Lemon Sponge Cake with Strawberry Buttercream (Using Cassava Flour)

It’s become my tradition to share a cake recipe in celebration of my birthday. One year it was a Healthy Ice Cream Cake and another year it was a grain and gluten free Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter and Banana Frosting. I have a special relationship to chocolate, peanut butter, and banana as a flavor combination – who doesn’t love those three things together?! In the spirit of my April birthday, spring, and to showcase my love for all things lemon (another favorite flavor of mine-see here and here), this year I decided to make a Lemon Sponge Cake with Strawberry Buttercream.

This year I also wanted to highlight a completely different ingredient that I haven’t baked with yet. I have heard so many great things about cassava flour (Otto’s brand in particular); it is easy to use and works great in baked goods. I knew I had to try it out for myself. Many of my clients go grain free even if it is for a short time during the healing process, so I am always looking for more recipes to share with them (and with you).

The verdict: cassava flour really is amazing! It is grain free, gluten free and contains beneficial resistant starch. Resistant starch helps feed your good gut bacteria which helps produce short-chain fatty acids. Those fatty acids support the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestine.

Lots of grain-free desserts use almond flour which I love to use as well but not everyone can tolerate nuts. Nuts are higher in more inflammatory fats so you never want to overdo it when it comes to eating nuts. To support a healthy inflammatory response it is all about balance. I have also experimented with coconut flour in the past as another option for grain-free baking but never enjoyed the texture. Cassava flour is a great nutrient-dense solution while still being grain and gluten free.

When experimenting with this cake I discovered a couple of things that I wanted to mention. If you want a slightly fluffier cake, then I recommend separating the eggs and whipping the whites. Folding the whipped eggs whites into the batter before baking helps add more air and results in a lighter cake. If you are in a hurry or don’t feel like taking the extra time to perform this step, then you can simply add in the whole eggs. This cake will still work and be delicious, but it will be slightly denser.

If you don’t like strawberries or want to switch things up, then you could absolutely use whatever fruit you have on hand or enjoy. I bet this would be amazing with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or peaches. Inside the cake you could also use grapefruit, lime, or oranges instead of lemon. I can’t wait to make all kinds of combinations. When you make this be sure to share it and tag me over on my Instagram page – I want to know what combo you chose!

Lemon Sponge Cake with Strawberry Buttercream (Using Cassava Flour)

Celebrate spring with this Lemon Sponge Cake with Strawberry Buttercream, a grain-free, gluten-free cake made from cassava flour. Lots of combinations to try!

Ingredients

  • 3
    each
    eggs, seperated
  • 1/2
    cup
    organic cane sugar
    or coconut sugar
  • 1/2
    cup
    Nutivia Organic Shortening (dairy free)
    or one stick of butter, softened
  • 2
    Tbsp
    lemon zest
  • 1/2
    cup
    fresh lemon juice
    (about 2-3 large lemons)
  • 1/2
    cup
    coconut milk
  • 1
    cup
    Otto’s Cassava Flour
    (other brands won’t result the same)
  • 1/2
    tsp
    salt
  • 1/2
    tsp
    baking soda

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1
    cup
    fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1/4
    cup
    Nutivia Organic Shortening (dairy free)
  • 1/4
    cup
    coconut butter, softened
    (note coconut butter and NOT oil)
  • 1
    Tbsp
    raw honey or pure maple syrup

Instructions

  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Seperate the egg yolks from the whites.  Reserving the yolks.

  3. Whip the egg whites using a whisk or hand blender until soft peaks form.

  4. In a seperate bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening (or butter).

  5. Mix in the lemon zest, juice, milk, and egg yolks.

  6. In another bowl, blend together the cassava flour, salt, and baking soda.

  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until incorporated.

  8. Pour the batter into a 9 inch well greased cake pan. (I like silicone pans)

  9. Bake until the top is golden brown and a knife comes out clean.  About 25-35 minutes. (30 minutes was perfect for me)

  10. When the cake is done allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes and flip the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack to allow it to cool completely.  (or the frosting will melt)

  11. Add all of the buttercream frosting ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add in a couple teaspoons of extra coconut milk if you need help mixing everything together so that it comes out smooth.

  12. Once the cake is fully cooled.  Spread the frosting all over the top.

  13. Serve with extra berries as desired.

  14. Store in an airtight container for up to one week in the fridge. Note the frosting will firm up in the fridge but still delicious.

 

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