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Easy Peasy Gluten Free Lemon and Ginger Cake Recipe

Learn to make delicious gluten free lemon and ginger slice quick and simple recipe!

Hi there,

Here’s how to make our iconic Lemon & Ginger Shortbread tray bake (aka Snowy Hills).

This gorgeous cake is one of our Honeybuns classics and if we’d had a £ for each time people have said “oooh I’m not sure. I’m not keen on ginger”…….for them to then stop in wonderment and then declare “yuuuuuuum”. It’s a cake that really does make you smile. The balance of lemon and ginger is spot on with neither dominating. Each of the three layers adds its own texture and flavour and the toasted chopped nuts in the base shows you’ve really made the effort.

Take a look at Em's bake-along video 

You can bake-along with me if you prefer. For a step-by-step visual guide to making the traybake, please do check out my live bake-along video below.

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How quick is it?

This is easy to make although it’s not the quickest of our recipes. You need to make your base and bake this blind first so that takes about 25 mins including baking time. The topping will then take another 25 mins including baking time. So all in all you get to enjoy one happy and rewarding hour in the kitchen.

What is special about this recipe?

There’s so much to say! Personally, I love the crunchiness of the base contrasted by the soft, super moist topping. It’s also full to brimming with flavour without being too much. This tray bake is ideal for elevenses, afternoon tea or served as dessert with ice cream or crème fraiche. Try cutting the tray bake into 15 into squares and stacking them up on a pretty plate - this will make a fab addition to any coffee morning or tea party. Or you can present it as an alternative birthday cake or special occasion cake. You can decorate your stack with candles or pretty flowers. In the photos we simply cut the tray bake into little squares and decorated with dried corn flowers.

Lemon & ginger cake decorated with fresh fruit

See Sous Chef for a range of edible flowers.

Is this cake recipe healthy?

The almonds in the recipe almonds are rich in vitamin E and selenium as well as being good sources of fibre and protein. For this reason almonds are one of our go to store cupboard staples. With all of our recipes we use all natural, thoughtfully sourced ingredients. Free range, locally sourced eggs are not only kinder to hens but they’ll taste significantly better too.

Can I substitute ingredients?

As ever, I’ve included swapsie ingredient ideas in brackets. There are also suggestions for dairy free and nut free options too.

If you can’t be bothered or don’t have time to make from scratch you can always pretend you did by buying them ready made from us. We won’t tell!

Slice of Lemon & Ginger Shortbread cake

How long will the cake keep?

This recipe makes 8-10 portions. You can keep the finished tray bake in the fridge for 5 days and it will freeze too.

What ingredients do I need to make this easy gluten free lemon and ginger cake?

For the base:

  • 125g butter (or you can opt for dairy free margarine like Pure), softened and cubed, plus extra melted butter for brushing
  • 140g polenta
  • 170g ground almonds (or any other ground nut or try Linwoods milled Flaxseed, Pumpkin & Sunflower seed mix if you want to go nut free)
  • 125g sugar (I love using light Muscovado but anything will do)
  • 40g almonds, toasted and chopped (or chopped toasted seeds for nut free)
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 egg

For the filling you’ll need:

  • 5 tbsp good quality lemon curd (or a dairy free lemon/lime marmalade if you want to go dairy free) almond

For the baked lemon topping you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 125g ground almonds (or milled seeds, as above)
  • 140g sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 85g polenta
  • Grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon oil
  • 140g butter, melted (or you can use dairy free oil such as corn/sunflower/rapeseed oil)
  • Light brown sugar, for sprinkling

What kit will I need?

  • Tray bake tin measuring approx: 30cm x 23cm x 4cm
  • Electric hand held mixer
  • Palette knife
  • Mixing bowl

How to make your insanely moreish gluten free lemon and ginger slices.

Here’s my method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C / Gas 4.

2. Brush your tray bake tin with oil or melted butter

3. Place the base ingredients in a bowl and using an electric mixer, mix until clumps are formed. I find that at this stage you need to get your hands in and work with the mix until soft, malleable dough is formed. This can be done in the bowl.

4. Divide the dough into quarters and place in each corner of your oiled tray bake tin. Hand squidge your dough to cover the bottom of the tin. You don’t want any gaps and you don’t need edges of dough around the sides. You just need a smooth-ish base.

5. Bake the base for 15 mins. You need it to feel firm around the edges. Once baked leave to cool completely.

6. Once the base is completely cooled spread it with your lemon curd or dairy free alternative. Making sure you cover the base evenly so everyone gets their fair share!

7. Place the lemon topping ingredients in a bowl and using an electric hand mixer, beat on high speed until you get a smooth mix.

8. Spoon this mixture over your base, taking care not to disturb the layer of lemon curd too much. The idea is to have a layer of curd intact after baking.

9. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and the surface springs back when pressed with your finger tips.

10. Leave in its tin to cool completely. Sprinkle over the top with brown sugar. Slide it out of its tin to then cut up into squares.

11. Pop the kettle on and dig in.


Top Tips

gluten free Lemon & Ginger shortbread cake perfect pudding

1. For extra intense lemony-ness you can pour a lemon syrup drench over the top. Just pre-mix the juice of 2 lemons with 1 tbsp of sugar – you just need to briskly stir for a minute. Then as soon as the cake is out of the oven prick it all over with either a cocktail stick or cake skewer and then pour the syrup over the top.

2. For a quick and easy dessert, simply serve warm from the oven or re-heat and serve with ice cream or dairy free alternative. For extra decadence try stirring in some lemon curd to softened ice cream or into creme fraiche.

3. Swap the lemon curd for rhubarb and ginger jam. Tiptrees do a lovely one.


Comment below and share what you think about Easy Lemon and Ginger cake slices

If you like this video and recipe, then take a look at our easy Vegan Chocolate Brownie recipe

Emma Goss Custard



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