Gluten Free Citrus Cakes

I was recently asked by one of my lovely cafe crew if I would have a go at creating little gluten free lemon cakes. 

I love having an excuse to experiment in the kitchen. It’s one of the main reasons I started this blog – to document the results. All of them. The good and the...interesting!

For this challenge, I tried two versions of a citrus cake. I use lemons all the time in my baking. I’m a little bored of them to tell you the truth. So I added some orange zest and called it citrus. 

The first, a dense, buttery variation of my GF friand recipe - topped with lemon frosting and pretty sugared violet petals - was the winner with the cafe. You might see them soon at Bacino in Chowder Bay & Clifton Gardens ;)

The other is more of a mini sponge cake, which, when sandwiched with clotted cream and passionfruit, makes a gorgeous afternoon tea treat.

The sponges were an accident. Taking my queues from traditional syrup cakes, I began by boiling the fruit until soft and pulpy before blitzing it and adding the rest of the ingredients. I was going for something dense and high. What I got was moist and light but not high enough to serve on their own.
I thought they were a flop but Mr LP said they were very tasty indeed, so I reconsidered. I managed to hide a few from him to make these little sponges :)

Both versions are quite easy to make so take your pick, or try both!

Larissa xx

Have you ever set out to make one thing and ended up with a completely different, but equally good, result?

Lemon frosted Citrus Cakes – gluten free
Makes 24 

250g butter
1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of ½ a lemon
Zest of ½ an orange
6 egg whites

1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 packet of sugared violet petals (I source mine from Coco Chocolate)

Preheat oven to 160C
Grease a 24 hole mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt butter gently in a small saucepan over low heat.
Mix together the almond meal, sifted flour, baking powder and icing sugar, lemon and orange zest in a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the egg whites followed by the melted butter.
Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 12 – 15 mins until risen and golden.
Cool for five mins in tin before lifting onto wire rack to cool completely before icing.
For the icing, mix the lemon juice into the icing sugar until you have a thick, oozy icing.
Spread the icing on the top of each cake carefully until it just seeps over the edges.
Top each with a couple of sugared violets.

Gluten Free Citrus Sponges with Clotted Cream and Passionfruit
Makes 12 assembled sponges 

1 orange
1 lemon
½ cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cups almond meal
1 ½ cups icing sugar
4 eggs 
125g butter, melted

To serve: 
Clotted or whipped cream
Pulp of 4 fresh passionfruit

Preheat oven to 160C.
Grease a 24-hole mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the orange and lemon in a saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour.
Drain and cool the fruit slightly before roughly chopping into quarters, removing any seeds and core. Place the fruit into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Add the rice flour, baking powder, almond meal, icing sugar, and two of the eggs, and blitz again until all combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining two eggs with an electric beater (I used a hand-held stick mixer with a whisk attachment) until thick and pale and doubled in volume (about 2-3 mins).
In two batches, gently pour the mixture from the food processor into the eggs and fold until just combined.
Lastly, add in the melted butter, folding in gently until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into prepared tin and bake for 15 mins or until light golden and puffed.
Allow to cool slightly before lifting cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To serve, place a dollop of clotted or whipped cream and a drizzle of fresh passionfruit onto one cake and top with another cake. Repeat with remaining cakes. 
Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.


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