Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake

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This zesty low-carb lemon cake is the perfect ketogenic treat for spring, Easter and summer. It's a bit more involved but it's well worth the effort. If you are dairy-free and follow a paleo approach, just swap mascarpone with coconut cream, and butter with ghee or coconut oil.

I've been using whey protein powder to make up for the missing gluten in my grain-free recipes. I learned this trick for perfect cakes from Carolyn of All Day I Dream About Food who has been using protein powder with amazing results.

Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving, 1 slice)

4.6 grams 3.9 grams 10.4 grams 35.5 grams 19.3 grams 384 calories
Total Carbs8.5grams
Net Carbs4.6grams
of which Saturated19.3grams
Magnesium53mg (13% RDA)
Potassium251mg (13% EMR)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (5%), protein (11%), fat (84%)

Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

Cake - wet ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup butter or ghee, melted (76 g/ 2.7 oz)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • zest of 1 organic lemon
Cake - dry ingredients:
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  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C/ 350 °F. In a sauce pan, heat up the almond milk. Pour it in a bowl over the butter and let it melt. Then add freshly grated lemon zest, eggs and vanilla (if using vanilla extract) and whisk until well combined. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake
  2. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients to make the cake: almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, Erythritol, vanilla (if using vanilla powder), baking soda and cream of tartar.
    Using a mixer, process while pouring the wet ingredients slowly into the bowl. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake
  3. Pour the dough into a spring pan lined with parchment paper (I used a 9-inch spring pan but 8-inch would work too). Transfer into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is set and the crust is golden brown.
    Meanwhile, prepare the lemon curd by following this recipe. The recipe makes 2 cups but you will need just 1 cup. You can either halve the recipe or reserve any leftover lemon curd in the fridge for up to 10 days.
    Once done, set aside to cool down to room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate for an hour. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake
  4. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, run a sharp knife around the edges to release the cake, and remove from the spring pan.
    Prepare the cream filling by mixing the mascarpone and vanilla. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake
  5. Using a large sharp knife, carefully cut the cake widthwise. Spread the vanilla cream over the cut side of the bottom half. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake
  6. Top with the prepared chilled lemon curd, and place the other half of the cake on top. Refrigerate while you prepare the glaze. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake
  7. In a small sauce pan, melt the coconut butter and coconut oil (or use a microwave). Add the lemon zest (keep some lemon zest for topping) and Erythritol and mix until smooth. Pour the coconut glaze in the middle of the cake, and then spread to cover it evenly. Top with the leftover lemon zest. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake Serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Zesty Low-Carb Lemon Cake
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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (6)

Looks yummy! Can't wait to make it!
Have you ever tried making a "keto" Tres Leches cake?


Thank you, Wendy! Not yet but I will add it to my to-do list 😊


Thank you so much for the recipe. Made it for Easter and it was absolutely delicious and a great hit in our family. I made the dairy-free version with ghee and coconut cream and baked it in a slow cooker instead of the oven.


Thank you Andrea! I have been experimenting with slow cooker cakes myself and love the moist texture they produce 😊


Hi! This is delicious--I made it last night.  One question:  I notice in the directions that when you get to mixing the ingredients for the cream, lemon and erythretol are noted as part of the mix, but in the filling ingredient list, only the cheese, vanilla and curd are noted. Is the marscapome meant to have lemon added and be sweetened in addition to the layer of lemon curd?  I made the filling per the ingredient list (just the cheese and vanilla layered over the lemon curd).  I enjoyed that it wasn't super sweet and the sweetness of the curd complimented the vanilla cream, but I wasn't sure if that was the intent of the recipe.


Thank you Nicole! You're right, the instructions needed fixing. The erythritol and lemon juice were originally included (in my first attempt) but I thought the cake was too sweet and these ingredients were unnecessary because the lemon curd provides both sweetness and lemon flavour. It's fixed now, thank you! 😊