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Culinary voyeurism – Lemon amaretti cake

July 22, 2010
Lemon amaretti cake

In the last few weeks during my stay in England, I haven’t done much cooking at all…but I’ve done a lot of eating. My Mother-in-law, as usual, has loved us with food, producing delicious hearty food from her kitchen in Devon. Proper puddings and home-made cake are an everyday feature which we polish off pretty quickly after our walks on Dartmoor. I’ll talk a lot more about Ma-in-law, or Nan-Nan as she’s known to my children, in a future post – there is a fascinating food history about my husband’s family. In the meantime I’ll share this recipe for a moist cake which would be as scrumptious with some cream for pudding (clotted of course – we are in Devon) as it is with a cup of tea.  My involvement was mainly as a passive viewer – although I got to grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the lemons (a job I love).

Lemon Amaretti Cake

Makes 1 x 20cm cake
Serves 6-8


  • 200g softened unsalted butter
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp sifted baking powder
  • About 9 amaretti biscuits


  • Butter a 20cm (about 5cm depth) loose-bottomed cake tin.  Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
  • Whizz all the ingredients except the amaretti biscuits in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
  • Spread 2-3 tbsp of the mixture evenly in the base of the cake tin.  Arrange a circle of about 8 amaretti biscuits on top, touching each other and a few cm from the edge, and one in the middle.  Spoon the remaining cake mixture in, smoothing the surface.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (at least) until a skewer comes out clean.  Run a knife round the edge, remove the collar of the tin and leave to cool.
  • Serve dusted with icing sugar with creme fraiche  or cream and extra biscuits to decorate if you like.

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