Gluten and Dairy Free Lavender and Lemon Cake

There is nothing more comforting on a rainy summer’s day than a piece of homemade cake.  Following a gluten free diet for health rather than fad diet reasons, I often make my own cakes and desserts.  Fed up with following my tried and tested Victoria Sandwich recipe, I thought I would try something different this afternoon.  Lemon and Lavender are two of my favourite essential oils and make a wonderful relaxing and refreshing blend for a massage.  Having recently bought some edible lavender plants from Wyevale, I thought I would try them out in a cake.

The recipe I followed was adapted from Country Living Magazines’ Lemon and lavender Madeira cake.

Like a few of the Mary Berry recipes that I adapt, it’s a quick and easy all in one method, stick it all in a mixer, then the oven and in an hour you have cake!

Ingredients

for the lemon and lavender Madeira cake

  • 175g of dairy free spread suitable for cooking
  • 225g of gluten free self-raising flour (I find that Doves farm is one of the best but Aldi’s own brand is a very good alternative).
  • 1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder
  •  zest of 1 lemon
  • 175g of caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried lavender flowers
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of water (gluten free cakes can often be dry so I always add in a bit of water)

for the icing

  • 175g of icing sugar sieved
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried lavender flowers
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice (you are looking for a consistency that you can pour over the cake but not too runny that it comes off the cake).

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 160ºC (140ºC fan oven) gas mark 3. Lightly grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.

2. Add the dairy free spread, lemon zest, sugar and lavender into the bowl of a mixer, sift the flour and baking powder, and then add the eggs and water. whisk together for 2 minutes light in colour on the highest setting of the mixer.  Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf tin.

 3. Bake for  45-50 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. It is important not to over bake as the cake can come out too dry.  Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

4. Mix together the icing sugar, fresh or dried lavender flowers and enough of the lemon juice to make a spreadable but not too runny icing. Add a drop or two of tepid water if necessary. When the cakes are completely cold, spread the icing over the top of the lemon and lavender cake and enjoy!