Lemon and Elderfower Sponge

When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade, make this lemon and elderflower sponge cake instead!

Gluten and dairy free
Slice of lemon and elderflower sponge - gluten and dairy free

This lemon and elderflower sponge cake is so versatile and adaptable for dairy free and gluten free dietary requirements but it’s also great with an option for normal diets too.

DF: Dairy Free

GF: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 270 g Gluten free flour or 300g normal flour for non GF option
  • 30 g Cornflour (omit for non GF option)
  • 300 g Margarine
  • 300 g Caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Lemons Zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum omit for non-gluten free version
  • Vegan ‘Buttercream’ Icing Recipe (lemon version with 1tbsp Elderflower cordial)
Lemon and elderflower sponge ingredients

Recipe Tips

Dairy and Gluten Free Recipe

This is probably my most requested bake from family and friends, super zesty, light and moist and is so easy to make. In fact I used it as the base of my own wedding cake.

Elderflowers typically bloom in late spring to early summer, with their exact blooming period varying depending on regional climate and weather conditions. In many temperate regions, you can expect to find elderflowers in full bloom from May to June. The blossoms appear in clusters on the elderberry tree (Sambucus species) and are known for their fragrant and attractive white or cream-coloured petals. These flowers mark the beginning of the elderberry fruit development, which ripens later in the summer and early fall, depending on the variety and location.

Elderflower has a delicate flavour with floral, fruity, and slightly sweet notes. It has a subtle hint of honey and citrus, making it a unique and pleasant addition to various dishes.

Lemon and elderflower sponge  recipe

I am passionate about creating recipes that cater to a wide range of dietary needs, including gluten and dairy-free options like mine, as well as those who can consume any food. As a result, my recipes often provide various adaptations based on your dietary preferences. This specific recipe is incredibly versatile and can be easily adjusted for dairy-free and gluten-free diets, while also being suitable for those with no dietary restrictions. Over the years, I have developed some clever techniques for substituting regular or gluten-free flour in almost any baked good.

Lemon and elderflower sponge - gluten and dairy free

How to Use Gluten Free Flour

I’ve discovered a few tricks for substituting gluten-free flour for regular flour:

Plain or self-raising flour?

I always opt for plain flour, whether it’s gluten-free or not. This choice allows me to have control over the amount of raising agents I add, ensuring that I only use what’s necessary. It also means that I only need one type of flour in my pantry, saving space and preventing flour from sitting around too long, which can encourage bacterial growth. This is why consuming raw cookie dough isn’t recommended!

Cornflour:

When substituting gluten-free flour for regular flour, I typically use about 10% less flour and add 10% cornflour or cornstarch. Cornflour is flavorless in cake batter but offers several advantages. It acts as a thickening agent and helps stabilize the eggs in the mixture, which aids in holding the structure together. Gluten-free flour can often result in a crumbly texture, and cornflour helps to counteract this. It also helps to eliminate the grainy texture that gluten-free flour can sometimes have. Finally, cornflour contributes to making the cake light and fluffy.

Xanthan gum:

Similar to cornflour, xanthan gum is a thickening agent. In baking, it’s frequently used with gluten-free flour to bind the cake together and prevent crumbliness. Only a small amount is needed, as too much can make your cake heavy. However, even a small amount can make a significant difference! If you’re using regular flour, you don’t need to add this ingredient. Also, be sure to check the ingredients of your gluten-free blend, as xanthan gum is sometimes already included, especially in gluten-free self-raising flour.

Liquid:

Occasionally, when substituting gluten-free flour, it can absorb more moisture, resulting in a slightly dry batter. If this occurs and you find the batter is a bit stiff, simply add a splash of milk or dairy-free milk to loosen it up a bit.

Lemon and elderflower sponge recipe photo

Try The Recipe

Indulge in the delightful harmony of flavours with our Lemon and Elderflower Sponge Cake recipe. This elegant dessert combines the zesty brightness of freshly squeezed lemons with the subtle floral notes of elderflower, resulting in a light and airy sponge cake that’s simply irresistible. Each bite offers a perfect balance of citrusy tang and fragrant sweetness, making it an ideal treat for any occasion, from afternoon tea to celebratory gatherings. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice, this recipe promises a slice of heaven that’s easy to create and guaranteed to leave your taste buds tingling with delight.

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Lemon and elderflower sponge recipe photo

Lemon and Elderfower Sponge

This lemon and elderflower sponge cake is so versatile and adaptable for dairy free and gluten free dietary requirements but it's also great with an option for normal diets too.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 276 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 270 g Gluten free plain flour 300g if baking the non-gluten free version
  • 30 g Cornflour Omit if baking the non-gluten free version
  • 300 g Caster sugar
  • 300 g margarine
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Lemons Zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Xanthan gum Omit if baking the non-gluten free version

For the icing

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C or 180°C fan.
  • Whisk together the sugar and margarine until smooth, light and fluffy.
  • Weigh out the dry ingredients and mix together.
  • Whisk the eggs into the batter one at a time long with a table spoon of dry ingredients, allow to completely combine before adding another egg.
  • Sift in the remaining dry ingredients and mix gently by hand until fully incorporated.
  • Mix in the lemon zest, juice and elderflower cordial.
  • Spoon the mixture into 2 8 inch cake tins. Bake at 190°C/180°C fan for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool before icing.
  • Ice the cakes with my Vegan Lemon 'Buttercream' Recipe. Enjoy…

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate and exact values may vary
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, gluten free lemon cake, lemon and elderflower cake, lemon sponge cake

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