Slice of FODMAP friendly earl grey, lemon and poppy seed mother's day cake

I posted a photograph of this Earl Grey, lemon and poppy seed cake on Instagram and you lovely people went wild. A stunning celebration cake for any spring or summer occasion, think layers upon layers of fluffy Earl Grey, lemon and poppy seed sponge, sandwiched together with tart lemon curd and creamy Earl Grey buttercream. It’s gluten free and FODMAP friendly and the perfect treat for mum this Mother’s Day.

Low FODMAP earl grey, lemon and poppy seed mother's day cake with edible flowers
Low FODMAP earl grey, lemon and poppy seed mother's day cake

The recipe is quite hefty (though it’s much easier to make than it looks) so I’ll keep my chatting short. Basically this cake is fluffy and subtle and sweet and tart and delicious and I think you should all make it! I decorated the layers using edible flowers from Nurtured In Norfolk, which were kindly gifted as part of their Mother’s Day promotions. This is the second recipe of two I’ve created with them – find the recipe for my melt-in-your-mouth lemon shortbread with edible flowers here.

Edible flower gluten free cake
Low FODMAP earl grey, lemon and poppy seed layer cake with edible flowers

A few recipe notes before you get started:

I adapted this recipe from Good Housekeeping

The decorated cake is best eaten on the day it’s made, but will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 days

To really enjoy the Earl Grey flavour in this cake, make sure you use good quality tea bags or loose leaf tea and allow it to steep in the warm milk for at least 20 minutes – it’s worth the wait I promise

You can use two 8 inch round cake tins to make this recipe instead, just cook the layers for another 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture is risen, pale golden and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

1 hour 25 minutes
Serves 16


For the sponge:
275g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
275g caster sugar
8 tablespoons almond or lactose free milk
4 Earl Grey tea bags
5 medium eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
275g self-raising gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
Zest of 3 unwaxed lemons

For the fillings:
250g butter, softened
500g icing sugar
150g lemon curd (check it’s FODMAP friendly if needed)

To decorate:
Edible flowers (I used Nurtured in Norfolk’s Edible Flowers)


Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line four 6inch cake tins. Add the milk and Earl Grey tea bags to a saucepan and heat gently, until just steaming. Set aside to cool and infuse.

In a large bowl, using a handheld electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until really pale and creamy. This will take at least 5 minutes. Gradually add the beaten eggs, whisking continuously until combined. You can add a spoonful of flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Sift over the flour, baking powder and salt and using a wooden spoon to fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds and lemon zest and fold once more. Remove the Earl Grey teabags from the milk and fold 5 tablespoons of the milk in too. Divide the mixture equally between your tins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture is risen, pale golden and a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream, put the butter into a large bowl and, using a handheld electric whisk, beat until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar in two stages, beating again to combine. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of milk and whisk until light and fluffy. Put the bottom layer of cooled sponge on a cake stand or turntable, spread with a little buttercream, and then spread over 1/3 of the lemon curd. Top with another layer of sponge, repeating twice more, then top with the final sponge layer. Use the remaining buttercream to smooth over the top of the cake, adding a few swirls for decoration. Decorate with edible flowers and few sprinkles of poppy seeds if you wish.

I love seeing what you guys have created – so if you make this recipe (or any other from this site) please take a photograph and tag me @shecanteatwhat or with #shecanteatwhat and #fodmapfriendlykitchen on social