Soft, moist, and springy almond cake is the perfect combination of taste and texture. Top it all off with a generous helping of whipped cream for the quintessential light dessert.
So, does anyone else get baking envy?
A couple of weeks ago my sister went to a small birthday party, and she came home raving about this almond cake they served. Apparently, it had a light frosting and raspberry filling. I gotta admit: I was kind of jealous of her praising this cake. So, in the spirit of being unnecessarily competitive, I set out to make my own.
This lovely almond lemon cake was inspired not only by my own jealousy, but by a beloved Ina Garten recipe that I tried years ago.
This is the kind of the cake you can have for breakfast on a Tuesday and not feel guilty at all. It’s not overly sweet or rich. Mine is an adapted version, but still has everything that’s great about the original: super moist, perfect texture, and light crumb.
Ingredients for almond lemon cake
- All-purpose flour – Sorry, this is not a gluten-free almond cake with almond flour. We’re using AP flour for structure, texture, and fluffiness. If you need a gluten free version, check out this recipe by Cookie and Kate.
- Baking powder – For rise.
- Baking soda – Another leavening agent used in this cake since we’re working with a few acidic ingredients.
- Sugar – For structure and sweetness.
- Salt – A bit to balance the sweetness.
- Greek yogurt – Full fat, plain Greek yogurt helps the cake be moist and stay moist. You can sub this ingredient 1:1 with sour cream, if needed.
- Lemon zest – For a little zing of lemon flavor.
- Eggs – We need 3 large eggs for structure and moisture.
- Almond extract – This is where that almond flavor comes in! One test version of this cake used blended, toasted almonds in the dry ingredients, but I wasn’t too big a fan of the result. Since almond extract is very strong, we only need 2 teaspoons.
- Vegetable oil – Also helps our cake be moist and last longer.
How to make almond lemon cake from scratch
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch round cake pan, then line it with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium sized bowl, mix together sugar, salt, yogurt, lemon zest, eggs, almond extract, and vegetable oil until completely combined and smooth. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Pour the batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Once finished, let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before carefully turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- You can enjoy this cake by itself (it’s that delicious) or top with homemade whipped cream and strawberries.
Tips for baking the perfect cake
- Room temperature ingredients: Always use room temperature eggs and other dairy. This will ensure that your cake batter blends together smoothly for the perfect finished result.
- Use a digital kitchen scale: A scale is the most reliable (and least messy) way to measure dry ingredients like flour and leavening agents. If you bake a lot, you should definitely have one.
- Spoon and level method: If you do not have a scale, you can measure your flour by spooning it into a measuring cup until heaping, then gently scraping the excess flour off the top of the cup with the back of a knife. Never dip your measuring cup directly into a container of flour; it yields too much, which will ruin the texture of a cake.
- Use the bounce back test: Don’t just rely on a toothpick to tell you that your cake is done. You can also test doneness by gently touching the top center of the cake with your index finger. If it bounces back, you’re good to go. If it’s too wobbly or wet, it needs more time.
- Parchment paper is a must: There’s nothing worse than having your beautiful cake stuck to its pan. Line your pans with parchment paper for extra insurance and easy removal.
Almond lemon cake will last up to 4 days tightly covered in plastic wrap and foil, at room temperature. If you choose to top it with whipped cream and fruit, cover the remainder and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
More cake recipes
Almond Lemon Cake
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (249 grams) full fat, plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan with butter, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add yogurt, sugar, lemon zest, eggs, almond extract, and vegetable oil in a separate bowl. Mix together until completely combined and smooth, then pour the mixture into the dry ingredients. Fold gently with a rubber spatula until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when gently touched with your index finger. You can also insert a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean. Once finished, let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before gently turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve as is, or with whipped cream and fruit, if desired.