Flourless Lemon Almond Cake

updated Sep 5, 2022
summer
Flourless Lemon Almond Cake

A recipe for an easy gluten-free lemon cake made with almond flour.

Serves8 to 10

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Whole flourless lemon almond cake with slice cut out. Topped with powered sugar and strawberries
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot"

In its simplest form, a cake needs little more than some form of flour, sugar, and eggs to come together, a humble mix of pantry staples to create a small slice of magic. I’ve always had a soft spot for this type of cake, but it feels particularly well-suited for this moment, when we’re all trying to satisfy our cravings and find some comfort with whatever we’ve got.

When you get it just right, when the cake itself is a standout, there’s no need for fancy swirls of frosting or decorations. That’s exactly the case with this lemon almond cake: It’s lightly sweetened and full of bright lemon flavor.

Serve the cake simply with a dusting of powdered sugar, or add sliced strawberries or other fresh berries, which pair beautifully with the cake’s lemony notes.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot"

Whip Egg Whites for a Light and Fluffy Cake

Thanks to the smart technique of separating the eggs, this cake feels special without the need for bells and whistles. The yolks get mixed directly into the batter while the whites are whipped separately until they form billowy, stiff peaks. The whipped whites are then gently folded into the batter, giving this cake an exceptionally light and fluffy texture.

Skip the Flour; Use Almond Flour

Using almond flour rather than all-purpose flour makes this cake gluten-free, and perfect for Passover. It’s also a great option for anyone struggling to find flour in their grocery stores right now.

Be sure to reach for almond flour, not almond meal for this recipe, as the coarser texture of the latter will impose on the airy texture of the cake. If you can’t find or don’t have almond flour on hand, you can easily make it yourself.

More flourless cakes we love:

Flourless Lemon Almond Cake

A recipe for an easy gluten-free lemon cake made with almond flour.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Butter or cooking spray, for greasing the pan

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 2

    medium lemons

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups

    almond flour (not almond meal)

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • For serving: Powdered sugar and fresh berries (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform or round cake pan with parchment paper. Coat the paper and sides of the pan well with butter or cooking spray; set aside.

  2. Crack and separate 4 large eggs, placing the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (alternatively, place in a medium bowl to and use an electric hand mixer or sturdy whisk) and the yolks in a large bowl.

  3. Finely grate the zest of 2 medium lemons with a Microplane to get 2 tablespoons and place in the bowl with the egg yolks. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula until well-combined and no streaks of egg yolk remain.

  4. Add 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir until the almond flour is moistened and the mixture is just combined (some lumps are fine).

  5. Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes (about 5 minutes by hand). Stir 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Then gently fold the remaining egg whites in the until just combined. The batter should be evenly moistened with no streak of egg whites remaining but will not be completely smooth; do not overmix. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and gently spread out to an even layer.

  6. Bake until the edges of the cake have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan, the top is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

  7. To serve, run a knife around the cake to loosen it. Release the sides of the pan, if using a springform pan. If using a cake pan, flip the cake onto a plate, peel away the parchment, then flip it again onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusting with powdered sugar and served with fresh berries, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen for up to 1 month if wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap, then wrapped in aluminum foil. Thaw at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours before serving.