This is the lightest, fluffiest gluten free lemon drizzle loaf cake, studded with crunchy poppy seeds and topped with a lemon syrup, lemon icing and candied lemon zest strips. It’s a perfect teatime treat and a recipe I know I personally will be baking again and again.

This gluten free lemon drizzle cake also happens to be nut free! It’s something I get asked regularly by nut allergy sufferers, how to adapt recipes to replace ground almonds. I thought it was about time I created a lovely cake that is suitable for everyone.

Most gluten free lemon drizzle cakes use ground almonds, but this recipe uses a standard gluten free flour blend only. Adding lemon juice to the mixture helps keep it moist, but generally I would recommend eating this cake in the first day or two when it is at its best (the case with many freshly baked cakes!).

Can I Skip The Poppyseeds?

Yes you can. Simply leave them out if you don’t have any or if you want to make a plain lemon drizzle.

Which Flour Blend Did You Use?

I used the FREEE gluten free flour for this cake, which is a brand I bake regularly with. I am also a fan of the Lidl own brand gluten free flour and the Shipton Mill gluten free flour, both being great for baking.

Can I Make This Cake in Advance?

I would recommend eating this cake on the day it is baked, or the day after. It’s a lovely light, fluffy cake, but as a result it will go stale quite quickly. Best to enjoy it while it is at its best!

If you do have some left after that time, I found microwaving a slice for 30 seconds brought it back to its lovely fluffy self :).

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake with Poppy Seeds (Nut Free)

You will find the recipe for my gluten free lemon and poppy seed drizzle cake below and I’ve also added some photos under it to help make it extra easy to follow. However, if you need any help along the way please do DM me on social media (@myglutenfreeguide) or email me at

Also, if you do enjoy this recipe please leave a review on the recipe card below – it makes a world of difference to me :). I love seeing your baking photos too, so send them over!

Happy baking!

Laura xxx

Lemon & Poppy Seed Drizzle Loaf Cake (GF)
Yield: Serves 8

Lemon & Poppy Seed Drizzle Loaf Cake (GF)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


For the sponge:

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 220g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp xanthan gum
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds

For the lemon syrup:

  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 lemon

For the lemon drizzle icing:

  • 75g icing sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 175C (fan) and grease and line the base and sides of a 2lb loaf tin with a little butter and greaseproof paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, using an electric hand whisk.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each addition into the butter sugar mixture before you add the next one.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum into the bowl and mix until you have a smooth cake batter.
  5. Add the lemon juice and zest, stir to combine, and then add the poppy seeds. Give the mixture a final whisk to ensure everything is well mixed.
  6. Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes at 175C (fan).
  7. 10 mins before end of cooking, prepare the lemon syrup. Add the caster sugar and lemon juice to a small non-stick pan. Use a vegetable peeler to de-rind the lemon. Cut the lemon rind into long, thin strips and add them to the pan.
  8. Cook the syrup over a low heat for 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar, then turn the heat to medium and simmer gently for 5 minutes to thicken it.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Take the lemon rind out and place on some baking paper to cool.
  10. Once baked, take the cake out of oven. Use a skewer to make multiple holes about halfway into the sponge. Now pour the lemon syrup over the top of the cake, spreading it so it covers the top of the cake completely and easing it into the skewer holes.
  11. Lift the cake out of the tin, remove the baking paper and place on a wire rack to cool.
  12. Finally, make the lemon icing (once the cake is almost cooled). Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir until you have a nice thick, smooth icing, then drizzle over the cake. Decorate with the candied lemon rind and serve!

For more tasty gluten free bakes, why not try some of my other recipes while you are here:

Enjoy! Laura xxx