Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I have been working on menu development for weeks on end, incorporating foods with citrus, gluten free grains and no refined sugar. I love working with citrus fruits in the spring because they are so light and fresh and exactly what the body craves.

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I received a rather funny text message from my lifting coach with a photo of what was suppose to resemble a cake, but in his words, a door stop. The message contained some other choice words relating to his opinion on gluten free flours and egg free cakes. The struggles of baking gluten free and egg free cakes can be frustrating.

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Many gluten free flours contain gums and starches and every time I try to bake with them I am disappointed with taste or texture. I keep it simple and almost always bake with gluten free oat, brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat flours. I use almond flour and coconut flour too but more for experiments for clients because I am sensitive to almond and eggs. Baking with coconut flour most often means a lot of eggs.

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This recipe is both gluten free and egg free but not only that refined sugar free. I don’t think taste or texture is compromised at all. It is a little denser than a fluffy white cake but so delicious. I prefer lemon cake to have a lot of lemon flavour so I used lemon in the yogurt topping and loads of zest in the cake.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

(Gluten Free, Egg Free, Refined Sugar Free)

Makes 1, 8 inch cake 

  • 1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1/2 cup light buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or 1/2 Greek yogurt and 1/2 milk of choice
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 lemons


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add in the ground flaxseed and allow to sit while combining the dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl combine the oat flour, buckwheat flour, rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and poppy seeds. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake out onto a cooling rack. Frost or glaze.

Lemon Glaze 

  • 1 cup plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (adjust to your liking)

Stir all the ingredients together until well combined.