Lemon, lavender and almond cake – gluten free

During the Jewish spring festival of Pesach (Passover) observant Jews eschew any food containing leavened wheat flour (among other things) – so bread, cake, pasta etc. is all off the menu. Most cooks have a list of alternatives that enable them to make something approaching edible for the duration of the festival, and one such common substitute is potato flour.

Visually indistinguishable from wheat flour, potato flour behaves, as you might expect, completely differently. It contains no gluten, but is high in starch, and absorbs significantly more liquid than wheat flour. It also has a tendency to become gummy and sticky. Useful if you want to make glue, less good in pancakes, for instance.

Anyway, last Pesach I bought a bag of it, and it’s sat in the cupboard ever since, looking at me accusingly every time I open the door and take something else out. So, I set myself the task of using some of it up. 

Rich and moist, this sweetly fragrant gluten-free almond cake is flavoured with lavender flowers and lemon. A wonderfully more-ish afternoon tea treat!

While its chemical and physical properties make it a poor substitute for wheat flour in most instances, they do make it an excellent stabiliser, and it’s this job that I’ve used it for here. The bulk of this moist, gluten-free almond cake is made up of ground almonds and eggs, but the small amount of potato flour acts to prevent the butter and egg mixture from curdling during the preparation of the cake batter. It also helps to create a moist, even crumb that holds together beautifully.

The potato flour does its job remarkably well – I added the first egg to the fat/sugar and watched as the mixture began to split almost immediately. A teaspoon of the potato flour was all that was needed to bring it all together again. Adding the potato flour with the eggs ensured that the almond cake batter was smooth and well amalgamated, with no trace of curdling.

This lovely moist almond cake is flavoured with lemon and lavender flowers from our garden. Kipper was very excited to be allowed to pick the lavender flowers, as usually there’s a strict “no vandalising the plants” rule in place. I think she’s fairly excited to eat the resulting cake, too.

Makes one 21cm diameter cake.

lemon & lavender cake

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Lemon, lavender and almond cake
Serves 8
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
534 calories
41 g
147 g
39 g
10 g
15 g
118 g
42 g
33 g
1 g
21 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 534
Calories from Fat 336
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 39g
Saturated Fat 15g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 16g
Cholesterol 147mg
Sodium 42mg
Total Carbohydrates 41g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 33g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 200g soft butter or margarine
  2. 200g golden caster sugar
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 25g potato flour
  5. 250g ground almonds
  6. zest & juice of 2 lemons
  7. 1.5 tbsp fresh lavender flowers - about 4 sprigs
For the icing & decoration
  1. 50g icing sugar
  2. Juice of half a lemon
  3. Few sprigs of lavender (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 21cm loose bottomed round cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of the potato flour with each egg.
  3. Mix in the almonds, the lemon zest and juice, and the lavender flowers.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake at 180C for 50 minutes - 1 hour, until risen and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool.
  6. Once cold, remove from the tin and place on a serving plate. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice to give a smooth, runny icing. Pour over the cake and allow to set slightly.
  7. Decorate with lavender flowers if desired.
  1. Omit the lavender for a simpler lemon and almond cake.
Family-Friends-Food https://family-friends-food.com/
lemon & lavender cake

Even though the recipe doesn’t use up much potato flour, it has helped to clear the backlog a little, and I’ll certainly be making it again 🙂 So I’m entering this lemon, lavender and almond cake recipe into the No Waste Food Challenge, hosted by Anne’s Kitchen and organised by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary. As we picked the lavender flowers from our garden, I think this most certainly qualifies for the Simple and In Season challenge, hosted by My Custard Pie. Vanesther (at Bangers & Mash) has kindly agreed with me that lavender is an honorary spice(!), and therefore this cake can be entered into  The Spice Trail – Summer Spice challenge. Finally, I’m entering it into the Cake Club link-up, hosted by Kerry at Kerry Cooks.

lemon & lavender cake




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  2. What a lovely combination of flavours, I love adding flowers and herbs to cooking and baking. This is also expectionally pretty.

  3. Where can I get Lavender?

  4. my grandson appears to be allergic to eggs. are there any recipes out there for cakes or biscuits please

  5. I don’t follow a gluten-free diet. Can I use the same amount of wheat flour instead? The cake looks amazin!!

    • Thanks Crisselli. I’ve never tried it with wheat flour so I’ve no idea how it would turn out. The almonds give it a lovely moist texture, so gluten-free or not, it’s a delicious cake!

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  7. Coriander Queen

    I love the look of this cake, looks so simple but so delicious and I adore the combination of lavender and lemon! Such a moist cake!

  8. Thanks Sue. We have such a lot of lavender growing that it seems a shame not to use some of it at least! I haven’t tried cooking with roses but will try to remember when we get some blooms next year. All the best, Helen.

  9. The cake looks beautiful and I love the idea of the lavender. it is a shame as you remark to cut the blossoms, I use a lot of roses in my cookery and always feel like a vandal but eating them is much better than sticking them in a vase! I shall definitely be making this. All the very best from Normandie, Sue

  10. Just my kind of cake – love the moist texture and delicate flavours. Perfect addition to the round up of Simple and in Season – now published

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  12. Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

    Love the look of this cake. I will definitely be trying it!!!!!

  13. A superb looking cake! Thank you for sharing with the no waste food challenge!

  14. Wow – this looks truly exquisite! Lavender is such a beautiful summer herb and I love it featured in cakes and desserts. And on this occasion I think we have to let it pass as a summer spice too, as I absolutely must have this recipe in our Summer Spice round-up for this month’s Spice Trail challenge. Thank you so much for linking up 🙂

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  16. Thank you so much for entering again in this month’s No Waste Food Challenge – lavender is a bit of a hmm flavour for me but your cake looks very elegant and delicious!

    Anne’s Kitchen

  17. I’m always on the look out for gluten free recipes, this delicious sounding bake is definitely being added to the list!

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