Italian Lemon Almond and White Chocolate Cake – Gluten Free

italian lemon cake slice served with a dollop of cream on a white plate with lemon and cutlery in the background

Italian lemon almond and white chocolate cake is so moist, lemony with white chocolate as a secret ingredient that adds a luxury smoothness to the dense crumb. This Italian lemon cake is a complete winner! Delicious, moist and utterly fantastic as an easy to make cake that completely delivers.

We made this cake for a simple and delicious summer luncheon with friends, serving our  quick tuna and cannellini bean salad followed by Italian lemon cake with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Everyone bar none asked for the recipe. With 12 guests, that was quite a compliment!

This cake is happy to be served with a coffee, packed for a picnic or served as an elegant finish to an Italian feast, perhaps with a little shot of limoncello liqueur on the side.

We love lemon desserts….see our lemon curd and almond rolled pavlova , lemon curd sponge roulade or our lemon curd – super easy and quick for more delicious lemon recipes.

Gluten free

Italian lemon cake is gluten free as it is made with almond flour (almond meal).

Almond topping

We have adapted this Italian lemon cake to add a crunchy, thin almond toffee topping that adds a light crunch along with the moist cake. You can absolutely leave the almond topping from the recipe and still have a delicious dessert.

Italian lemon cake - gluten free ingredients laid out on bench ready for bakinI
almond topping baked till golden


Italian lemon cake will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days after baking. Italian lemon cake freezes very well. Simply wrap in cling film, freeze and remove from freezer, allow to thaw and it’s ready to serve.

What’s your favourite lemon cake recipe?

We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make this outstanding Italian lemon almond and white chocolate cake.

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Italian lemon almond and white chocolate cake

  • Author: adapted by Recipe Winners
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 serves


This moist, lemony Italian lemon cake has the option of having a toffee almond topping. Delicious with, or without the topping.



  • 12 ounces (350 g) almond flour (almond meal)
  • 7 ounces (200 g) white chocolate chopped
  • 2 tablespoons full cream milk or cream
  • 6 ounces (180 g) butter softened
  • 4 1/2 ounces (130 g) castor sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract – optional
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 34 ounces (100g) slivered almonds

Almond topping

  •  1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 ounces (60 g) butter
  • 5 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose (plain flour) or gluten free plain flour



  • preheat oven to 350 f (175c)
  • grease and line base 10 1/2 inch or 27cm of springform pan with baking paper
  • combine chocolate and milk and gently melt over double boiler or microwave till melted
  • set chocolate aside to cool
  • beat butter with sugar till light, white and fluffy (around 3 minutes)
  • add lemon zest, egg yolks, and extract if using till well combined
  • now add almond flour (almond meal), melted chocolate and lemon juice
  • beat until combined
  • add slivered almonds
  • in a separate bowl beat egg whites till soft peak
  • fold egg whites through mixture gently till combined
  • spoon batter into cake tin and smooth top
  • bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and skewer comes out clean
  • remove cake from oven
  • turn oven up to 400 f (200 c)
  • spread almond topping evenly over cake
  • return cake to oven for 5 minutes
  • keep an eye on the almonds as you only want them to go golden ( 4-5 minutes)
  • remove cake from oven
  • run a knife around sides of cake tin
  • allow to cool completely in the tin
  • release sides of tin
  • slide cake onto a serving plate
  • serve and enjoy!

Almond topping

  • mix all topping ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat
  • mixture will boil and bubble
  • remove from heat
  • spread over top of cooked cake


  • cake freezes well
  • almond topping is optional
  • Category: cakes and desserts
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Italian lemon cake


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  1. This cake looks delicious! I see that there is slivered almonds in the cake batter but it’s not in the ingredient list. Can you also give me the size of the cake tin that you need.
    Many thanks.

    1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Alma, so sorry for the oversight, the cake pan is 27cm or 10 1/2 in and the slivered almonds are optional so around 100gm or 3 – 4 ozs. Look forward to hearing how the cake turns out. You won’t be sorry, as this cake is well worth the effort.

      1. And well worth the effort it was! It makes a nice size cake and it’s lovely and moist with a hint of lemon, but the cherry on the top is the lovely almond toffee topping. Everyone loved it so this will be a regular bake for me.
        I’m also grateful that you give the ingredients in grams as I prefer to weigh my ingredients when baking.

        1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

          Hi Alma, so pleased you made and enjoyed the cake. It’s a delicious and popular cake. Unfortunately I can’t change the star rating but thanks for letting us know. Jo and Jen

  2. I gave it 5 stars but it reverted to 3. Please change it to 5 if possible.

  3. I tought it was verry difficult to spread the topping thinly and evenly becouse of the butter i think. Any tips?

    1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Anne, the almond topping has to be hot so it spreads evenly. Perhaps try to have the topping ready just as you bring the cooked cake from the oven so it doesn’t reduce too much or become toffee. Would love to hear how you get on making this delicious cake again. Regards Jo and Jen

  4. I made this for a friend who requires gluten free food at a book club get together and EVERYONE raved about it and asked for the recipe. I am having a Moroccan themed dinner party coming up soon and I wondered if I was to substitute the lemon for orange whether it would be as delicious and I could get away with it being somewhat middle eastern inspired! 🙂

    1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Lee, we would not hesitate to substitute oranges for the lemons for this delicious cake recipe. If you can get hold of some good quality orange blossom water, which is the clear, perfumed by-product of the distillation of fresh bitter-oranges for their essential oil, use that instead of the optional lemon extract. Add it drop by drop as it can be very strong. or leave it out altogether. We would love to hear how you get on with your orange cake. Regards Jen and Jo

    2. In the pictures, the almonds appear sliced not slivered? I’ve bought slivered, but now I’m questioning it?

      1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

        Hi Kristi, you are correct about the slivered almonds, this photo is an updated shot of the cake, in this case we used sliced almonds. Both slivered and sliced work, however it will appear different. Sorry we didn’t make the adjustment to the ingredients and thank you for bringing this to our attention. Hope you enjoy the cake and we would love to hear what you think. Enjoy. Jo and Jen

  5. I substituted Erythritol for sugar, orange for lemon and dark chocolate for white chocolate. The flavour is awesome! When you suggest the oven temperature, are you suggesting a convection oven or bottom heat only oven please?

    1. Avatar Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Greg, the oven temperature is for bake (bottom heat only). Love how you switched the recipe around, the combination of orange and dark chocolate always works and the Erythritol makes it keto friendly 🙂 Gotta like that! Thanks for sharing with us.

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