This gluten free lemon snack cake is a slice of Spring! Delicious and moist cake that has a taste of lemon, topped with a creamy strawberry whipped cream cheese frosting. This cake fits perfectly in an 8 x 8 size pan for small gatherings, picnics, or birthdays!
If you love citrus and berry desserts like I do, then you will love this gluten free lemon cake.
This cake is an ode to all things Spring. This time of year I want to reach for anything citrus or berry flavored, since our fruit isn’t in season for very long here.
What I love most about this gluten free lemon sheet cake recipe is that it fits in an 8×8 square pan, so it’s perfect for birthdays, picnics, or small parties. No need to make a large layer cake or spend a long time frosting and decorating (if you know me well, you know this takes me FOREVER). Just bake all in one small pan and frost with whatever frosting you’d like!
Now, this cake doesn’t have an intensely strong lemon flavor. It’s more of a light, refreshing lemon flavor… which is why it pairs so well with just about any flavor frosting. However, something magical happens on the second day and the the lemon flavor does come out even more if you refrigerate the cake overnight.
Strawberry Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
So let’s talk about the frosting for a minute. I’m officially obsessed with making whipped cream cheese frostings. It’s essentially a stabilized cream cheese frosting that tastes a little bit lighter, but is hassle-free compared to making regular cream cheese frosting (you know… the panic of spending time making it only to find it’s runny because you over-whipped it).
I topped this cake with a fresh strawberry whipped cream cheese frosting. It’s light, creamy, and pairs really well with the lemon cake. If you’d rather have a different flavor, try this vanilla whipped cream cheese frosting (or add some lemon zest to it!), raspberry cream cheese frosting, or use a simple lemon icing by mixing powdered sugar with a little fresh lemon juice!
To make the strawberry whipped cream cheese frosting, simply purée some fresh strawberries and bring them to a boil in a sauce pan. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce to a thick puree (about ¼ cup or less), then remove from the heat and let it cool completely. I prefer to remove the puree to a separate bowl and chill in the refrigerator until it’s nice and cold.
Once your reduced purée has chilled, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Then, with your mixer running on low speed, drizzle the heavy cream down the side of the bowl. Turn the mixer up to medium-high, whip until you have stiff peaks, then slowly whip in the strawberry purée.
This frosting is so creamy and dreamy. It’s ok to lick the spoon, just save some frosting for the cake.
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