Monday 15 May 2017

Tim's Lemon Trickle Mash Cake (GF)

I used to claim I hated lemon desserts.  I have never liked lemon pudding or lemon meringue pie.  Lemon tarts are not for me.  But I have a lemon tree.  And my mum loves lemon desserts.  So occasionally I go against the grain.  For Mothers Day this year, I made Tim's Lemon Trickle Cake for my mum.  It was an exceedingly good gluten free cake.

Here are my lemon and lime trees.  They have only fruited on one side this autumn.  Perhaps it is the attack of the citrus leafminer.  I picked my first lemons of the crop the night before Mothers Day.  I was out in the dark with my torch trying to work out which ones were ripe.  I had planned to do it in the afternoon.  But the hot water heater died and so instead, we had the plumber over.  He fixed it pronto.  I really appreciated my hot shower on Sunday morning.

The cake was baked after we watched La Puta: Castle in the Sky with Sylvia and put her to bed.  She was so excited about Mothers Day.  It was so gorgeous to see.  Except when she woke me unreasonably early in the morning to say Happy Mothers Day and let the cat out of the bathroom to bother me as well. 

I took the cake to Geelong for a Mothers Day lunch.  I forgot to take a photo of the salads.  I made a Japanese snowpea salad and my sister made a pea and corn rice salad and a peanutty coleslaw.  My mum and my niece made san chow bao (with tofu) and fried tofu.  Then for dessert mum made pavlova and toblerone cheesecake.  My sister made banana avocado chocolate mousse with berries and Greek yoghurt.  We ate very well.

The cake was excellent.  I have had it bookmarked for years.  I can't remember where I first saw it but I found it again via Cakelaw's blog.  It is gluten free with almond meal and mashed potato and has a lemon syrup poured over it when hot.  I just reduced the sugar a little but otherwise followed the recipe.  The cake was very moist but not so dense as some almond meal cakes tend to be.  I think the mashed potato makes it softer and lighter.  My mum loved it.

More lemon baking from Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Baked lemon cheesecake (gf)
Citrus grape cake (v)
Lemon and honey cake (gf)
Lemon slice
Lemon yoghurt cupcakes (gf) 
Sesame and lemon bread (v)

Tim's Lemon Trickle Mash Cake
Adapted slightly from River Cottage via Epicurious

175g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
4 eggs
200g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
250g plain, cold mashed potato
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons

For the topping:
Juice of 2 lemons
60g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Grease and line a 23cm round springform tin.

Cream butter and sugar.   Beat in eggs one by one, adding a spoonful of almonds if mixture curdles.  Fold in almonds and baking powder, then mashed potoat and lemon zest.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Check if it is done by inserting a skewer inside the middle and only a few moist crumbs should cling to skewer when it is taken out.  Cover with foil if cake is browning too much before it is baked through.

Pierce hot cake with a skewer all over to make holes that are deep but do not touch the bottom.  Mix lemon juice and sugar.  Before sugar dissolves, pour over the cake.  Cool in tin before serving.

On the Stereo:
Ended up a stranger: The Walkabouts


  1. Happy mother's day Johanna - funny that Sylvia had to wake you so early to say it (nice thought but not such a nice outcome!). Your food all sounds delicious and I do like lemon desserts, albeit not as much as those who favour them above all others. I love the thought of using mashed potato and almond flour with lemons though.

  2. Hehe Mr NQN says that he doesn't like lemon desserts too but I love them so I always make them. I think he'd like this one too! :D

  3. Oooh I love lemon desserts, one of my fave flavours for sure! The potato sounds interesting but I can certainly see it working - I made one of Dreena Burton's chocolate cake which was made with sweet potato and it went down a treat.

  4. I've made this cake before and it is delicious. I'd never have thought mashed potato would make a light cake but it does! I'm so envious of your lemon trees.

  5. My husband loves lemons and I would make this for him. I have had potato in a cake once when I lived in Scotland well before blogging, and yes it offers softness.

  6. Your recipe is really interesting -- I love lemon cake, but the potato in it is very startling! Though I cook meals, I rarely bake cakes, and the more I don't bake, the less experience I get and the less likely I am to succeed -- a downward spiral. I enjoy reading about all your highly imaginative cake baking.

    best... mae at

  7. I've never tried potato in cake, although I have read many times that it works really well. I love a lemony cake though..... so I could be very tempted! x

  8. It sounds like you had a wonderful Mothers Day with your family. I do like lemon desserts, and your lemon cake looks excellent.

  9. I used to also dislike lemon desserts. And to be fair, I will still pick chocolate over lemon any day. But, I do quite enjoy lemon desserts. I suppose my taste buds have matured ;)
    It's a lovely cake. Happy belated Mother's Day! Looks like you had a wonderful celebration... even if you were woken up early ;)

  10. This is a great cake. I have since tweaked the recipe to make it with orange instead of lemon, boiling the orange juice with sugar to make a shiny syrup glaze, and then I was inspired to omit the citrus element from the basic recipe and replace some of the Potato/almond element with cocoa powder to make a really good gluten free chocolate cake glazed with either choc icing or a ganash. Served in our restaurant as gluten free cake choices it went down just as well with all customers due to the moist texture. Also my top tip is to cut out peeling/boiling/mashing potatoes and use instant potato flakes to make the mash. I am considering trying a coffee version next.

  11. From Johanna @

    Thanks Anonymous so much for this feedback. I have made a chocolate cake with mashed potato before but have not thought to do it as a gluten free cake - that is genius! I hope to try it some time. So happy to hear how you are experimenting with it and using it in your restaurant. I am not a fan of mashed potato flakes but I can see it would work well here and love to hear about variations! Thanks again and good luck with it.


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