This almond flour cake has a rich vanilla flavor, moist texture and is both gluten free and grain free. It can easily be made refined sugar free, dairy free and is topped with a simple vanilla frosting. Perfect for a healthy birthday cake!
This almond flour cake took so much trial and error, but it is truly the perfect healthy vanilla cake! It’s made in one bowl and so easy to make.
It’s adapted from my almond flour chocolate cake, but with a few essential tweaks since we obviously aren’t using any cocoa powder.
You can give it a rich almond flavor by adding in some almond extract, or keep it simple and just use the vanilla. You’ll notice this recipe calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla, which is a lot, but it’s key to getting that rich flavor to shine through!
This recipe is completely gluten free, dairy free optional and even paleo and keto friendly which makes it a great baking option for diabetics. If you love this recipe, try my almond flour cupcakes next!
Eggs. You need six whole eggs for this almond flour cake, which provides a lot of the structure. The eggs will bind everything together, help the cake rise and add moisture.
Almond Flour. The key ingredient! Be sure to use almond flour from blanched almonds and not almond meal. Almond flour has a finer texture than almond meal and will give a lighter texture.
Tapioca & coconut flour. These both allow the cake to have a soft texture without the grittiness that almond flour can sometimes have.
Sugar & honey. I opted to use white sugar to keep the cake a more traditional color, but you can swap for coconut sugar or a keto granulated sugar instead. I do not recommend any substitutes for the honey.
Butter. You only need 1/3 cup of melted butter since the almond flour adds so much fat and moisture on its own! Dairy free or regular butter will work!
Canned coconut milk. This helps add more moisture without the need for too much butter. You can sub for whole milk if you are not dairy free.
How to make almond flour cake
Whisk wet. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients until smooth.
Whisk dry. Whisk in the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms. Be sure to spoon and level all flours, don’t scoop from the bag!
Transfer evenly to your prepared pans. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Bake. Bake for 28-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
The tops of the cakes will brown much more than a traditional vanilla cake, don’t worry, this is just the nature of almond flour and is to be expected!
Cool. Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then slice around the edge of the cake to make sure nothing is stuck to the sides, then flip onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Make frosting. Meanwhile, cream the butter for the frosting with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.
Beat in the powdered sugar, followed by the milk, vanilla and salt. Start with 4 cups of the sugar and add more if you need it thicker.
Frost & serve! When the cakes have cooled completely, add a layer of frosting to the top, then add an optional layer of jam, followed by the next cake layer and finish it off with more frosting.
Top with berries or serve as is!
There are so many ways to decorate a vanilla cake, I opted for a basic buttercream frosting with berries on top!
You can add sprinkles, swirl some jam on the frosting, use a chocolate frosting, or just some simple whipped cream and berries between layers for a lighter option that’s perfect for summer.
Frequently asked questions
Do almond flour cakes rise well?
Yes, they can when done correctly! The key is to use enough eggs and baking powder to get that rise and fluffy texture.
This recipe calls for 6 eggs, which might seem like a lot, but it’s essential for a light and fluffy texture and binding everything together.
Do I need to use xanthan gum?
Nope! No xanthan gum is needed in this almond flour cake. That is an ingredient that is typically added to help bind gluten free recipes together, but I found that using enough eggs gets the job done.
The tapioca starch also works as an effective binder as well.
Can I make it vegan?
Unfortunately, no. The eggs are such an important ingredient for both binding and rising, and omitting or subbing for an egg substitute will not go over well!
You can, however, make this cake dairy free. Just use dairy free butter for both the cake itself and the frosting.
Can you substitute almond flour for regular flour?
Generally, no, which is why I suggest making a recipe that already calls for almond flour.
A small portion of all purpose flour can sometimes be replaced with almond flour, but it depends on the recipe. This recipe calls for almond, tapioca and coconut flours and no all purpose flour.
More almond flour recipes you’ll love!
If you want more recipes straight to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to my email list! As always, be sure to tag me on instagram so I can see your creation. Leave a comment and rating below if you try this recipe!
Almond Flour Vanilla Cake
by: claire cary
- 6 large eggs
- ⅓ cup butter melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar see notes
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- ¼ cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease and line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Be sure to grease AND line because the cake will stick otherwise!
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients. Be sure to shake up the can of coconut milk before measuring so it's not lumpy and pours out smooth. If you have a hard time with this (certain brands can be tricky) blitz it in the blender for a few seconds!
- Whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms. Be sure to spoon and level all flours, don't scoop from the bag!
- Transfer evenly to your prepared pans. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Bake for 28-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- The tops of the cakes will brown much more than a traditional vanilla cake, don't worry, this is just the nature of almond flour and is to be expected!
- Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then slice around the edge of the cake to make sure nothing is stuck to the sides, then flip onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Meanwhile, cream the butter for the frosting with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the powdered sugar, followed by the milk, vanilla and salt. Start with 4 cups of the sugar and add more if you need it thicker.
- When the cakes have cooled completely, add a layer of frosting to the top, then add an optional layer of jam, followed by the next cake layer and finish it off with more frosting.
- Top with berries or serve as is!