Almond Lemon Cake

The flavor of lemons and almonds blend well together. This cake incorporates both, in a light and airy dessert that is a subtly sweet finish to a wonderful meal.

This cake originally hails from Italy. Since this cake does not contain flour, it is a great gluten-free solution and also appropriate for Passover.

The best pan to bake this cake is a springform. Line it with parchment for easier release.

When zesting citrus, only remove the outer colorful skin. The white pith below is bitter. Instead of lemon, feel free to experiment with Meyer lemon or navel orange.

Beautiful, vibrant yellow egg yolks and lemon zest brighten up the bowl.

Once the yolks are incorporated, it’s time to add in the almond flour. You can use unblanched almonds, however the cake will not be as pretty. Also, be sure to use almond flour rather than meal; the flour is ground finer.


This cake relies partially on beaten egg whites to rise. Eggs whip better at room temperature. If you forget to take your eggs out before baking, sit them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Make sure your bowl and whip are perfectly clean, as any trace of fat mixed with the whites will cause them to not whip!

The best way to check for stiff peak is to hold the bowl upside-down. The whites shouldn’t slip at all. (Note: Holding a bowl of stiff-beaten whites upside-down over a guest’s head is a great party trick.)

Incorporating whipped egg white must be done carefully so as not to lose too much volume. Gently fold the whites in. The first third of the whites is called the “sacrifice,” as you need to mix this through and deflate it in order to get the batter to the point that you can gently fold in the remaining whites.

Once mixed, pour your batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, the edges of the cake pull from the sides of the pan, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan on a rack, then release the springform. Invert onto a plate and then invert again onto your serving plate to decorate.

This cake pairs well with berries, or a dollop of lemon curd, or a drizzle of white chocolate or raspberry sauce. Bon appetite!

Almond Lemon Cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: serves 8-10
Adapted from Simple Recipes “Flourless Lemon Almond Cake”

butter or pan spray, for greasing
4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
2 Tbsp lemon or orange zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 cup finely ground almond flour (not meal)
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
powdered sugar, for decorating
berries, for decorating

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 9″ springform pan, spread a dot of oil, then place a  parchment circle. Lightly grease the sides of the pan and parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks with the lemon zest and 1/4 C granulated sugar until combined.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cardamom, and baking powder. Combine the flour mixture to the yolk mixture and stir well.
4. In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on low speed. When the whites start to bubble, add a pinch of salt and the vinegar. Gradually increase the speed to medium and sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 C sugar. Continue to increase the speed to high and whip to stiff peaks.
5. Mix a third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten the batter. Then gently fold in another third of the whites into the batter. Once incorporated, add the final third and fold in.
6. Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until golden and pulling from the sides of the pan, about 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan on a grid.
7. To remove from the springform pan, run a knife around the edges of the pan, then release the hinge. Invert the cake onto a plate, then flip again onto a serving platter.
8. Just before serving, decorate: sprinkle with powdered sugar in a sieve, top with berries, or serve alongside lemon curd or raspberry or white chocolate sauce.

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