Flourless Italian Almond-Lemon Cake

Flourless Italian Almond-Lemon Cake

The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
495 Calories
25g Fat
61g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 495
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 118mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 72mg 358%
Calcium 201mg 15%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 617mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

This almond-lemon cake is light and refreshing, and the perfect dessert for a holiday meal or family dinner.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Flourless Italian almond-lemon cake ingredients

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Lemons cooking in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  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.

    Simmered lemons on a plate

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Cut lemons in half and scoop out the seeds

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  5. Coarsely chop the lemons—peels and all.

    Coarsely chop the lemons

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Mill the lemons in a food mill

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Mill the lemons again in a food mill

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  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.

    Strain the lemon pulp through a fine-mesh strainer

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  9. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C. Soak a sheet of parchment paper with water, then crumple it and wring it out. Use it to line a 9-inch (22-centimeter) springform pan.

    Springform cake pan with parchment paper

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar until pale yellow and frothy

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  11. Beat in the lemon cream and almond meal.

    Beat in the lemon cream and almond meal into the egg mixture

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Whip the egg whites to firm peaks

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Gently fold the whites and baking powder into the lemon mixture

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  14. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  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.

    Testing almond-lemon cake with a toothpick

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

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

    Lemon cake in a a springform pan

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

  17. Dust lightly with confectioners' sugar.

    Flourless Italian almond-lemon cake dusted with sugar

    The Spruce / Ana Maria Stanciu

Recipe Variations

  • 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.
  • Garnish with your favorite berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, for added color and flavor. 

Tips

  • 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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