This flourless almond cake with ricotta and lemon is naturally gluten free and makes for the perfect Sunday coffee cake or dessert.
This gluten-free almond cake is sweet, but not too sweet, and lightly scented with flavours of lemon. The texture it a little more dense than a cake made with flour since it is made with finely ground blanched almonds. Though, adding a little arrowroot powder to the almond meal and folding in some fluffy eggs whites before baking, gives this gluten-free almond-lemon cake a lighter texture.
I have made this almond cake recipe with both natural ground almond meal (meaning it has the skin still on when ground) and with blanched almond meal. Both are fantastic, though I will say that blanched almonds lend a little extra natural sweetness to the cake and results in a finer, fluffier texture, as the almonds tend to be ground much finer to start with.
Blanched ground almonds are usually made from California almonds and found at your local supermarket, whereas the darker almond meal is usually found at organic food stores (or you can grind your own). So choose the type of almonds based on whether you want a cake that is a little more substantial, or one with little lighter, more delicate texture. Also, regular almond meal gives the cake a darker chestnut color, whereas blanched almond meal results in a light, golden ‘blonde’ looking cake.
First of all, you can bake it with or without the flaked almonds. This really is a question of personal preference. At a minimum, I like to dust the almond cake with powdered sugar once it is cool. I think this transforms it from being a coffee cake to a dessert. It just looks better, and anyone with a sweet tooth will agree it also tastes great.
Or if you prefer, you can cut it into wedges and serve it with a dollop of pillowy whipped cream, and sliced raspberries or strawberries sprinkled with powdered sugar. And if case you are wondering, you can serve this gluten-free cake chilled along with a little jam or fresh fruit.
Citrus and almonds are one of my favourite baking combinations, not just for cakes like this but cookies as well. And gluten-free cookie recipes too! If you are looking for other inspiration, then how about trying one of these recipes:
Almond Cake with Ricotta and Lemon (Flourless)
A simple to make gluten-free almond cake made with blanched ground almonds. Lightly sweet, this almond cake has a subtle flavours of lemon and can be enjoyed sprinkled with icing sugar and fresh berries.
- 230 g almond meal (blanched)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or other starch)
- 120 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 100 g organic beet sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, from 2 organic lemons
- 1 /8 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 250 g ricotta
- flaked almonds, for decoration (optional)
- icing sugar, for serving
Heat oven to 180°C and line the grease a springform tin (Ø 24cm) well with butter (alternatively, line completely with baking paper).
In small bowl, add the almond meal and arrowroot. Whisk together to combine and set aside.
Place the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Then beat the mixture together for 2-3 minutes until creamy.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating the mixture well after each egg yolk is added.
Add the almond-arrowroot mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until combined, then add the ricotta and lemon juice and beat again to combine. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Note: make sure the bowl and beater attachment are very clean before beating eggs. I add a squeeze of lemon, as this helps the egg whites stiffen faster.
Gently fold in the egg white mixture into the almond-ricotta batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top and sprinkle with the almond flakes (if using).
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or golden in color, cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely in the cake tin before removing (use a knife to loosen from springform to ensure it doesn’t stick in places).
Transfer to a serving plate and dust with icing sugar to serve.
The cake will keep in an airtight container for several days or can be stored in the fridge as it is also delicious chilled.
- This is a subtly sweet cake and lemon flavours are subtle and do not dominate at all. If you prefer a sweeter cake, then add 50-100 g more sugar to the egg whites once they have reached a soft peak and then continue beating until stiff peaks form. Then fold into almond mixture.
- I use a standard hand beater for this almond cake recipe, as I find it easier since more than one bowl is needed to prepare this cake.
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