An incredibly rich and buttery keto pound cake is made with almond flour and flavored with vanilla and lemon zest.
This wonderful cake is dedicated to my beloved Oma (grandma in Dutch), who was an amazing baker.
I miss her buttery baked goods, and I’m doing my best to recreate some of them, albeit keeping them sugar-free and low-carb. A tall order, for sure.
Grandmas are bad at giving recipes
“So, how much liquid do I need to add to the dough?”
“As much as it will take.”
This was how Ziporah, my husband’s grandma, used to respond when my mother in law would ask her how to make one of her famous recipes. Needless to say, this is not how most of us make recipes these days. Modern cookbooks and food blogs have spoiled us with exact measurements, detailed instructions, and step-by-step photographs.
When I asked Oma for her boterkoek (Dutch butter cake) recipe, I was pleasantly surprised when she started with exact measurements: “Take 300 grams flour, 250 grams butter and 250 grams sugar.”
Of course, it all went downhill from there. The rest of the instructions went something like “make a smooth dough out of these ingredients; transfer to a pan (what size??); brush with egg white; bake 5 minutes at a very high temperature (how high, grandma??), then lower the temperature and bake until done.”
Oma’s Dutch butter cake
But it was important for me to bake this cake. Boterkoek is a dense, extremely rich cake. It’s made of three ingredients, all in equal parts more or less: flour, butter, and sugar. No baking powder – so it’s more like a big giant soft butter cookie than a tall fluffy cake.
Oma’s baked goods, in general, are one of my favorite childhood food memories. They were always so rich and buttery. They stood in stark contrast to the margarine-based baked goods that most Israelis made back then (margarine was cheaper; it was thought to be better for you, and it kept foods Pareve for those eating Kosher).
I ended up making that cake, improvising a little, and loving every bite of the dense, buttery result. But now that my husband and I are on a low-carb diet, that wonderful cake is no longer an option.
Keto Pound Cake
However, a pound cake is very similar in its concept. The pound cake was named after its ingredients. The classic recipe, dating back to the 1700s, calls for a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs (which, I believe, would be about eight large eggs). You can halve the ingredients, as long as you keep the same ratio.
Over the years, many variations on the basic recipe have evolved. Since my goal is to create low-carb and gluten-free baked goods, my recipe obviously differs from the classic one.
But the result is similar. A rich, very flavorful, deeply buttery cake, where a thin slice goes a LONG way. So don’t be tempted to cut yourself a thick slice! Do as the Dutch do, show some restraint 😆and cut your cake into 12 slices.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty keto pound cake. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included. Even though the ratio of eggs to the other ingredient is fairly high, I don’t think the cake tastes eggy at all.
Butter: I use unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled. If you can get European butter, go for it! It’s wonderfully creamy and flavorful.
Sweetener: I use stevia glycerite to equal about 1/2 cup sugar. I haven’t experimented with using a granulated sweetener.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing – pure vanilla extract – and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Lemon zest: Adds SO MUCH, so please please don’t skip it. You can also use orange zest, as I do in the video.
Almond flour: I use blanched finely ground almond flour. I don’t recommend using a coarse almond meal.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, use just a pinch.
Baking powder: Make sure it’s fresh. Although I haven’t tested it, you can probably use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda instead of the baking powder, as long as you use the lemon or orange zest. The baking soda needs an acidic ingredient to activate it.
How to make a keto pound cake
It’s easy! One of my easiest recipes, in fact. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a small loaf pan (8.5 X 4.5 inches) with parchment paper and lightly grease it.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients in the order listed, starting with the liquid ingredients and then gradually adding the dry ingredients.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake the cake until puffed, golden and fragrant, and a toothpick inserted in its center comes out clean. This should take about 30 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven to a cooling rack. Let it cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
Tips for making this recipe a success
Make sure you use a small loaf pan (available on Amazon). A standard loaf pan will produce a flat cake.
The lemon zest (or orange zest) truly is an important part of this recipe. The cake will taste good without it – but it will taste amazing with it.
How to store the cake
Once completely cool, line the bottom of an airtight container with wax paper and store the keto pound cake in the container, in the fridge, for up to 5 days. I like to gently warm up each slice, about 10 seconds in the microwave.
You can also slice the entire cake and freeze the slices in freezer bags. Separate layers with wax paper.
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Keto Pound Cake
- 5 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 1/2 teaspoon stevia glycerite (equals 1/2 cup sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest or orange zest
- 2 cups blanched finely ground almond flour blanched, finely ground (8 oz)
- 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a small loaf pan (8.5 X 4.5 inches) with parchment paper, leaving overhang, as shown in the video. Lightly spray the parchment paper with oil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, melted butter, sweetener, and vanilla extract.
- Gradually add the lemon zest, almond flour, kosher salt, and finally the baking powder.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top out with a spatula and tap the pan a few times on the kitchen counter to help spread the batter evenly in the pan.
- Bake the cake until puffed, golden and fragrant, and a toothpick inserted in its center comes out clean. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. Let cool slightly until easier to handle, then use the parchment overhang to remove the cake from the pan. Carefully peel the parchment away and place the cake directly on the cooling rack Cool for 30 more minutes before slicing.