Gluten-Free Berry Lemon Cake

gluten-free recipes

There aren’t any gluten-free (GF) bakeries in my area, which means I am on my own when it comes to GF cakes, pies, and scones.  Fortunately, the internet is full of good gluten-free recipes.  I recently found a recipe from the UK for a raspberry polenta cake; I converted the measurements and adapted it to be nut-free.  The result is delicious – rich without being too heavy, and sweet without being overly so.  I used raspberries when I made it, but I think it would be just as wonderful with any berry (I think I’ll try blueberry next).


Do you have any favorite gluten-free recipes?  Share them in the comments!

Gluten-free berry lemon cake, adapted from Stevie Parle’s gluten-free raspberry and polenta cake recipe from The Telegraph.

8oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup corn meal

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp lemon extract

6 oz fresh raspberries

1 Tbs confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and pale, then beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in rice flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt, and lemon extract.

Pour half of the batter into the pan, and sprinkle the raspberries evenly on top.  Add the rest of the batter and smooth it over the raspberries, covering them completely.

Bake for 50–60 minutes until golden on top and firm in the middle.  Cool in the pan.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar just before serving, if desired.

Does your long term illness require a gluten-free diet?  What gluten-free recipes do you enjoy?

Favorite products, gluten-free edition

Going gluten-free means cutting a lot of foods out of my diet (goodbye, croissants!), but there are some things I’d rather not give up unless I have to.  So while wheat bread is definitely out of the question, not all bread is off the list.

Twenty years ago, gluten-free breads, cookies, and crackers were hard to find, but now there are decent options in most grocery stores.  Sometimes, though, you don’t want a decent option, you want a great one.  Here are some of the winners I’ve found in my year of living gluten-free.

  • GlutenWize cookies and granola (pictured).  My mom knows the owners of GlutenWize, which is lucky, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have heard of them.  I’ve had a lot of gluten-free cookies in the last year, and theirs are, hands-down, the best.  Their soft and chewy granola is dangerously addictive, too.  My top picks are the oatmeal raisin cookies and the maple granola.
  • Gorilla Munch cereal from Nature’s Path.  Crispy, corny, sweet goodness.  It’s on the expensive side, though, so my go-to cereals are Chex and GF Rice Krispies.
  • Schar gluten-free breads.  Bread products are some of the hardest to get right, and I’d had some really bad attempts, but Schar has good pre-made breads and also a nice boxed mix.
  • Bob’s Red Mill‘s gluten-free All Purpose Flour.  For when you just have to bake something.  I substitute this one-for-one for wheat flour in my recipes, and it always turns out well.
  • King Arthur Flour‘s gluten-free Pancake Mix.  This makes light, fluffy, classic pancakes; they’re easy to cook and very tasty.  They can be made into waffles, also, but I’ve never tried that.

I am still on a quest to find some amazing gluten-free pasta, pizza, and bagels, and I’m open to suggestions!  What are your favorite gluten-free products?

Going Gluten Free

Several years ago I learned that celiac disease can cause migraines, and can present without gastrointestinal issues.  So I asked my neurologist to consider celiac disease as a possible cause, and he agreed to order a blood test to check for characteristic antibodies.  It came back negative.  I didn’t know much about celiac disease at the time; specifically, I didn’t know that the blood tests for celiac have a high false negative rate.  So I assumed that the celiac disease had been tested and discarded, and I should look elsewhere for an explanation for my migraines.  This was a mistake.  It turns out that about 10% of celiac sufferers are antibody-negative.  Further, gluten-intolerance (which is separate from celiac disease, and will also yield a negative antibody result) can also cause chronic migraines.  I had dismissed a promising treatment option on the basis of an imperfect test.

When I learned this, I decided to go gluten-free (GF) and see if I improved at all.  The catch is that it can take six months on a GF diet to see results (although most people see a difference sooner, some within days).  Guess who took five months and three weeks to notice an improvement?  (Sadly it did not make me feel completely better, but I’ll take what I can get!)

Keeping to a GF diet is not so hard when I eat in – there are lots of restricted foods, but lots of good alternatives.  The toughest part is eating out – many servers at restaurants don’t understand which of their foods contain gluten, and many restaurants don’t have policies in place to prevent cross-contamination.  But it is doable, and it is definitely worth some sacrifices to feel better.   And when I mess up and accidentally eat gluten, the way it makes me feel reminds me why I do this.

In future posts I’ll give advice on maintaining a gluten-free diet, secret sources of gluten to look out for, and favorite GF products.  If you are considering going GF, try and stick with it for a while.  The results might not be immediate, but if you do see them, they are so worth it.

Please remember that this post is the opinion of the author and should not be replaced for actual medical advice or attention.  Please learn more about celiac disease here and more about gluten here.  Lacuna Loft supports healthy eating whether gluten-filled or gluten-free!  Find what works best for you!