Vegan Lemon and Almond Drizzle Cake

IMG_1187I am visiting a friend who is currently following a gluten and dairy-free diet next week, so thought I’d test a vegan lemon drizzle cake that I could make as a treat for her. I found a version of a recipe by Sharon on her blog http://bitofthegoodstuff.com for vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake  on the Independent website.  I adapted it to make it gluten-free using ground almonds and a mix of gluten-free flours, and added a little xanthan gum to avoid the crumbliness you sometimes get with vegan cakes. I also used a bit more lemon drizzle mixture than the original recipe.

The result was pretty respectable, if the speed with which I managed to eat two slices is anything to go by – high praise from someone who is a confirmed butter addict! It has a moist, springy crumb, is nice and lemony, and has the distinctive sugary crunch on top.

As usual I halved the quantities, and used a small (1lb) loaf tin measuring 21 x 8 cm at the top, which I oiled and lined with baking parchment. Serves 4-6

45g ground almonds
40g rice flour
20g potato flour
20g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
pinch salt
85g caster sugar (I used 50:50 caster and light soft brown sugar)
1 tbsp agave syrup (or maple syrup)
35 ml light olive oil (original recipe uses rapeseed oil)
125 ml almond milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

Lemon Drizzle:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp granulated sugar

Heat the oven – I baked this at 165ºC Fan, the recipe in the Independent said 180ºC, which I assumed was without fan but, although it cooked fine, my cake didn’t brown that much so I might up the temperature next time to 175ºC.

Mix together the almonds, flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, syrup, oil, almond milk, vinegar and lemon juice. Stir in the lemon zest.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until thoroughly combined. Put into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

IMG_1186While it is baking stir together the lemon juice and sugar. When the cake is baked, prick it with a skewer and then pour over the lemon drizzle mixture. Leave the cake in the tin for at least half an hour, then cool completely on a rack.

It is said to keep for 3 days in an airtight tin, or freeze well either whole or in single slices, if you don’t eat it all first.

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