Updated Aug 29, 2023
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This almond cake is the perfect dessert for every and any occasion. Serve it plain for afternoon tea, or top it with whipped cream and fresh fruit for the holidays. All you need are seven simple ingredients, with a secret addition that gives it that deliciously pure almond flavor.
I love a simple cake that’s not overly sweet or overly complicated with excess ingredients. And that’s what this almond cake recipe is all about! It’s one of those cakes you can enjoy anytime, anywhere, depending on how you top it off (I’ve got a few ideas below).
For reference, this almond cake is almost like a Tarta de Santiago cake (Spanish almond cake). But instead of using lemon juice or lemon zest in the ingredients, like my paleo lemon blueberry cake, this recipe emphasizes the natural almond flavor that’s mild and slightly sweet. Call me a purist, but I want my almond cake to taste like nutty, earthy, and toasty almonds!
Almond Cake Ingredients
- Dry Ingredients: You’ll see other recipes using almond paste or freshly ground almonds. But to keep things simple, finely ground almond flour achieves the same result with fewer ingredients. In addition to that, you’ll need baking soda and a pinch of kosher salt.
- Eggs: When it comes to baking, it’s best to bring your eggs to room temperature. They’ll blend in better with the batter, help the cake rise properly, and give it a slightly fluffier texture.
- Sweetener: You can use maple syrup or honey in this recipe. Personally, I prefer maple syrup, as I feel it gives a lighter overall texture, while honey can increase the density just a smidge.
- Vanilla and Almond Extract: Vanilla extract is a key ingredient and adds sweetness. But if you want to bump up the almond flavor, I highly recommend using almond extract as well.
- Toppings: Top your cake with sliced almonds for that final almond touch. And if you’ve got time, dusting powdered sugar will make it look exquisite. Side note – you can make powdered sugar in a snap from any granulated sugar!
How To Make Almond Cake
Grease the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan. You can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper for easy removal.
Mix dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt.
Mix wet ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
Combine the ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir it all together until it’s combined into a cake batter.
Bake the cake. Pour the batter into the greased pan and top with sliced almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove and let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.
Almond Cake Toppings
- Classic Topping: My favorite is to top this cake off with extra sliced almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s simple, elegant, and perfect for brunch or afternoon tea.
- Fruity Topping: If you want to jazz this up a little bit for the holidays, you can add dollops of coconut whipped cream on each slice with pieces of fresh fruit.
Ingredient Substitutions & Modifications
- Using a different sugar. As a reminder, the dry-to-wet ratio in baking is crucial. Since I’ve made this recipe with a liquid sweetener, you can easily swap maple syrup with honey, date syrup, or liquid erythritol for a keto-friendly option. But if you’re using granulated sugar, you’ll need to adjust the ratio by either adding additional wet ingredients or minimizing a dry ingredient.
- Add a hint of citrus flavor. You can always omit the almond extract and add lemon or orange zest for a bright flavor.
- Alternative to almond flour. A traditional almond cake requires almond flour or a base that’s ground almonds or even almond paste. But if you can’t find almond flour, hazelnut flour works in a 1:1 substitution. Unfortunately, other flours are not usually an equal substitution and may require some tweaking to find the perfect ratio.
I love to use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour (which I’ve linked below in the ingredients). But any brand will work as long as the flour is super fine and blanched.
It’s highly unlikely there’ll be leftovers (yes, it’s that yummy). But leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If you’d like to store it longer, once it’s completely cooled, tightly double-wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Easy Cake Recipes
- Gluten-Free Carrot Cake: One of my personal favorites! And carrot cake is easier to make than you think.
- Amazing Paleo Chocolate Cake: If you’ve got chocolate on your mind, this is a chocolate cake you’ll want to make.
- Flourless Chocolate Cake: Go flourless with this delicious and rich chocolate cake!
- Berry Sheet Cake: Another simple cake recipe loaded with fresh berries for berry season!
I hope you enjoy this simple almond cake as much as I do! If you make it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recipe in the comment box below.
- Grease the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan. You can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper for easy removal.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix wet ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until combined into a cake batter.
- Bake the cake. Pour the batter into the greased pan and top with sliced almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove and let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.
- Serve the cake with the simple sliced almond topping, or if you'd like, garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar.
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