Gluten Free and Dairy Free Lemon Cherry Cake

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Lemon Cherry Cake

This lemon cherry cake is one of my favourite desserts. I love cherries. And anything that has some of that lovely lemony tangyness.

The cake is made with olive oil, eggs and ground almonds. So you could argue it’s more heart healthy than the average cake. Maybe. Sure who cares? It tastes great.


This lemon cherry cake is one of my favourite abitmoreveg recipes and one of my favourite sweet treats/desserts. I have made it countless times at this stage. This recipe predates my going gluten-free. I was trying to get myself to do a detox. But wasn’t quite managing to stick with it. So I was giving up things bit by bit. Anyway I’m delighted I came up with this. It’s a keeper.

lemon cherry cake
Gluten-free and dairy free – but don’t let that put you off, this lemon cherry cake is one of my favourite treats.

It might be stretch to say this is a healthy treat as it does contain a whopping 175g of caster sugar. But it is full of good fat from the olive oil and ground almonds. And it is delicious. Also it is always handy to have delicious gluten free dessert recipe to hand.

And isn’t it nice to start the new year (or end the week) on a sweet note.

What else is good about it?

So ground almonds or almond flour, if you prefer, is a protein and nutrient dense flour. Searching online you see some people are very much in favour of it. While others seem to think it’s very over-rated. All I know is that I have often used it as a replacement for flour when I’m doing detoxes and felt much better using it. You can find more information on the health benefits of almonds here.

Cherries are also full of goodness. I leave them un-pitted in the cake because I think they hold their flavour better this way but it can also be made with pitted cherries. If you are thinking about used a tin or jar of cherries though you need to drastically reduce the quantity of sugar. This recipe is meant for fresh cherries – preferably tart ones.

About the olive oil

When I first came up with this cake I used extra virgin olive oil rather than regular olive oil. Use regular olive oil. The other type makes the cake very fudgy in texture. I preferred that. But pretty much everyone else prefers this cake when it’s made with regular olive oil.

Ingredients for a gluten and dairy free lemon cherry cake.
Almonds, sugar, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, lemon and cherries – altogether make a delicious gluten-free and dairy-free cake.

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Lemon Cherry Cake

Makes a 9" cake

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Lemon Cherry Cake


  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 75ml regular olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1.5 medium-sized lemons (approx.)
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon best quality vanilla extract
  • 400g cherries


  1. Preheat the oven to 160° C.
  2. Grease a 9″ cake tin with a little oil and line the bottom with grease-proof paper.
  3. Beat the eggs into the sugar until you have a creamy butter-like consistency. Next beat in the lemon zest. Next add in the olive oil and beat until it is well mixed in.
  4. Stir the baking soda and salt into the ground almonds and then beat this into the sugar-egg-oil mix. Next beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. Next stir in the lemon juice, tablespoon by tablespoon. You need to add enough that you have a sweet but strong lemon taste from the batter but not so much that the batter turns to liquid. It should be a little thick still when it’s done.
  6. Pour the batter over the cherries and bake in the oven for 60 minutes.
  7. When done remove from the oven. Leave to cool. Then turn it out on a plate and dust with icing sugar. You can serve this while it's still warm though.

lemon cherry cake pre-bake
Out of the juice of 1 1/2 lemons there was about a tablespoon of juice left when the cake batter was the right consistency.
Put the cake on a plate.
Cake out of the oven, leave to cool some, then turn it out upside-down on a plate.
A slice of gluten and dairy free lemon cherry cake.
A slice of gluten and dairy free lemon cherry cake. Yumminess.