From the first bite, you experience the soft crunchy texture from cornmeal and ground almonds, the fresh flavor of lemon, and moist richness that comes from olive oil. You will never believe this is gluten-free, dairy-free and can be made low sugar. My go-to cake style dessert: lemon almond cake. Everyone loves it.
Needing a gluten-free, dairy-free dessert for a client, I adapted one of my favorite cake recipes from Deborah Krasner’s The Flavors of Olive Oil: A Tasting Guide and Cookbook to meet the need. By using gluten-free cornmeal, gluten-free flour blend and almond milk instead of dairy milk, this olive oil cake turned out beautifully. Now I always make it this way.
Dessert Cake or Snack Cake
Perfect after dinner with fresh berries, this cake also works with a cup of tea in the afternoon or with a cup of coffee for a weekend breakfast, as it it not overly sweet.
Use a Food Processor
There are many great things about this recipe. It is easy to make and the batter is done quickly in a food processor, then poured into a parchment-lined springform pan and baked. Honestly, I could just eat the batter. I relish licking the spatula and scraping my finger around the food processor bowl after the cake is in the oven.
Lemon almond cake can be made two days ahead, wrapped and refrigerated. I think it would also freeze well, but it never lasts that long. No frosting require, just a dusting of powdered sugar (optional). Sometimes I add a little whipped cream or whipped coconut cream on top for a nice finish. And add those berries. Berry sauce is be nice to.
To Reduce Sugar by Half
If you want to reduce sugar, try substituting part of the sugar for monk fruit/erythritol blend or your substitute of preference. For a vegan version, try making it with an egg substitute or use flaxseed instead of the egg. No matter how you make it, it could become one of your regular recipes too.
For another easy cake made in a springform pan, try this delicious cherry cake.
Lemon Almond Polenta Cake (Gluten-Free)
- ½ cup gluten-free cornmeal medium to coarse grind
- ½ cup all purpose gluten-free flour blend
- 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 ½ cups whole raw almonds 7 ½ ounces
- 1 cup unrefined natural raw sugar to reduce sugar see below
- 1 large lemon
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk I use homemade, recipe on this site
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Powdered sugar to finish before serving
- Fresh berries
- Whipped cream
- Food processor with steel knife
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9” springform pan with non-stick spray and line with a parchment round cut to fit the bottom. In a medium bowl, whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel knife, pulse the almonds and sugar for about 30 seconds. They should have a coarse, sandy texture.
- Cut lemon in half. Juice one half to get 1 ½ tablespoons; discard rind and add juice to the food processor. Pick the seeds from the other lemon half, cut lemon half into four pieces and add to the food processor. Process for 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl with a flexible spatula. Add oil, almond milk, eggs and almond extract. Process for 1 ½ minutes. Add the cornmeal/flour mixture and give it a few long pulses to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until golden and firm to the touch. A cake tester or toothpick comes out with just moist crumbs attached. Timing depends on your ovens.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then run a thin bladed knife around the inside edge of the pan. Release the spring, remove the bottom pan and parchment and cool on a wire rack. Let cool completely. Serve as desired with berries, whipped cream, whipped coconut milk or plain. The cake will hold for two days wrapped well and refrigerated.