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Sugar-free apricot and lemon cake

25 January 2016

This sugar and gluten-free cake recipe from Susanna Booth is full of the Mediterranean flavours of apricots, almonds and lemons.

Sugar-free apricot and lemon cake
Susanna Booth's sugar-free apricot and lemon cake

Soaking time

2 hours

Cooking time

30 minutes




  • 250g (8oz) soft dried apricots
  • 300g (10oz) whole almonds
  • 500ml (17fl oz) boiling water
  • Sunflower oil, for oiling
  • Juice and zest of ½ unwaxed lemon, plus extra zest
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 blanched almonds
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Crème fraîche, to serve


For this naturally gluten-free cake I’ve used the sunny Mediterranean flavours of apricots, almonds and lemon. It uses store cupboard ingredients and its gentle fragrance and moist, chunky almonds help to make it a tempting prospect at any time of the year. Try it at tea time or as more of a dessert with a little crème fraîche.

Set side 75g (3oz) of the apricots. Place the remaining apricots in a bowl. Place the whole almonds in a separate bowl. Pour 250ml (8fl oz) boiling water into each bowl and leave to stand for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Generously oil a 28cm (11-inch) springform tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Finely chop the reserved apricots.

Drain the soaked almonds and apricots and place them in a food processor with the lemon juice and zest, eggs, baking powder and salt.

Blend for about 1 minute until the almonds are fi nely minced. Stir in the chopped apricots, then transfer the mixture to the tin. Arrange the blanched almonds on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with foil, reduce the heat to 160°C/fan 140°C /325°F/Gas Mark 3 and bake for a further 10 minutes. An inserted skewer should come out clean.

Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Run a butter knife around the edge before unclipping the tin. 

Transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle the orange juice over the top and let stand for 10 minutes before serving with a little crème fraîche topped with lemon zest.

Sensationally Sugar Free by Susanna Booth, published by Hamlyn, £20

For more delicious cakes and biscuits, visit our baking recipe collection.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.