Easy Mix Lemon and Almond Syrup Cake

When the young ones ask me which football team I follow, I always reply ‘The Seagulls’. They look bewildered as there is no major AFL (Australian Football League ) team with this bird as their logo. I quickly follow this with an explanation, that I barrack for real seagulls, the birds that land on the grounds during a match and annoy players, lest they think it’s time to send me off to the funny farm. I am not a football fan at all. In fact, it bores me to tears – please feel free to substitute that other very Australian colloquial phrase which refers to ‘a state of being during which one is without feces’.

After the cake has rested a little, pour on the lemon syrup.

On rare occasions, I allow myself to watch ‘the footy’. It is usually forced upon my consciousness during the grand final season, when all sorts of non footy followers suddenly convert. Not me. I allow myself snippets of the game to waft over me, but would rather be the tea lady – or the beer/wine/cake/biscuit gatherer- during the broadcast.

Cake ready to slice.

My mother, born and raised in Footscray, the original home of the Bulldogs team, was excited and anxious during the grand final this year. We had joined her to watch the big event, especially given that the last time her team won was in 1954. That’s pre- TV, a very long time to wait for a victory. She mentioned a few names of the players, the much-loved captain of the Bulldogs who retired earlier this year due to injury, my eyes were glazing over, and another one she referred to as ‘The Package’, a player who was bought for a large sum but who wasn’t living up to expectation. I kept calling him ‘The Packet’, at which point, the assembled football devotees suggested I should take a nap. I was happy to grab my smart phone and head to the backroom for a surf and a snooze.

Lemon almond cake, cut into Middle Eastern shapes.

I woke up for the last 12 minutes, and enjoyed the match thoroughly. I can recommend this approach to my fellow football- loathing friends: just watch the last 12 minutes- that’s when the real action happens. You won’t have missed a thing.

The lemon zest candies a little when cooking down the syrup, adding to the glazed surface.

I made this lemon cake for the day. As it turned out, it was a celebratory cake – the Bulldogs won. I can recommend this cake for its excellent keeping qualities ( up to one week in the fridge) and for its simplicity. It is now my favourite lemon syrup cake and can easily be adapted to gluten- free. The recipe comes from Mix and Bake by Belinda Jeffries. I have made minor adjustments to the method.

Lemon Almond Syrup Cake

  • 50g plain flour ( or GF flour if required)
  • 200g almond meal
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 190g castor sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into large chunks
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp almond essence
  • 1½ large lemons, finely zested

Lemon Syrup

  • 150g of castor sugar
  • 2 lemons zested ( or one large)
  • 125ml of lemon juice
  • 250ml of water


  • Preheat oven to 160c or lower for Fan Forced. (150c FF worked well for me). Butter a 20cm – 24 cm square cake tin and line the base with paper. Butter the paper and dust the tin lightly with flour.
  • Put the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt into a food processor. Whiz them together for 20 seconds, then tip into a bowl.
  • Add the butter and sugar to the food processor and whiz them together until they are light and creamy. Scrape down as you go, then add in eggs, one at a time, until creamy. Stop the processor, add the vanilla, almond essence and lemon zest and blitz for another 10 seconds or so.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in the food processor and pulse until they are mixed. Do not over pulse. Scrape the sides to make sure all is well mixed.
  • Scoop out the mixture into the prepared tin and flatten surface. Bake for around 50-55 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and if browning too quickly, cover the top with tin foil.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the lemon syrup. Place all ingredients into a pot over a high heat. Stir until all sugar is dissolved. Then stop stirring and allow it to come to boil. Let it bubble for 10 – 12 minutes or until it looks thicker and like syrup. Then off heat and set aside. Keep warm.
  • When the cake is ready, place the cake in the tin on a wire rack for 10 mins. Invert onto the rack and remove the paper. Now brush with the lemon syrup. I used all the syrup as the cake happily absorbed it but the original recipe advises using half and serving the rest of the syrup alongside the cake. If using all the syrup, the cake will be very moist and very lemony.
  • The cake stores well for about 1 week in the fridge. Warm it slightly before serving if from the fridge. Other lemon and lime cakes from my blog can be found in the links below.
  • Limoni di Mama.
    Limoni di Mama.




34 thoughts on “Easy Mix Lemon and Almond Syrup Cake”

  1. I’m not a sports fan of any sort, but I can manage to watch the AFL Grand Final–mostly. It was a good match and we were barracking for the Bulldogs so a good outcome as well. Your cake looks so delicious and I’ve been meaning to make Sandra’s rosemary and lemon cake but realised I didn’t have a ring tin, so perhaps I will do as you have done and make a thin layer in a square pan. I enjoyed your writing, Francesca. I have just emerged from the back room where I was reading and also reading the backs of my eyelids, only to be informed the ‘other’ Grand Final hasn’t even started yet!! Here is me thinking it must be nearly over–so much for best laid plans….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Is there another Grand Final? Oh no, spare me the thought.I love those moments between reading, sleeping and wakefulness when you read the back of your eyelids ( and perhaps dribble just a little) and wonder what day it is. I like the low rise tin approach as the cakes are smaller and easier to pass around.
      I was a good match, all things aside, I must admit. Mum was crying tears of joy.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Although not being at AFL follower I’m very happy for your mum and Bulldogs fans… being an NRL Rabbitoh’s supporter I know what it’s like when it’s an age between grand final wins, and how long-awaited victory tastes, good but not as lovely as I imagine your lemon cake does 🍋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks dear Dale. And the best thing about the Bulldogs win is that it still is a team from the Western suburbs with a tribal following. When the underdog wins, you’ve got to love that. I imagine that the Rabbitoh’s are like that too though I know next to nothing about NRL. The victory was so sweet for Mum. The cake recipe goes in the hand written book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad to hear another person say they are bored with footy. The same goes for dinner conversations during football season when we are out with friends who support teams. My eyes glaze over, but now I will silently cheer on the seagulls in the hopes that it prevents me from lapsing into a coma. Love the lemon cake!!! Still have lemon envy, but I’ve located more lemon juice in the freezer from last winter’s crop.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. I’ll pass recipe this on to my gluten sensitive nuora, with heavy hints about sharing the result with her beloved suocera.

    2. Although not a footie fan, I felt a tiny frisson of happiness that them there Dogs won.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m bored ——– by the footy too, every code, and while your at it you can add the cricket too. Go seagulls. Cake however does interest me, particularly lemon cake, this sounds delicious. Saved for another day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t even mention the cricket, spoiler of a very good radio station. I think I may dislike cricket even more than football. That slow tedious sound, the monotonal broadcasting style, the sheer emptiness of it. Boring as batshit, and that is being quite unfair to bats, although it’s fitting in away, since cricketers do use bats. There is only one tiny miniscule glimmer of hope for cricket- and that is that maybe on a country cricket pitch, men in white could make crickety, woody noises while I lay back in my deck chair under a shady tree with a Bombay gin and tonic in hand, some freshly cut point sandwiches and a good book.


  6. Oh! I am with you. I have zero interest in football of any code. Whenever I go to Melbourne the first question is “Who do you barrack for?” I can’t even answer. I wish the money poured into a game where overgrown school boys chase a ball around and act abominably when off the field could go to scientific research. I love the look of this cake!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m with you Blister, so glad the AFL season is over and we can do other things and not have to listen to a droning voice talking footy 24/7, seven days a week for 6 months. Having said that I watched the Bulldogs with mum and you yesterday and was on the edge of my seat for most of the match. Did have a small nap in the middle like you!! I was over the moon for mum as her demeanour changed completely from when I arrived. She felt so sick then but picked up. I’ve just finished watching “the other” Grand Final tonight – the NRL – and saw the Melbourne Storm lose to Cronulla Sharks, (Sydney). I thought Sydney was going to slaughter Melbourne but Melbourne redeemed themselves and only lost by 2 points. It was nailbiting! I’m going to print out your Lemon Cake recipe because I was sold on it yesterday. Thanks Francesca.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I might be a few steps further away from football Chris. I could never watch a NRL game and I wouldn’t know even one team’s name. Fortunately Mr T had no need to watch it either so I could safely watch SBS online shows.


  7. He he, your post made me smile. I don’t think I have ever watched an AFL game on TV… maybe once in the 1970s a live Canberra game when a girlfriend’s brother was playing. On the NRL, I used to follow the Raiders when they were leading the pack many, many years ago… and was pleased to see they did so well this time around. Love the sound of your lemony syrup cake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All football and cricket drives me insane. NRL ,what’s that? Haha, I do sort of know that its a New South Welshman sort of game that has now become national too, but that’s all. Ignorance is bliss.


  8. That lemon recipe looks delightful, sounds like a few of us have a good citrus haul this season. Dare I say it, I LOATHE football, I hate everything about it and especially the culture it brings with it. I can’t stand being in the same room if it is on TV, I can’t stand the radio and the moronic, aggressive intonation of the presenters and I really can’t stand the ridiculous music and religious fanaticism that people have towards it. I was a proud member of the Keith Dustan Anti Football League and wore my square football badge with pride.I do however appreciate I am a minority so I usually just leave wherever I am faced exposure to footy quietly. Rant over! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How delightful. I need a badge too. Although that’s a while ago, we could resurrect a few. Believe me, I was being nice BECAUSE of MY MOTHER, but I have identical feelings. Those saturday noises from the radio in the suburbs…. I think most people on this comment page have similar feelings. Great Rant Maree. x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love a good syrup cake and am not a football fan either. I will say that I saw them mention on the news or something that the retired captain was given a medal by one of the players which was a nice gesture. I’m sure your mum would be happy with that. Of course, the round ball game starts in a few weeks and that is BIG in our house so maybe Ill be making this cake sooner than I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Round ball game? I have no idea what that is, but then, ball games of any kind and I don’t mix. Yes, Mum loved all of it- the thingy with the medal, the beginning, the end, yawn, everything.


  10. I don’t really know why but baked goods with almond flavoring have always topped my list of sweet treats, with citrus-glazed cakes a close 2nd. You’ve managed to put them together in a single cake and, from where I sit, the world is a better place. 🙂


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