Chock-full of lemony goodness, this sweet, tart snack cake is easy and delicious.
I found this recipe a few days ago on Tessa Fischer’s blog, Salted Plains. (If you love gluten-free baked goods Tessa is the real deal.) I don’t know if it’s just me – or what it is about gluten free baked goods – but I find that I like them so much better after I let them rest a day. We made this snack cake yesterday and when Mr. EN and I pounced on it last night (as soon as it was cool enough to frost and eat) we thought “Pretty good but not that good”. Today, when I munched on a square for my afternoon snack I reconsidered: this gluten-free, vegan Lemon Poppyseed Snack Cake is Really. That. Good.
This Lemon Poppyseed Snack Cake is…
- Sweet but not too sweet – especially if you go light on the frosting. (We didn’t 😉)
- Crumbly, but in a good way (not like many gluten free baked goods where crumbly = a gritty texture and a major mess).
- Lemony and tart (I added a bit more lemon zest than Tessa and a tiny dash of lemon extract in the frosting.)
- Easy to make
- Lower-carb (if that’s your thing) than a lot of baked goods because coconut and almond flour are used instead of wheat flour or other higher carb GF flours such as potato flour, rice flour, or tapioca starch flour.
- Perfect for a lazy Sunday snack with a cup of tea or hot milk (Yes, I drink hot milk. I like to add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla. I’m one of the few who doesn’t really love chocolate.)
- Parchment for perfection. Like Tessa says don’t forget to line the pan with parchment. That will make your cake so much easier to lift out and cut. If you don’t have parchment go get some.
- Agave this time. Tessa says you can use honey and I am sure you can, but agave has a much milder flavor and I believe using it probably allows the lemon to shine through more so than it would with honey. (Just a hunch.)
- Cane or beet sugar? I used Pioneer brand sugar which is made from sugar beets not sugar cane. I usually have organic cane sugar in my pantry but I was out. Regular sugar worked just fine for me in this recipe.
Are you craving something that is sweet AND tart? Do you love lemon as much as I do? I hope you’ll try this recipe. Like I said earlier, it is really so much better than “pretty good”.
Peace, love and good eats, from our Empty Nest to yours.
Trending in the Empty Nest Kitchen: fresh lemons, a bag a week, as always 😊
Mr. ENs take on this recipe: “Excellent for gluten free. It’s not your mom’s lemon bar but that’s pretty hard to beat.”
Lemon Poppyseed Snack Cake - Vegan, Gluten Free
Yield 12-16 servings
Chock-full of lemony goodness. This sweet, tart snack cake is easy and delicious.
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup cane sugar (I used Pioneer white sugar)
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted (I used Earth Balance, as Tessa suggested)
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey if not vegan (I used Agave)
- 2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (Tessa’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour (not almond meal)
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour, packed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup powdered sugar, add additional if needed
- 5 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Dash, lemon extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. (Crisscross the parchment in the pan to make flaps so you can easily lift out the cake.) Spray the top of the parchment lightly too.
- In a small bowl stir together cornstarch and water. Let sit 2-3 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, add the sugar, melted butter, agave, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Whisk well then add the corn starch mixture and whisk again.
- To the liquid mixture, stir in the almond flour, coconut flour (make sure you packed your tablespoons), salt, and baking soda. Stir until batter forms. Fold in poppy seeds. Allow to sit and absorb liquids for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Flatten the batter into an even layer, making sure all corners are filled. I did this with a pair of food safe gloves; Tessa suggests another piece of parchment.
- Bake for 16-19 minutes. The edges will be slightly browned and the top golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
- While bars are cooling make the frosting: combine powdered sugar, vegan butter, lemon zest, vanilla extra and lemon extract (if using). Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar if needed. Store in refrigerator until ready to frost.
- When cake is cool, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Gently frost the cake. Grate additional lemon zest on top. Remove cake from pan using parchment flaps. Slice into squares or bars.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container.