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Almond Loaf Cake with Lemons is easy to make in a loaf pan and bursting with fresh lemon and a sweet almond flavor. Topped with a light icing and makes a delicious breakfast or dessert!
Almond Loaf Cake with Lemon
This Almond Loaf Cake is such a simple and delicious cake that’s light, perfectly moist, and bursting with fresh lemon and sweet almond flavor. We add yogurt to this cake so it’s extra soft and flavorful.
You can enjoy this sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, a snack, or dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Almond and lemons pair so well together, especially when they are baked in a cake. It’s so perfect especially during the spring or summer or whenever you’re craving fresh lemon desserts (be sure to try my Lemon Ricotta Cookies).
This Almond Loaf Cake is simple, light, and so quick to prep so you don’t need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Anytime dessert: This is the perfect cake for spring, summer, birthdays, Easter, or any special occasion or celebration!
- Easy cake recipe: You most likely already have a majority of these simple ingredients at home so you can make this cake anytime.
- Super soft and tender: Thanks to the almond meal and yogurt, this cake is soft, moist, tender, and fluffy.
- Loaded with almond & lemon flavor: Fresh lemon and almond flavor shines through in each bite of this cake.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best so you can control the saltiness. Be sure the butter is at room temperature so it incorporates into the other ingredients. If you use salted butter, be sure to omit the salt from the recipe. Alternatively, you could use coconut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil.
- Flour: Be sure to accurately measure the flour correctly. I use all-purpose flour but if you wanted a healthier alternative you can use whole wheat flour.
- Baking powder & baking soda: Used as a leavening agent.
- Almond meal: Gives this bread a nutty flavor and is high in protein so it will make the loaf cake be extra fluffy. You could also use almond flour.
- Lemon: The superstar ingredient! You can’t leave this one out. Make sure to use lemon juice from fresh lemons- the bottle stuff won’t work as it will make the flavor taste different. The lemon zest will add the zing to the cake and we use the juice for the icing.
- Granulated sugar: You’ll need a cup of granulated sugar to add sweetness.
- Whole large eggs: Adds richness and binds the ingredients together. Make sure the eggs are at room temperature for best results.
- Almond extract: Adds the sweet almond flavor. You could also use vanilla extract if you wanted a vanilla flavor.
- Yogurt: You can use plain, vanilla, or lemon flavored whole milk or low-fat yogurt. Greek yogurt could also be used. Alternatively you could use sour cream if you aren’t a fan of yogurt or don’t have any.
How To Make Almond Loaf Cake
Prepare loaf pan and mix dry ingredients: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter or grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, almond meal and lemon zest to a medium mixing bowl and whisk together.
Combine wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add in the almond extract. Slowly add in half of the dry ingredients, then add the yogurt, then the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Bake: Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cake has risen and is slightly golden brown at the top. Insert a skewer in the center to make sure it comes out clean. Let cool in the baking pan for 15 minutes then slide a knife around the perimeter and invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Ice Cake: Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk to a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. There shouldn’t be any lumps and the icing should drip slowly from the whisk. Flip right side up then ice the top of the cake with an offset spatula or butter knife. Let the icing firm up then slice and enjoy!
What is Almond Meal?
We only use a 1/2 cup of almond meal for this recipe and a little goes a long way! Almond meal, also known as almond flour is simply made of sweet ground almonds that is finely ground up into flour. It’s gluten-free, high in protein and makes baked goods extra fluffy. It brings a richness and nuttiness to the texture and is purely made of almonds. Most grocery stores carry this item in or near the baked goods isle where you can find regular flour.
- Poppy seeds: Adds crunch and a nutritional boost!
- Chopped almonds: Adds more of a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
- Blueberries: Make sure to wash them and pat them dry before adding them to the cake batter.
- Sprinkles: Add rainbow sprinkles to the cake batter or to the top.
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Don’t over-mix: Stop mixing right when all of the ingredients are combined otherwise your cake can be dense and chewy.
- Use fresh lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice from lemons always provides the best flavor as opposed to the bottled stuff.
- Add more lemon flavor: If you want even more lemon flavor, add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the cake batter.
- Garnish the cake: Top with fresh lemon slices, sliced almonds, edible flowers, whipped cream, white chocolate chips, or sprinkles.
- Omit the lemon: If you aren’t a fan of lemon flavor, leave it out! Replace the lemon juice in the icing for milk or water and this will make an Almond Cake.
- Orange Cake: If you love oranges, swap the lemon zest and juice for orange zest and juice.
Leftovers & Storage
To-store: Cover the cake with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in a cool area for up to 2 days. Place in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Please note the cake may start to dry out once it sits in the refrigerator so you may want to warm it in the microwave to get soft.
Freeze: You can freeze unfrosted cake by wrapping the cake with plastic wrap and then place in a heavy-duty ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To freeze frosted cake, place the cake in the freezer and freeze for at least an hour until the whole cake is frozen. Cover with plastic wrap or place the frozen cake in a bakery box.
Defrost: To defrost the unfrosted cake, let the cake thaw completely before frosting by placing the cake in the refrigerator to sit overnight. Defrost the frosted cake by letting the cake sit out in the counter for at least 3 hours or you can defrost it overnight in the refrigerator.
Other Lemon Recipes
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Easy Lemon Cupcakes
- Lemon Pie
- Mini Lemon Cheesecake Bites
- Cake Mix Lemon Cookies
Other Favorite Recipes that Use Yogurt
- Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Bread
- Vanilla Yogurt Pancakes
- Banana Nut Yogurt Muffins
- Strawberry Yogurt Muffins
- Zucchini Muffins
- Orange Loaf Cake
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Almond Loaf Cake with Lemon
For the Cake:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 1/4 sticks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
- Zest of 2 large lemons
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 cup plain or vanilla flavored yogurt
For the Icing
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon plain or vanilla flavored yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter or grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan or line with parchment paper. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, almond meal and lemon zest to a medium mixing bowl and whisk together.
- In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add in the almond extract.
- Slowly add in half of the dry ingredients, then add the yogurt, then the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the cake has risen and is slightly golden brown at the top. Insert a skewer in the center to make sure it comes out clean. Let cool in the baking pan for 15 minutes then slide a knife around the perimeter and invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and yogurt to a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. There shouldn't be any lumps and the icing should drip slowly from the whisk. Flip right side up then ice the cake with an offset spatula or butter knife. Garnish with sliced almonds and lemon slices (optional). Let the icing firm up then slice and enjoy!