Lemon desserts scream springtime to me, how about you? It is such a bright and light flavor, and this lemon ricotta cake with almond flour really highlights everything great about lemon desserts. Did I mention it is gluten free lemon ricotta cake? Cause it is, and not a cake I adjusted to be gluten free either, it is made with only almond flour.
What is almond flour?
It couldn't be simpler, almond flour is ground almonds, usually blanched and skins removed. It is great when you are trying to reduce your carbs (it is what I use in my low carb chocolate chip cookie bars to cut back on carbs), if you are diabetic or if you are gluten free.
Does almond flour replace regular flour?
In many baking recipes, I have found it can replace regular flour. The texture is not quite the same, but if you add an extra egg it often helps. Here is a great resource on using almond flour in place of regular flour.
This easy lemon ricotta cake recipe is not a replace regular flour with almond flour recipe, it is made entirely with almond flour on purpose. It has a dense texture, and when chilled it would remind you of a cheesecake. Here's what you'll need:
- Vanilla bean paste. I really love vanilla and lemon together. Use vanilla extract if you don't have paste.
- Lemon zest. Zesting releases all the oils in the skin, and really imparts a strong lemon flavor.
- Eggs. You will separate them.
- Almond flour or meal. FYI they are the same thing, actually.
- Ricotta. Give the cake it's density and a great creamy and rich texture
Tips for success
Making the best lemon ricotta cake with almond flour is easy and doesn't really have too many steps. A couple things to note:
- Make sure everything is room temperature, including the ricotta.
- Whip the eggs whites really good and firm. This will lighten the batter a bit and give it some air.
- Fold the egg whites in gently. They won't be totally incorporated, you will see streaks of whipped egg whites in the batter and that's ok! If you over mix together you will deflate the whites and lose some of the airiness.
- Don't skimp on the zest. When mixing, the zest tends to cling to the paddle attachment, scrape it off and into the batter with a spatula. You want all the lemon in the cake.
- Stand mixer
- 8-inch round cake pan
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ⅓ cups of sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Zest of five lemons
- 4 eggs separated
- 2 ½ cups almond flour or meal
- 10 ½ oz whole milk ricotta
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment round Butter the parchment. Lightly dust with almond flour.
- Place the butter, ⅔ cup of sugar, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in an electric stand mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then gradually add the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to beat until fully combined. Add the almond meal and beat to combine. Fold ricotta through the almond meal mixture.
- Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with a hand-held electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining ⅔ cup of sugar to the egg whites mixture and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the cake mixture. Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the tops with a palette knife, but do not deflate. Decorate the cake with almond flakes, and bake for about one hour or until cooked and firm to touch. Allow to cool completely in the cake tin.