Italian cuisine: Almond and Limoncello Cake

Jun 15, 2019 1558

Almond and limoncello cake is a delicious dessert that recalls the familiar tastes of the Amalfi coast (Campania), from which limoncello originates.

Traditionally, limoncello is made from the zest of Sorrento lemons.  Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, is steeped in spirits until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Varying the sugar-to-water ratio and the temperature affects the clarity, viscosity, and flavor. Limoncello is best enjoyed when served well-chilled. I use limoncello to prepare other tasty desserts like tiramisù al limoncello.

This cake is a real treat for lovers of both almonds and lemon, crunchy outside and soft inside. The preparation is easy and fast. It is a gluten- and lactose-free cake because it contains only corn starch and no dairy.


Total preparation time: 1 hour   Baking time: 40-45 minutes    Servings: 8



200 g (1 cup) sugar

5 medium eggs separated

1 pinch of salt

300 g (11 oz) ground almonds (blanched, peeled, lightly toasted)
2 large organic lemons, zest

3 ½ tablespoons limoncello liqueur

1 heaping tablespoon corn starch or potato starch

Powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and set oven rack to middle position. Line the bottom of a spring form pan (25 cm, 10 in) with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the sides of baking pan with coconut oil and flour.
2. Beat the sugar and  egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.
3. Add the lemon zest and limoncello.
4. Add the ground almonds, salt and flour to the egg mixture. Mix well.
5. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold gently into the almond mixture with a spatula.
6. Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.
7. Cool on a cooling rack, remove from the pan and dust with powdered sugar.

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