Almond Cake from Pie in the Sky Bakery 1989 Gluten Free Recipe with Lemon Glaze

Great for Wedding Cakes and Strawberry Shortcake Gluten-free Recipe

The Mexican taste often found our American desserts too sweet so this was a very popular cake at the Pie in the Sky Bakery as it is light and airy and not very sweet.

This recipe is similar to the Griestorte of the Cordon Bleu School of Cookery.  It is excellent as a base for Strawberry Shortcake and an elegant gluten-free Wedding Cake.


Preheat to 350′

BUT BAKE at 325′ F.

I. The Dries – Set aside:

1 3/4 c ground almonds (we like Bob’s Red Mill or grinding it ourselves in a coffee grinder)
1/2 c rice flour

1 tsp baking Powder

Combined in a plastic bag and shake well to mix.  Set “The Dries” aside.

II. “The Mix”

Carefully separate the eggs and put the whites aside covered to protect them from a little splash of grease.*

10 yolks

3/4 c sugar

These two ingredients are “whipped to the ribbon” until white and fluffy about 10 minutes!!

Yup, 10 mins, set the timer and do something else like butter the pan.  [See photo for “whipped to the ribbon”.]



1/2 c butter, Melted and cooled!

2 TBsp Almond Flavoring, (NOT imitation – we prefer “Simply Organic”.

2 tsp Vanilla

Add the melted butter, little by little and the two flavorings. Mix it well.

III.”The Whites”
10 egg whites

Pinch de cream of tartar.

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c sugar


*The way we separate eggs:

We super wash our hands (or wear disposal rubber gloves) and then break each egg carefully into a cup. Then we pour the whole egg into one hand and with fingers barely spread apart, we let the whites run through into a second dish. Its fun to do it this way but you can use other methods as well.
Then save the yolks into a third cup. When we have the full 10 yolks,  transfer them to a mixer bowl and start up the mixer, adding the sugar very slowly.


In another mixer bowl, completely free of grease, whip the egg whites on low with the salt and a pinch of cream of tartar.  (**For Beginners: Please see specific instructions below and follow them closely.) In short, slowly bring up the speed and add the sugar slowly.  Add tiny amount of sugar at first, and more as you go along.

Using a rubber spatula, fold into “The Mix” a little of the whipped whites to lighten the mix.  Then alternate additions of “the Dries” with “the Whites” into the mix, in two rounds.  Take good swift strokes and try to incorporate the Whites and the Dries as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Pour batter into a super-greased Bundt pan.  Super greased means thickly greased with shortening. Then sprinkle sugar in and shake out and then flour sprinkled into the pan and shaken out.

(Preheat to 350′)

Bake at 325′ F.

For Bundt Cake pan 50-55 mins or more.

For flat rounds about 30-35 mins.

Test top for springiness.

Test with knife in center of the cake – should come out “clean”.


We’ve found that some Bundt pans are thick and heavy, some thin and much lighter so you have to watch the times on this and adjust to your particular pan. Keep testing the top for springiness and coming away from the sides of the pan.  See photo for details.

We finished our Almond Cake with a fresh Lime glaze in Mexico but have adapted this to the easy-to-find lemons for stateside cookery. This gives the lightly sweetened cake a tangy edge that sets it off nicely.

Lemon Glaze

1/2 C lemon juice

2/3 C sugar

2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot – dissolved in 1 Tbsp of Brandy

1 TBsp Marsala or sweet wine, optional


Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan, stir to dissolve.

Next put cornstarch into small dish and add brandy to dissolve.

Add sweet wine to the brandy mix if you are using it.

Warm the lemon juice and sugar over medium heat.

When it starts to boil, turn the flame down and slowly add the cornstarch mixture – while stirring constantly.

When completely mixed, simmer over low flame for 5 mins stirring constantly and then remove from heat.  It will thicken as it cools.

Use a pastry brush to generously ‘paint’ the cake.

Brush onto the Cake while still warm – when possible.

When sealed with glaze, this Cake keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a week or more.

It only gets more moist as it ages.

Serves 12-16

**For whipping up the egg whites, the best is to have the egg whites at room temperature.  We throw the cream of tartar and the salt into the just separated whites and set aside while we tend to the yolks at the beginning of the recipe.

In another mixer bowl, free of grease, whip the egg whites on low with the salt and a pinch of cream of tartar.  Slowly bring up the speed and add the sugar slowly.  Add tiny amounts of sugar at first, and more as you go along.  Very important!  Do not over whip as the whites become dry and do not incorporate as well.


Amaretto-Cappuccino Cheesecake Squares

Pie in the Sky Bakery Cheesecake Squares

Makes 15 servings

Bake in a 350 F oven for about 25-30 minutes.

9 whole graham crackers- broken up (1 internal pkg)
(optional: Chocolate Graham Crackers were our favorite)

1/4 c + 1/2 c sugar

1/4 c  butter, (1/2 stick) melted and cooled

7 1/2 tsp Instant Espresso Powder, divided

1 TBsp + 1 c chilled Heavy Whipping Cream (optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp almond extract ( we prefer Simply Organic brand)

2  8-oz Philadelphia-brand Cream cheese, room temperature

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Before you start, take the 2 packages of Cream Cheese
from the frig and take out of boxes to allow them to come
room temperature.  Much easier to deal with.

Heavily butter 8 X 11.5 glass baking dish or 9 X 13

Grind graham crackers + 1/4 c sugar in processor
to small crumbs.  Add 1/4 c melted and cooled butter.
Process. Then add 1- 1/2 tsp. of espresso powder.

Adding the optional 1 TBsp of Ground flax seed helps it
hold together a bit better.

Blend until crumbs are moist and stick together.

NOTE: Optional Topping for serving.

[Transfer 1/4 c of crumb mixture into a glass pie plate

and bake for 10 mins or until golden. Set aside.]

This will be the accent on top of the Whipped Cream

Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of
buttered rectangular baking dish.  Chill in frig.

To make the “Cappuccino Flavor pack”:

Stir remaining 6 tsp of espresso powder,
into little dish with 1 TBSP of cream
and 2 tsp of almond flavoring
and 1 tsp of vanilla until coffee granules dissolve.

Set this flavoring pack aside.

To make filling:

Beat a little of the cream cheese in large bowl of a mixer
and add the rest piece by piece, until smooth.

Add 1/2 c sugar and continue beating until well blended.

Then add one egg and half of the Cappuccino Flavor pack,

blend well in mixer.

For the Espresso Swirl Topping:
Take out less than 1/4 c of the cream cheese mixture and

add the rest of the flavor pack to it.  This is the topping

and should appear  darker than the batter.

Putting it altogether:

Take chilled crust from the frig and spread the filling evenly

over it.  To eliminate pulling the crumbs from the side of

the baking dish, a good technique is to spread out from the center

to the sides, pushing a little wave of mixture to the edges.

See photo “Filling Corners” below:

Amaretto Cappuccino Cheesecake Batter

Filling the corners with a wave pushed forward

Now comes the fun part, making the design.

Stir the darker topping mix and slowly pour a small stream

of it over the top of the mixture.  Starting in the center,

make circles – ever-expanding until all the topping is used

up and you have a bunch of concentric circles.  See photo below

“Starting Espresso Swirl”

concentric circles

Starting the Espresso Swirl

Then using a chopstick or two toothpicks held together,

draw circles slowly through the dark lines.  You can go in

and out from the center to the edge or you can just start

swirling the topping into the base mixture like a tornado.

Don’t worry about making it look exactly right, this is a

no fail, one-of-a-kind Espresso Swirl of your own making!

See photo “Toothpick swirl” below

amaretto cappuccino swirled

Swirled topping with chopstick

Bake in a 350 F oven for about 25-30 minutes.
Bake until set on the edge.  Knife comes out
clean.  Center may be a little jiggly.
Let cool to room temperature and then
chill in the frig uncovered until cold and firm.

At least two hours and can be up to one day or two.

Serving Tips from Teri:

-Beat one cup of cream in a medium bowl until firm peaks

form.  Cut cheesecake length wise into three strips; cut

each strip into five bars.

-Transfer squares to individual dessert plates.  Decorate

each with generous dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle

with the baked crumb crust mixture and serve.

-We suggest dipping a knife into a tall glass of hot water

and wiping it off before each cut is made.  Wipe the excess

filling off the knife on a paper towel.  Then dip again.

This is laborious but if you don’t clean the knife and warm

it before each cut, soon it will look like you are cutting it

with snowshoes.

-If the crust seems to be sticking, you can loosen it by

setting the baking dish on a towel that was dipped into

very hot sink water and wrung out.  This should just

start the butter in the crust softening and allow you,

in a few minutes, to easily remove from the dish.