skip to Main Content

Gluten-free lemon and poppy seed cake with ricotta icing

This lemon and poppy seed cake is tangey, moist and soft. But this recipe is different it is not only gluten-free but also grain-free. Flour is substituted with mashed potatoes and ground almonds.  I first made it about four years ago when my parents started following a gluten-free diet. The original recipe for a lemon drizzle cake is from BBC Good Food

I am a sucker for interesting recipes, if there is some kind of vegetable in I am willing to experiment.  It was a hit and I have made it a few times over the years and people are always impressed and stunned that the main ingredient is potato.

I always thought it did not rise very well and decided to rather make it in a bread tin. I am also a firm believer that when using oil in baking your cake will be moister than using butter so I decided to use olive oil because of plant oils like sunflower en canola or over-processed. I reduced the sugar significantly and also added poppy seeds.

Gluten free lemon and poppy seed cake

I started using essential oils in my home and also recently in my cooking. By adding a few drops to the lemon drizzle cake batter the zestiness just goes up a notch. But is totally optional.

Gluten free lemon and poppy see
Gluten free lemon and poppy seed cake

Gluten-free lemon and poppy seed cake with ricotta icing

  • Author: Ankie Niesing
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 12 portions 1x


This is a very moist gluten-free cake. It is zingy and delicious without being too sweet. And who knew you could bake with mashed potatoes.



125g sugar

125ml olive oil

4 eggs

175g ground almonds

250g mash potato

3 lemons zested

2tbs poppy seeds

2tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

3 drops of Young Living essential lemon oil (optional)


You could use the cream cheese frosting from the Carrot and courgette muffins

Or you could make a Ricotta cheese frosting

200g firm ricotta

1-2 tbsp of honey or maple suryp

1 tsp lemon zest

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 180C. Butter and line a, 20cm bread tin. Beat the sugar and olive oil together until light and fluffy, then gradually add the egg, beating after each addition. Fold in the almonds, cold mashed potato, lemon zest, poppy seeds, baking powder, salt, and lemon essential oil if you are using it. It is totally optional but it adds even more lemon flavour.
  2. Tip into the tin, level the top, then bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack after 10 mins cooling. Let the cake cool completely before icing.

Frosting method

Meanwhile, while the cake is cooking make the icing, whisk the ricotta, honey, lemon zest and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until combined. Add 2 tbs water and continue whisking until smooth. Let the cake cool down completely and use a spatula to spread the ricotta icing on top of the cake. Sprinkle with lemon zest and poppy seeds.


Make sure to mash the potatoes well and get all the lumps out. I have even pushed the mash through a sieve on a few occasions. 

This recipe could also be baked in a round tin but it is a very flat cake.

Keywords: lemon poppy seeds gluten free

Ankie Niesing

Hi, I'm Ankie! Welcome to Wooden Spoon Kitchen, my pantry of life, love and health where we constantly stir laughter, learning, eating and cooking together!

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top