Almond Semolina Cake Recipe. With Gluten-Free Variation

Almond Semolina Cake is a delightful Sephardi/Moroccan dessert classic made from semolina and almonds, and soaked in a lemon syrup. This improbable ingredient combination results in an incredibly moist and fragrant cake.

Olive oil in Cake? It works beautifully in this dessert!

For this semolina cake it is important to use a shallow mold here, like a pie plate, no higher than 2 inches high, so the syrup that is poured at the end of baking reaches all the way to the bottom.

Semolina cake can easily be adapted to Gluten-Free, by using fine cornmeal instead of semolina.



  • 4 eggs whites
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ cups finely ground almonds (use a food processor) or use store-bought almond meal made from unpeeled almonds
  • 1 cup fine semolina flour (Gluten-free: Use fine cornmeal)
  • 1/3 cup flour, any flour including gluten-free


  • 3/4 cup light agave syrup
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • Heat the ingredients over a low flame until just warm (or microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute)


Preheat the oven to 325 °F

With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites and salt at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually and whip until stiff. Switch to low speed, and allowing only enough time to combine the ingredients, beating in one ingredient at a time, just a few seconds each time, the yolks, then the oil, etc… until all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour the batter into a greased 10 inch round baking pan. Bake 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately poke the cake all over with a toothpick or skewer, and pour the syrup (recipe follows) all over the cake

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