Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake (Dairy Free)

Last week my friend, Lisa,  over at Good Grief Cook, posted an interesting article.  She addressed the issue of whether or not internet recipes are well tested before publication.  After a friend of hers had tried a blogger’s recipe for lemon cake that was riddled with issues, her “failure” turned into a mission for my friend.  She worked to create the perfect lemon cake, one that was tested through and through.  You can check out her results.

One of the most stressful things for me to hear as a blogger is, “I am going to try your recipe.”  I know that sounds odd because as a blogger, I want people to actually try my recipes.  But there is always this fear that the recipe will not turn out the way it should.  While I create and test my own recipes, and do not publish a recipe unless it has my personal approval, I am always fearful that something will go wrong.  I rack my brain with questions.   Are my directions clear enough?    Is there a typo in the measurements?  What if they use a different flour blend than I do?  Will it still turn out the way it should?

I stress a bit.  I suppose that is a good thing because it has pushed me to be careful as I create and careful as I type.  If you do try my recipe, I want to do all that I can on my end to ensure that your finished product looks and tastes just like my finished product.  That’s the whole point, isn’t it?  Sharing recipes that I love with the hopes that you will love them and make them part of your home.

Following along with my friend’s attempt to create the best lemon cake ever, I was inspired to create a gluten free lemon cake recipe of my own.  I used the recipe mentioned in her blog as a jumping off point, but as usual, I made significant changes.

I took the liberty of including frozen wild blueberries in my cake.  Lemon and blueberries just go so well together.  I also opted to use olive oil in lieu of butter.  It was a good move.  Lastly, I omitted the lemon extract in the original recipe.  For some reason the smell of lemon extract makes me  wince.  Instead, I squeezed 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice and boiled (reduced) it down by half.  This intense juice flooded my cake with the perfect amount of lemony flavor.  Of course my cake is gluten free, and for this recipe I used my go to flour, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend.  It just always works for me.

So, yes, I hope that you will try this recipe (I’ll try not to stress).  It’s utterly delicious, so delicious you won’t believe that it is gluten free and dairy free.  So bake up a loaf, grab a slice, and snack on a handful of fresh blueberries for a good morning treat!

Happy Baking!

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake
serves 8-10

1/2 cup olive oil (I used California Olive Ranch) – opt for mild flavored olive oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
2 cups gluten free flour blend (I used Bob’s 1 to 1)
2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 tablespoon gluten free flour blend

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9″ x 5″ glass loaf pan with enough parchment paper to overhang each long side by 1 inch.  Set aside.

Zest the lemons; set aside.  Juice the lemons.  You will need 1/2 cup of juice.  Place the juice into a small saucepan and slowly bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the juice is reduced by half yielding 1/4 cup.  Place the juice in a bowl and set aside to cool.

Cream together the olive oil, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until the mixture is smooth.

Add in the almond milk and lemon juice and mix.

Add in the gluten free flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix on low speed just until the dry ingredients are incorporated then turn the mixer off.  Using a silicone spatula fold the ingredients together until a smooth batter forms (this should only take a few turns of the spatula).

Place the frozen wild blueberries into a small bowl and toss with one tablespoon of gluten free flour.  Opt for the smaller, wild blueberries instead of the larger, cultivated variety.  Wild blueberries have an intense flavor and are nutritionally superior.  Spoon the berries (leaving any loose flour behind) into the batter.  Fold the berries into the batter gently and only a few times.  Over mixing the berries will create a purple-tinted batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 60-65 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 30 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack by lifting up on the overhanging parchment paper.  Cool completely.  You can also place the loaf in the refrigerator to speed this process along.

Once the loaf has completely cooled, stir together the powdered sugar and 3 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice until a smooth glaze forms.  Pour the glaze over the top of the loaf and gently spread toward the edges.  Allow the loaf to sit for 15 minutes before slicing.

54 thoughts on “Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake (Dairy Free)

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe!! When Lisa posted the lemon cake recipe, I thought it sounded amazing and was bummed that I’d just been diagnosed with having celiac disease. I commented on her post about untested recipes and explained that was one of my biggest fears now that I’m gluten free because everyone seems to have jumped on that bandwagon. Lisa recommended you as someone I could trust and I’m so glad she did!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stacie, thanks so much! Yes, many have jumped on the GF bandwagon because it is trendy to some and there is $ to be made. That is what I call dangerous blogging because to many people like you and me, this GF thing is no joke. You can be assured that whatever I post, I have made in my own kitchen, fed to my family, and tried it myself. I will offer one warning, most of my recipes features Bob’s 1 to 1 GF flour blend. While I love the results, they are not certified GF (I think there is an equipment sharing issue). I don’t have celiac, just a very nasty intolerance. You may have to opt for a certified blend. This could change the outcome of some recipes, but I doubt that it will make a huge difference. Feel free to reach out to me if you need a recipe or have a question. You can subscribe too or follow along on FB or IG. I don’t post aas often as most bloggers (but this goes back to actually making the time to test and make recipes).


  2. Reducing the lemon juice by half is absolute genius. I think I will try that next time and eliminate the extract. I wonder how frozen lemon juice concentrate might work now, too.


    1. I would imagine that the taste may vary a bit depending upon the brand and type of olive oil used. I always use California Olive Ranch olive oil which is delicious but does not present with such a robust flavor as other oils. I bet using avocado oil which has a mild flavor or as you mentioned vegetable oil, would tone down the flavor more to your personal liking.


  3. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I love the combination of lemon and blueberries. I actually used vegetable oil instead of olive oil (as advised by Linda) and the cake disappeared in one evening…my friend didn’t even noticed it’s dairy and gluten free;)


  4. I am eager to try this! But with little kids sometimes a muffin is easier. Can you advise if you have a baking time and temperature for muffins of this same recipe? Thanks!


    1. Katie, I have made these in muffin form! The recipe yields 12 muffins. No need to alter the recipe, simply bake for 20-22 minutes. Insert a cake tester or a butter knife into the center of a muffin to check for doneness!


      1. Sorry to hear that Debra. I’ve made this loaf many times with consistent rise to the bread. The only think I can think of is possibly the baking powder was not fresh.


    1. Not sure, Tricia. I have never used just rice flour in any of my baking. I have personally found the best results using a blend such as Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free. I believe that using just rice flour would yield a very dense and potentially gritty bread.


  5. This sounds so yummy! My daughter gets migraines from almonds and is sensitive to dairy. Have you ever tested the recipe using coconut beverage or water instead of almond milk?


    1. I have not. I think that water would not provide the same consistency that is needed. I have used coconut milk in similar recipes, and I believe that would work well.


      1. I just made this recipe using oat milk instead of almond milk, with great success. I also used olive oil from California that I purchased from Imperfect Produce that worked very well. No olive-y aftertaste.


    1. I would make the batter exactly the same, filling each about 3/4 full. Not sure about cooking time, maybe 12 minutes or so. I haven’t made them this way , but please let me know if you do!


  6. This looks amazing! I was wondering if this recipe would work with regular flour or would the measurements need to be adjusted?


    1. I used a gluten free flour that was meant to be a one to one substitute for regular flour. I think regular flour in an equal amount would work.


    1. Tiffany, I have not tested it with coconut sugar. I have used coconut sugar in other recipes, though. I think it would work, but it will likely darken up the batter a bit. Let me know if you give it a try!


  7. Adrienne, I would simply omit the zest from the crust. Maybe the jarred lemon juice in the cream filling. I am not familiar with the taste of the jarred juice so start with 2 tablespoons, taste, and see if you think it needs more. I would add a little at a time until you get the lemon flavor you like! I hope that helps. Let me know and stay safe!


    1. Joy, I have not tested it with almond flour. I’m not sure if almond flour would allow for enough lift during baking.


    1. Vanessa, unfortunately with 3 teenaged boys in my house I never have much left once it’s ready to eat. But saying that, I think that if you removed it from the pan, wrapped it in parchment and plastic, it would keep in the fridge for 5 days at least. I would just have some concern that the bottom may become a bit moist.


    1. Please let me know how you like it. I promise you; it is completely worth the wait and cooling it makes a huge difference.


  8. This is delicious! What I like most is that it is not overly sweet which is perfect since I made it for breakfast. I made (15) muffins which I baked for 20 minutes. Although a toothpick in the center came out clean in that time, I found the muffins a bit under-cooked. No worries. I plan to eat 2 or 3 for breakfast the next few days so I’ll reheat in the oven for a couple of minutes which should leave them perfectly done. But, next time I’ll go for the longer time of 22 minutes.


    1. I am so glad you like it! It is my favorite loaf cake. I haven’t tried to make these as muffins yet, but I am glad you gave it a try! I bet a few minutes longer in the oven will do the trick!


  9. Ahhh!! I’m out of almond milk. I have 1% and buttermilk. Any idea if either will work?
    I’ve made it before and it’s so delicious. Don’t want to ruin it with a different type of milk today…


    1. Hmm. I have not tried either. I love adding buttermilk to baked goods. It adds a certain tang. Honestly, I think either would work well. If I had to choose, I would go with the 1%.


  10. Do you know if it’s possible to make this ahead of time? Or maybe the batter that could store in the fridge a couple of days before you bake it? Thanks!!


    1. Stephanie, you can bake the bread ahead of time. I would let it cool completely, remove it from the pan, wrap it in plastic wrap, and keep it in the fridge. I wouldn’t recommend making the batter ahead of time and storing it in the fridge. I hope you enjoy. It’s one of our favorites!


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