Easy Gluten Free Almond Cake

You’ll love this gluten free almond cake – it’s incredibly rich, moist and buttery, with an intense almond flavour. The lemon zest gives it a hint of freshness, and the flaked almonds on top add a wonderful toasty crunch. It’s also super easy to make!

Gluten free almond cake on a piece of white parchment paper, with a few slices already cut.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you – it’s a huge favourite in our house and the moment the last piece disappears, we’re already planning when to bake it next.

This simple almond cake isn’t super fancy or elaborate. It’s a rather nostalgic kind of bake, the kind you might expect to find in a time-worn recipe scrapbook of a grandma. It’s incredibly rich, moist and buttery, with an intense almond flavour. The lemon zest gives it a hint of freshness, and the flaked almonds on top add a wonderful toasty crunch.

It’s essentially a cake version of frangipane – it has all the buttery richness and almond flavour, but it’s far softer and fluffier, and it lacks the gooey texture of a frangipane.

However, if you’re feeling extra indulgent, you could under-bake it by a few minutes, to get a slightly fudgy centre. This way, you’ll have a cake-like exterior and a fudgy, extra-decadent frangipane-like centre. The best of both worlds!

A piece of almond cake, topped with flaked almonds, on a white dessert plate.

This easy almond cake is truly incredibly easy to make. I do recommend that you use a stand or hand mixer, as the first step involves whipping the eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy (more on that below). While you could do it by hand with only a balloon whisk, it would take forever and leave you exhausted (and with some seriously achy arms). So, make your life easier and use a stand or hand mixer.

In addition to being super easy to make, this cake also uses only the usual pantry staples that you probably already have on hand. And, finally, it’s gluten free! Not that you could possibly tell – it’s wonderfully moist, soft and delicious, and you’ll definitely be back for seconds.

Overhead view of the gluten free almond cake on a piece of white parchment paper, with a few slices already cut.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful cake – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

How do you make a gluten free almond cake?

Making this gluten free almond cake truly couldn’t be easier. Here’s how:

  1. In a large bowl (if using a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters) or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the caster/superfine sugar, light brown soft sugar and lemon zest.
  2. Add two eggs and an egg white (the egg white adds extra lift and fluffiness),
  3. and whip them together until pale and fluffy. This usually takes about 10 minutes. At the end, you should reach the “ribbon stage”, where the whipped eggs form a ribbon on top of the mixture when you lift the whisk.
  4. Add the milk and yoghurt, and whisk briefly until combined.
  5. Sift in the dry ingredients (almond flour, gluten free flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt) and whisk well until combined and no flour clumps remain.
  6. With the stand or hand mixer running at medium-high speed, slowly pour in the melted (and cooled) unsalted butter.
  7. Whisk well until completely incorporated and you get a smooth cake batter.
  8. Transfer the cake batter into a lined springform pan and smooth out the top.
  9. Sprinkle generously with the flaked almonds.
  10. And then: bake!

The first 6 steps of the 10-step process of making the gluten free almond cake.

The last 4 steps of the 10-step process of making the gluten free almond cake.

The baked almond cake should be well risen and an inserted toothpick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. The flaked almonds on top should be nicely toasted and of a deep golden colour.

(If they start browning too quickly, just cover the cake with aluminium foil – shiny side up – and continue baking until done.)

Gluten free almond cake on a piece of white parchment paper.

And that’s all there is to it! See, I told you it’s incredibly easy.

There’s honestly nothing that can go wrong here, so long as you follow the recipe to the letter. The eggs and sugar might take a while to whip up to the “ribbon stage”. Depending on your mixer (and especially if you’re using a hand mixer), it might take as long as 12–14 minutes, though with a stand mixer it takes closer to 10 minutes.

Don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit longer. Just whip it until it’s super fluffy – this is the most important step in the recipe and it’s worth spending an extra minute or two just to get it right.

Gluten free almond cake on a piece of white parchment paper, with a few slices already cut.

And the end result – the beautiful golden-brown gluten free almond cake – is so very worth it. The crunchy toasted flaked almonds on top, the buttery yet also moist and fluffy texture of the sponge, the mingling of almond and lemon zest flavours… it’s all so very, very delicious.

I really hope you’ll love this cake as much as I do.

Happy baking,

Signature of the author, Kat.

Overhead view of the gluten free almond cake on a piece of white parchment paper, with a few slices already cut.

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Gluten free almond cake on a piece of white parchment paper, with a few slices already cut.
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Easy Gluten Free Almond Cake

You’ll love this gluten free almond cake – it’s incredibly rich, moist and buttery, with an intense almond flavour. The lemon zest gives it a hint of freshness, and the flaked almonds on top add a wonderful toasty crunch. It’s also super easy to make!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Bake/Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 2 UK medium/US large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 UK medium/US large egg white, room temperature
  • 75 g (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) caster/superfine sugar (or granulated sugar if you can't find caster sugar)
  • 75 g (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 60 g (¼ cup) whole milk, room temperature
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) full-fat plain natural or Greek-style yoghurt, room temperature
  • 135 g (1 ⅓ cup) almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
  • 90 g (¾ cup) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour, which doesn't contain xanthan gum. You can also mix your own from 50% while rice flour, 30% potato starch and 20% maize flour by weight.)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 113 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 90 g (1 cup) flaked almonds

Instructions

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line an 8 inch (20 cm) springform pan with baking/greaseproof paper.

  2. In a large bowl (if using a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters) or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, egg white, caster/superfine sugar, light brown soft sugar and lemon zest.

  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together on high speed for about 10 minutes until pale, fluffy and approximately tripled in volume. (Depending on the mixer you're using, it might take as long as 12-14 minutes, especially if using a hand mixer.)

    Tip: At the end, you should reach the “ribbon stage”, where the whipped eggs form a ribbon on top of the mixture when you lift the whisk.

  4. Add the milk and yoghurt, and whisk briefly until combined.

  5. Sift in the dry ingredients (almond flour, gluten free flour blend, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt) and whisk well until combined and no flour clumps remain.

  6. With the stand or hand mixer running at medium-high speed, slowly pour in the melted unsalted butter. Once completely incorporated, whisk on high speed for a further 20-30 seconds, until you get a smooth cake batter.

  7. Transfer the cake batter into the lined springform pan and smooth out the top.

  8. Sprinkle evenly with the flaked almonds, so that in the end almost no cake batter is visible through the layer of flaked almonds.

  9. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 45-50 minutes or until well risen, deep golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. If the top of the cake (the flaked almonds) start browning too quickly, cover with alminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done.

    Tip: If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you could under-bake the cake by a few minutes, to get a slightly fudgy centre. This way, you’ll have a cake-like exterior and a fudgy, extra-decadent frangipane-like centre. In that case, you're looking for a toothpick with a little bit of half-baked batter attached.

  10. Allow the baked cake to cool in the springform pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove from the springform pan onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely (or until warm).

  11. This almond cake is best served warm or at room temperature.

Storage:

  1. The gluten free almond cake keeps well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3-4 days.

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