Healthy Food

Limoncello Almond Cake Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free


This gluten-free lemon almond cake gets raves every single time I make it. It can also be made dairy-free and soy-free if made with a soy-free, dairy-free spread instead of butter. Limoncello is a lemon liqueur made from lemons and sugar originating in Italy. It can be made with or without limoncello too if you choose. This recipe was developed by Carol Fenster, one of the best gluten-free bakers around. She has published several wonderful cookbooks if you’re just getting started learning to bake or cook gluten-free.

What I love about this recipe, it’s so easy to throw together using a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you will want to find almond flour, but milling raw almonds is so easy.


  • 2 cups whole almonds (blanched or skin on it doesn’t matter)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup packed light brown sugar (I use organic)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or buttery spread for dairy-free (I like organic Earth balance) You can use oil too. Consider avocado oil or a light olive oil.
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup Limoncello liqueur or fresh squeezed lemon juice (not from concentrate)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or dairy-free spread (room temp)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or Limoncello
  • 2 lemon twists for decorating (add small strawberries or a few fresh cranberries for holiday color)


Heat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, dust with sides of pan with flour. To make the cake, grind the almonds in a food processor to a fine meal. Make sure there are no unmilled nuts below the blades. Add brown sugar, butter, baking soda, lemon zest, liqueur or lemon juice, eggs, almond extract and salt to the food processor and blend for 30 to 40 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides with spatula and blend another 60 seconds or until all ingredients are well blended. Spread the batter evenly in the springform pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cake cool and frost.