lemon almond cake


Like many of you, I spend too much time during the day in front of a computer. I’ve been through countless computer chairs to improve ergonomics and still not a day goes by when I don’t have computer-related pain of some sort or another. This is why I love photo shoots outside in the fresh air. It’s also why I invested in my new iPad. I’m actually dictating this blog post in the middle of an apple orchard. It’s amazing.

angle cake

Needless to say, I’ve become a bit of an ipad addict. It’s great to have the freedom to work wherever and whenever I want. I know a lot of you are tech savvy so I have to ask – what are your favorite apps? I thought maybe if we pooled our collective resources we might save time and identify a few valuable tools to help make our days a bit easier or at least a bit more fun.

blooming apple trees

apple blossom
apple tree

picnic cake


These are the apps that I’m using regularly:
Snapseed for iPad photo editing
Photo transfer app for sending pictures between my iPad and desktop
Living earth for the alarm clock and for keeping track of the weather conditions around the globe
Words that burn for exploring and  listening to beautiful poetry
Flipboard for keeping up with news and RSS feeds
Penultimate for handwritten notes
And of course timer to make ensure that I take frequent breaks at the computer.
It would be great if you’d post your personal favorites in the comments below. Also, I’m in need of a good Twitter app if you know of one.

old barn

morning light
Putting old tea tins to use

lemon cake slice

Now onto the cake. It’s easy to make and the results are simply remarkable. The cake is moist, rich and full of flavor. How can you go wrong with lemon curd baked into a cake. I know you’re going to love it.


bite of cake

Glorious Lemon Cake (revised by Melissa, revised again by me. original recipe is lost.)

Lemon Curd
115 g (8 tbs) unsalted butter, softened
310 g (1.5 cups plus 1 tbs) sugar
4 large eggs
250 ml (1 c) lemon juice
2 sheets gelatin
Soften gelatin sheets by placing in a pan of water for 5 minutes.
In bowl of stand mixture fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs. Mix in lemon juice.
Remove gelatin from water and squeeze out excess. Microwave 3-5 seconds in small bowl until melted. Set aside.
Cook lemon mixture in medium sauce pan over low heat whisking frequently for the first 5 minutes and then constantly (5-10 minutes). When mixture is hot, add gelatin and continue to whisk until mixture thickens. Strain, cool, and refrigerate.
Cake Batter
60g (2/3 c) sliced almonds
50 g. 3 tbs. butter, softened for greasing pan
75 g (1.5 c less 1 tbs)  almond powder, lightly toasted in oven
125 g (1 c) all-purpose flour, sifted
5 g (1 tsp) baking powder
pinch of salt
115 g (
8 tbs) unsalted butter, softened
200g (1 c) sugar
4 g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
4 g (1 tsp) almond extract
3 large eggs
powdered sugar, for dusting cake

Preheat oven to 350 F (180C).

Heavily grease the inside of a 9″ spring form pan with 3 tbs. of soft butter. Press half of the sliced almonds against the sides of the pan about 2/3 of the way up.

In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Set aside.
In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until nearly white, about 3 minutes. Mix in extracts.
Pour dry ingredients into butter and mixture and mix on low. Before mixture comes together, add eggs and mix on low until smooth.
Pour cake batter into pan and smooth top with an offset spatula.
Dollop lemon curd over the top center of the cake (it will spread out as it cooks) leaving a 1/2 inch edge around the perimeter. Sprinkle remaining sliced almonds over the top.  Dust with powdered sugar.
Bake 40-50 minutes until sides spring back to the touch and the center has firmed up. A toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Note: Do keep an eye on the cake while baking. Your oven may take more or less time to cook the cake.
Cool on a wire rack. Remove spring form edge. Dust with powdered sugar.
Best when eaten within 2 days but the cake will keep for about 5 days.
Bon Appetit!
Fresh New England

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  1. what a cake… I’m a lemon fanatic.. go through many a week on everything so a new cake that looks this good??? Perfect. Love the almond in a cake and yes, it looks like you do live in paradise… IPAD rocks!

  2. How I longed to shoot the apple blossoms this spring, but alas it did not happen. Or the Lilacs. A true disappointment. Glad someone was out enjoying the flowers!

    Loving that cake! Lemon is so yummy!

    My favorite photo editing app is PhotoForge2 (ipad & iPhone). I also bought the Pop!Cam inside of it, though I tend to use the regular options the most. I do have snapseed as well but find PF2 to be more like photoshop.

    Enjoy the gorgeous weather coming up!

  3. As I am admiring your beautiful pictures of the idyllic countryside my mind can’t be further away from technology. It’s amazing how gadgets have become so integrated into our lives that it is coexisting side by side with even what seemingly is remote from the technology world. I won’t be of help with app recommendations since I do not have an ipad but I am sure that suggestions will be flowing in from someone tech savvier than I.

    This is a glorious cake. In addition to the lemon curd, I like that you added the powdered almond powder and extract, which I imagine are great complements to the lemon cake.

  4. I can’t really help you with the apps. I have an ipad but I only use it for magazines (especially the magazines from the UK—like BBC Good Food—and Australia—like Donna Hay) as the digital editions are so much more affordable. I also use it for travelling & of course, surfing the web from bed when I am too lazy to get to my computer!
    This cake looks fantastic and must taste so lemony with that lemon curd 🙂

  5. I don’t have an iPad, or use twitter, or know anything about apps; sorry I can’t help you out there!

    The cake looks delicious, and the scenery even more exquisite. Mmm, lilacs, my favorite flower:)

  6. I want an iPad so badly! I just got an iPhone last fall and can’t quite justify the expense yet. But after sitting at my computer for the past two hours trying to catch up with blog friends I would much rather be sitting in a orchard. I didn’t know you could dictate a post on iPad!

    I have to try this cake since I love lemon so much! It’s beautiful!

  7. Amazing photos! 🙂
    I love how you create a very immediate atmosphere in your photos, like we’re right there with you 🙂

    The cake is great, love it 🙂

  8. I just do instagram on my iphone so not too much to recommend. I’m trying to figure out hipstamatic and have played a bit with one called color effects. As for the cake–interesting to see a curd with gelatin, and even more interesting to see it baked into a cake! Do you think you need the gelatin or would any curd do? (I have some in the freezer but don’t know if the gelatin is used specifically BECAUSE it will be baked in).

  9. Lemon and spring and your photos somehow all go together! The cake looks lush and lively, but the photos set the mood! I love the old house. Where ever did you find it? It is a “must sketch” house! … and the fence leading up to it… perfect.
    As is the little purple violet on beside the cake. Yummy!
    I am going to get the new ipad, too – haven’t yet – still working on my macbook pro – which I do love, but it is debilitating, as you have said. So, I appreciate you sharing your favourite apps. I have notes them and will definitely give them a whirl when I pick up my new ipad. I am kind of waiting for hubby to pick it up for me, but, if he doesn’t, I will be getting it very soon!
    I could picture you in the orchard, writing, photographing and enjoying the beautiful day… our lilacs are not out quite yet. Any day now….
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Glorious is right! I love fruity desserts but lemon especially. Delicious pictures too. I don’t have an ipad yet but I bookmarked your sites for when get one!!

  11. Heavenly post! I LOVE lemon. Hopefully getting an ipad for my b-day. Fingers crossed. How do you dictate a post. I’m so excited!!!

  12. It is amazing how similar the light in your pictures of New England is to what I find around here in the countryside. Your images are gorgeous and the cake picture and recipe make me want to go and bake and dig in! 😉

    You are one brave woman, working with an iPad! I am eying a 13″ Macbook Air to use when traveling. I was ready to buy one when I was told that Apple will revamp the MacBookPro, probably on the market in June already. Now I wonder whether an iPad would be an alternative.

    A wonderful weekend to you, with many hours away from the computer,

  13. My goodness, that cake has my name written all over it! I cannot believe I have never baked a cake with lemon curd mixed in the batter – that is genius! Looks amazing and I’ll be trying it soon (loooove all things lemon).

  14. Can’t wait to make this! It’s a beauty of a cake.
    Love your spring photos, El. They remind me of my years in Michigan and the pleasure I felt every spring watching all the new life!

  15. Love the photos– perfect to help me imagine myself right there! The cake sounds wonderful — love a good citrus cake!

    I’ve got a first generation iPad, so it doesn’t have a camera, but like you, I use snapseed on my iPhone and also enjoy Instagram. I’d have to double check, but collage creator is a Mac app that might also be available for the iPad — it’s fun and easy to click and drag. Flare is an effects app you might check out as well.

    Other iPad apps I enjoy are the Weather Channel app, Trip Advisor, Netflix, Pandora for music, Zite (magazine app that caters to the user’s interests), Kindle, and Evernote for bookmarking and note taking. There are lots more for reading newspapers, etc. I also have a stylus so I can write notes on recipes, etc.

    Have fun with yours!

  16. Would you be kind enough to tell me what app you use to dictate a blog post on your IPad? My husband gave me An I Pad for my birthday but I was disappointed to see I could not blog with it. I’m not sure what if any program /app will allow me to do that?

    I enjoyed reading what other apps you use and copied them all down for future reference. Thank you so much in advance!

    Your lemon cake does look glorious! It would be perfect for tea time.

  17. Citrus flavors in the summer for a picnic – this recipe resonates well with me. It also compliments my latest post about picnics. We should get together and have one ;o)

  18. Hi, I love anything lemon and would love to try your recipe. However, I am unsure about the gelatin sheets. I live in USA and wonder what there is a brand and weight of these 2 gelatin sheets? Thanks! June

    1. Hi June, I researched the web and it’s very hard to interchange powdered and sheet gelatin. The estimates vary greatly. You can order sheet gelatin online or you could experiment by adding a tsp or two of powdered gelatin and see if it gives you the consistency you desire. Of course, if you can find a good local brand of lemon curd at your farmers’ market or something like Stonewall Lemon Curd at your grocer, you wouldn’t have to make it at all! Best of luck. It’s delicious. http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/shop/speciality-foods/fruitbutters/161001.html

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