Almond and Lemon Cake

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Almond and Lemon Cake photo by vsimon

Easy, tasty, lemony, beautiful. The texture is a perfect moist cake crumb. It is gluten free and dairy free. This is a good recipe to have in your back pocket.

It is Jacqueline Mallorca’s recipe, reprinted here with permission. Yes, the Jacqueline Mallorca who writes wonderful gluten free cookbooks. Notably the The Wheat-Free Cook  Gluten-Free Recipes for Everyone and Gluten-Free Italian  Over 150 Irresistible Recipes Without Wheat- from Crostini to Tiramisu.

She also has a website, Gluten Free Expert and blog with more helpful info.

While searching for other things, I found this recipe at the end of an article from the San Francisco Chronicle printed in 2005. It deserves to be brought to light again.

I made this just as written, though I used the zest of the whole lemon. I love fresh lemon.

Supposedly, the glaze is optional. You can simply dust the cake with powdered sugar if you prefer. With the zest of a whole lemon, the cake is only mildly lemon flavored without the glaze. The glaze packs a tangy lemon punch, even without the lemon oil. The glaze isn’t optional to me, and it is so pretty.

This cake could also be made with orange or lime instead of lemon. To my taste buds, orange zest is easy to over do though. I would measure this and use at only a teaspoon, or a tablespoon max. I wouldn’t use the zest of the whole orange. Lime? I love that too, and would add that zest with abandon.

The instructions were very easy to follow. But I never got to the “ribbon stage” beating the eggs. Using a hand held mixer, I beat the eggs by themselves for about 5 minutes. They thickened, increased in volume, and got pale. Then I added the sugar and beat about another 8 minutes. They thickened some more, got paler, and increased in volume again, to at least four times the original size of the whole eggs. But not thick enough to produce ribbons of fluffy egg mixture dripping from the beaters.

Still, it was enough. The recipe worked, and we enjoyed this cake immensely. I shared it with a non gluten-free friend, who shared it with another non gluten-free friend. It is that good.

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Almond & Lemon Cake (Torta di Noce) by Jacqueline Mallorca


The Cake

2 cups almond meal

2 tablespoons brown rice flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon

The Glaze (optional)

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 drops pure lemon oil (optional)


To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Butter the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan and line the base with a circle of baking parchment.

In a bowl, combine the almond meal, rice flour and baking powder and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they thicken. Slowly add the sugar and beat about 5 minutes until the egg mixture reaches the thick-ribbon stage. Sprinkle the lemon zest on top.

Fold one-third of the almond mixture into the eggs at a time; transfer the batter to the pan.

Bake until the cake is golden and shrinks away slightly from the edge of the pan, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife blade around the edge of the cake to loosen it, turn it out onto a wire rack, and peel off the baking parchment. Let cool with the smooth underside facing up.

To make the optional glaze: Place the cake on a sheet of foil. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and lemon oil, and beat until smooth. Pour over the cake and smooth into a very thin layer with a long knife blade, letting excess drip over the sides. Smooth the glaze on the sides. Let the cake stand until the glaze has set; then transfer to a serving plate.

Serves 10

PER SERVING (WITHOUT GLAZE): 215 calories, 7 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (1 g saturated), 85 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.


Please let us know if you make this with other citrus flavors. I am curious about the possibility of a lime and coconut flour combo too.

Cranberry Carrot Salad with Lemon and Honey

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cranberry carrot salad photo by vsimon

Do you need a super quick crunchy salad? Perfect for dinner, or a brown bag lunch?

The simplest recipes are often the best. If you are short on time and just want the recipe, skip the middle and go to the bottom of the post. That is the simplest way. You could be eating this in five minutes.

But keep reading if you want info on the ingredients.


If you buy shredded carrots, this mixes up in just a few minutes. Sweet, tart, and lively lemon flavor.

I like to keep a bag on hand. They hold up well, and are easy additions to soups, green salads, and even muffins.

Organic carrots

We can get shredded organic carrots in our market. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website publishes a list of produce that has the highest, and lowest levels of pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen is the most likely to have high levels, and EWG recommends you by these items organic. EWG also publishes the Clean 15, produce that is least likely to have high pesticide levels. Buying organic doesn’t matter so much here.

You can print a wallet sized reference to take with you to the store. Carrots are #11 on the Dirty Dozen list.


Does a cranberry a day keep the doctor away? No, you probably need to eat  more than one. But a serving a day offers many health benefits.


I like to use organic lemons because I am using the outside, the part that would be sprayed with pesticides. Organic lemons are smaller than regular lemons, so you might need two here.

Also, organic lemons are not waxed. According the The World’s Healthiest Foods web site, sometimes the wax is mixed with casein, a protein in milk. This would be a very low amount, but might be important to know if you have a severe milk allergy.

Lemon Zest

At my house, if a dish has fresh lemon juice, it has zest too.  I never miss the happy opportunity to inhale the fresh scent of lemon zest. You can smell it across the room, but it is even better right under your nose.

A microplane makes swift work of zesting the peel. Personally, I don’t measure the zest and use all of it, from the whole lemon. As you probably can guess, I can’t get too much lemon zest.

If you are using a different tool to zest, be sure to catch just the outer yellow rind. The white pith is unpleasantly bitter.

Cranberry Carrot Salad

serves 4 metric measures
4 cups shredded carrots 360 gm
½ cup dried cranberries 75 gm
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 45 ml
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest weightless?
2 tablespoons honey 30 ml

Stir it all together until it glistens.

Serve right away if you like chewy cranberries.

Store in the fridge and serve the next day if you like plump, soft cranberries.

BTW, lemon juice is a good source of citrate. Helpful to prevent kidney stones. Maybe a lemon a day keeps the doctor away too.

PS I am changing the subject now. This is so cool! Bon Appetit magazine is holding a blogger Holiday Bake-Off. I have entered Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy. Wouldn’t you love to see a gluten free, dairy free winner?

There are several categories, including cakes, pies, custards, cookies, more. If you are a blogger, add your creations at BA Holiday Bake-Off.

Everyone can vote for your favorite in each category. I would be honored to receive your vote.