Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch springform pan and add a sprinkling of almond meal; rotate the pan around to coat the inside and tap out any excess.
Use a handheld electric mixer to beat the egg whites in a large bowl until they form stiff peaks; set aside for now.
In a separate large bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla bean paste, almond extract, and lemon zest about 3 minutes, or until it’s pale-colored and falls off the beats in thick ribbons.
Add the almond meal, salt, and baking powder to the wet ingredients all at once and stir to combine (the batter will be very thick at this point).
Add 1/4 of the egg whites and stir to fully incorporate them. Add the remaining egg whites 1/4 at a time, stirring the batter with a rubber spatula only in 1 direction and being careful not to over-mix. (Seeing some streaks of egg whites is better than over-mixing.)
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until it’s golden and feels springy to the touch, about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not over-bake.
Cool completely; serve with a dollop of coconut “whipped cream” or regular whipped cream if desired.