Healthy Lemon Cake

Mar 25, 2022 | Desserts, Gluten-Free, Recipes

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Moist, sweet, and bursting with lemon flavor, this healthy lemon cake is sure to become your favorite! It’s made with wholesome ingredients and topped with a healthy lemon cream cheese frosting. Plus, this single-layer cake is so easy to make, and it happens to be gluten-free.

Healthy Lemon Cake

If you’re a lemon lover, you simply must try this healthy lemon cake!

Yes, we all love the lemon cake from Starbucks. But with all that fat and sugar, I suggest you pass on the Starbucks and try this homemade cake instead. You will not regret it!

It’s moist, sweet, and bursting with bright lemon flavor. And it’s topped with the best lemon cream cheese frosting. The frosting alone is enough to try this cake! Why? Because lemon + cream cheese + maple syrup = AMAZING!

Plus, this cake will not affect your healthy lifestyle. It’s made with wholesome, nourishing ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard. Here’s what you’ll need:

Healthy Lemon Cake Ingredients:

For healthy lemon cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Oat Flour– Oat flour is sold in stores, but it’s also super easy to make at home. Simply blend old-fashioned oats in a high-speed blender until the oats become a fine powder (about 30 seconds to a minute). Store your oat flour in an air-tight container for up to three months. 
  • Cornstarch– When added to the oat flour, cornstarch helps to produce a tender crumb.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda– I use both baking powder and baking soda to help the cake rise.
  • Salt- As with most baked goods, a little salt is necessary for the best flavor.
  • Maple Syrup– Feel free to substitute sugar-free maple syrup or agave syrup if desired.
  • Milk– I use 2 percent milk for this recipe, but you can use any type of milk that you have on hand.
  • Yogurt- You can use any type of plain, unsweetened yogurt. Vanilla yogurt would also be a good choice.
  • Eggs– You’ll need two large eggs at room temperature.
  • Olive Oil– Olive oil may sound strange in a cake, but it pairs nicely with the lemon. And it’s so much better for you than butter or vegetable oil.
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest- The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of lemon juice and one tablespoon of lemon zest. Two large lemons should be all that you need.
  • Vanilla extract– Pure vanilla extract is best, but go ahead and use imitation if that’s what you have.
  • Lemon extract– I find that lemon juice and zest alone isn’t quite enough lemon flavor for me, so I add just a tiny bit of the McCormick brand of lemon extract. You can use any brand that you prefer. Just be sure it’s extract and not oil. If you choose to omit the extract, add an extra 1/2 tablespoon of lemon zest.
  • Stevia– I use Sweetleaf Stevia Drops and maple syrup to sweeten the cake. Stevia is a natural sugar substitute with zero calories. There are many different brands on the market, so feel free to use whichever you prefer. Just be sure to read the label and use the equivalent of 1/2 cup of sugar.

Healthy lemon cake batter

How to make Healthy Lemon Cake

This healthy lemon cake is so easy to make!

You simply whisk together the dry ingredients.

Then the wet ingredients.

Then mix the wet and dry.

Bake. It’s that simple!

While the cake is cooling, make the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Check out this blog post for the recipe. It’s super easy too!

lemon cake with healthy lemon cream cheese frosting

FAQ’s

What type of cake pan should I use?

Aluminum cake pans work best for baking cakes. Aluminum heats up quickly and evenly, ensuring that your cakes come out perfectly every time.


Do I need to use parchment paper?

Parchment paper rounds guarantee your cake won’t stick. I suggest that you grease your cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Then grease the parchment paper.


What is oat flour?

Oat flour is just ground old-fashioned oats. Health food stores and some supermarkets sell it, but it’s also super easy to make at home. Simply blend old-fashioned oats in a high-speed blender until the oats become a fine powder (about 30 seconds to a minute). Store your oat flour in an air-tight container for up to three months. 

a slice healthy lemon cake on a yellow plate

Want more healthy dessert recipes?

Check these out!

Healthy Strawberry Cake

Healthy Protein Brownies

Skinny Lemon Cheesecake Mousse

Healthy Carrot Cake

Please let me know how you like the healthy lemon cake in the comments. Your feedback means a lot to me, and your star ratings encourage other readers to give this recipe a try. 🙂

Enjoy!

Crystal

healthy lemon cake
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Healthy Lemon Cake

Moist, sweet, and bursting with lemon flavor, this healthy lemon cake is sure to become your favorite! It's made with wholesome ingredients and topped with a healthy lemon cream cheese frosting. Plus, this single-layer cake is so easy to make, and it happens to be gluten-free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon, Spring
Servings: 10
Calories: 213kcal
Author: Crystal Yentzen

Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 cups oat flour*
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon stevia*

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and then line it with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Whisk the oat flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, eggs, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and stevia.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk together until smooth and no lumps remain.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 23-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cake is cooling, move on to prepare the healthy lemon cream cheese frosting or frosting of choice.

Notes

  1. Oat Flour–  Oat flour is sold in stores, but it’s also super easy to make at home. Simply blend old-fashioned oats in a high-speed blender until the oats become a fine powder (about 30 seconds to a minute). Store your oat flour in an air-tight container for up to three months. 
  2. Stevia– I use Sweetleaf Stevia Drops and maple syrup to sweeten the cake. Stevia is a natural sugar substitute with zero calories. There are many different brands on the market, so feel free to use whichever you prefer. Just be sure to read the label and use the equivalent of 1/2 cup of sugar. 

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg

5 Comments

  1. Sue

    5 stars
    Oh, I love lemon cake, and can’t wait to try this healthier version! Thank you!

    Reply
  2. nancy

    5 stars
    the perfect lemon sweet ratio

    Reply
  3. Gina

    5 stars
    I love lemon desserts. This lemon cake is perfect for the spring and summer months.

    Reply
  4. Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady

    5 stars
    I absolutely LOVE lemon desserts and this did not disappoint! The cake had wonderful texture and was the perfect balance between sweet and tart.

    Reply

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