What kind of cake recipe has no sugar or gluten?
This week I decided to make a cake for my neighbour Ray as a thank you gift. Ray had helped us load wood chips for the garden using his truck and two hours of his labour, so I thought I would bake a cake to thank him. The only problem was that Ray was told to stay off sugar.
But how could I make a cake without sugar? I found a recipe called ‘Feather Lemon Cake’ thanks to Heidi Fink, a wonderful local chef and blogger in Victoria, which was gluten free but had lots of sugar in the cake and the lemon cream filling.
I like taking shortcuts and tweaking recipes to make them healthier, but a no sugar cake? I tried Heidi’s Lemon Feather Cake a few times to experiment with less sugar, and finally was ready to try a no sugar version for Ray.
I found a substitute sugar product at the health food store called Xyla, which looks like sugar and tastes sweet, but is made from birch trees and passed by Health Canada.
My first sugar free cake was a great success, a large fluffy sponge cake, sandwiched together with delicious lemon curd cream.
So here is my revised version of Heidi’s delicious recipe, with some photos to guide and inspire you. This filling takes the most work but is delicious.
List of ingredients for the cake:
- 6 eggs separated. Tip – crack each egg into a cup first, in case the yolk breaks and spoils the whites
- 1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (approx. 1 lemon, wash outside first)
- ¾ cup of Xyla
- ¾ cup of potato starch (amazing fine floury product, used in Passover cakes)
- ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice (from the lemon you used for zest)
Here is how to make it:
- Line a cake tin with parchment paper and butter it so the cake doesn’t stick
- Beat the egg whites by themselves with clean beaters until stiff but not dry, then add in half the sugar and beat until smooth and put aside. Wash the beaters.
- In separate bowl, beat the yolks and other half of the sugar and lemon zest for at least five minutes until creamy. Add in lemon juice and beat some more.
- Sift 1/3 of the starch into the yolks mix and stir in with a spoon, then gently fold in some of the egg whites. Sift in more starch then stir in more egg whites until they are all mixed in and you have a big bowl of foamy cake mixture.
- Pour into your cake tin and cook at 350 for 35 or 40 minutes. It will be easy to take out of the pan to cool it on a cake rack.
List of ingredients for cake filling (a lemon curd with whipped cream added)
- ½ cup of butter (1/4 lb for Irish or English readers)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice (1 lemon or so)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of whipped cream
How to make the filling
- Boil some water in a small saucepan (1/3 full), turn down to simmer and put a bowl over the top but not touching the water to make a double boiler.
- Melt butter and Xyla in the bowl, then add the lemon juice and zest. Stir until the Xyla melts. It may become crystalline before dissolving.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup of butter mixture into the eggs first, then whisk the rest of egg mix into the butter mix which is still cooking over the hot water.
- Cook and stir for 5-8 minutes until thick. Take off heat and let cool completely.
- When cold, fold the whipped cream into the lemon mix. Can be stored in fridge until you are ready to assemble the cake.
- To assemble the cake, take a large sharp knife and cut it horizontally into two halves. Put bottom of cake on plate, spread thick layer of filling on it with a knife, then put top of cake on like a lid. Either put more filling on the top or leave plain.
And here are some pictures of my cake…
Are you surprised to find a sugar-free cake recipe? Will you try this recipe or will you try using Xyla natural sweetener in a different cake or baking recipe? If you try it please let me know what you think in the comments below. Happy baking!