220g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 3 lemons, plus 1 thinly sliced lemon
100g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
250g fresh ricotta
4 eggs, separated
250g almond meal (ground almonds)
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons flaked almonds
thick cream, to serve
55g caster sugar
20ml lemon juice

I was very pleased with myself when I first made this cake. So pleased, in fact, that I ate nearly half of it in one sitting. Always a good sign. The ricotta in the batter makes for a delightfully tender crumb and there is something very excellent about sugary, caramelised lemon slices and toasty almonds. It also happens to be gluten-free. Needless to say, since then this cake has been on high rotation in our house and for friends – best eaten with a generous spoonful of thick cream.

View the recipe collection here



1.Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced.
2.Grease a 22cm round springform tin thoroughly with butter and line the base and side with baking paper.
3.Place half the sugar and the lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
4.Mix on low for a minute or so to allow the lemon to infuse into the sugar, before adding the butter and vanilla and beating until light and fluffy.
5.Add the ricotta and beat until well combined.
6.Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
7.Fold the almond meal through and set aside.
8.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and salt to soft peaks.
9.Add the remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition. Continue whisking until the mixture holds firm peaks.
10.Stir one-third of the egg whites thoroughly through the cake batter to loosen it slightly, before gently folding through the remaining egg whites in two batches.
11.Mix until just combined before spooning the batter into the tin and smoothing the top with a spatula.
12.Arrange the lemon slices gently over the surface.
13.Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 60–70 minutes or until the cake is golden brown around the edges, and the lemon slices are starting to caramelise.
14.Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes while you make the lemon glaze by stirring together the sugar and lemon juice.
15.Spoon the glaze over the hot cake. Allow to cool slightly before gently removing the cake from the tin and slicing and serving warm or at room temperature with thick cream.
16.This cake is also wonderful served cold the next day and will keep happily in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.

Images and text
from The Plain Cake
Appreciation Society
by Tilly Pamment,
photography by Tilly
Pamment. Murdoch
Books, RRP $45.