Gluten-Free Almond Cake

Moist. Very few people seem to like that word.

Vertical image of a whole dessert topped with nuts and powdered sugar and cut in slices, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Some people shudder in clear discomfort when hearing it muttered in conversation. Many do whatever it takes to completely avoid using it to describe food.

But I’ll gladly sing it from the mountaintops Sound-of-Music-style every time I talk about this gluten-free almond cake!

That hilariously cringeworthy word is by far the best descriptor for my latest sweet creation. You won’t believe how light and moist the crumb is, despite being completely free of any wheat flour or other grains.

Vertical image of a slice of a yellow dessert garnished with sliced nuts on a white plate.

With a combination of almond flour and coconut flour mixed with sugar, milk, butter, and eggs, the final baked goodie is a delectable way to end a meal.

While optional, I like to include a lovely layer of sliced almonds sprinkled over the top of the batter after transferring it to the pan. As the cake bakes, the almond slices are gently toasted on top.

Vertical image of a whole dessert topped with sliced nuts and powdered sugar over a white towel and more nuts.

They add a perfect textural contrast to the base – with every beautiful bite, you’ll enjoy both the melt-in-your-mouth cake and the delicately thin and crunchy almonds.

I love to serve the whole cake on a platter with a light dusting of powdered sugar. The final presentation looks so effortlessly elegant!

Vertical close-up image of a slice of yellow dessert garnished with sliced nuts and a fine dusting of powdered sugar on a white tray.

And if you want to introduce some other gluten-free favorites like homemade ice cream or freshly whipped cream, they would feel right at home served with a slice.

You could even eliminate the sliced almonds completely and choose to cover the baked cake with your favorite frosting, like American-style or Swiss meringue buttercream.

Vertical image of a fork cutting into a moist yellow cake garnished with nuts and powdered sugar on a white plate next to a white towel.

With this recipe, along with all the different options you have for serving it, making the perfect *moist* gluten-free dessert course couldn’t be easier!

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Horizontal image of a slice of yellow dessert garnished with sliced nuts and powdered sugar on a white plate.

Gluten-Free Almond Cake


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cake (12 servings) 1x

Description

Gluten-free desserts don’t have to be dry and tasteless. With our almond cake, you can enjoy a super moist crumb and a subtly sweet flavor. Read more now.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup raw sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray the paper and sides with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, combining after each addition at medium speed. Add the milk and vanilla, mixing at medium speed until completely combined. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients, mixing at medium speed until completely combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, and briefly mix again. The batter will be thick.
  5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the top evenly with a spatula. Evenly scatter the sliced almonds on the top of the batter, if you choose to use them. 
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes before gently removing from the springform pan to cool completely on a wire rack. 
  7. Once completely cool, transfer to a serving platter and dust with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: gluten-free, cake, almond, almond flour, coconut flour

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep Pan and Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray the paper and sides with cooking spray.

Horizontal image of assorted ingredients in white bowls on a black surface.

Measure out all of the ingredients, making sure all of the refrigerated ingredients like the milk, eggs, and butter are at room temperature.

Step 2 – Make the Batter

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Not sure what type of almond flour to use? You can use blanched or unblanched almond flour or meal for this recipe. Any of these choices will yield close to the same results.

If your almond flour or coconut flour has a lot of clumps, you can sift the dry ingredients together instead of whisking.

Horizontal image of a bowl and a paddle attachment with a thick yellow batter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, combining after each addition at medium speed.

Add the milk and vanilla, mixing at medium speed until completely combined. It may look a little curdled, but the mixture will be fine once you add the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients, mixing at medium speed until completely combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula, and briefly mix again.

The batter will be very thick, and will look grainy from the alternative flours.

Step 3 – Transfer to Pan

Pour the batter into your prepared pan.

Horizontal image of an evenly spread thick yellow batter in a circular pan.

Because the batter is thick, you will need a spatula to remove all of the batter from the bowl and to spread it evenly in the pan.

Step 4 – Add Almonds (Optional)

If using, evenly scatter the sliced almonds on the top of the batter.

Horizontal image of a light yellow batter in a circular pan topped with sliced nuts.

There should still be some spots of exposed batter visible in between the topping.

Step 5 – Bake

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Horizontal image of a circular baked dessert topped with nuts next to a white towel.

Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Gently remove the cake from the springform pan and let it cool completely on a cooling rack.

Step 6 – Cool and Serve

Once it’s completely cool, carefully transfer to a serving platter and dust with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy!

Horizontal image of a whole dessert topped with sliced nuts and powdered sugar over a white towel and more nuts.

This would also be the time to frost it instead, if you choose to go that route.

Dry and Tasteless? No Way!

If you are struggling with making delicious flourless desserts, the anguish ends today!

Horizontal image of a slice of yellow dessert garnished with sliced nuts and powdered sugar on a white plate.

You’ll love how easy this cake is to whip up and bake. Everyone will be salivating over how luscious this cake is, and how perfectly sweet and aromatic it is with the subtle addition of a little almond and vanilla extract.

Even if you were a hater before, you’ll want to say the “m” word after the first bite!

Do you have any tips and tricks for baking moist and delightful wheatless desserts? Let’s have a chat in the comment section below!

But first… more recipes! Keep that tummy full and happy with even more gluten-free sweet treats:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on September 14, 2012. Last updated on July 9, 2021.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

9 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Almond Cake”

  1. I’ve recently started to use more and more almond flour/meal after making cookies from The Sprouted Kitchen book and after making a lot of almond milk and learning quickly what to do with the remains from it: almond meal! So this looks really wonderful and perfect for this time of year.

    Reply
  2. I don’t avoid gluten, personally, but my friend made some terrific cornbread with almond meal the other day so I think I’ll start experimenting with it! The cake looks delicious.

    Reply

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