Moist Lemon and Cardamom Sponge

Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Keir Watson
Read Time: 2 min

✓Low-carb ✓Gluten-free ✓Grain-free ✓Low Sugar ✓Dairy-free ✘Nut-free

When people first migrate to a grain free diet one of the biggest challenges can be fitting in with social occasions, especially celebrations and parties. So, although I do not encourage daily cake consumption, it is important to be able to provide ‘party food’ without sacrificing dietary integrity.

I have previously posted recipes for chocolate almond torte, and coconut sponge cake, so it should be possible to cater for every taste.

This recipe makes a moist succulent cake – a rich sponge that can form the basis of many creative deserts. It is easy to convert into cup-cakes, or could be used as a basis for a trifle, soaked in sherry or rum! How low sugar you want to make it is up to you,

Moist Lemon and Cardamom Sponge (Serves 8)

170g organic ground almonds
50g stevia sugar (e.g. Tate and Lyle ‘light at heart’)
4 large organic eggs, separated
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder (make sure its gluten-free!)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vinegar (or cream of tartar)

In a bowl, beat the egg yolks, cardamom, lemon juice and zest and half the sugar. Add sieved ground almonds and baking powder, beating to an even consistency.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar. Once it starts to expand add a pinch of salt and a while later half a teaspoon of vinegar. Continue whisking to soft peaks.

Gradually fold the egg whites into the almond mix a little at a time with a metal spoon.

Place in an eight inch tin, lined with baking parchment or grease-proof paper and bake in a pre-heated oven at 175 °C / 350 F (fan oven) for 30 minutes. After, switch off the oven and leave it for a further 5 minutes. Remove from tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Glaze (optional)

30g honey
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Mix the honey and lemon and drizzle over the top.

Macronutrients for whole cake:
P: 76g  C: 66g    F: 131g  (no glaze)
P: 76g  C: 94g  F: 131g  (with glaze)

Extend the basic recipe and create something dramatic such as this:

This 21st birthday cake was made with three of the lemon sponges above, but using a wider cake tin, so they were shallower. The topping and filling between each layer is simply cream cheese (goat’s in this case) and blueberries. It was magnificent and produced twenty-four slices, enough to impress and satisfy all the guests. Let us know your variations on this theme. We worked out that this triple layer fab cake worked out at no more than 15g carbs per slice, which is remarkable for a grain free cake of such deliciousness.

2 thoughts on “Moist Lemon and Cardamom Sponge”

  1. Thank you for those lovely cake recipes, Afifah.

    May I ask a question: I’d like to make the Kishk as per Nourishing Traditions. They say use bulgur wheat. Do you think it would work with quinoa?

    Thank you Mary Sellers


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