birthday happy: cake deliciousness + a special birthday sale

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Don’t you just love birthdays?

I do.

Especially since I decided a couple of years ago that you’re not old until you’re 80 (and I reserve the right to change my opinion on that when I become an octogenarian).

So today is my birthday and do I have some treats for you.

First we have the cake.

And boy what a cake.

My gorgeous, not-so-little pirate brother came to stay last week and was kind enough to do a few building jobs around the house. So I repaid the favour in my brother’s favourite currency – Lemon Meringue Pie.

And while it wasn’t quite as good as my Mum’s… I had a bit of a realisation of how much I love lemony sweet things and made a mental note to come up with LMP in cake form for my birthday cake.

And here it is. The secret is using almond meal to keep it super moist. Then the double hit of lemony goodness. First we add the zest of 2 lemons to the cake batter. And then when it comes out of the oven we double up with a liberal dosing of nothing but freshly squeezed lemon juice. Which keeps the whole thing fresh and zingy.

It’s certainly a celebrational cake.

And then we have the special Birthday sale.

It’s almost been 12 months since I released my first full length eCookbook for sale.

I can hardly believe that my baby, 5 Ingredients 10 Minutes is about to turn one. Since the launch I’ve pretty much left the book to sit quietly in the Stonesoup shop. No promotions or special mentions.

That needs to change. So for the next 72 hours, you can pickup a copy of 5 Ingredients 10 Minutes for OVER 50% OFF.


This is the first and LAST EVER sale for the 5 Ingredients 10 Minutes eCookbook.

Make the most of this special Birthday offer. Go to:

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delicious lemon birthday cake
takes 10 mins prep + 45 mins baking
serves 6-8

I love baking with almond meal because it keeps things lovely and moist AND gluten-free. But it can be expensive, so feel free to substitute in half or all self raising flour. The texture will be different but you’ll still be getting all the lovely lemony goodness.

I normally don’t bother with cakes that call for creaming the butter and sugar, but have made a special exception here. The food processor is fine (and what I’ve used) but if you can’t be bothered, just melt the butter and stir in the other ingredients and add a teaspoon of baking powder to give it some life. Might be a little heavier but won’t be the end of the world.

250g (8.5oz) butter
250g (8.5oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
250g (8.5oz) almond meal
zest of 2 lemons + 1/2 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Line a loaf pan with baking paper.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time.

3. Stir in almond meal and lemon zest.

4. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

5. Punch holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over the lemon juice. Cool in the tin.


video version of the recipe


And if you’re wondering why have a birthday sale for 72 hours?

Well, I was born in ’72 and while it wasn’t a brilliant vintage for wine, it was a great year for girls!

So whenever I see a 72 hour sale I always feel an affinity.

I won’t be sending out any reminders because I’ll still be celebrating :)

So make sure you don’t miss out on the first and last ever over 50% OFF sale for 5|10. Go to:

Jules x

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Paul September 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

Happy Birthday Clance!

Megan September 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Happy birthday! I hope this is your best year yet.

Alison Kerr | Loving Nature's Garden September 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Well, Happy Birthday to your e-cookbook Jules. Love your idea, and logic, of a 72 hr sale. Gosh, you are so young! I graduated from high school during the 70′s. You made me feel old tonight. However, that just means I’ve had even more years to enjoy cooking for my family :)

KatieLovesWags September 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Happy Birthday Jules!

jules September 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Thanks for the Birthday wishes Paul, Megan & Katie!

I have a feeling this is going to be a great year for me! And thanks for your wishes.

You are so sweet. Remember you’re not old until you’re 80 :)

chocolatesuze September 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm

happy birthday jules! hope you have a brilliant day filled with much cake and <3

Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul September 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Happy Birthday Jules!

Raychel September 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Happy birthday!!!
I’m really glad you came out with a recipe for 5 ingredient lemon cake because it’s my mom’s favorite.

barbara September 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Happy Birthday Jules. Have a fabulous day.

Roenna September 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Happy birthday Jules! Hope that Irish man of yours is spoiling you today. LOVE the photos of your birthday lemon cake, and I’m going to try it tomorrow. Really looking forward to having a birthday drink with you over dinner on Saturday xxx

Melanie September 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Happy birthday Jules! I’m on my way to the kitchen right now to try this out.

Ines September 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Happy Birthday!!! I will celebrate your birthday from London trying your almond meal cake! I hope this new year is full of new recipes !

Wine Harlots September 9, 2011 at 1:53 am

Happy Birthday!
The cake looks awesome — the perfect pairing is Moscato d’Asti.


Nannette Eaton

Paul September 9, 2011 at 3:34 am

Happy Birthday Jules!

birgit September 9, 2011 at 4:08 am

happy birthday dear
i love to read your blog love to cook your recipes
and started to create my minimalism kitchen
thank you for all your inspirations
my best wishes

Andre September 9, 2011 at 6:33 am

Happy Birthday Jules! Between the 6-ingredient lasanga dish and this 5-ingredient cake, you’re stumbling into genius.

I’d like to make one of these cakes for my mother, but even the smallest sliver of almost will make her vomit. What’s the best substitute for almond meal?

Jos September 9, 2011 at 6:36 am

Yay for Sept birthdays! Happy birthday Jules – it was mine on Monday and I have friends – all girls – who have had birthdays on Thursday, today and tomorrow! Love the fact we start spring with cake and bubbles! Hope you do what I do and have a birthday week – would be rude not to. Off for a girls weekend to celebrate the virgos – so will make your cAKe and toast you to. Cheers!!!!!! and yay for the special – will go order it now – must say your recipes are staples at our place. All are winners ad have talked up your lentil balls to anyone and everyone!

Jo Smith September 9, 2011 at 9:40 am

Happy Birthday Jules from another ’72 girl. There’s only one slice of your carrot cake left in the tin so i’ll have to make this one tomorrow for a refill.

Andre September 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

Never mind–just saw the video, where you mentioned flour as an almond meal substitute.

hydeeann September 9, 2011 at 11:43 am

just discovered you via rythm of the home. can’t wait to try your salted choc chip cookies! and the many delicious looking 5 indgredient recipes. the concept you have going here, not to mention the stunning photography, is so exciting! thanks so much for the free downloads. i’ve been wanting to make a homemade version of my favorite childhood campbell’s soup – bean with bacon. i just can’t justify eating or feeding all the additives to my children anymore. a few of your recipes have given me ideas of what to try in order to recreate the soup in a healthy manner. looking forward to exploring a lot more with you soon.

best wishes on your venture here!

Angie W September 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Crap, I just missed the sale! Oh well, at least I’ll have this recipe. I’m drooling looking at my computer screen and am going to make this tomorrow for sure!

Ally September 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Doh! I missed the sale too! But this recipe looks delish! :D I keep meaning to try a orange and poppy seed style cake with lemon instead, with this recipe to inspire me, I might just get on that!

Kari September 12, 2011 at 7:50 am

Happy birthday Jules (although it’s a bit late). Hope you had a lovely day! And I love your little brother’s favourite currency!! I have a (not so) little brother myself, and he loooves LMP and a lemon mousse our mom used to make. It’s so zingy (sour?) it makes your salvary glands curl up and pray for mercy. Fiddly, but divine. :-)

Billie September 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Happy Birthday Jules!
Looking forward to trying this cake! Is that just normal whipped cream you have served it with or something special?

Erin @ she cooks, she gardens September 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Oh my, this looks and sounds wonderful. Happy (belated) birthday! :)

ami September 13, 2011 at 2:24 am

Happy Belated Birthday! I just had to let you know that I made this yesterday for my grandmother’s 77th birthday and it was divine! My whole family enjoyed it- thanks so much for sharing.

betty September 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm

what a great looking cake and belated happy bday to you :)

jules September 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Good spotting – it’s actually whipped cream mixed with an equal amount of full fat yoghurt… but cream would be just as lovely

And a massive THANKYOU everyone for the birthday wishes. I really appreciate it!

jules September 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

And Ami
I hope I’m enjoying this cake for my 77th Birthday too :)

Ellie September 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I only had one lemon and so I made half the amount and baked them in fairy cake cases. I also used self raising flour and melted the butter as you suggest instead of creaming it.
They came out amazing – The texture of little lemon puddings rather than cake.

Roy September 15, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Just bought it 2 weeks ago… shame I didn’t wait! (Love it anyway.)

Chloe September 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm

It looks so wonderfully dense, and I just adore anything with lemon and butter. I really like cooking with almond meal compared to flour.

Sasha @ The Procrastobaker September 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Happpyyyyhappy Birthday indeed :) I too adore lemony ANYTHING, and cakes baked with ground almonds are always so wonderful. This looks truly gorgeous and so wonderfully easy!

Y September 26, 2011 at 1:25 am

Sorry I’m a little late with this, but Happy Birthday!

Liz September 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm

This looks like a really lovely cake. Any idea if the likes of splenda can be successfully substituted for the sugar?

jules September 27, 2011 at 8:57 am

Sorry but I don’t have any experience baking with Splenda… I guess the only way to find out is to try it :)

Thanks Y!

jenni October 24, 2011 at 9:27 am

Help: I tried this cake and ended up with a soggy, gooey mess. More like custard than cake, only very oily. Any idea what I might have done wrong?
PS: Love your site and now the daily posts!

jules October 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm

oh no Jenni!
Did you add the almond meal? And what did the butter and sugar look like when you creamed them?
Am sure we can figure out what went wrong

Andi October 28, 2011 at 5:35 am

My cake also turned out an oily gooey mess. It looked like I had more than twice the amount of butter that I needed, but I followed the recipe exactly. My loaf tin had such a giant pool of butter that I ended up turning out the cake on a stack of paper towels while it was still warm. My cake was soggy and gooey.

jules October 28, 2011 at 7:42 am

Hi Andi

I’m really sorry your cake didn’t turn out.. and thanks for letting me know… really appreciate it… it’s important to know when recipes don’t work out.. even more so than when they do..

It is meant to be a moist cake with the lemon juice but not meant to have a pool of butter. I feel terrible.

If you had butter separating out, I’m wondering if your eggs were large eggs? And did you bake it until it was golden? If it was gooey and soggy it sounds like it was under baked?

jules October 28, 2011 at 7:42 am

And thanks for giving me a reason to make the cake again to retest the recipe :)

Andi October 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

I used large eggs and I left it in the oven until it was quite brown. I pulled it out when it was a little jiggly in the pan because I was afraid that it would burn if I left it in any longer. Strangely, my skewer came out buttery but free of batter as if it was done cooking. We did eat it and it was quite tasty, but it had the texture of lemon bar filling instead of being cake like.

Alecta November 10, 2011 at 3:35 am

I just made this using regular flour and it turned out gorgeous! The lemon juice on the top really does make all the difference in the world. It’s lovely and light and tastes like sunshine, perfect to brighten up an otherwise blah day.

jules November 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I think I figured it out!

I made the cake last weekend and served a small slice for my Dad when it came out of the oven.. it was exactly how you described above even though I’d overbaked it by 10 minutes.

I then let it cool to room temp and served for dessert that night.. and had transformed itself into the cake I was expecting. Still supermoist but not ‘lemon bar filling texture’.

Also. I checked it after 30 minutes and the skewer came out clean even though I could tell from the feel that it was underbaked.. a good lesson that almond based cakes don’t respond in the same way as flour-based.

Thanks for giving me a reason to make the cake again!

And Alecta
Thanks for letting us know it works with flour too

jenni November 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hi again.
Yes, I used the almond meal, not wheat flour, and creamed the sugar and butter til light and fluffy. Eggs were large eggs. Like Andi’s, my finished product seemed to have twice as much butter as something like this needed. Once things cooled down, I ended up eating it out of the bread pan with a spoon (around the pools of cooled butter, which I scraped out for toast), but it didn’t seem like it’d slice very well: still pretty gooey .
Maybe it was undercooked, though I watched the time closely; skewer did come out clean, but cake was golden though not overly brown.
If I try it again, maybe I’ll use half the amount of butter? Or maybe half almond meal and half flour? The almond meal makes things too costly for many more experiments.

nikitha November 28, 2011 at 2:36 am

can i use a blender instead of a food processor??? does it work ????? please help me

jules November 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I think you’ll have problems with a blender getting the butter and sugar to cream. Better to use a stand mixer or cream the butter and sugar by hand using a whisk or a fork. The other option is to melt the butter and mix everything by hand and add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to help it rise.

Suzanne December 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hi Jules, Found this recipe on Tastespotting. I was very excited to make this because Myers lemons are available now. So I followed the directions and when I was making the batter I thought seems like alot of butter. When I finish my cake was in a puddle of butter. I am from the US so when I converted I figured 1 cup of butter but now I think 1/2 cup might work better. Next time I will try the 1/2 cup and see how it goes. Thank you for the recipe.Suzanne

jules December 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hi Suzanne
The cake would have been lovely with Meyer lemons..
Sorry it didn’t work out for you. If you like baking, I’d highly recommend investing in a set of scales because it’s much easier and more accurate than converting to cups. Interested to hear how you go with the 1/2 cup butter?

Celena January 16, 2012 at 9:50 am

I got the gooey lemon bar texture in a pool of butter too :( It was golden on top, and starting to burn on the edges, but a gooey mess in the middle. Your almond meal chocolate muffins (I make them into cupcakes) turn out perfect for me every time though.

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