When life gives you lemons?

Hi all!

Last week I had the pleasure of trying a new recipe, a Lemon Cake, Paleo style. I found the recipe on the civilised caveman site. It was another lunchroom cake but the lady I made it for follows the “I quit sugar” lifestyle. So while she is free to eat wheat products I looked for something in the Gluten Free / Paleo genera as well.

Paleo Lemon Cake

Thankfully I tried the cake out a week before I had to deliver it because I had a few issues with it. I like to make cakes from weight measurements rather than cup measures because the results are a little more predictable. This recipe had half and half, so I made it to the weight measurement where it was written.  The results were a wet almost uncooked centre.  I didn’t go with my gut on the cooking time and while I extended it by a good 15 mins it was still wet. After the cake cooled and I’d eaten a piece I went back over the recipe to see what I may have done wrong. More on that later but this is how I made it.

I’ve done it again!

One day I might remember that while I’m making a cake I need to take Photos. For this one I didn’t! Again!! Maybe I can revisit this and add in the photos next time I bake it, in the mean time use your imagination. First step is to combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl and give it a whisk and set it aside.  (imagine a picture of a bowl with dry ingredients in it!) All the wet ingredients are done in the food processor so add the honey and coconut oil and let it go nuts for a couple of minutes, then add the eggs one at a time through the chute until well combined. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and zest and mix them through, then mix it a bit more just to be sure.  (This is where I would have a photo of the wet ingredients in the food processor) Now pour the liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix to form a batter. (this is the batter, looks good doesn’t it!) Finally drop the batter into your cake tin and whack it in the oven at 180C  / 350F till it’s cooked.  Like I said earlier I cooked mine for an extra 15 mins in a 9” round so about 50 mins all up. I also had a go in an 8” bunt tin (this was a backup if the centre didn’t cook out again) and it only took 35 mins but it also wasn’t all the batter. Keep an eye on it from around the 35 mins mark. Bring it out of the oven and turn it out onto a cooling rack after 5-10 minutes cooling in the tin.

Here is what I’ve learned.

The original attempt at the recipe was wet which meant it had too much moisture. Now that could be from not enough flour or too much liquid; in my case I think it was both.  When I followed the cup measurement instead of the weight for the flour I had a better result. Also an American cup is different to an Australian cup which is different to a UK cup, not by much but enough to change results if there are mixed measurements – weight vs volume.

Also I used fresh lemon juice ( the lemons came off my father-in-law’s tree, they are in season at the moment, taste great and what’s better than fresh local organic produce!) rather than lemon extract.  The process of getting lemon extract is usually using a carrier like alcohol which evaporates at a faster rate than water so again this added to the cooking time.

This is what I did different.

So from the recipe that I’ve link to above I made a few changes:

  • I used the cup measurements rather than gram measurements.
  • The coconut milk I left the extra 3 tablespoons out – Aust vs US cups.
  • I used fresh lemon juice instead of extract.
  • In the end I cooked it for an extra 15 minutes. It was starting to look pretty brown so I covered it with foil for the final 15 mins.

And the end result?

Before I tell you that, I forgot to tell you about the lemon glaze. The smarter side of the brains trust suggested that I candy some lemon rind as a garnish for the top and what a great idea that was! Thanks Darl! I took the rind off with a peeler then cut them into long thin strips. Boiled them in a little water just to soften them, drained them and kept the lemon infused water for the glaze.I boiled up some honey and dropped the rind in. Once it had reached candy stage, using a fork I took the strips out and laid them on a cooling rack to harden.

In the glaze I used lemon Juice, the zest of a lemon, honey and the water I boiled the rind in. I let this simmer till it had reduced to about half. Then with a fork I poked holes in the cake for the glaze to soak in. After it had cooled a little I poured it over the cake. Using a spatula I spread it so it drizzled over the edges. To finish I places random bits of rind over the cake finished with an artsy pile / nest in the middle.

Paleo Lemon Cake

Now the End Result!

The cake was a great success, on its own, the cake is quite sweet with soft flavour of lemon, so the tartiness of the lemon glaze reduction really makes it stand up and the candied rind is just Yumm! I recommend giving it a go and tell me what you think.

Paleo Lemon Cake

Thanks For Readin’

Paleo Lemon Cake

  • Difficulty: easy-ish
  • Print

Paleo Lemon Cake


2 cups Almond Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1/2  tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
2/3 cup Honey
2/3 cup Coconut Oil (Melted)
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
zest from 1 lemon

Lemon Glaze
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup honey
zest of a lemon


  • Place almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and using a whisk combine the ingredients and set aside.
  • In a food processor add the honey and coconut oil and blend for 2 minutes
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time mixing in between.
  • After all the eggs are combined add in the coconut milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until well combined.
  • Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix to form a batter.
  • Using a 9″ greased and lined cake tin pour in the cake batter and bake at 180C / 350F for approximately 50 mins, check progress after 40 mins.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins before removing and cool on a cake rack.
  • Once the cake is cooled poke holes all over with a fork and pour on the lemon glaze.

Lemon Glaze
In a small saucepan bring all the ingredients to a simmer and allow it to reduce by about half.


3 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons?

  1. After some burned cakes made with honey, I have learned my lesson. Honey cakes, especially those grain free, are better baked at lower temperatures for a longer periods of time. Best results are with low height cakes, larger in diameter. The higher the cake the more chances that sides, top and bottom might be burned, with the middle still not fully baked. I use temperatures 140-150C fan forced.


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