Almond and lemon cake

This was the first cake I ever made. The recipe, given to me by the German mother of a school friend, was surprisingly moist and light, even cooked in our wonky oven. I could only find ground almonds then, but grinding unskinned almonds adds texture. It’s a good cake to serve with a fruity dessert. Have the butter at room temperature.


  • 75 g unskinned almonds
  • 110 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 150 g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 40 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 small lemon icing sugar for dusting


Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Butter the sides of an 18 cm sandwich tin and dust with flour. Line the bottom of the tin with a disc of baking parchment. Grind the almonds in a food processor as finely as you can.

Whisk the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs and ground almonds alternately, whisking well between each addition. Then fold in the flour with a metal spoon, followed by the lemon rind. Lastly, gradually fold in the lemon juice. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then loosen the sides with a knife and turn the cake out onto a serving plate. Sift a little icing sugar over the surface.