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Almond Meal Lemon Cake

A rich almond meal lemon cake that’s lush with lemon and topped with a sweet-tart glaze. Adapted from a wonderful recipe in Darina Allen’s The Art of Country Cooking.

Almond Meal Lemon Cake Recipe

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie and one I rely upon when I want to make a simple yet rich gluten-free dessert. (And I will note that it is indeed rich: you’ll need not a little butter in addition to a 1/2-dozen egg yolks here. So it goes without saying this cake is meant to be shared with a lot of friends.) I first made it three Augusts ago when I was visiting my brother in Maine; we’d just come back from a quick trip to Vermont to see our cousins and aunt and uncle and I had stayed on for a few slow, leisurely days in Bath. We went to the beach there, too, and drank iced coffees in the warm mornings, and ate very well and occasionally I baked gluten-free cookies or a cake, the momentum for the work I’d soon do on my cookbook building as the days waned.

I didn’t include this recipe in my book because it’s not really mine; it’s adapted, rather, from a recipe from Darina Allen’s wonderful The Art of Country Cooking. That cookbook, as well as many others, will ease me back into that very strange life I live in Saudi Arabia. I haven’t seen most of my cooking implements, books of all sorts, and the bulk of my possessions in six months which is odd yet not terrible. Still, it will be nice to feel like our house is ours, at least for a short while, with our familiar paintings and furniture and little bits of pottery and crockery. Things are just things, sure, but they are welcoming for all they are inanimate objects. I’ve especially missed my old blue armchairs that are perfect for settling in with a good book – I have some Stegner to revisit, as well as my yearly Steinbeck read of Sweet Thursday, and maybe some Muir, too – and a cup of tea. A slice of cake would just be the icing on that little scenario.

This one is so nice. It’s lemony and almondy and not complicated at all. Using melted butter means you don’t have to turn on the mixer and you can probably put the batter together in less than 10 minutes. Save the egg whites for a meringue piled high with whipped cream and sliced plums sprinkled with cinnamon or make lemon meringue cookies or macarons or macaroons. You could also try a different citrus – grapefruit would be lovely! – in place of the lemon zest.

Yesterday we were on a beach in the blazing sun watching the Pacific roar and hurtle itself onto the sand; today we’re on a plane bound for the desert. It was a long and lovely summer full of mountain vistas, afternoons spent at the coast, walks around the neighborhood, visits with friends and family, and hours at various parks. Though this counters all Foreign Service ‘wisdom’ that counsels embracing what you have, I do hope the next 18 months pass rather quickly and that we’ll have a more weather-and-lifestyle-friendly posting in our near-term future. Until then, lemon cake.

Almond Meal Lemon Cake

Nicole Spiridakis
A rich almond meal lemon cake that's lush with lemon and topped with a sweet-tart glaze. Adapted from a wonderful recipe in Darina Allen's The Art of Country Cooking.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 367 kcal


  • 2 ½ cups ground almonds
  • ½ cup oat flour 60 grams
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 lemons
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup butter melted and cooled


  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract optional
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar plus more if needed


Make Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan
  • Whisk dry ingredients together and then whisk in the lemon zest. Make a well and add the lemon juice, egg yolks and butter and mix thoroughly to combine.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap on counter to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 45+ minutes, until very lightly brown and cooked through. Cool completely on a rack before turning out.

Make Glaze

  • Whisk all ingredients together to form a smooth paste, adding more sugar if necessary. Spread across top of cake.


Calories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 9gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 127mgPotassium: 296mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 610IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know in the comments how it went!

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