22 April, 2011

Lemon Almond Cake

If I had to appoint one fruit or vegetable to each season of the year, my spring fruit would definitely be lemon. Each year in the spring months, I find myself buying lemons by the kilo. I crave the tart and loud flavor, be it in homemade iced teas, cakes, salad dressings or as seasonings for fish and chicken. I love it being so refreshing. and although the Dubai winters are not exactly long, dark, cold or sleepy, I don't mind a little lemon kick in the spring to get me going.

Now here is my latest cake concoction: it's ticking all the health boxes for being flourless, gluten free, dairy free and by using wholesome palm sugar. The list of ingredients is incredibly short, the cake is easy to make and amazing in taste. Just what you'll want in the spring time.

1 1/2 cups whole almonds
8 tablespoons palm sugar (divided)

3 eggs (divided)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon zest

1/4 cup icing sugar (optional)

Serves 8
Preheat oven to 175C/375F. Line bottom of 8 inch spring form or flan form with parchment paper and/or lightly grease the sides with olive oil.
In a food processor, blend whole almonds until finely chopped, almost a meal.  Add 4 tablespoons of palm sugar and blend again. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, remaining 4 tablespoons palm sugar, cinnamon, lemon peel and salt. Mix until creamy. Add to chopped almonds and stir until well combined.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into the almond mixture.
Pour batter into prepared spring form. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before taking out of the spring form. When cooled, sprinkle the top lightly with icing sugar.


  1. mmm looks delicious! It reminds me of "Tarta de Santiago", a typical Spanish cake made with almonds, flourless and gluten free! ;)

  2. Looks incredibly healthy ! though i am sure my wait would disagree !! i made orange bundt today ... will put up pictures soon ! oh and your blog <- A.MAZING :D

  3. Anja, this cake looks fantastic. My mom sent me a link to a recipe very similar to this one the other day and I made it. I love cinnamon and orange but wasn't so sure about lemon and cinnamon, it's delicious, and they work so well together! Thank you for sharing your version!

  4. I love lemons! This is brilliant...how does it look so cake like without flour? Is it the almonds?? Also, is palm sugar readily available?
    ...and last question I promise, do you have a healthy recipe for lemon bars? I do love them so, but they're usually overdosed with sugar!

    Thanks Anja, as always, your creativity with concocting healthy desserts is really admirable!

  5. @ Arva
    yes, it's the finestly chopped almonds that make the cake-like texture. Palm sugar you get in prepacked blocks in the Thai section at Choithram's. I'll put lemon bars on my To-Make-Healthier-list for you. The Baklava is still there waiting to be tackled. You'll be the first one to know if I get decent results!

  6. thanks Anja, you're a star (and a super creative one at that!)

  7. This is so perfect as I'm trying to be gluten - and dairy-free! Sounds delicious and I love almond cakes :-)

  8. The cake looks just lovely.

  9. Your blog is lovely. I am subscribing! I have been into healthy cooking for practically my whole life, but now that i have a toddler, it's taken on a whole new meaning. Interested in trying palm sugar. Cheers! Nicole

  10. such a lovely healthy cake. Love this.

  11. I just made this cake and it's delicious! I'll be making it again and again. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Anja:)
    I had one issue, though. After I mixed egg yolks with almond meal, the mixture became very thick and cookie-dough like. I had a hard time folding in whites (more like beating them in). There was nothing gentle about it, for sure:) So I'm wondering if that's expected or something went wrong for me? Maybe the almond meal was too fine?

  12. Ksenia,
    I guess your almond meal was too fine. Did you ground it yourself? I usually do it myself which results in a combination of fine and coarse meal. You could even try to omit the egg yolks completely and fold in the stiff egg whites straight into the almond meal.

  13. Yes, I ground it myself and it had sightly uneven texture of flour to meal like. I think I will try to fold egg yolks into whites first and then add the flour next time i make it. Thanks for the tip!

  14. My house still smells like heaven on earth after making this cake! I am a diabetic who is realizing I also seem to have some major issues with grains so deleting them from my diet completely. I made a couple of changes and wanted to pass them on. I replaced the sugars with dates that I pulsed with the almond flour after I ground it. I noticed after adding the yolk mixture (sans sugar) to the almond mixture it was indeed very heavy and thick. I added about 2 T of lemon juice to it and loosened it up before folding in the egg whites. What I ended up with was light as a feather and fluffy as a cloud! Fabulous cake! Served it with a lemon curd and a little whipped cream. To Die For Cake is what this should be called! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I adore it!

  15. I Anja there is no raising agent I.e. baking powder ? Will it still rise? And does it stay moist? Thanks