This delicious dairy-free semolina almond cake recipe was shared with us by chef and cookbook author Levana Kirschenbaum. She touts this as an all-occasion dessert that’s very moist and flavorful. Once baked, but while still warm, the cake is soaked in a sweet lemon glaze.
Dairy-Free Semolina Almond Cake with Lemon Glaze and Gluten-Free Option
Most semolina cake recipes are made with yogurt or butter, but Levana uses a moist blend of olive oil and rich almond meal instead. Most of Levana’s recipes are dairy-free, but she also specializes in adapting her dishes for other dietary needs. This semolina almond cake recipe, for example, has been tested with both wheat and gluten-free options.
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.”
Special Diet Notes: Semolina Almond Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
Is Egg-Free Possible? The eggs in this recipe are quite essential, so I don’t want to guarantee a good egg-free option. But if I were to try this recipe without eggs, I would use aquafaba in place of the whole eggs (no need to separate, just whip the full egg amount starting in step two. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you aren’t alone! See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?
- 4 eggs, separated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1½ cups almond meal or almond flour
- 1 cup fine semolina flour (use fine cornmeal for gluten-free)
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup light agave nectar or honey
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 1 cup sliced almonds (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 325°F and grease a 10-inch cake pan.
- Add the egg whites and salt to a mixing bowl. Whip with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add the sugar gradually and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Switch the mixer to low speed, and add the egg yolks, olive oil, baking powder, lemon zest, almond meal, semolina flour, and all-purpose flour, one ingredient at a time, beating a few times after adding each ingredient.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
- Bake the cake for 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 heat until just warm (or microwave it for 30 seconds)
- When you remove the cake from the oven, immediately poke the cake all over with a toothpick or skewer, and pour the lemon syrup all over the cake. Allow an hour for the cake to absorb the syrup.
- If desired, sprinkle cake with sliced almonds.
- Cut into traditional diamond shapes or slices, to serve.