluten-Free Lemon Curd Cake is a real homey cake with bright fresh citrus flavour. Homemade lemon curd is sandwiched between lemon and vanilla infused sponges which are covered with a cloudlike lemon curd swiss meringue buttercream.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 generous slices
Calories: 681kcal

Ingredients

  • 320 g caster sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 6 eggs medium
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g lemon curd

Lemon Curd Buttercream:

  • 210 g egg whites about 7 medium egg whites
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 490 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g lemon curd

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C/gas mark 4 and line and grease 2 x 8 inch round cake tins.
  • Beat the sugar with the lemon zest and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt then beat into the rest of the ingredients.
  • Divide the cake batter between the two tins and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven. Allow the sponges to rest for 5 minutes before carefully removing from the tins and cool completely on wire racks.

Lemon Curd Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Heat the egg whites and sugar in a bain marie or double boiler, whisking constantly until the temperature has reached 71°C.
  • Remove from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks and the temperature has reduced to about 32°C.
  • Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done, just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • Add the lemon curd and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.

Assembly

  • Place one of the sponge layers on an 8 inch cake board and spread the lemon curd from the centre of the top of the sponge almost to the edges.
  • Place the second sponge layer on top and cover the top and the sides of the cake with the buttercream.

Notes

Eggs – I usually use medium eggs in my baking recipes. Add the whole eggs one at a time. It makes the sponge lighter. If the eggs are dumped in all at once you risk losing the air you just whipped into the butter and sugar.
Gluten-Free Flour - I used Doves Farm Gluten-Free Plain Flour. It’s the most widely available in the UK. However, any gluten-free flour blend will be fine here.
Ground Almonds – I don’t want the almond taste to be too pronounced here. The almonds are used to give the cake texture and bind it together so I use ready ground almonds from the supermarket. If you grind them yourself the almond flavour will be more pronounced.
Does your batter look curdled? After you mix in the eggs the batter seems to curdle. Don’t worry at all, there is a lot of fat in this cake from the butter and the eggs. As soon as you add the flour then the mixture comes together. Although it won’t appear smooth due to the ground almonds.
Homemade Lemon Curd - I really recommend you follow this recipe for an absolutely delicious Easy Lemon Curd but of course you can certainly use shop bought if you don’t have time.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream – for troubleshooting any problems which may arise making your buttercream see the content of this post for detailed advice. Remember, it’s very hard to break SMB, any problems can usually be fixed.
Store – This cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge for at least an hour to come to room temperature before serving.
Freeze – You can freeze the whole finished cake. Chill in the fridge to allow the buttercream to firm before wrapping well in cling film and tin foil. You can freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost completely before removing the cling film and tin foil.

Nutrition

Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 1229IU | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!

Comments

  1. Hi From The Larder,

    I was wondering do you think you will be able to pipe the buttercream? I was hoping to make it for my wedding cake across two tiers with a 10″ bottom tier.

    Thanking you in advance for your help, I hope my question isn’t too silly.

    Can’t wait to make this cake! It looks delicious.

    Thanks,
    Nicole

  2. Hi Georgia – it’s me again. I just wanted to let you know I have used this recipe again with lemon curd in the mix to make a one layer cake topped with fresh gooseberries from the garden. It is such a lovely textured cake and know I will be using the recipe over and over in various guises. Thank you for such a successful recipe and I can honestly say I don’t believe a gluten eating person would notice the difference

  3. 5 stars
    This relates to the previous comment as forgot the star rating and also website?

  4. Linda Loder says

    Can you use almond flour instead of ground almonds in this recipe?

    • Hi Linda, yes you can. The cake will be a little denser but will still be delicious.

      • Sandra Amos says

        Hi Georgia – I have just made this cake – cake part only – and it is just out of the oven looking and smelling really good.
        I did make a couple of tweaks, the first being that I scaled down by half and used 2 x 6″ sandwich tins. When I read the recipe for the first time I assumed the lemon curd was actually added to the cake mix and it was just this morning when reread I realised this is not the case but I carried on and added it anyway. I also added a tsp vanilla bean paste and a couple of drops of almond extract. I sprinkled the top of each layer before baking with flaked almonds and it took about 30 mins to bake. I made up the 180 g of flour with 80g gf flour blend, 80g almond flour and 20g oat flour. I will fill with a mix of lemon curd, mascarpone and double cream as I just want to dredge icing sugar over the top when assembled.
        Thanks for such a successful lemon cake recipe and I want to try the Swiss meringue buttercream another time when making the larger cake.
        Sandra

      • Ooh – your cake sounds wonderful! I did toy with adding the lemon curd to the actual batter when I originally developed the recipe so that’s interesting to know it worked that way too. You’re more than welcome for the recipe!

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