Lemon Skillet Cake with Almonds

A simple to make and delicious cake in the manner of pound cake but following a recipe the landlady at our Airbnb in Rome gave us, 10 years ago. It was soooooo good and it has become a firm favourite in our home. What I like is you can vary the flavours and the type of cake.

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For instance, I’ve made this in all manners of citrus flavours. I’ve also done cocoa and coffee versions. I’ve also halved the recipe and made ‘cake tarts‘ with fruits from apples to stone fruit, added nuts, spiced up with warming spices and just enjoyed the fact that it is virtually indestructible.

You don’t need a mixer, you don’t need lots of time to prep or bake it and it’s hard to get wrong.

I often make a very simple version but when I have time, I separate the eggs – yolks from whites, and whip the whites till they take on the cape of meringues – light, white, airy and fluffy and then I fold them in for a touch of lightness. But like I said…when I have the time.

I halve the batter to make this. If you want a loaf/ pound cake, double all the ingredients except the following

  • baking powder – use 3 teaspoons
  • eggs – use 3

Ingredients

Dry

  • 150 g plain white flour (about 2 1/2 cups), sifted
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • Handful flaked almonds

Wet

  • roughly 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • roughly 1/3 cup (75 ml) plain, sweetened or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lemon puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Extra oil to grease the tin

Simplified – recipe at a glance

  1. Grease and line a skillet/ tart tin/ shallow tin with parchment. Sprinkle half of the flaked almonds at the bottom
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre
  4. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients
  6. Pour into the skillet/ tart tin/ shallow tin and top with the rest of the flaked almonds
  7. Bake in the centre of the oven

Details

  1. Grease and line a skillet/ tart tin/ shallow tin with parchment. Sprinkle half of the flaked almonds at the bottom
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
  3. Dry ingredients: In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and the pinch of salt. Sieve the mixture twice to incorporate air. Add the sugar into the flour mixture and whisk together
  4. Wet ingredients: Put the oil, yoghurt, lemon puree and vanilla extract into a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk together till combined
  5. Make a well in the centre of the bowl with the flour mixture. Put the yoghurt mixture in the centre and using a spatula, mix well but gently, from the outside in. Ensure that you scoop the bottom up as well so you don’t end up with lumps of unmixed flour.
  6. Pour batter into greased skillet/ tart tin/ shallow tin and top with the rest of the flaked almonds
  7. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Check by inserting a tester into the centre of the cake. Check every 2-3 minutes till ready
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool
  9. Enjoy how you wish

Do More

  1. Make a lighter cake by separating the eggs
  • Step 3a. Clean and dry your whisks and bowl. Put egg whites in and add a couple of drops of lemon juice to help the whites aerate. On medium – high speed, whisk. They’ll go from frothy to foamy and then to soft peaks which will droop when you lift up the whisk. Your goal though is stiff, glossy peaks. To reach this stage, you’ll need to add a bit of sugar. I add 2 tablespoons from the recipe, adding it slowly. When you hold the whisk up, the peaks of the egg white should stand
  • Step 3b. Wet ingredients – add only the yolks only
  • Step 5 – add only egg yolks
  • Step 6 – fold in egg whites

2. Add your favourite spices

How I eat it

I love it with fresh strawberries, freshly ground black pepper and fresh herbs – mint, lemon melisse, lemon balm, basil and sometimes even fresh (lemon) thyme.

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