This delicious semolina almond cake recipe comes to us courtesy of chef Levana Kirschenbaum. Levana is the author of several cookbooks, including Levana Cooks Dairy-Free and The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, and she is a well-known chef in the NYC area.
Levana’s cake is definitely an all-occasion dessert that can be easily adapted to suit a variety of special diets. It is naturally dairy-free and soy-free, and Levana even includes a tested gluten-free option. For Passover, Levana has the following recommendation: “Those of you who use Matza cake meal for Passover can substitute it for the cornmeal, and use potato starch instead of the flour.”
For an even more indulgent, Passover-approved dessert, see Levana’s dairy-free Chocolate Pecan Torte with Chocolate Glaze Recipe. But first, enjoy the recipe for this tender semolina almond cake below.
Note on Eggs: This recipe is pretty reliant on the eggs – I’d be hard pressed to try and substitute them here. If you are someone who confuses eggs with dairy, don’t fret, you’re not alone. See the explanation of eggs here.
- 4 Eggs, whites and yolks divided
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- ¾ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 1-1/2 Cups Finely Ground Almonds (use a food processor or spice grinder)
- 1 Cup Fine Semolina Flour (Gluten-free: Use fine cornmeal)
- ⅓ Cup Flour, any flour (Gluten-free or all-purpose)
- ¾ Cup Light Agave Nectar or Honey
- Juice and Zest of 2 Lemons
- 1 Cup Sliced Almonds, optional
- Preheat the oven to 325 °F
- With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites and salt at high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar gradually and whip until stiff.
- Switch to low speed, and allowing only enough time to combine the ingredients, beating in one ingredient at a time, just a few seconds each time, the yolks, then the oil, etc… until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour the batter into a greased 10 inch round baking pan, and bake 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, heat the agave or honey and lemon juice plus zest in a saucepan over a low flame until just warm (or microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute)
- When you remove the cake from the oven, immediately poke the cake all over with a toothpick or skewer, and pour the syrup all over the cake.
- If desired, sprinkle cake with sliced almonds.