I add plenty of lemon to this cake to give it a really tangy hit. It goes perfectly with a strong cup of espresso.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (40 votes)


  • 300 g (10½ oz/2½ cups) almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder (see Note)
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the base and side of a 28-cm (11 in) springform tin.
  2. Place the almond meal and baking powder in a bowl and whisk briefly to combine and remove any lumps.
  3. Place the egg yolks and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment and beat for several minutes until the mixture becomes pale and light. Add the lemon zest, milk, vanilla, lemon
    juice and salt and beat until combined, then add the almond meal mixture and beat until incorporated.
  4. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk until medium–firm peaks form. Working in batches, gently fold the whites into the batter with a spatula, folding from bottom to top so you don’t lose aeration. Make sure the batter is well combined, but don’t overmix it.
  5. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 35–40 minutes until the top of the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve at room temperature with a cup of tea or coffee. The cake will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days.



Use gluten-free baking powder and icing sugar to make this cake gluten-free.


Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00