Lemon and Blackberry Almond Cake

I have a tiny obsession (you guys have probably picked up on it). 

I like fruit. Like, a lot. Evidenced herehere, herehere. Sorry, it’s a problem, I know. My fingertips are practically permanently stained with berry juices at this point. Summer isn’t broken into months, but by the fruits that happen to be in season. Early strawberries and rhubarb turn into tart blueberries then to plums then peaches and then, finally, crisp apples in early fall. When did I go on vacation this year? Hmm, about mid-strawberry season (And yes, missing basically the whole crop was pretty devastating. Let’s not talk about it). And my favorite activities? Blueberry picking, blueberry eating, apple picking, eating apples, strawberry picking… Ok, so we’ve acknowledged this weird obsession. So what’s the point?

The point is that we are arriving into blackberry season, people. This is huge. For the next few weeks my arms and legs will be covered in attractive and disproportionately painful scratches (seriously though, how is it possible that they sting so much??). But, it’s all worth it because my hands will be full of blackberries.

The next step? Throw ‘em in some cake. Today, I have a (nearly) gluten-free recipe for you. I use almond meal for its hearty yet soft texture, and definitely not because I bought it to make macarons and had some left over.

The tartness of the lemon is subtle and pairs perfectly with fresh and juicy blackberries while poppy seeds add a hint of texture. The crumb of the cake is moist, slightly sweet and majorly almond-y.

The browned edges are crunchy and toasty, kind of like a grown up pound cake. I ate my cakes warm out of the oven, but they would also be divine topped with whipped coconut cream or a simple lemon glaze. Either way, there’s no better cake to celebrate blackberry season.

Lemon and Blackberry Almond Cake (Adapted from here)

Serves 8-10

2 cups almond flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour (or sub out whole wheat and all purpose and use 4 cups almond flour)

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

0.5 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

0.5 teaspoon baking soda

0.5 cups oil

0.5 cups maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons lemon zest

3 tablespoons chia seeds + 9 tablespoons water (or 3 eggs if not vegan)

1.25 cups fresh blackberries (or other fresh berry or chopped fruit)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 6 inch cake pans with parchment. You can also use mini bundt pans (for major cuteness). One 6 inch round equals about 4 mini bundts. 

2. Whisk flours, poppy seeds, salt, powder and soda in a large bowl. 

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together maple syrup and oil until combined. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, zest and chia seed mixture. 

4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in blackberries and pour into prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Don’t worry, the batter will be very thick but it creates super moist cake with crunchy edges.

5. Bake for about 35 minutes (30 for mini bundts), until edges are browned and cake is beginnign to pull away from the edges. Eat warm, or let cool and top with whipped coconut cream or lemon glaze. 

Show me your creations using #thesweetestbeet on Instagram! You can also check out recent updates on Facebook and, as always, don’t forget to subscribe or forward to a friend so you don’t miss out on my future baking adventures.

Also, a huge thank you to everyone who came out to the West River Farmers’ Market last Saturday! It was so great to meet you and eat cake and doughnuts. I’ll be at the market again this weekend and have all sorts of new creations planned. See you then!