Spelt Lemon Cake

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Spelt Lemon Cake

This tart and sweet lemon cake features sprouted spelt flour (an excellent substitute for whole wheat pastry flour), unrefined virgin coconut oil, coconut milk, and Rapadura (unrefined and mineral-rich sugar). The sprouted spelt flour may possibly be tolerated by gluten-sensitive individuals. The cake is dairy-free and egg-free.

I love lemon and I love this cake! Perhaps you think it needs something on top, a drizzle of something. Well, perhaps. Go ahead and make your suggestions! But let me point out that once the cake is baked, you pour a fresh lemon juice syrup over all and it soaks in, permeating the cake with ribbons of slightly tart lemon syrup. So you see, the delicious drizzle is inside and boy, is it ever scrumptious!

If you don’t have sprouted flour but want some of the benefits of a slower grain preparation method, you may soak the spelt flour overnight with the 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Also, you can use whole wheat pastry flour instead of the spelt flour, but use about 1/4 cup more.

Spelt Lemon Cake

adapted from a recipe shared by my friend Meg at Eat Beautiful

The cake:

  • 6 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional, not featured)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, not light
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unrefined, virgin coconut oil (softened)
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered Rapadura* (or evaporated cane juice)
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2-3/4 cups sprouted spelt flour (or make it yourself with these instructions)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • grated zest of 4 lemons (choose organic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

The syrup:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered Rapadura* (evaporated cane juice)

If using poppy seeds, combine poppy seeds and coconut milk in a small bowl. Let soak for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a bundt pan well with coconut oil and then dust with sprouted spelt flour.

Mix well the coconut oil, Rapadura and flax seed meal in mixing bowl. Add flour, baking powder, sea salt and lemon zest, along with coconut milk or coconut milk/poppy seed mixture. Stir until smooth and just combined.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and/or an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Meanwhile, bring to a boil the lemon juice and 1/2 cup Rapadura. Let boil, while stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes, to allow it to thicken. Remove from heat and let it cool.

When cake is done baking, place cake in pan on baking rack. Poke about a dozen holes in the cake, using a bamboo skewer or a table knife, all the way to the bottom. Pour all the syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool in pan on rack for at least 1/2 hour.

Turn cake out onto serving platter. Let cool completely. Cover tightly. (Original recipe says to let sit out at room temp overnight before serving.)

*To powder the Rapadura, whizz it in the Vita-Mix dry container, BlendTec, or in a food processor.

Enjoy! Do you love lemon desserts, too? They are my favorite!

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Julie says

    Oh my, this cake was so delicious! I used the Shiloh Farms Essential Eating Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour and I just found out that this flour is used by Unique Pretzel Bakery to make a sprouted 100% whole grain pretzel. Has anyone tried them?

    • says

      Julie, I have never had those pretzels, but they sound really good. This makes me wonder about trying to make some homemade pretzels with the sprouted spelt flour. Have you ever made pretzels? I never have. If anyone has, and can post a recipe, I’d love to give it a try.

      Julie, I am really happy you liked the cake. I am ready to make another this weekend. :)

  2. says

    For anyone who is interested, Shiloh Farms sells Sprouted Spelt Flour and Sprouted Wheat Flour, along with other sprouted flour baked products. Here is the website:


    It is not cheap. :) I have written to them to get their bulk pricing information, to pass on to those who may be interested.

    To make your own sprouted spelt (or other grain) flour refer to my instructions:


  3. Julie says

    Yes, I have made soft pretzels with the sprouted spelt and sprouted wheat from Shiloh Farms. I use the recipe from Essenital Eating Sprouted Baking by Janie Quinn. I know the flour is not cheap, but I’ve gotten out of the mind set that my food should be cheap. I buy great food and don’t pay medical bills. Nice trade off.

    I have spoken to the folks that make the Essential Eating Sprouted Flours and they seem to care an awful lot about the flour that they are making. They have one of the few Superior rated mills in the country and the flour is made by a third generation miller who has a milling engineer degree from KS University. After learning what they do to make this safe and stable food product, I not longer attempt to make sprouted flour at home as it isn’t possible to duplicate their result at home.

    • says

      Julie — I hope you don’t mind if I ask you some more questions. 😀 First, let me apologize for using the word “cheap”. Like you, I don’t agree with the mindset that food should be cheap either. We are paying for our health. I do think we should be as frugal as possible.

      Do you recommend that book? I was eye balling it at their website yesterday and wondering about getting it… If I do, I can try the recipe for pretzels. Yum!

      It is obvious to me that the Essential Eating folks care about food. Why is it that you believe it isn’t possible to duplicate their results at home? Do you think it is dangerous for people to make their own sprouted flours at home? Or is it because of the equipment?

  4. Julie says

    Good idea to pass along the wholesale pricing. I set myself up as a wholesale account with Garden Spot the Distributor. All you have to do is order at last $100 dollars and that is easy as they distribute about 1500 items including all the Shiloh Farms products. I buy a #30 pound bag of sprouted spelt and sprouted wheat and split it with my sister. The flour has over a 9 month shelf life and I know that because I already have some flour that is 9 months old and it is still good.

    • says

      Julie — thanks! They emailed me the same information. The wholesale prices are quite a bit better than the retail prices.

      Another question — how is it that this flour has such a long shelf life compared with regular flour, which ideally should be used with 24 hours of grinding?

      Thanks! I so appreciate all your information and experience!


  5. Julie says

    The germ cell in regular grain is the part that goes rancid. When ground into flour it starts to break down. When grains are sprouted the germ cell and the endosperm have done a dance to turn into a simple sugar and the result is a food stuff that is more stable and the germ cell is no longer in a state to go rancid. Sprouting does not remove any of the nutrients, but puts them in a state more available for the body to absorb. Cool, huh?

  6. Julie says

    I’m learning that there is a fine line between drowning and sprouting grain as they both look the same to the naked eye. Essential Eating Sprouted Flours are tested with the Falling Number Test to determine that they have the highest sprout action. This requires an expensive piece of equipment not feasible for home sprouters. Plus they have a rigorous rinsing system as when grains are sprouted they activate both good and bad bacteria. That is why “mash” bread products like Ezekiel are frozen as they have not stablized the enzymatic activity.

    Now that I know what I know about sprouting and milling sprouted grains I have ceased any attempts to produce a safe and sanitary sprouted flour in my kitchen. I can’t test for mold on the grain, I cannot sift out any foreign matter and I do not know of a home grain mill that can produce a consistent flour with great baking characteristics. Plus it’s a lot of hassle! So for a few dollars a pound, I feel it is worth it to support these artisan processors.

    About the books. I have all the Essential Eating books. I love the Essential Eating Sprouted Baking. It has a recipe for sprouted cinnamon buns with maple sugar that I love. Bake on!

    • says

      Julie — thanks for all that information. It is cool that the sprouting stabilizes the grain!

      Regarding the home sprouting, I really appreciate you explaining all that. I see your point and I think it is wonderful that you’ve chosen to support the artisan processors who make a great flour. At this point, I feel like buying some of their flour to compare at least its baking properties with the flour I make at home.

      I tend to think that it should be possible to produce this at home. Especially if it is the right thing to do and isn’t high refinement, my belief is that God would make it possible for the homemaker in a simple way that doesn’t require expensive machinery. However, that’s not saying we shouldn’t be careful and what I’ve learned from you is that I probably should be more careful than I am.

      It has been great discussing this with you. Thanks again- and I think I’ll get that book!

  7. Christie says

    Mmmm, thanks for this recipe. I love when a recipe is already adapted and works! I will try this one.

  8. Maria says

    I made this cake yesterday. I have to admit that when I put it into the oven I really didn’t think it was going to turn out. The batter was so thick and I thought I messed it up. Much to my surprise, it turned out amazing! I was very happy with the result!! I did omit the flax meal and add 2 eggs instead. Thanks for a winner!!

  9. Linda Z says

    I’m interested in buying a food dehydrator, or maybe even making one. Any suggestions of what to consider or look for in a dehydrator?
    Linda from Canada

    • says

      Hi, Linda! Even though I don’t have a nice dehydrator myself, I’m planning to look into the Excalibur and also some stainless steel dehydrators (there are a few listed here – http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/dehydrators.aspx – and also there is a SausageMaker brand). I know the Excalibur gets rave reviews and lots of lots of real foodies have one, but it bothers me that it is plastic. Let me know what you find out/choose. I’d be interested in hearing your opinion!

  10. says

    Hi Wardee,
    I always read all the NT-type bloggers & have grand intentions of trying many of the recipes, but I rarely do. It seems these days that I usually end up just rushed for time & end up converting my old sand-by recipes to more NT friendly versions of themselves…(nothing wrong with that, but…)
    Anyway, my hubby is a ‘dessert guy’ & it’s just something that is not on my radar- in my mind, dessert is for special occasions or when company comes, not for everyday fare. But I saw this & saved it so I could attempt to fit it in sometime soon, as a special treat for JoeBacon. I have an excalibur & do all my own sprouting, drying & grinding.
    I did change the coconut milk to my homemade raw buttermilk, I figured it would be an ok sub & I had tons of Bmilk taking up precious space…
    I used real rapadura too. I followed your link to the “Powdering Rapadura” post you did & it looks like regular organic cane sugar….I did not see an update on that so I am going to clarify. Rapadura, is REALLY unprocessed. It looks dirty & the size varies from powder to normal sugar crystal size & maybe a bit larger. It tastes way less sweet & very molasses-like. I do use Organic Cane Sugar when I’m making something where the texture & performance of regular sugar is really required, sometime honey or rapadura really just don’t cut it.
    So, for this recipe, I really wasn’t sure, but my pantry dictated that I use real rapadura ( I was out of the other!) I had tried rapadura for a few different types of baked goods lately & most just don’t quite work, either they are not sweet enough or the molasses taste is too strong… or the texture is just not right. So I went ahead & powdered it for this recipe & used it in both the syrup & the cake & it work out great! Thanks for that tip – I had not come across that before!
    The cake turned out very nicely. I used a Pampered Chef Bundt Pan that I’d got new on eBay months ago & had not even used yet! The outside of the cake was a bit dry, but I think it’s because once I turned it out of the pan onto a plate to cool, I let it sit the oven (which was still a bit warm)…
    I would recommend to anyone else to make sure to space the holes so that the outer edge of the cake is getting a good dousing of the syrup, I wasn’t real careful about placement & again my outside was a bit dry anyway, so that would have really helped.
    I served it with whipped cream & decaf french press last night & yes, JoeBacon was a happy camper. My DS, 13 yrs, was not a big fan though, I think it was just too dry for him…
    However, this morning we turned it into French Toast & he was in love!
    Thanks for the awesome recipe! Keep up the good work!
    .-= Erin Davy´s last blog post… Raspberry Balsamic Martinis =-.

  11. Sammi says

    I have been looking for a recipe for cake that I can have. I found this recipe by accident. I was wondering if there is something that I can substitute for the rapadura. Since this is made from cane juice, I can not have it. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and since all of my dietary restrictions, I have not been able to satisfy that urge.

  12. Kirsten says

    Turning this into soaked Kamut Sesame Orange cake. I had made it into Orange Spelt cake last month and thought I’d try something new. I don’t have a Bundt pan so last time I used an angel food cake pan, but this time I’m going for a 9 x 13 approach. It’ll be baked up after kiddos are in bed. Hopefully they’ll be able to sleep through the fantastic smells. 😉

    • Kirstenp says

      Honestly good! I don’t often have lemons, but oranges are a steal from azure in the winter. The kamut gave a nice buttery, nutty flavor that was amazing with the sesame seeds. 9 x 13 pan worked well. I think I even doubled it and had plenty of room.

  13. tara says

    I just made this and it’s soooo delish! Used poppy seeds and cream instead of coconut milk, eggs instead of flax and ground up organic sugar in place of sucanat. Also, I made it in a bread loaf instead of bundt pan. The lemon syrup was the kicker! thank you!

  14. Karen says


    In this recipe and the other ones (in general) that call for sprouted spelt flour, can sprouted hard white wheat flour be substituted?


  15. Katie says

    THIS is amazing. I forgot to soak my flour the night before, and it still turned out beautifully. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  16. Helen says

    I just started to soak my spelt in the coconut milk as you noted. I wondered: Is the consistency suppose to be super dry? The amount of milk and lemon doesn’t cover all the spelt. Will it still ‘soak’?

  17. Dona Landrum says

    I hardly ever have coconut milk. Would raw cow’s milk work, and to what ratio???
    Question……….I have seen coconut milk in the can (like what evaporated milk is like) but on the ingredients is says, gar gum. I might be wrong, and correct me if I am, but I thought gar gum wasn’t a great ingredient!!!

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