This light, fluffy Almond Flour Lemon Cake recipe is perfect with fresh berries and whipped coconut cream. It’s gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, paleo perfection!
I *may* or may not have THREE lemon cake recipes on my blog at this very moment.
I regret nothing.
A bright, sunny lemon cake recipe is exactly what spring and summer call for. You KNOW I love a good, dense chocolate flourless cake, or a rich chocolate tart, or a mind-blowing brownie any time. I’m a chocolate lover forever. But there is nothing like the light, citrusy goodness of a lemon cake. They’re sweet and tangy and feel so light and fresh.
I love that this lemon almond flour cake doesn’t weigh you down. It’s the perfect blend of soft and fluffy while still being substantial enough to hold up to whipped coconut cream and berries. Michael was just one bite in before announcing “I’m pretty sure I want this for my birthday.”
I don’t blame him. This almond flour lemon cake is perfection.
Simple Ingredients For Almond Flour Lemon Cake
One of the things that has made this naturally sweetened lemon cake recipe so popular over the years is the simple ingredients list. It’s kind of mind-blowing you can get this kind of texture and flavor with such simple ingredients! Let’s take a look:
- Eggs. You’ll separate the egg yolks and whites, so you can whip air into the whites before folding them into the cake.
- Cream Of Tartar. This ingredient helps the whipped egg whites hold their shape.
- Honey. This adds sweetness to the cake, and also comes into play in the lemon-honey syrup you brush the cake with after baking.
- Lemon Zest. Using lemon zest adds the most fresh lemon flavor into the cake, since the peel is where those lemon essential oils are.
- Lemon Juice. We won’t waste any of that lemon goodness! You’ll use the juice in our lemon-honey syrup.
- Vanilla Extract. This makes the cake taste sweeter without any extra sugar.
- Blanched Almond Flour. Use finely ground almond flour (not almond meal!) for this cake. It has the lightest texture & works best.
- Baking Powder. To help the cake puff. If you’re paleo, don’t miss our notes below on paleo baking powder!
- Salt. A little kosher salt helps balance the flavor beautifully.
- A Few Goodies On Top. Then, you’ll finish the cake with whipped coconut cream and some fresh berries. I love a mix of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
How TO Make This Almond Flour Cake Recipe, Step By Step:
Start By Mixing Up The Cake
- Preheat The Oven & Prep The Pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.
- Separate egg yolks and whites and place in two separate, VERY clean metal or glass bowls. (Egg whites will not whip if there is any grease in your bowl and they need the friction of metal or glass to whip well).
- Mix Up The Yolks Mixture. To the yolks mixture, add honey, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir well until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine Dry Ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond flour and baking powder. Stir into yolks mixture. (Mixture will be quite thick).
- Whip Egg Whites To Stiff Peaks. Using a hand mixer (or a whisk and a lot of elbow grease!), whip egg whites on medium speed until just frothy. Pause and add a pinch of salt and the cream of tartar. Continue to whip, now on high speed, until they reach the soft peaks stage. There should be no more liquid egg whites on the bottom of the bowl, and when the beaters are lifted out of the egg whites, the peaks should flop over slightly (instead of standing straight up).
- Gradually Fold In The Egg Whites. Working in 3-4 batches, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter. At first, this will seem like it might not work. Just keep going, gently using a spatula to fold the mixture together (don’t stir quickly or you’ll deflate the batter). Repeat with remaining whipped egg whites until all are incorporated into the batter. Batter will be lighter in color and very fluffy.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan and gently shake to even out the surface.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Finish & Decorate The Cake:
- Mix Up The Lemon-Honey Syrup. In a small bowl or saucepan, whisk together honey and lemon juice until very smooth and well blended.
- Brush & Cool The Cake. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and place on a wire rack. Remove the outer ring of the springform cake pan, and while the cake still quite warm, brush with the lemon-honey glaze. Allow cake to completely cool before slicing, or topping with any garnishes.
- Top The Cake. Serve with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream and fresh berries, candied lemon peel, lemon curd, or ice cream!
Tips for The Best Almond Flour Lemon Cake
Tricks For Whipping Egg Whites.
Whipping the egg whites is KEY here to creating the structure you’re looking for in the cake. The most common error when making this cake is not whipping the whites carefully.
- Separate The Eggs Properly! In order for the egg whites to whip, you cannot have even a single drop of egg yolk in the whites, or any grease on the bowl or beaters. Make sure to clean everything thoroughly before using and use these techniques for separating egg yolks and whites to make sure you’re ready to go!
- How To Whip Egg Whites. This tutorial walks you through everything you need to know about getting the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Use Cream Of Tartar. The the original recipe, Elise used vinegar and sugar to help stabilize her egg whites. Since I’m using honey instead of sugar in my version, I used cream of tartar. It’s gluten free, dairy free, grain free, etc. and only contains tartaric acid. It’s excellent for adding stabilization to egg whites, and many paleo bakers use it in tandem with baking soda as a substitute for baking powder.
- Fold Them In Gently. After doing all that hard work to whip the whites, be sure to follow the instructions to GENTLY fold them in, a bit at a time to gently lighten the batter. Don’t whisk or stir quickly, or you’ll deflate all the air out of the whites.
Use The Right Kind Of Almond Flour.
It wouldn’t be almond flour lemon cake without almond flour! I use blanched almond flour for this recipe, which is a finely ground almond flour made from almonds with their skins removed. This is visually and texturally important, so please don’t try to substitute almond meal (which keeps skins on and is coarser).
Different brands vary a bit, but I look for “finely ground, blanched almond flour.” I’ve had good luck with Honeyville, Blue Diamond, Hughson Nut, Bob’s Red Mill, and Kirkland brand, all of which I’ve been able to find at Costco at different times, where it’s 3 pounds for $10-12 instead of 1 pound at the grocery store for $8-9. Use what you like, and what you can find! NOTE: You CANNOT substitute ANY other flours for almond flour in this recipe, especially coconut flour. The ratios aren’t the same.
Toppings For Lemon Cake
Coconut Whipped Cream. If you’re not strictly paleo, I highly recommend buying SoDelicious CocoWhip (I get it at Sprouts or Natural Grocers). It’s basically coconut milk Cool Whip. It’s more stable than anything I’ve made myself, but does have added sweetener. I think it’s so lovely with the subtly-sweet cake. If you can’t find it or don’t want to use it, I recommend using this method or this method for making your own. Follow the directions to the letter, and keep the whipped cream in the fridge until the last possible moment before serving. (And, obviously, if dairy doesn’t hate you, you can totally go with classic dairy-rific whipped cream!)
Not into whipped cream? Try this! Two words: Raspberry Sauce. It makes everything better, from cake to your morning oatmeal. My favorite recipe (seen here) is about as easy as can be: frozen or fresh raspberries + lemon juice + honey or sugar. Puree, strain, and serve. Bam.
Craving More Yummy Desserts? Try…
- Keto Red Velvet Cake from Cassidy’s Craveable Creations. Great for low carb folks!
- No Bake Chocolate Berry Tart (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- Triple Berry Crumble Pie (Vegan & GF)
- The PERFECT Gluten Free Brownies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)
- Peach Berry Crisp (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo-Friendly)
⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star review and comment below when you make our Gluten-Free Almond Flour Lemon Cake recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!Print
(Adapted from Simply Recipes) Originally shared March 2018. Updated with updated instructions, new video & photos March 2023. See some of our original photos below!