Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon Cake

This naturally gluten free Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon cake is made with the entire lemon, peel and all, in the Mediterranean tradition, it has a tender texture and an explosive lemon flavor.

This naturally gluten free Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon cake is made with the entire lemon, peel and all, in the Mediterranean tradition, it has a tender texture and an explosive lemon flavor.

I spent the day before we left clearing out the kitchen like I always do before a trip that’s going to be more than a couple of days long.  I promised myself I wouldn’t cook anything so I could focus my attention on cleaning up,  packing, getting the dog squared away with the pet sitter, and paying stray bills.  That all went out the window when I  saw I had four plump Meyer lemons sitting in the fruit bowl.  You can’t throw Meyer lemons in the garbage.  That’s a sacrilege.

Photo of a slice of flourless whole meyer lemon cake on a piece of parchment paper with a fork.

My FLOURLESS WHOLE TANGERINE CAKE was the inspiration here.  Cakes made with whole citrus fruit are a Mediterranean specialty; they’re made with the whole fruit, peel and all.  There is no wheat flour in this cake, just almond meal, so it has a fabulous moist dense texture and is naturally gluten free.  In addition to the 3 whole lemons in the cake  I added a touch of lemon extract and a super tangy lemon icing so this cake is really the essence of ‘lemony-ness’.

Close up photo of flourless whole meyer lemon cake.

This flourless whole Meyer lemon cake  is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are a citrus fanatic like I am, I think you will love it.  The fruit is boiled before pureeing, and that takes away any unpleasant bitterness in the peel.  The combination of the whole pureed fruit and the almond meal makes for a very moist, but not soggy, cake.  Traditionally this kind of cake would be served plain, maybe with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, but I went over the top with a puckery lemon icing.  I originally added it because the surface of my cake was a little jagged and wasn’t very attractive for photographing, but I’m so glad I did, it makes the cake extra special.  It’s the kind of cake you can serve to guests, or eat, sliver by sliver, all week long.

Photo of flourless whole meyer lemon cake with a slice partially removed.

A note about flavor — I am a big fan of pure flavor extracts.  I’m talking about  pure natural extracts, not artificial flavorings.  I think they add a nice boost in certain cases and in this case the lemon extract just enhances the citrus flavor of the cake.  It’s handy to have a selection in your cupboard, especially as we go into the holiday and baking season.  In addition to almond and vanilla I keep spearmint, peppermint, lemon, orange, rum, and coconut extracts around.  I’m searching for maple extract, which is a little harder to find.  There are lots of varieties available, ranging from pistachio to watermelon  and cardamom.  Just remember to say away from anything with the words ‘artificial’  or ‘imitation’ on the label.  Olive Nation has a great selection if you’re interested.

Overhead photo of a slice of flourless whole meyer lemon cake on parchment paper with a fork.

If you love gluten free desserts, try some of my others, I love this BELGIAN FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE, I’ve been making it for years, and it’s always a hit with guests.  YOTAM OTTOLENGHI’S FLOURLESS COCONUT CAKE is an unusual gluten free cake for coconut lovers.

Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 large Meyer Lemons (approximately 12 oz, total to yield 1 cup of whole lemon puree)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
    for the lemon icing
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 325F
  2. Wash the lemons and put them in a pot. Cover them with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the lemons and let them cool until you can handle them. Cut them open and remove the seeds, but keep everything else. Do this on a plate so you can retain all the juices. Once you have removed all the seeds, put everything into a food processor. Process until finely pureed. You may need to pulse the machine at first, and scrape down the sides as necessary to get everything smooth. This will only take a couple of minutes. You will need one cup of lemon puree for the cake.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until pale in color. Add the lemon extract.
  5. Fold in the almond meal, baking powder, and lemon puree. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Turn the batter into a greased 9" springform pan. Smooth out the surface so it is even.
  7. Bake for about 50 -60 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then gently release the sides of the pan and remove the cake to finish cooling.
  9. Make the icing while the cake is cooling. Combine the sugar with the butter and lemon juice. Beat until smooth and creamy. Adjust the texture by adding more sugar or more lemon juice. If you prefer a less tangy icing, use less lemon juice and add a little milk or cream. Spread the icing on the completely cooled cake.

 

 

Don’t forget to pin this Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon Cake!

This naturally gluten free Flourless Whole Meyer Lemon cake is made with the entire lemon, peel and all, in the Mediterranean tradition, it has a tender texture and an explosive lemon flavor. #glutenfree #lemoncake #meyerlemon #flourless #flourlesscake #almond #flourlesscakerecipe #citrus #italiancake #italianlemoncake #almondcake #wholefruit

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

170 Comments

  • Reply
    Summer Recipe Ideas For Dinner - Broke Girls Gotta Be Healthy!
    September 7, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    […] Honorable mention for my Gluten Free tribe, is Sue’s flourless lemon cake made with almond meal and has a nice lemony icing on […]

  • Reply
    J
    July 9, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    This looks fantastic. Going to make it this week.
    Any chance I can reduce the sugar and still have it come out delicious??

    Thank you for posting this!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 9, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      The general rule of thumb for reducing sugar in baking is to reduce it gradually, so I would recommend reducing by 1/4 cup to start, J. Remember this cake is made with whole lemons, so it benefits from the 1 cup of sugar. For the frosting you can play around with less sugar for sure, maybe you can do a glaze instead of a frosting, for instance.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 18, 2018 at 3:20 am

    I am in the UK and haven’t seen Meyer lemons (it seems as if they are a hybrid fruit) except on US cookery sites. I used the juice and pulp of 2 (unwaxed) Sicilian lemons and 1/2 of one lemon’s peel and the juice, pulp and peel of one (unwaxed) Sicilian orange instead. I ended up with a scant cup of fruit puree. I cut the sugar to 3/4 cup and still found it a little sweet so I think you could do 1/2 cup if you didn’t want it too sweet. I was also missing 1/2 a cup of almond flour but the cake turned out very well and was well received. I served it with some greek yoghurt sweetened with a little icing sugar, vanilla and some of the remaining grated peel and grapefruit segments. It was lovely!

  • Reply
    debby
    May 26, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    do you peel the Meyer Lemons?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 26, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      No, this cake is made with the whole fruit Debby. Just remove the seeds!

  • Reply
    Betty Ann Washington
    May 24, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    i JUST FINISHED BAKING THE THE FLOURLESS WHOLE MYERS LEMON CAKE i’M ABSOLUTELY GOING TO USE MYERS LEMONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE THANK YOU NOW, I’M TOTALLY SURPRISED THE ALMOND MEAL TASTES GOOD IN THIS CAKE BECAUSE I FELT AS I WAS MAKING IT I WAS GOING TO BE DISAPPOINTED. I HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR. I HAD TO USE OVER TWO CUPS TO TRY AND THICKEN IT UP. I DIDN’T MEASURE THE JUICE AND THAT MAY BE THE PROBLEM. I DON’T LIKE THE TASTE OF THE SUGAR AND WON’T USE IT AGAIN. I’LL FIND AN ALTERNATIVE. HOWEVER, WHEN I FINALLY TOOK A BITE..I WAS REWARDED WITH AN OUTSTANDING TASTE THAT I COULDN’T HAVE IMAGINED. I JUST STOOD THEIR, AMAZED. THE MYERS LEMONS MADE IT ALL HAPPEN. i LOVE LEMONS AND i WAS HOPING FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL THE CAKE IS GREAT, I JUST HAVE TO FIND A BETTER FROSTING. THANK YOU

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 24, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      I’m glad it worked out so well for you Betty!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    May 20, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I have gotten soooo many compliments when I make this recipe! I have taken to adding a few lavender blossoms on top of the icing. It’s delicious either way,.i have also made it sugar free. Thank you so much for sharing this one.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 20, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      This is so nice to hear Kelly, thanks. It’s funny that you used lavender because one of the recipe ideas I have for the near future is a lemon lavender shortbread, so it’s great to know the combo is a success!

  • Reply
    Andrew Rodney
    March 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    OMG, made this today, off the charts amazing. Moist, flavorful, to die for. I found both the Meyer lemons and the Almond flour at Trader Joes and both worked out perfectly. My icing didn’t look as smooth and pretty as yours but tasted great. I used two of the left over Meyer lemons from the bag, didn’t want to waste them. New favorite.
    Getting Meyer lemons isn’t easy and not available out here year round. Could one use ‘regular’ lemons with maybe more sugar? Thanks for this recipe, it’s just outstanding!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 31, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Andrew ~ I’m actually considering remaking and re-shooting this cake because it’s been so popular and I think it deserves newer photos. Meyer lemons are becoming mainstream these days, it’s great, and I’m so glad TJs carries them. I think you could try it with a mix of Meyer and regular lemons, but I would definitely look for thin skinned lemons because the peels will be much more bitter.

      • Reply
        Andrew Rodney
        April 1, 2018 at 11:04 am

        I’m a pro photographer (in a previous life) and your photo’s are just fine IMHO. And your icing looks nicer than what I made so there you go. I think maybe the powered sugar just didn’t dissolve as smoothly as it should be as I said, it tasted great. Again, I did use the two left over Meyer lemons from the TJ’s bag, maybe that’s an issue? You could maybe clarify if your recipe should use ‘regular’ lemon’s in the icing or Meyers or if it doesn’t really matter. I used two in the icing as they were smaller than a ‘standard’ lemon. When Meyer’s are no longer available out here (we get em a few months out of the year), I’ll try non Meyer’s and report back.

        • Reply
          Andrew Rodney
          April 22, 2018 at 5:07 pm

          New update to my experience with this totally awesome recipe. I made it exactly as instructed last week, it was again amazing.

          I saw Meyer Lemons were getting more difficult to purchase here since they are seasonal and it appears if that season is nearly over. I went to two stores and bought them out of Meyer Lemons; five pounds! I processed all 5 pounds (boiling in a huge pot) all at once. One ‘batch’ was used to make the cake last Sunday and the rest of the lemons were prepared as instructed, divided up into 2 cup portions and placed into a vacuum packed freezing back. Today I made the recipe with one of the frozen pack’s after thawing, to see how it fared. No issues! Since I’m going a week back to back with fresh then frozen Meyer Lemons, I was able to get a better idea if using frozen puree produced any issues either taste or texture wise in the resulting cake. I can detect no issues with the frozen then thawed lemon puree.

          What’s great about this new technique is I can conduct the most ‘labor intensive’ part of the recipe in bulk (boil, remove seeds, puree), and have plenty of processed Meyer Lemons around when they are not available. Making the cake by simply cutting open a thawed pack of puree and squeezing into the mixer means I can make this recipe in a snap. Just defrost the lemon’s a few hours before.

          Oh, I did buy a Meyer Lemon tree too!

          • Sue
            April 22, 2018 at 6:04 pm

            Oh wow is this great to know about Andrew, you’re a genius! You’re going to know this cake recipe better than I do for sure :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      June 18, 2018 at 3:23 am

      Andrew, I used two regular lemons (pulp and juice) but only half the peel of one lemon and one whole orange (since it seems that Meyer lemons are a cross between lemons and mandarins) . It turned out very well.

  • Reply
    Erin
    January 28, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Thanks so much for providing the weight of the lemons, 12 oz came out to exactly 1 cup! I’m using my mom’s lemons and some of them are closer to a Texas grapefruit size. It makes you lose perspective on what a “regular lemon” looks like.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 28, 2018 at 7:59 am

      haha, that’s so true, and the Meyer lemons can be tiny as eggs!

      • Reply
        Patt Larkin
        February 26, 2018 at 6:23 pm

        Hi Sue,
        Just found your blog…..love love your recipes.
        I live in Northern California and have a Meyer Lemon tree that is very prolific ( a little too prolific). The Meyer Lemon Cake is scrumptious.
        I have a recipe for a Meyer Lemon Rhubarb Compote by way of Cake Fanny in Berkeley. I think it would be a perfect companion for this cake. Any interest?
        Patt Larkin Alamo Ca

        • Reply
          Sue
          February 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm

          Do you even need to ask?? I’d love to check the recipe out, I just saw my first rhubarb at the supermarket today ~ and btw, how can a Meyer lemon tree EVER be too prolific :)

          • Patt Larkin
            February 28, 2018 at 1:49 pm

            What’s the best way to send the recipe? Through this post or via another email.
            My precious tree gives me lemons all year round. It’s at my cottage at the beach…… very old tree that loves where it lives. Honestly I do nothing but water it during summer. Organic as it gets.

          • Sue
            February 28, 2018 at 2:43 pm

            You can leave anything in the comments here, except photos, unfortunately. And my email is slmoran21@sbcglobal.net. You’re truly blessed with that tree!

    • Reply
      Janet Huyton
      March 15, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Hi there – can I put this into cupcake holders if I reduce the baking time please?

      • Reply
        Sue
        March 15, 2018 at 10:09 am

        It’s a very moist cake, Janet, so I’m not sure it would fare well in cupcake form, but you could try. It would definitely stick to the wrappers a bit.

  • Reply
    Joel
    January 9, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Could you use Mandarins?

  • Reply
    Sharan
    August 5, 2017 at 8:44 am

    1st time with Almond flour…no lemons in Guatemala, only limes, worked well, would leave off more rind next time, use zest, a bit too bitter still, never been to Mediterranean!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 5, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Good to know, Sharan, thanks! Limes are definitely much more bitter than lemons, so I never thought to use them in this cake.

  • Reply
    SHIRLEY BASHAM
    April 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Having made Lemoncello with the rinds of Meyer Lemons, we froze the rest of the lemon. I am wanting to give this a try…do you feel using the lemons without the rind will effect the recipe? Huge fan of Trader Joe’s…this is where we get the lemon’s for our Lemoncello. If this works it will give us a reason to buy more Meyer Lemons. They are the best of the best. They have such a short season here in Ohio. Maybe 2 months a year….Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 21, 2017 at 7:17 am

      I can’t be sure, Shirley, because I haven’t tried it that way. Let us know your results if you attempt it!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    March 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Meyers lemons are so amazing! And I love that this is made with almond flour. This is being pinned :) For later.

    • Reply
      Shaz
      April 16, 2017 at 10:01 am

      After reviewing the comments/suggestions, I made this with half the lemon peel (since I didn’t have Meyer lemons to use) and it turned out AMAZING! I love the flavor and the texture. Great recipe!

      • Reply
        Sue
        April 16, 2017 at 10:58 am

        So glad it worked for you Shaz. Great tip about the lemon, because I’m sure lots of people can’t find Meyers.

      • Reply
        Roe
        August 20, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        This is the second time I’m making this cake. This time I’m trying it with just the juice and pulp of three lemons. The first one was a bit bitter and didn’t have quite the tangy lemon flavor I was expecting.

  • Reply
    rodman
    January 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

    This is just what I’ve been looking for. I, too, am a citrus fanatic. Mostly lemon & lime. I make a flourless chocolate torte and this year got an order for twenty. But I haven’t found the other side of chocolate. This could be it! I’ll let you know. I’m trying this recipe this weekend.
    Thanks much.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 7, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Good luck!

      • Reply
        Prem
        January 11, 2017 at 8:26 pm

        Made this tonight. Moist and satisfying. It was a tad bitter for me. If I just remove the rind before pureeing would that do the trick? Or add only half the rind? Love the consistency.

        • Reply
          Sue
          January 11, 2017 at 8:29 pm

          Yes Prem, I think if you reduce the rind it will taste less bitter to you. Different people have different tolerances for bitter tastes, so this will probably make it more appealing to you.

        • Reply
          Sue
          March 19, 2017 at 3:39 pm

          Try just using just the zest if the lemons instead of the whole rind.

      • Reply
        rodman
        January 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm

        OMG! it’s gone. all in one shot. it smells as good as it tastes: all warm and almondy and citrusy (are these words?). huge success. i had to promise (contractually!) to make more for the neighbors.
        this goes in the secret box of recipes.

        • Reply
          Sue
          January 14, 2017 at 4:24 pm

          Haha, lucky neighbors!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    January 2, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Oh my goodness, YUM! A neighbor left a bag of Meyers on my porch, so this was the perfect way to use some up! I subbed coconut sugar and Ener-g for the cane sugar and eggs (because I can’t have those) and used vanilla extract because I didn’t have lemon. What a fantastic lightly sweetened cake!! The hearty texture makes it feel perfect for breakfast. ;) Thank you for a wonderful recipe that I will make again and again!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 2, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      That’s great to know your substitutions worked and that you loved this Andrea :)

  • Reply
    Andrea
    September 26, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Sue! I am both gluten and almond intolerant so I was wondering if there was any other flour you can recommend on using to try this! I´ll appreciate your comments!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 26, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Andrea — this recipe is kind of a traditional recipe built around almond flour, so I’m not sure how to substitute. In other words, I think the texture of a nut meal is what’s required. If you can tolerate another nut, that might work, like hazelnut meal? I know the flavor would be altered, for sure. Trader Joe’s sells it.

  • Reply
    Trudy
    September 11, 2016 at 3:01 am

    I am diabetic so flourless equals less carbs. I have a thin skinned seedless lemon tree not Meyer lemons. The bitterness in citrus comes mostly from the white pith just under the rind. I used 4 lemons, boiled as recipe, then I carefully removed pulp and juice. I then with a spoon scraped the pith off the rinds of 2 lemons and tossed it in the trash. I used those 2 rinds only. I put the lemon in a blender and added the juice of 1 lemon and some water as with pureeing the lemon pulp thickened and needed liquid to get it smooth. I used about 1/3 c xylitol sugar and 2/3 c Splenda as sweetener,(again to cut carbs). Baked it for 55 minutes and it was delicious! Just the right amount of sweet and super lemony and moist. I did not find it bitter at all. Great recipe and now I can have lemon cake without raising my blood sugar.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 11, 2016 at 7:31 am

      I’m so happy for you Trudy, and I’m sure this will be helpful to other low carb and diabetic eaters as well, thanks so much for taking the time to write down your method.

    1 2 3 4
    Pin
    Tweet
    Share
    Yum
    +1