Lo-carb lemon drizzle cake

Low carb lemon drizzle cake doesn’t sound either possible or tasty does it? Wrong! It’s so good! It’s made with besan flour, gram flour would work equally well – in fact some people tell me it’s the same thing (others – including the packet – say different but it’s very similar). Usual rule – don’t lick the spoon!

One issue I’ve found with trying to make things like cake low carb is that you need sugar for the crumb and the only sugar substitute that behaves like normal sugar is erythritol and the problem with that is that it can recrystallise when it cools but even more to the point is that it has an icy mouth feel due to it being a sugar alcohol. There is some science in that which I can’t remember now.

I did try making a one egg version of this as cup cakes a couple of weeks ago which is when we noticed the crumb was good but the icy mouth feel not so much. We ended up smearing them with sour cherry curd and squirty cream as a scone substitute for afternoon tea. They were good but not great. The quest continued…….

So we decided to try things with the cake that would “warm” it up a bit. I have tended to avoid using stevia in cakes as it comes out quite stodgy but I’ve added it here just as a flavouring, not as a sugar substitute as that is dealt with by the erythritol. I also used more egg this time and lemon zest plus a lemon drizzle. I really like the drizzle but it turns out it is unnecessary for the purposes of warming up the mouth feel.

The flour is a little more heat sensitive than normal wheat flour so this cooks on a low setting for quite a while. The good thing with this kind of flour though is that you really don’t need to worry about over working it and can whisk it even once the flour has been added.


100g butter (room temp)

100g erythritol

100g besan flour

Grated zest of an unwaxed lemon

3 eggs

2 level tablespoons baking powder

2 level tablespoons stevia


  • Preheat the oven to 150C fan
  • Line a 7″ cake tin with baking parchment (I use pre-made tin liners)
  • I ground my erythritol in a coffee grinder to a finer powder as what I had was quite granular compared to the stuff I’d used previously
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and stevia into a bowl
  • In a separate mixing bowl, with an electric whisk, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy
  • Add the erythritol and continue whisking together
  • Add in the lemon zest and a spoonful or two of the flour mixture
  • Whisk in the eggs – the flour stops the eggs curdling, although if they do, it won’t matter (it’s just what my grandmother always did)
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and whisk together to form a light fluffy batter
  • Spoon into your prepared cake tin and bake for around 45 minutes when a skewer poked into the centre of the cake should come away clean
  • Remove from the oven, use the skewer to poke a dozen or so holes in the cake and leave to cool on a rack

Ingredients for drizzle

25g butter

Juice of one lemon (the one you zested for the cake)

2 tablespoons stevia

1/2 teaspoon besan disolved in a slurry with a tablespoon more of lemon juice ( I used bottled lemon juice for this)


  • Melt the butter in a small milk pan
  • Add the lemon juice and stevia and stir through
  • Add the besan slurry and continue to stir through until the mixture thickens then drizzle over the warm cake

I served it with Greek yoghurt and blueberries – it was really delicious with a warm mouth feel.

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