This luscious lemon almond flour cake is a moist, light and not too sweet, high protein Mediterranean cake, keeping lemon lovers smiling with every bite. It's got the tang from lemons, sweetness of almonds, and the complex richness of olive oil. Then the warm cake is drizzled with more lemon juice to intensify the lemony flavours.
Happy New Year!
We keep the tree and decorations up until at least January 7th, but then it is time . . .
Slowly, doing a little bit every day, I put away all the treasured symbols of Christmas for our family - the wooden nativity scene I brought back from the Philippines when I spent Christmas there years ago, the delicate snowflake mobile my mother crocheted, the twinkle-light garland twined around the banister and the many nutcrackers we've collected over the years. I take down the strings full of cards sent by friends and family. I carefully wrap up each of the blown glass ornaments and birds of all colours that decorate our tree. And lastly we'll drag the tree out to the firepit (hidden under two feet of snow) to burn in springtime. I'll have to vacuum up the drifts of dry needles it always trails out the door.
The rooms will look empty after the festive baubles are all gone, but somehow refreshingly new again, too. That emptiness feels clean and ready for a new year of happenings and life. Bring it on.
Here's to the new start!
I didn't make any specific New Year's Resolutions this year - just to connect more . . . connect more with all the important people in my life: more phone calls to faraway friends, more time with my husband, more one-on-one time with my children, more conversations with my sisters, more reconnecting with old friends, more talks with my mom, more lunches with nearby friends, and more time with me. Time to do the things that are important to me . . . or time to do nothing at all.
Aren't we lucky that each day is a new beginning - we don't really have to wait for a new year to start all over again? But the hanging up of a new calendar in a new year means more, somehow, than just a new day's beginning. It's a tangible reminder, symbolic and more in-our-face. You see that clean new page and it feels like a bigger chance to start over again. So we make our resolutions. And even if we don't successfully stick to each one, it's the awareness of change and the moving in a new direction that counts. Even reaching a small portion of our goals brings us farther ahead and makes us a better person than we were last year.
So in the spirit of newness and light, here's a recipe for a fresh and lovely lemon and olive oil cake.
This lemon almond flour cake is moist and light and not too sweet. If you are lemon lover, you will be smiling with every bite. The glaze on top adds another lemon kick that makes a zippy counterpart to the intriguing herbal flavours of olive oil in a cake. This type of cake originates in the Mediterranean, and the three main ingredients - lemons, almonds, and olive oil - are all products grown in that warm sea-and-sun-kissed climate. The almond flour and eggs make the cake high in protein, and its lower sweetness makes it a great breakfast indulgence with a cup of coffee or tea. A slice with your afternoon tea is not so bad either.
And of course it's also wonderful as a simple and sumptuous dessert.
So start off your year with a little Mediterranean sunshine.
Lemon Almond Flour Cake - a Taste of Sunshine
Beat the eggs and sugar until they become fluffy yellow ribbons.
Zest and juice a few fresh lemons (Meyer lemons work here, too).
And add them to the batter along with a fruity olive oil and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and bake the cake until it's a deep golden colour. While it's still warm, drizzle it with a glaze made of more fresh lemon juice, honey, and a touch of rum (or water).
Mmmmmmmm . . . .
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: This cake is great with regular lemons, but right now the Meyer lemons are in season and I can't resist using their sweetness and juiciness. They are thought to be a cross between mandarin oranges and lemons, so their skins range from deep yellow to almost orange and the fruits are sweeter, milder and juicier than regular lemons. The cake isn't quite as intensely lemony as when I make it with regular lemons, but that is more than compensated with the bright citrus flavour of the Meyer lemons.
This lemon almond flour cake is gluten free, but you can also make it non-gluten-free → use regular all-purpose flour instead of the millet flour and skip the psyllium husk.
You can use regular olive oil for this recipe, but if you have a nice, fruity, extra virgin olive oil (the kind that has a grassy-green or deep-golden tinge) - use it to add a complex, delicious 'hmm, what is that interesting flavour?' depth to your cake.
And do add the glaze. It's what makes the cake.
* * * * *
Lemon Almond Flour Cake
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup (120ml) sugar preferably natural evaporated cane sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- ½ cup (120m)l olive oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (110gms) almond flour
- ½ cup (75gms) millet flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon powdered psyllium husk optional
for the glaze:
- juice of 1 lemon about 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) honey
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) rum or water
- powdered sugar to dust the top of the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Trace the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) springform pan onto parchment paper and cut out the circle. Trim it so it lays flat in the pan. Lift it out of the pan, grease the pan, then lay the paper circle back into the springform pan and grease it, too.
- With the whisk attachment of an electric mixer (or a hand whisk and lots of elbow grease), beat the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy and look like pale yellow softly whipped cream.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and vanilla extract. Beat well.
- Add the almond flour, millet flour, baking powder, baking soda and psyllium husk powder (if using).
- Mix just until combined and pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top no longer feels jiggly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with crumbs attached. The cake will be quite dark.
- In a small saucepan, heat the lemon juice, honey and rum (or water) until the honey is just melted and the mixture is hot. One spoonful at a time, so you can control where the glaze goes, drizzle the glaze over the top of the hot cake. Drizzle mostly around the outside edge of the cake so it gets soaked. The cake will have dropped slightly in the middle and most of the glaze will run there anyway, so make sure to douse the edges well so the cake is evenly moistened.
- When the cake is cool, remove the outside of the springform pan. Just before serving, sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar shaken through a small sieve or tea strainer.
Want to receive new Kitchen Frau recipes directly to your email? Sign up here and you’ll get a handy and useful kitchen tip along with each recipe, too. (No spam ever.)
If you like my recipes, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. You’d make my day!
PIN IT HERE to save the recipe for later:
You might also like:
Big Beautiful Lemon Meringue Pie
The Un-Cheesecake, with Coconut Crust and Berry Sauce
Made this on a whim when I realized I had most of the ingredients on hand and just used a commercial GF flour in place of the millet flour. I can't have honey so used maple syrup for the glaze instead. It was just lovely and exceeded my expectations - it was a hit with everyone who tried it. It kept really well for a few days but I also froze some portions and they turned out great when defrosted in the fridge and microwaved. Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe - will be making again for morning tea with my in laws and I'm sure they will love it.
How nice to read your lovely comment. Thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake as much as we do. Wishing you lots more happy times in the kitchen! 🙂
Very eager to try this recipe for Thanksgiving. Dark rum or light rum for the glaze?--are 2 TBS subtle enough to "play nicely" with the lemon and honey? I'm planning to substitute 1/4 cup honey (local citrus and wildflower honey) for the 1/2 cup sugar--does that sound right to you? Thank you kindly.
Hi Gwen, This is our favourite cake. I use either white or light rum for the glaze. 2 Tbsp are very well behaved - they don't take over and they blend nicely with the lemon and honey 🙂 That substitution of honey sounds spot on, since honey usually weighs about twice as much as sugar, and I like to do any substitutions by weight. The honey will help to keep the cake moist, too (if there's any leftover, which in our house is not going to happen!) Happy Thanksgiving to you. Hope you have a wonderful feast and special family moments!
Margaret, thank you so much for your speedy reply, and for the kind wishes for a happy celebration tomorrow. I'm very excited to try this cake! Best wishes.
Hello! I'm looking forward to trying this cake. Can you make this in a loaf pan instead of a cake pan?
I've never tried it in a loaf pan before. You might have to adjust the baking time so that it doesn't sink in the middle. If you try it, I'd love to hear what adjustments you made and how it turns out. Happy baking!
Hi there, these look so yum! Was wondering if they could be made into muffins?
I don't see why not. They would just need a shorter bake time - I'd guess anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes. If you try this recipe as muffins, let me know how they turn out. Happy baking! 🙂
I just made this cake and am so thrilled! I used honey instead of sugar. I didn't have a Springform pan so used a round cake pan. The bake time was knocked down to around 20 min. But it turned out delicious! I am so happy you shared your recipe! Also, I omitted the alcohol. Thank you again!
So glad you like the recipe, Mimi! It's one of our favourite cakes - pretty simple and basic, but lots of good flavour. Thanks for letting me know how your substitutions worked, and wishing you great fun in the kitchen!
I would love to try this recipe with honey. Could you please share the specifics of your substitution?
Thank You Margaret for a really delicious recipe! I didn’t have a springform pan so used a 8” round cake pan and made four smallish cupcakes with the left over batter. I also made a little extra lemon glaze. Instead of millet flour I used 1/2 cup of Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 flour. Next time I will use the millet. This was a great tasting cake and I know I will make it often, so easy to make and fun to use different fruits of the season with. This cake has inspired me to buy a 8” springform pan;)
Hi Nancy 😊 So happy to hear that you like the cake. We love the lemon zing of it, and I love the ease of making it, too. I find I use my 8-inch springform quite often, especially when we don't really need a big cake. It seems like big cakes are just not eaten as much any more, so it's handy. Happy Baking!