low fodmap lemon cake - karlijnskitchen.com

Low FODMAP lemon cake with frosting (gluten-free)

Lemon cakes always remind me of Starbucks. Starbucks always has this beautiful lemon cake with a thick layer of white frosting on their displays. I have never tried it because it isn’t suitable for the low FODMAP diet, but it always looked delicious to me. A few years ago, cakes with lemon seemed really unappealing to me, but since I made this recipe for lemon drizzle cake that has changed. I decided that I could try to change this recipe into a low FODMAP lemon cake with a delicious layer of tangy frosting and that worked out perfectly. On my birthday, I served this delicious cake twice and it was a success!

Because the lemon cake contains quite a lot of sugar and fat, I suggest eating only one slice at a time if you follow the low FODMAP diet. This recipe makes 10 slices.

Will you let me know if you make my recipe for low FODMAP lemon cake? I would love it if you would share your creations with me using the hashtag #karlijnskitchen on Instagram or by tagging me at @karlijnskitchen 

low fodmap lemon cake - karlijnskitchen.com

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low fodmap citroencake - karlijnskitchen.com

Low FODMAP lemon cake with frosting (gluten-free)

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4.6 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Karlijn
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Servings: 10 1x


A delicious low FODMAP lemon cake with frosting. Just like the Starbucks cake! Tangy and fresh. Gluten-free and with lactose-free option.



For the cake

  • 225 g (1 cup) softened butter (you can also use lactose-free butter or margarine)
  • 225 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) white sugar
  • 275 g (2 cups) gluten-free flour
  • 16 g (4 tsp) baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp lactose-free milk
  • the grated rind of one lemon
  • A 30 cm cake tin (loaf tin), about 12 inch (measured in the length, on the top of the tin)

For the topping

  • 250 g (1 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 50 g (3.5 tbsp) softened butter (you can also replace this with lactose-free butter or margarine)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350F). Grease a cake tin and line it with baking parchment.
  2. Put all the ingredients (except for the ingredients for the topping) in a bowl and mix together until well blended. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the top using the back of a spatula.
  3. Bake the cake in the oven for 55-60 minutes. Keep an eye on the cake while baking, if the cake gets dark too quickly, you can cover it with some aluminum foil. Check if the cake is done after about 45 minutes (some oven bake quicker than others). The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Take the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes. Turn out and leave it to cool entirely on a wire rack.
  5. Make the topping by mixing the butter with the lemon juice. Add the powdered sugar little by little and mix it with a mixer into a smooth frosting. Be careful with mixing the powdered sugar, otherwise your entire kitchen will have a white layer 😉
  6. Spread the frosting on top of the cake and put the cake into the fridge for the frosting to set.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins

low fodmap lemon cake - karlijnskitchen.com

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  • This looks so good! I’d love to make it for Easter. 🙂

  • adina says:

    I wonder if I can substitute the butter with coconut oil? I hate ‘butter substitutes’!

  • Alana Gidley says:

    Thank you Thank you THANK YOU!!
    My beautiful big sister (11yrs older) turned 50 yesterday and your beautiful and delicious cake made it a spectacular event!!
    I made two cakes (I used round tins) and used a quarter of a punnet of blueberries (halved) in each, as well. The other half punnet was scattered over the top.
    I spread my own home-made lemon butter (apparently low FODMAP, without me even knowing it!!) between the two layers and topped/decorated the cake by piping on your amazing icing (frosting), scattering whole blueberries and dribbling a homemade strawberry & lemon compote everywhere.
    For the strawberry sauce, I reduced 200gm of fresh frozen, and then defrosted, strawberries (they go soft and leech their own juice out so you don’t need water) with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, then when it was thick I took it off of the heat and whisked a teaspoon of sugar into it.
    It was absolutely delicious and looked beautiful… she was blown away- so happy she cried.
    And I couldn’t have dont it without your recipe! Thank you so much!
    I’m not sure how to post pics here, but if you email me, I will send you some 🙂

  • Nat says:

    I made this cake this morning, what a treat, couldn’t stop at one slice ?

  • Laurie says:

    I made this today 5/18/19 for a birthday party where several of us have tummy issues. Not only did it taste great but none of us had tummy problems after eating it. Thanks so much for the yummy recipe!

  • lynda says:

    what gluten free flour are you guys using? thanks

  • Jain says:

    Do you think you can make this as cupcakes instead of a loaf cake?

    • Karlijn says:

      Yes i think that will be possible. You will just have to adapt the baking time a little. Just keep an eye on the cupcakes when they are in the oven.

  • Courtney says:

    The printed recipe gives 2 cups sugar and in the web site it reads 1 cup …I’m going to go with 1 cup as I think it makes more sense with the weight. Doing this for my husband’s bday cake – hope it works!!!

    • Karlijn says:

      Hi Courtney, I also see one cup on the printed version. Aren’t you maybe confusing it with the 2 cups flour that are mentioned on the line below?

  • Katy says:

    I made this 7/26/20 for my daughter’s 13th birthday cake and she loved it. She just got diagnosed this month with fructose malabsorption and I am so happy you shared this delicious recipe. I am so thankful you shared this recipe, I can’t wait to try more.

  • Shelley says:

    Hey Courtney,
    Can I replace the marg with oil? I try to use as little marg in my baking as possible. Thanks

  • KV says:

    Hi, I don’t have a 30cm cake tin. Are there any suitable alternatives or would I have to modify the ingredients to match the cake tins I currently have on hand.
    Novice baker here, thanks.

    • Karlijn says:

      You can make it in a slightly larger or smaller tin. But then the baking time might be different, so it is important to keep an eye on the cake whilst it is in the oven.

  • KV says:

    Thank you Just a question regarding the flour. I have an option for self-raising (aka all purpose) or gluten free flour. I’m in Aus and don’t have the option to purchase the Universal flour from Schär.

  • Jill Vazquez says:

    This cake is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I haven’t been following the low FODMAP diet gut very long but I’ve definitely been missing dessert and this really hit the spot. I will keep making this recipe because my whole family loved it!

  • Sheryl says:

    I am getting ready to make this cake. What size pan in inches should I use for either rectangular or square? Thank you!

  • Amy says:

    I was excited about this recipe! My mother in law has IBS so I wanted to make this as a holiday treat! It looks like it’s baked in a loaf pan. When I baked it, overflow and burning in the bottom of my stove. 🙁 If I made it again, I’ll choose a larger pan.

    • Karlijn says:

      Hi Amy, in the recipe it is mentioned in what size tin I have made the cake: A 30 cm cake tin, about 12 inch (measured in the length, on the top of the tin). It was baked in a rectangular cake tin.

      • robyn says:

        For baking in the US, a 30cm cake tin 12 in across is a round or square pan but it looks like you made it in a rectangular loaf pan. Can you clarify please? TY

        • Karlijn says:

          Yes you are right, in the Netherlands we call this a cake tin. But in the US this would be a rectangular loaf pan. I will adapt this.

  • robyn says:

    Hi! So excited to try this recipe. Question, can I use olive oil instead of butter? I love swapping olive oil with other oils and butter. Thanks!!

  • Birte says:

    Tried it this weekend and it was really good!
    It was my first time baking something low fodmap and my expectations were zero, but the taste was great and no different from a “normal” lemon cake. Thanks for sharing ?

  • Debbie says:

    Hello Karlijn
    I just made your lemon cake and icing, it’s my third time, love it! But each time I’ve made it, it collapses in the middle and creates a hollow space in the middle of the loaf, what am I doing wrong? It doesn’t affect the taste, just the appearance. Any help would be appreciated, thank you!


    • Karlijn says:

      Hi Debbie, oh that’s a shame! It is hard to say from a distance what went wrong. Does the cake also seem a bit unbaked in the middle? Because if that is the case, it might be that your oven cooks a bit less quick and that the cake might need a few more minutes in the oven. Inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake before you take it out of the oven can show whether the cake is cooked in the middle or not. Hope this helps!

  • Susan says:

    Instead of the lemon rind in the cake, could I substitute lemon juice for some of the milk to get the lemon taste? If so, approximately how much? Or could I just add some lemon juice for the rind?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Karlijn says:

      You can substitute rind for juice. But the frosting also contains lemon juice, so you could also leave the rind out of the cake and still have a lemon flavor because of the frosting

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