Spring zing lemon drizzle cake
This zesty lemon drizzle cake is something you’ll want to serve up to friends and family at picnics, plus it also pairs perfectly with a cup of earl grey as an afternoon treat. Best of all, it’s gluten free and can be made low-sugar, so it’s likely to be an instant favourite for anyone with dietary requirements.
Health benefits of fresh lemons
Citrus flavoured desserts and baked goods are among the most popular dessert choices. We love lemons for their fresh, zesty hit - but did you know that lemons have a ton of health benefits?
In aromatherapy, lemon is considered uplifting and is often used to boost mood and is also incredibly antibacterial. You can still feel these benefits when you bake with lemons!
In their whole food form, citrus fruits are of course famous for their high vitamin C content which can help to support a healthy immune system and boosts collagen production in the body.
Another health benefit we can get from fresh lemons is through the peel, which contains high levels of quercetin - so don’t let those lemon rinds go to waste. Quercetin is not only anti-inflammatory, it helps to relieve symptoms of mild allergies… hello, perfect for spring!
You can learn more about the benefits of quercetin for health here.
Is buckwheat nutritious?
Buckwheat is a popular and healthy gluten free flour alternative that imparts a slightly nutty flavour to baked goods. It’s a highly nutritious ‘pseudo grain’ (don’t let the fact that it has ‘wheat’ in the name trick you, it’s not a grain and has no relation to wheat).
Although it’s a carb, it’s also high in fibre and protein, along with nutrients magnesium and iron and the antioxidants quercetin and rutin. These last two are anti-inflammatory and, as we learned already about quercetin, help to reduce allergic type symptoms. 
Almond meal provides flavour, texture and nutrients
Almond meal adds a delicious flavour and texture to baking that is subtle, while also locking in the moisture. It’s also a popular ingredient in gluten-free baking that adds an extra nutrient boost.
Almond meal is 100% almonds, so the benefits are exactly the same - almonds contain high levels of vitamin E, magnesium, protein and healthy fats. Almonds can help to stabilise blood glucose levels thanks to their magnesium content, while also keeping you feeling fuller for longer due to the fibre, protein and fat content. 
For the cake:
- 125g almond meal
- 125g buckwheat flour
- 200g caster sugar or 165g monkfruit sweetener
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 250g ricotta
- Zest 4 lemons
- 200ml (160g) olive oil or neutral flavoured oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
For the syrup:
- 70g caster sugar or 65g monkfruit sweetener
- Juice of 3 lemons
For the icing and decoration:
- 200g icing sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Edible flowers, such as pansies and violas, for decoration
- Citrus zest for decoration
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan forced.
- Grease a 23cm round springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
- Place all of the cake ingredients into a blender and blend on medium speed until smooth and well mixed, scraping down the sides of the blender if necessary.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 - 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden on top and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and make the syrup.
To make the syrup:
- Add the sugar and lemon juice to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Pour the hot syrup over the warm cake and allow the cake to absorb the syrup. You can use a skewer to poke holes over the surface of the cake to allow the syrup to soak in more easily.
- Once the cake has cooled and the syrup has been absorbed, remove it from the cake tin and place it on a serving plate.
To make the drizzle icing:
- Place the icing sugar in a small bowl and add one tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir until completely smooth then add a little more lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, stirring well after each addition until the icing is your desired consistency – add more lemon juice if the icing is too stiff, and more icing sugar if the icing is too runny.
- Pour the icing over the centre of the cake and gently ease it towards the edge of the cake using the back of a spoon.
- Once the top of the cake is covered with icing, decorate with edible flowers and citrus zest.
Makes a 23cm round cake.
- Dr Axe. Written January 2019, accessed August 2022 from https://draxe.com/nutrition/buckwheat-nutrition/
- Elderawi, W.A., et al. (2019). Nutrients, 11(1):44.