The requirements for this signature challenge was to make a torte cake which has no wheat flour and more than one layer. I decided on a lemon blueberry almond meal torte cake with whipped vanilla cream cheese frosting. I decided on the lemon blueberry flavor because I always gravitate towards chocolate and why not try something different.
I made 2 almond meal torte cakes flavored with lemon zest and vanilla. In between the two cakes is a layer of lemon curd and blueberries. There’s more lemon curd on top and then it’s covered with the cream cheese frosting. This is a super rich decadent cake, worth every bite.
The bakers used mainly ground nut flours like almond, chestnut, or hazelnut. Danny used potato flour for her blackberry cake and she nailed it. I stuck with what is familiar to me and used a superfine almond meal. The tricky part though about baking these flourless cakes is getting them to rise. I’ve certainly had difficulty with it. These cakes take some practice to get them right!
You just have to be super careful after the egg whites go in. The less mixing done the better.
Almond Flour Cake
Start with the cake! First, I whipped up all my egg whites in the stand mixer and as they were whipping, I used the hand beater to whip the egg yolks. I added the lemon zest into the yolks and I added sugar, salt, and cream of tartar into the whites.
Then came the hard part: mixing it all together. The first time around, I mixed all of the almond meal into the egg yolks and it became all lumpy so when I mixed in the whites, it stayed lumpy. That batch went into the bin, and I started over.
Second time around, I put only about 1/3 of the almond meal into the yolks. Then I added a bit of the whipped whites and the rest of the almond meal and baking powder and mixed all of it together. Then I added the rest of the egg whites.
I split it into two spring form pans and baked them. They ended up not rising much. I’m thinking next time I really have to not over mix the batter. Like I said the less mixing the better. It helps to keep all those precious air bubbles in the egg whites.
When the cakes were in the oven, I started working on the lemon curd. Lemon curd is super easy to throw together. You just need to combine egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl over a double boiler.
It tends to test your patience though since you have to stir constantly over the stovetop for about 15 minutes until it starts thickening. I was teaching a friend how to mix lemon curd and I explained it to her this way: basically you have to mix it until you think you’re about to go crazy, then it starts to thicken.
After it thickens, take it off the heat and mix in some butter. Then you have to stick it in the fridge to let it cool down.
At this point the cakes were cooling as well.
Whipped Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
The last thing I had to make was the frosting. I knew this lighter cake could balance out a heavier cream cheese frosting. It would also offset the tartness of the lemon curd and blueberries, and at the same time sweeten it up since the cake is also lemon flavored.
The frosting is an easy throw together too, I just had to beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, heavy cream, and sugar.
I know this is a dairy nightmare for someone like me who has food allergies, I do plan on trying out some dairy free vanilla buttercream frosting recipes that would replace this cream cheese one for a fully dairy free cake.
This recipe was adapted from MelsKitchenCafe. She made a lemon cream cheese frosting, I made mine vanilla.
First, I piped a little frosting onto the plate so my cake wouldn’t move around. Then I put my first layer on. I piped lemon curd onto the whole top. Then I piped my frosting on top of that and spread it over the curd. It’s easier to pipe the frosting on so it doesn’t spread in with the lemon curd.
Then I covered the frosting with blueberries and then put my second cake layer on and repeated the same process. I decorated with lemon slices, blueberries, and some plops of icing. I used a quick google search as inspiration for my cake decoration.
You don’t have to decorate the same exact way I did, have fun with it!
My husband and I shared a slice after he got home from work and oh boy this cake tastes amazing! The sweetness of the frosting pairs nicely with the tart lemon and blueberry flavors.
Another great fruity summer dessert, perfect for you to use up the rest of the blueberries from picking season.
Lemon Blueberry Torte Cake
- 1-2 Containers Blueberries
- 1 Lemon, sliced
- 6 Egg Whites
- ½ Tsp Cream of Tartar
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Almond Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- Zest of half a Lemon
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ Cup Lemon Juice
- 3 Tsp Lemon Zest
- ½ Cup Butter, diced
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 Oz. Cream Cheese
- ½ Cup Butter
- 4½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp Heavy Cream
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Start beating egg whites in a stand mixer on high. Add salt and cream of tartar. Beat until there are stiff peaks. You should be able to turn it upside down and it will stay. It will take around 5-10 minutes.
- While the egg whites are beating. With a hand beater, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add lemon zest and vanilla.
- Sift the almond flour and baking powder. Mix half of the almond flour/baking powder into the egg yolks. Add some of the egg whites. Fold in the rest of the egg whites and almond flour. Don’t overmix or you’ll let too much air out of the egg whites.
- Separate into two greased spring form pans and bake 30-40 minutes. It should be dry if a toothpick is inserted in the center.
- While the cake is baking, start working on the lemon curd. Gather all ingredients. Get a double boiler ready and put on medium heat. Combine all ingredients except butter in double boiler and mix constantly for 10-15 minutes. If you don’t continue to mix it, the eggs will cook lumpy. Mixing it will ensure its smooth. Once it starts to thicken, take off and throw in butter and mix until it is melted in. Put siran wrap directly on top so a skin doesn’t form and let cool in fridge.
- Now gather the ingredients for your frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter together. Add in the vanilla and the heavy cream. Then add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until its fully incorporated.
- Rinse and dry the blueberries and cut the lemon into thin slices for decoration. Put frosting into a piping bag. Put lemon curd into a piping bag. If you don’t have piping bags, you can use ziplocs and snip a hole in the corner. On your serving platter, pipe a little circle of frosting and place first cake layer on top. Pipe half the lemon curd in circles onto the cake. Smooth together with knife to ensure an even layer. Then pipe on circles of frosting and smooth with knife. Next place as many blueberries as you want on top of the frosting. These blueberries will be in the middle layer of the cake.
- Place next cake layer on top of blueberries. Pipe the rest of the lemon curd onto the cake. Then pipe frosting onto the top and smooth over. Pipe some frosting onto the sides and flatten with knife. Decorate your top with blueberries, lemon slices, and some dollops of leftover frosting.