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Whole Meyer Lemon Cake

This flourless Whole Meyer Lemon Cake is incredibly moist, packed with real lemon flavour, and can double as a sensational dessert. It is made using 3 whole boiled Meyer lemons and, combined with basic kitchen cupboard staples, creates a dense and sticky cake infused with citrus. This is a very simple recipe as once the lemons are boiled, everything is all combined together in a food processor. Lemon lovers will adore this cake! It is gluten-free and dairy-free with no flour, oil or butter used.

A close up of a slice of Whole Meyer Lemon Cake that has been dusted with icing sugar and also has a slice of confit lemon sitting on top of it. It is served with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt.
A slice of cake served here with yoghurt and a confit lemon slice. It is also delicious with a dollop of double cream.

This flourless cake is so moist it is almost like a cross between a pudding and a cake. By boiling and using whole Meyer lemons, you achieve great lemon flavour and also a sticky, dense texture. Once the lemons are boiled and cooled, only the pips are discarded. Everything else (skin and flesh) is used in this cake. I often prepare the lemons the day before as once this step is done, all the ingredients are simply added to a food processor and blended which takes less than 5 minutes. Using only lemons, eggs, sugar, almond meal and baking powder, this is simplicity at its best!

You can use different quantities of eggs and almond meal in order to create a conventional, more set almond cake(see notes). In this recipe however, I have developed a sticky cake variation which I have tested on family and friends and it is a real hit. This cake is a very moist ‘just set’ cake and is delicious as it is, dusted liberally with icing sugar or served with a dollop of double cream, whipped cream or thick yoghurt.

The Whole Meyer Lemon Cake is liberally dusted with icing sugar and is on a black ceramic serving plate on a table with a piece of cloth underneath the plate.

Why I love this recipe:

This cake is very easy to make and uses only 5 readily available ingredients. It will really appeal to lemon lovers and people who like a flourless and dense textured style of cake.

It is a delicious cake to enjoy with a cuppa and is equally wonderful as a dessert – dust the cake liberally with icing sugar and serve with pouring cream, double cream, creme-fraiche or even thick yoghurt. I also like to serve it with blueberry compote and cream or with confit lemon slices.

Ingredients to make this cake:

A very short list of 5 ingredients:

  • Lemons – use Meyer lemons in this cake. Meyer is a variety of back yard lemon that is more fragrant and a touch sweeter than other lemons. They have a deep yellow coloured skin that is smoother and more vibrant than that of Eureka lemons. Their skin is also less thick than regular lemons. As lemons vary in size, I have suggested 3 lemons but have also given a weight amount of between 550g and 600g for this recipe. Once the lemons have been boiled you need 280g lemon (once seeds, excess juices removed). See notes section in the recipe if you want to make this cake with other lemon varieties.
  • Sugar – Caster sugar is used in this recipe although you can also use white granulated sugar.
  • Eggs – I use large or XL eggs for this recipe and always use free-range eggs.
  • Almond Meal – use almond meal not ‘almond flour’. Almond meal is readily available in the baking aisle of supermarkets.
  • Baking Powder – use gluten-free baking powder if you would like to make this cake gluten-free.

Step by Step Instructions:

Please also read the notes section in the recipe before starting this cake.

Tips and Tricks for Success:

The biggest tip/advice I can give when making this cake is to make sure it is baked long enough to cook the centre of the cake and once baked, to rest it until it has completely cooled down. You have 2 options when baking this cake. The first is using a 22cm cake tin which results in a more ‘soft set’ dessert style cake or you can bake it in a 24cm cake tin for a more set but still incredibly moist cake. Both are delicious and my taste-testers were divided as to which they liked best. This cake can also be made a day ahead of time and it will set a little more in the fridge overnight. Bring back to room temperature when ready to eat.

  • Lemons – Use Meyer lemons for this recipe as they are less bitter than other varieties like Eureka. Lemons vary in size so I have given a weight measurement of 550-600gm which is usually 3 large Meyer lemons. If you would don’t have access to Meyer lemons but would still like to make this cake, I have included options in the notes section of this recipe after testing this recipe with other varieties.
  • When boiling the Meyer lemons, make sure they do not boil dry! Keep an eye on them and top up with extra water if needed. Discard any seeds, excess juice and inside bits that the seeds are attached to as you want to be left with 280g of lemon for use in this recipe.
  • I use butter to grease my cake tin lightly. Use oil if you want a dairy-free version.
  • If the cake is colouring too much on the top when baking in the oven, then cover the top loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.
  • Using a springform cake tin helps when removing this cake from the tin. As this is a sticky cake, when you remove it from the wire resting rack, ease the rack away from the cake gently. It will come away without tearing, so long as you do this carefully. In the recipe, I have suggested placing baking paper between the cake and rack to help avoid any tearing issues.
  • This type of cake can sometimes sink a little in the middle upon resting so don’t be alarmed as this does sometimes happen with flourless cakes. Make sure you bake the cake long enough so that the cake is set in the centre as this is a soft set and moist cake that should hold its shape when cutting. The baking time varies as it depends on how juicy the lemons are and also every oven temperature is slightly different.
  • This is a ‘just set’ pudding like cake. If you prefer a very moist but more set style of almond cake for slicing easily, then add an extra 1/2 cup almond meal and an extra egg to the quantities in this recipe and bake in a 22cm baking tin.

To Serve:

Once cooled, dust the cake liberally with icing sugar. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • serve with a dollop of whipped or double cream. Can also add some blueberry compote or fold some through the cream. Lemon Curd is also another nice addition.
  • lemon confit slices to decorate the top of the cake
  • you can also decorate or serve this cake with toasted flaked almonds.
Looking down onto 3 slices of lemon cake. Each slice is topped with a confit lemon slice and has been dusted with icing sugar. They also have a dollop of yoghurt beside each cake slice.

More delicious recipes for you to try:

Be sure to let me know in the comments below when you have made this recipe!

Slices of cake are on black serving plates. The cake is dusted liberally with icing sugar.
Served with a confit lemon slice and yoghurt.
A close up of a slice of the lemon cake on a black textured plate. It is served with a dollop of yoghurt and a slice of confit lemon.

Whole Meyer Lemon Cake

This flourless Whole Meyer Lemon Cake is incredibly moist, packed with real lemon flavour, and can double as a sensational dessert. It is made using 3 whole boiled Meyer lemons and, combined with basic kitchen cupboard staples, creates a dense and sticky cake infused with citrus. This is a very simple recipe as once the lemons are boiled, everything is all combined together in a food processor. Lemon lovers will adore this cake! It is gluten-free and dairy-free with no flour, oil or butter used.
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert, Sweet
Cuisine: Australian, English
Keyword: cake, citrus cake, dairy-free, flourless cake, flourless lemon cake, gluten-free, lemon cake, meyer lemons
Servings: 10
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Katrina | Katy’s Food Finds

Equipment

  • large pot
  • food processor
  • 22 or 24cm springform tin (see notes)

Ingredients

  • 3 Meyer Lemons *550-600g total weight – once boiled you want 280g lemon (seeds, excess juice and any inside pieces the seeds are attached to discarded).
  • 1 3/4 c caster sugar (385g)
  • 5 eggs (large)
  • 2 c almond meal (210g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions

To Boil Lemons:

  • Place the lemons into a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, discard the water and refill the pot with more cold water. Bring to the boil again and this time boil for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the water during this time and top up with more water if required – do not let it boil dry. Discard the water and place the lemons in a bowl to cool. You can place them in the fridge to speed up this process, or prepare them the day before. Bring them back to room temperature before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
    Once cooled, cut the lemons in half and remove and discard the seeds and any thick bits the seeds are attached to and drain any juices. You want 280g of lemon for the recipe.

Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Grease the base and sides of a 22cm or 24cm springform cake tin lightly with butter or oil and line the base with baking paper.
  • Place the halved and cooled boiled lemons into the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 20-30 seconds until almost smooth with little chunks of rind still visible.
    Add the sugar and eggs to the lemon pulp in the food processor and blend for 40 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl half-way through. Next add the almond meal and baking powder and blitz in 2-3 quick bursts to combine all the ingredients.
    Remove the centre blade and give the mixture a stir with a spoon to check that everything is all combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1hr 15 minutes (this cake takes 1 hour in my oven) until the top is golden and the cake is cooked. Press the middle of the cake to feel if it is firm to the touch or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (see notes). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes in the cake tin. Place a piece of baking paper over the top of the cake and turn the cake out onto a wire cooling rack (the baking paper will be a barrier between the cake and wire rack and will stop the cake from sticking to it. Cool completely before turning onto a cake plate.
    Decorate by dusting liberally with icing sugar. See notes for other suggestions.

Notes

If you wish to use a different variety of lemon to make this cake:

I have tested this recipe using other varieties of lemon and as they are more bitter than the Meyer lemon, I adjusted the sugar amount to compensate. So for this recipe I found increasing the sugar amount to 2 to 2 1/4 cups worked really well. I suggest you add 2 cups to start with and taste the batter, then add an extra 1/4 cup if needed (which I did). It depends on your own tastes and also on how bitter and juicy the lemons are as they all vary. All other ingredients and quantities remain the same.
The only other adjustment to the recipe is when you are boiling the lemons. As the lemons are more bitter, I suggest you repeat the first step of boiling the lemons and discarding the water and also in the final long boil, boiling them for 1.5 hrs instead of 1 hour. ie: Place the lemons in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Discard the water and refill with cold water and bring to the boil. Repeat the process one more time, this time boil the lemons for 1.5 hrs (keep an eye on the water level and top up every 20 mins or so to avoid it boiling dry). 

Tips and Tricks for Success:

The biggest tip/advice I can give when making this cake is to make sure it is baked long enough to cook the centre of the cake and once baked, to rest it until it has completely cooled down. You have 2 options when baking this cake. The first is using a 20 or 22cm cake tin which results in a more ‘soft set’ dessert style cake or you can bake it in a 24cm cake tin for a more set but still incredibly moist cake. Both are delicious and my taste-testers were divided as to which they liked best. This cake can also be made a day ahead of time and it will set a little more in the fridge overnight. Bring back to room temperature when ready to eat.
  • Lemons – Use Meyer lemons for this recipe as they are less bitter than other varieties like Eureka. Lemons vary in size so I have given a weight measurement of 550-600gm which is usually 3 large Meyer lemons. If you would don’t have access to Meyer lemons but would still like to make this cake, I have included options in the notes section of this recipe after testing this recipe with other varieties.
  • When boiling the Meyer lemons, make sure they do not boil dry! Keep an eye on them and top up with extra water if needed. Once cooled, discard the seeds and any inside bits they are attached to and drain any juices. Weigh out 280g lemon for the recipe.
  • I use butter to grease my cake tin lightly. Use oil if you want a dairy-free version.
  • If the cake is colouring too much on the top when baking in the oven, then cover the top loosely with a piece of aluminium foil.
  • Using a springform cake tin helps when removing this cake from the tin. As this is a sticky cake, when you remove it from the wire resting rack, ease the rack away from the cake gently. It will come away without tearing, so long as you do this carefully. In the recipe, I have suggested placing baking paper between the cake and rack to help avoid any tearing issues.
  • This type of cake can sometimes sink a little in the middle upon resting so don’t be alarmed as this does sometimes happen with flourless cakes. Make sure you bake the cake long enough so that the cake is set in the centre as this is a soft set and moist cake that should hold its shape when cutting. The baking time varies as it depends on how juicy the lemons are and also every oven temperature is slightly different.
  • This is a ‘just set’ pudding like cake. If you prefer a very moist but more set style of almond cake for slicing easily, then add an extra 1/2 cup almond meal and an extra egg to the quantities in this recipe and bake in a 22cm baking tin.
To Serve:
Once cooled, dust the cake liberally with icing sugar. Here are some serving suggestions:
  • serve with a dollop of whipped or double cream. Can also add some blueberry compote or fold some through the cream. Lemon Curd is also another nice addition.
  • lemon confit slices to decorate the top of the cake
  • you can also decorate or serve this cake with toasted flaked almonds.

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 119IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you cooked one of my recipes? I’d love you to tag me @katysfoodfinds or #katysfoodfinds!

2 Comments

  • Susanne Duregon
    August 29, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    WOW! So yum, love the intense flavour snd so easy to make. Love your recipes Katrina, I will definitely be making this one again

    Reply
    • Katrina
      September 8, 2021 at 5:18 pm

      That’s so great to hear Susie. I’m so glad you enjoyed this and will make again. Thank you for letting me know.

      Reply

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