Flourless Italian Almond-Lemon Cake

Lemon-Almond Cake
Michael Powell/Getty Images
Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings

This is a simple and delicious, rustic cake that is naturally gluten-free, as it's made with almond meal instead of flour. This also makes the cake protein-rich and nutritious. While the recipe requires either a food mill or a food processor, it has an intense lemon flavor. If you like lemons, you will enjoy this cake.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash the lemons well. Add them to a pot with enough water to cover and simmer for 1 hour.

  3. Drain the lemons and allow them to cool enough to handle. They will look a bit "deflated," while the cooking water will be pale yellow and quite bitter.

  4. Trim the ends off each lemon, and cut them in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds.

  5. Coarsely chop the lemons (peels and all).

  6. Put the lemons through a food mill with a coarse disk.

  7. Mill the lemons again with a fine disk in a food mill.

  8. Strain the lemon pulp through a fine-mesh strainer. Rub the lemon paste against the mesh with the back of a wooden spoon or the bottom of a ladle.

  9. Preheat the oven to 360 F / 180 C. Soak a sheet of parchment paper with water, crumple it and wring it out. Use it to line a 9-inch (22-centimeter) springform pan.

  10. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar until pale yellow and frothy, about 3 minutes.

  11. Beat in the lemon cream and almond meal.

  12. In a separate, clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites to firm peaks.

  13. Gently fold the whites and baking powder into the lemon mixture.

  14. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  15. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out a bit sticky but without batter clinging to it. Keep an eye on the cake during the last few minutes, because it can brown suddenly.

  16. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before releasing it from the springform pan and placing it on a serving platter.

  17. Dust lightly with confectioner's sugar.

Recipe Variation

  • Instead of almond meal, use 3/4 pound (300 grams) blanched almonds. Divide the blanched almonds into 3 batches and grind them in a food processor or blender until they form a homogeneous almond meal.
  • If you do not have a food mill, you can also process the lemons in a food processor and blend until smooth, then pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve to remove any large pieces.


  • The easiest way to measure out the almonds for this recipe, whether you're using ground almond meal or whole blanched almonds, is to use three 1/4-pound (100 gram) packages.
  • If you prefer not to use parchment paper, grease the bottom and sides of the pan with butter, then dust lightly with flour, tapping the side of the upside-down pan to remove any excess flour.

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