This light and tangy easy lemon cake recipe is easy to adapt for your allergy needs. Easy Lemon Cake is inspired by crazy cake or wacky cake recipes, which you can use milk, water, or your favorite dairy free beverage.
Disclosure: I am a brand ambassador for Rodelle Vanilla and love using their amazing products which are produced in a nut free facility.
I’m making Easy Lemon Cake because it’s lemon and citrus season in the Bay Area. My wonderful friends and neighbors have dropped off bags of lemon and oranges at my house over the past week. My neighbor has an orange tree and sometimes the fruit is very sweet and sometimes it’s not, in which case I’ll use them to make my award winning Orange Chiffon Cake.
One of my friends has a very productive lemon tree with large fruit, a thick rind, and very little lemon juice. It’s perfect for making candied lemon peels for my mom. Another one of my friends has a meyer lemon tree and those lemons are perfect for baking. I’m making an Easy Lemon Cake recipe that is egg allergy friendly, easy to adapt, delicious baked as cupcakes, and as a base for other recipes. If you love lemon recipes, be sure to look at my recipes for Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies and Blueberry Lemon Muffins.
Easy, Crazy, Wacky Cake Basics
Wacky cake is a simple chocolate cake recipe that was invented during the depression era when butter, eggs, and milk were rationed. The recipe is very simple, one mixes the dry ingredients in a square baking dish and create separate indentations to act as wells for the wet ingredients: oil, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Add water, mix everything up, and bake! This Easy Lemon Cake recipe is inspired by wacky cake but I like to use milk so that the lemon juice and milk can react, create buttermilk, which in turns makes the cake moist and tender. If you avoid milk, you can use any other milk or water in the recipe.
Wacky and Allergy Friendly Adaptations:
- Not everyone in our family likes chocolate but everyone loves lemon.
- I lightened the texture of the batter with some cornstarch, but if you avoid cornstarch, then omit the cornstarch and use a total of 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour instead.
- I’ve reduced the amounts of sugar to lighten up the calories.
- I use non-fat milk in this recipe, but you can use water, soy milk, or any kind of milk as needed for your specific allergies. Dairy milk works the best.
- You could make this recipe gluten free by using a one to one gluten free mix that includes xanthum gum (or similar ingredient).
- You could mix everything in a square nonstick baking pan. If you are using a glass pan line with parchment paper for easy clean up.
A New Start in 2017 and Cooking with Rodelle
2016 was a tumultuous year for my health and every January is a great reminder to refocus and recommit to healthy choices, whatever they may be. I’m eager for a fresh start: exercise more, eat more fruits and veggies, cook more, lose weight, and get more sleep. How about you?
To make the easy lemon cake a little more mom-approved and waistline friendlier, I reduced some of the sugar. I usually serve this cake plain, but if a little sweet topping is a must, be sure to let it cool completely before sprinkling some powdered sugar or drizzling a little lemon icing. I also love being able to use organic ingredients whenever I can. I used Rodelle Organics Lemon Extract and Rodelle Organics Pure Vanilla Extract for this recipe. The cake tastes wonderful right out of the oven as well as the next day, which is convenient if you are preparing food for a crowd.
- Read about my first impressions about Rodelle in my review and recipe for making ice cream in a bag.
- Shop Rodelle on Amazon (affiliate link)
If you love this Easy Lemon Cake recipe, please leave a comment below and share this recipe with your friends, thank you!
Easy Lemon Cake
- 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup sugar organic preferred
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water or milk soy, rice, any kind, I use non-fat milk
- 6 tablespoons oil any kind, I use extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit, line a 9x9 square baking dish with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Zest the lemon over the flour mixture and whisk.
Add milk, oil, lemon and vanilla extracts and stir a few times.
Add lemon juice (or vinegar) and stir a few more times.
Immediately pour the batter into a parchment lined pan, trim any excess parchment paper, and place in the oven on a middle rack.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let it cool completely by placing the pan on a wire rack.
Serve plain, or dust with powdered sugar, or drizzle with lemon icing (1/2 cup of powdered sugar + 1 tablespoon lemon juice, whisk).
Other Nut Free Cake Recipes You Might Like:
- Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting – Nut free with an irresistable frosting
- Olive Oil Orange Chiffon Cake – Nut free, classic sponge cake but made with olive oil
- Aunty Karen’s “Ma Lai Go” – Nut free, Chinese steamed sponge cake, it’s a dim sum classic
- Chocolate Wacky Cake – Nut free, egg free chocolate cake
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