This Flourless Lemon Cake is absolutely exploding with bright, zesty lemon flavour. The fact that it is also gluten-free is a total accident due to the fact that the main ingredient (aside from lemon), almond meal, is naturally gluten free.
This lemon cake recipe came about when a colleague at work gifted me a bag of lemons, fresh off the tree and it’s been one of my favourite cakes ever since. It has an instense lemon flavour with a tender, moist crumb and despite that moistness, is incredibly soft and light.
Love lemon? Try these gorgeous lemon cakes too – Lemon Ricotta Cake and Lemon Vanilla Butter Cake.
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One of the wonderful things about flourless cakes is their ability to stay perfectly moist for days, without ever seeming dense just like my Chocolate Hazelnut Flourless Cake and these cute Mini Ginger Orange Flourless Cakes.
This simple gluten free lemon cake is topped with an even more simple lemon icing made with just 2 ingredients – icing (powdered) sugar and lemon juice). The cake needs nothing more as the icing cascades down the sides creating such a pretty finish.
How to make it – step by step
There’s just a few simple steps to this easy flourless lemon cake.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, then add the yolks, vanilla, juice and zest until it’s all incorporated.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Separately whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then mix a third into the cake batter before very gently folding in the rest. Don’t overmix at this point as you’ll beat the air out of your egg whites which could result in a very dense cake.
- Transfer the batter to an 8 inch round springform tin or even a sandwich tin, then bake.
- Finally, drizzle with a very simple 2 ingredient lemon icing.
You don’t need to be gluten intolerant to enjoy this flourless cake, pinky promise. Everyone I’ve served this to has adored it and many have asked for the recipe. It’s a combination of the amazing texture and flavour that make it a favourite.
Top tips and tricks
- Egg whites: You can whip these with a whisk, electric handheld beater or stand mixer with whisk attachment, just make sure they get to soft peak consistency. This is what will help give this cake lift.
- Folding: After whipping all the air into those egg whites, make sure not to bash it all out by mixing it into the batter. Start by just mixing in 1/3 of the egg whites to loosen the batter a little. Now use a folding motion to fold the rest of the egg whites in gently and do this just until you see the last lines of egg white disappear.
- Baking powder: Not all baking powders are gluten free so check before you buy if you are wanting this cake to be specifically gluten free.
- Other citrus: swap the lemon for lime or orange for another citrus twist.
- Yoghurt: If you want to lighten it up a little, use yoghurt in place of the icing.
How to store flourless cake
This cake keeps moist so you can make this 2-3 days in advance and it will still taste perfect.
Leave the icing until you serve it – it only takes 5 minutes.
Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months (if there’s any leftover).
For freezing, cut it into slices first so you can take just what you need when you need it.
As the saying goes “When life gives you lemons, make flourless lemon cake“, at least that’s what I say. This naturally gluten free lemon cake is perfect for an afternoon tea, Easter brunch or Mothers Day.
Did you try this gluten-free lemon cake recipe?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
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Flourless Lemon Cake (Gluten Free)
For the cake:
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar (150g / 5.3oz)
- 115 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, not packed (notes)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (notes)
- 2 ½ cups almond meal (almond flour) (250g / 8.8oz)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the icing:
- 1 ¼ cups icing (powdered / confectioners) sugar (163g / 5.7oz)
- 6-8 teaspoons lemon juice
- extra lemon zest
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- 8 inch round springform tin
- stand mixer or electric handheld beater
FOR THE FLOURLESS LEMON CAKE
- Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan)/ 350F. Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) round springform tin with baking paper.
- Whisk together the almond meal, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peak stage and set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then add the yolks and beat well to combine. Add the vanilla, zest and juice and beat until incorporated.
- Add the mixed dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture in 2 parts, and stir gently to combine.
- Add ⅓ of the egg whites to the batter and mix through to loosen it. Add the last ⅔ in 2 parts but just fold through gently until all combined. Keep the mixing to a minimum to keep as much air in the mix as possible.
- Tip the batter into the prepared pan and gently level out.
- Bake for around 40-45 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick comes out with just a moist crumb or two. It does bake up quite a dark golden brown.
- Allow to cool 20 minutes before removing the spring form tin. Transfer to a cake wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
FOR THE SIMPLE LEMON ICING
- Mix together the icing sugar and half the lemon juice. Slowly add more lemon juice until it gets to the desired consistency, then pour it over the cake.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- All ovens vary – check for doneness 7-8 minutes before the recipe suggests.
- Not all baking powders are created equal – double check that yours does not contain gluten if you specifically want this to be gluten free.
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales like these are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
See the flourless lemon cake web story
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106 Comments on “Flourless Lemon Cake (Gluten Free) [+Video]”
I thought this was great! Very moist, lovely flavor. I love lemon dessert and this will be a new go to. Wasn’t hard to make. There hardest thing was being patient while or was cooling! I drizzled the icing on while hot so it seeped into the cake. Would be a show stopper for brunch. I was craving black coffee while eating it. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
I’m so happy you love it, Anastasia. Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂
5 stars, tastes amazong and everyone wanted seconds. I always make an almond meal cake for Hubby’s birthday and I think this has just become the annual tradition.
Only thing I will say is that it is time consuming to make.
Also wanted to add that I used coconut sugar instead of sugar, turned out great. The icing required a whole lot more lemon juice than the recipe says. Jst kept adding until it was fully mixed.
So happy you love it, Elle. Thanks so much for dropping back to review 🙂
Hi, I tried this recipe but was sad to find it not very moist at all. I did make modifications. I made it in a 6 in springform to get a bigger cake and a cupcake tray for my friends. I checked earlier around 30 min into baking to make sure it wasn’t burning or anything and thats when I took the cupcakes out. I took the cake out a few minutes after that. I accidentally was a little short on lemon zest but added extra lemon juice to make for flavor. Flavor is good but it’s not very moist at all, quite dry actually. What do you think was the cause of the dryness in my batch?
Hello Zahra. Whenever you make a cake differently from a recipe there is always this risk of it not working in some way. I would say the fact that you’ve used a smaller tin, and especially in teh case of the cupcakes, you’ve cooked them too long, drying it out. 30 minutes is a very long time for cupcakes – just check them much sooner if you use smaller tins.
Can I make in a bundt pan? Would you possibly do 1.5 times the recipe?
Hi Sue, I haven’t tried this one in a bundt pan and couldn’t say how well it would go. You’d have to be very careful unmoulding it as it can be quite a delicate cake with no gluten from flour to hold it together.
Made this gluten and sugar free (used powdered Monkfruit) and stamped small circular cakes from the one cake – piped roses with Russian piping tips – 😱 they not only looked ridiculous gorgeous, the cake underneath the icing is an absolute knockout. I am usually disappointed with cake underneath decorative icing but this cake is the hero. The Monfruit gives the outside a slightly crisp edge and the inside is moist, with an incredible texture. I can’t stop looking at them and smiling. People, this is a keeper for sure 🙏🏻.
Hi Lindy. I love that you were able to make it sugar free too. The mini cakes sound beautiful. I truly appreciate you trying my recipe.
My first ever gluten free cake and it’s a winner. Really easy and beautifully light cake. Fabulous flavour
I’m so so happy you love it, Paula. Thanks so much for trying my recipe.
Can I use Almond Meal instead of almond flour? They are two different things in Australia. The Almond meal is much courser (not so fine) and if so would I use the same quantity?
Thanks so much
Hi Molly. Almond meal and almond flour are basically the same thing here in Australia so use either 🙂
THE BEST Gluten Free Lemon Cake I have ever made. I am a regular baker (love baking) and have been GF free for over 25 years and I can honestly say I have tried hundreds of GF lemon cake recipes and this is the best. It also rises beautifully and tastes amazing. Thank you Marie
So happy to hear this, Jane. Thanks so much for trying my recipe 🙂
What if I only have a 9 inch springform pan?
It will work but likely won’t take so long to bake so just check it earlier.
Wow!! This recipe is insanely good. My family were literally fighting over the last piece. Thank you for a fabulous recipe Marie.
So happy you all loved it, Anjali. Truly appreciate you trying my recipe 🙂
The best ever gf lemon cake
I bake a cake a week and been a celiac all my life … thank you for the best recipe
I’m so happy you love it, Jane. Thanks so much for trying my recipe.
This cake is delicious! I made it for my friend’s birthday and there wasn’t a crumb left! I was wondering if I doubled the recipe, could i stack this cake to make a two layer cake for a birthday? I would use lemon cream cheese frosting.
So happy you love it, Crystal. I think it would be ok as a two layer though might be a little depending on how much frosting you’re sandwiching it with.
this cake was delicious! I made it for Passover last year and topped with fresh strawberries & powdered sugar. Everyone LOVED it!
So happy you love it, Sari
I made It and it was fantastic I did the orange one before but I think I like the lemon one better I’m not much on chocolate but the lemon and the orange one is fabulous we enjoyed it here in Abaco Bahamas . Oh I added a little Grand Marnier to the icing and then just gave it a little zing.
So so happy you loved it, Kathy 🙂
This recipe looks great. But I don’t own a springform pan. What else can I use? I have just regular round 8 and 9 inch pans. I have a 8 inch square pans. I also have a loaf pan. Will any of those work instead??
The tins you have will also work. Spring form is just easier to get the cake out.
Beautiful light and fluffy lemon cake- I made it exactly as written and I’m so very glad that I did. It rose beautifully in the oven and the lemon icing on top added the exact right amount of lemon. 10/10!
So happy you love it Kaitlin
Absolutely beautiful cake,so moist, will definitely make this again and again, my new favourite thank you.
So happy you love it, Kerry
Hi. So when I read the notes, it said 1T in Australia is 4 tsp worldwide? So then, if I’m adding 1T lemon juice, am I really adding 4 tsp lemon juice? Do I need to convert the measurements or just make as it’s written using U.S. measurements? I’m excited to make this but don’t want to mess it up! I don’t have a scale to weigh things.
Hello Katie, yes, so use 4 teaspoons for each tablespoon mentioned in the recipe.
I would love to try this but can’t use almond flour. Can you substitute gluten free flour (1 plus 1) for the almond flour?
I’m sorry Judy, I haven’t tested that. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it.
Does this also work well for cupcakes?
Sorry Kim, I’ve not tried this recipe for cupcakes
Delicious! Try to keep away from regular flour so this was perfect. Perfect taste of lemon. I may make more than 1 next time and freeze one for later (tomorrow 😁). This recipe is a keeper!
so happy you love it 🙂
Thank you for sharing. I made this recipe into Keto and used Monk Fruit Sugar. I also made them into muffins and cooked them for 24 minutes. This recipe is beautiful and turning into sugar free was a win win for me. Thank you
So happy you love it, Rita. Great news about the muffins too 🙂
I would LOVE to make this for an event tomorrow but don’t have springform pans i can get in time! Is this too moist or delicate b/c of almond flour that it would be difficult to get out of normal cake pans?
Hi Kirsten, no it’ll be fine in regular cake pans. Make sure to grease and line the sides and bottom and wait for it to cool to at least room temp before removing from the pan. Enjoy
5 star 100%
I have been making this cake on an almost weekly basis since I discovered it over a year ago. My family absolutely love it. The take it to school and I have been making it for the teachers regularly as they were always eyeing it off when they saw it in my boys lunch boxes! Thanks so much for sharing xxx
Thank you so much Natasha, I’m so happy you love it 🙂
This is such a delicious cake. Not too heavy and really moist. Thank you for the recipe. I am gluten free and made this for my birthday. Yum!
Thanks so much Neeny 🙂
This cake was wonderful! Thank you for this great recipe. I’m going to make it again for a friends birthday next week & decorate it with nasturtiums.
Thanks so much Maggie. So happy you loved it.
I made a couple different lemon cakes and had my family vote. This one won☺️
Easy to make too. I only had a 9″ springform but followed directions provided and it was indeed ready after 40 min.
It could be quite tart but the icing helps cut that.
Thanks for great recipe.
Thanks so much Robyn, I’m so happy you loved it.
I would like to commend you on your flourless lemon cake gluten free. I just made it my daughter gave it mum its restaurant quality, and my husband and I loved it. It was so moist and not overly zingy. Well done to you the creator and me the cook who cooked it.
Thank you so much, Natalie. I’m so happy you love it 🙂
A friend made this cake for me for my baby shower. I’ve made it FOUR times in the past five weeks. This cake is a little ray of sunshine!!! Thank you for bringing some joy into our house during these tough days!
Hello Lauren, thank you so much. I’m so happy you love it 🙂
The BEST lemon cake ever!!! The texture was perfect.
It tasted even better the next day. My husband thought I bought it from a bakery haha
Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you so much Clara. That news makes my day 🙂
Its cooking on the kitchen bench as I type. I’ve made it for a dessert I need to take to a Christmas party tomorrow night. It smells amazing. Thank you for the recipe.
Eek that should have read COOLING on the kitchen bench!
Excellent. Hope you love it, Carol. Have a great time at the party 😀
I usually make flourless chocolate cake for my gluten-intolerant buddies and tried this for the first time today. Clear, easy to follow instructions. Fantastic flavour and great texture. Travelled well and was devoured! Thank you.
Thank you so much Monica. I’m so happy everyone loved it 🙂
I wonder if I could add poppy seed? Nothing better than lemon poppy seed anything ? going to make this for this weekend!
Yes, it would be fine to add poppy seeds. Happy baking 🙂
Made this cake again today. I had calls from family and friends who didn’t get a slice.
I made it in 2-6” pans equally divided. Baked it for 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Also I rotate pan 1/2 way through baking.
Used Truvia baking blends for both.
Baked a second Cake. Chocolate Hazelnut. Used unsweetened chocolate bar by Ghirardelli.
Both so good.
Thank you again.
Thanks again, Monina for the lovely comment and great feedback for lower calorie options.
Wonderful recipe. Made it today.
I chilled the cake after it cooled at room temperature. Even better cold. So much flavor. Easy recipe.
Amazing result. I even used Truvia (substituted 1/2 cup of the Truvia white sugar blend) instead of regular sugar.
My guest loved it. I gave them a choice of vanilla or whipped cream. Most just ate the cake because it was very good.
Many asked for the recipe.
Thank you Marie.
Thank you so much Monina. It’s definitely a favourite round here too. I love that you were able to substitute Truvia too
Baked and enjoyed by all Definitely making it again. Thanks so much
Thanks so much Liz 🙂
can I use a 9 inch spring form pan and how will it affect the cake?
Hi Sheri, yes you can use a 9 inch pan. The cake will be a little thinner and the cooking time may be a little shorter. Start checking it for doneness around the 40 minute mark.
I haven’t tried the cake yet but the reviews are great. Wondered if you had tried it with a healthier sugar? Coconut sugar or maybe Eurethritol?
Hello Tilly, no I haven’t tested different types of sugar. It’s a great recipe though.
Whoops- just re-read the recipe and see soft peaks. 🙂 I’m excited to try this!
Happy baking Johanna
Do you think I could substitute hazelnut flour for almond flour? Also, do you think i could use coconut oil instead of butter?
Yes the hazelnut flour will work. I don’t cook with coconut oil so I’m not positive but I think it would work. Please let me know if you try it. I’d love to know how it goes ?
The best gluten dairy free cake. Moist, fresh lemon flavor. Easy to make. My guests inhaled it.
Thanks so much Sara, so glad you all loved it 🙂
I accidentally doubled the lemon juice and rind and it was delicious!! Took it into work and it was a huge hit 🙂
That’s great to hear Kate. I do love a good kick of lemon 🙂
OMGosh, this recipe is an absolute delight! I made it for my husband’s Birthday today & he loved it! I have celiac disease, so in order to enjoy the cake with my husband, it had to be gluten free. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I will be making it many times I’m sure.
That’s so wonderful to hear Jan. I have other flourless cake recipes as well, if you’re interested ?
Beautifully moist! I have made this three times and every time it gets the thumbs up! My fussy husband and children all like it! I’m wondering if cherry’s were used instead of lemons would it be like a bakewell?! This only took 25 minutes to bake in my oven 170 fan. Thank you so much for the recipe!
So happy you love it Carrie-Ann. It wouldn’t be a bakewell with cherries but would have a similar flavour.
This is a delicious cake. Not too sweet and very moist.
I made a lemon cream cheese frosting which complimented the cake beautifully.
Excellent Bronte. Lemon cream cheese frosting sounds lovely 🙂
I made this for two events this week and both times had rave reviews. I’m gluten and dairy intolerant so replaced the butter with dairy free spread (Nuttelex) and it was amazing. I have a hot oven so cooked it at 160 degrees for 40 minutes and it was perfect. It really is a nice change to my regular flourless cake recipes. Thank you!
I’m so happy to hear that Melanie.
Hi whats consistancy should the mix be before baking?
Hi Maria, it should be thick but quite airey from the whisked egg whites
OMG this is the most delicious cake ! I made it for my friend who cannot eat gluten so it was perfect. It is so moist and delicious. I didn’t put icing on ,just a dust of icing sugar and served it with some vanilla ice cream. Thank you for this fantastic recipe, it will be my favourite recipe from now on.
Oh wow Maggie. Thank you so much for the kind words. This is a recipe I also make for my gluten free friends.
I just made this yesterday to bring to a dinner where one guest can not have gluten. This cake was absolutely delicious and everyone raved about it and wanted the recipe. Most of the gluten free recipes in my repertoire are a variation on a chocolate torte, so it was so nice to have this zesty, moist lemon cake. It looks so simple that it’s hard to imagine how good it will be, but I really encourage anyone to try it, whether you need a gluten free cake or not. I will make this for everyone I know. Since I use U.S. measurements I weighed the ingredients and used 2 1/2 T of zest and it came out perfectly. Mine was done in 40 minutes, so I recommend checking it early. It is so good that it really won’t serve 12 – we were 7 and it was completely gone. I wouldn’t have minded going back for another slice myself.
Wow thank you so much. That means the world to me to hear. I’m so glad you all enjoyed it. ?
Pinning for later…. still hot here 🙂 God bless our colleagues! Same happens to me too and makes me soooo happy whenever someone drops in with ingredients or retro dish that s/he would throw away …… Enjoy the weekend !
Thanks 🙂 Indeed, thanks for those colleagues! Oh, I hope it cools down soon for you.
I love lemon flavour in anything too. This looks amazing and so moist! I’m saving this one to make later. Thanks Marie!
Oh. Excellent. Let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by 🙂