A loaf of lemon-semolina cake.

Ottolenghi’s Lemon-Semolina Almond Cake

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf


Adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe

Check out the original recipe, which includes the addition of a syrup, but I don’t think the syrup is necessary — the cake is so delicious as is.

A few notes:

I increased the baking powder by ¼ teaspoon because I used a loaf pan. This might not be necessary if you use a muffin tin, as suggested in the original recipe. As noted in the post, I’ve made the cake three times now, once with butter, once with olive oil, and once with grapeseed oil. The difference is subtle: the oil makes the cake a little moister, the butter a little richer. Olive oil was preferable to grapeseed flavor-wise. In a tasted test with friends, the cake made with oil was preferable.


  • 1½ cups (135 g) almond flour or almond meal
  • ½ cup (79 g) semolina flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup ( sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, or ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (243 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Whisk together the almond flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl to combine.
  2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With motor running, gradually add eggs and beat until glossy, about 1 minute. Add dry ingredients and lemon juice and beat to combine, about 1 minute. (If you are using oil, simple whisk oil and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate, followed by dry ingredients and lemon juice.)
  3. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan, and bake until golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Lightly press the top of the cake to test — it should feel lightly springy when done. Let cool 20 minutes or so in pan before removing and transferring to a cooling rack.

  • Category: Quick Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: ottolenghi, lemon, semolina, tea cake, brunch