• Recipe Testing: Simple Yellow Cake and Cupcakes {using almond flour}

    Recipe testing yellow cake

    Do you have a birthday coming up, or a party to go to? Or do you just feel like baking a cake or cupcakes? In any case, I’d love your help with this one.

    I’ve found the yellow cake recipe using almond flour to be a bit finicky, which is partly due to the nature of “souffle-type” cakes. To remedy this, I’ve been testing various versions of this recipe, with interesting results. My conclusion is that whipping egg whites is fun and brings air and height to the cake, but also brings a degree of difficulty to a recipe that I’d rather not have if I don’t need it.

    So the recipe below does not require egg-white whipping. The cake might be less spongy, but I love the flavor and consistency. It may not be as light as a yellow cake layer using all-purpose flour, but the flavor makes up for it (in my opinion) but I’d love your opinion, if you’re up for it. And if you are diving in, this recipe is for one yellow cake layer, or one round of cupcakes, because I think they’ll make great cupcakes as well. For a layer cake, just double the recipe and pour into two baking pans.

    One minor snafu I’ve had that you want to be aware of. I’ve been so heads-down testing that I didn’t realize I had run of out of blanched almond flour. I thought I had one bag left, but when I opened the box from Honeyville, it was almond meal. I mistakenly ordered almond meal instead of blanched almond flour. Bad timing. So, I’m taking a little brake from testing almond flour recipes.


    Posted in Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Paleo, SCD, Vegetarian  |  60 Comments

    60 Responses to Recipe Testing: Simple Yellow Cake and Cupcakes {using almond flour}

    1. Bernadette says:

      Oh! I’ve been ordering Honeyville through amazon, but it’s labeled as “almond meal flour” Is that the wrong thing? Now I’m confused. Please take a look. If there’s a different product from Honeyville that I should be using, I’d like to know.

      I’ve made your yellow cake before and it never looked like your picture. This may explain it. Or it may be as you say, “finicky”


    2. Mindy says:

      i actually prefer almond meal and make all your recipes using that. they don’t turn out as pretty as yours, but to me they taste better.

      • Erica says:

        good to know. almond meal works well in the bread and muffin recipes, but many prefer the lighter, finer grind of blanched almond flour for cakes and cupcakes (so that they’re similar to all purpose flour cakes).

    3. Sean says:

      Try using a little xanthum gum. It acts a little like gluten to stabilize the almond flour/meal. This allows for a bit more rising of the cake (but not much).

    4. ashley smith says:

      SUPER TASTY! Thank you for this recipe. I am a typpe 1 diabetic always on the hunt for low sugar, no flour ( besides almond and coconut) recipe’s. This is a new favorite! I am going to put together a low sugar cream cheese frosting for the topping 🙂

    5. Rachael says:

      This looks really good! I’m going to try making it for a birthday. Do you have a recipe for a frosting?

    6. nicole says:

      Thanks for this – I actually have tried your other recipe with whipping the egg whites and found it to be a bit too spongy for my taste so am excited for this version. As I’m just trying out baking with almond flour, I have noticed that sometimes it feels like my baked goods turn out too moist/oily … I have not tried reducing the amount of oil/butter called for in some recipes yet, but do you think that might be a good solution? I know nut flours are higher in fat, so I wonder if reducing some of the other fat would help balance it out …

      • Erica says:

        I think you could go down to 1/4 cup of oil, but I haven’t tested it. I’m curious though, so I might test it later this week (when I get another shipment of almond flour). If you try it, let us know how it goes. Thanks!

    7. nikkipolani says:

      I definitely prefer blanched almond flour to almond meal for baking. And I just got my five pounds of Honeyville almond flour so I will definitely try your recipe. Thanks!

    8. Mindy says:

      i made the cupcakes using almond meal. frosted them with chocolate cream cheese frosting. kids and hubby gobbled them up very fast. i plan to double the recipe and make more tomorrow.

    9. Ariana says:

      Can I replace the honey with Splenda, and if so, what would be the conversion?

      • Erica says:

        I don’t know offhand, but I would imagine it’s whatever sugar conversion you use plus the added measurement of moisture from the amount of honey added.

    10. Denise says:

      This recipe was just in time for my birthday party. I have made your previous ylow cake/refrigerator cake recipe and loved it. This recipe was simple and so easy. The cake had a really nice lightness. I was surprised how much the cupcakes rose. Great recipe!

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    12. This is exactly what I came to your site looking for. The fair trade and organic coffee shop near my office had this pound cake that they make in house (using flour) that is beyond flavorful. I splurged some calories and purchased one. I came here knowing I could find simple cake recipe that utilized alternative ingredients better suited to my diet and preferred food choices. Thanks.

    13. Shelby Sorenson says:

      I made this and it turned out amazing per my husband! I am always trying to make recipes more healthy without losing the wonderful flavor. What do you think about replacing the oil with unsweetened apple sauce?

      Has anyone tried any other sweetners besides honey?


    14. Mel says:

      Excellent recipe! I would like to add this advice, though: If making cupcakes, the yield is more like 8-10 cupcakes (even with large liners), and liners should be filled only 2/3 full. Otherwise, they will not fully cook in the middle and spill over the edges. Thank you again!

    15. Mel says:

      @Shelby, I used light agave instead of honey.

    16. Tricia says:

      I just made this yellow cake. It is now cooling down. So far it looks perfect. Hope it holds up together. I love baking with almond flour.

      • Tricia says:

        The only thing i added to this recipe is a teaspoon of my favorite sweet liquor called “Stega.” My mother used to put it in her yellow cakes when we were growing up. I also added a little bit of lemon zest. The middle of the cake is darker than the the outer layer, wonder if it’s the liquor that made this happen, but it looks great!

    17. Amanda says:

      Yay….THANK YOU!! I have been looking for an almond flour cupcake recipe for my daughter’s first birthday (we are a GAPS family.) This looks lovely. I am going to do a drained yogurt frosting and top with berries…should make for some lovely smash photos, and a happy older brother who will be able to eat his baby sister’s first birthday cake! Thanks again!

    18. Shelly says:

      Quick question- it just says oil in the ingredients. Can this be any oil (I was planning on using coconut oil)

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    20. Rachel says:

      Hi…I would like to make a cake or cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow. Do you think I could throw some berries in the batter or would that throw it off? It seems like it would be fine. Any other ideas of how to decorate it that would be SCD legal? I’m new to this…

    21. Synda says:

      does the recipe require eleven half cups of almond flour or 1 1/2 cups of almond flour

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    23. Corinne R. DiLeo says:

      I love the vanilla cake recipe and I’m new to your website. What is “SCD”?
      Also do you have a recipe for an apple and cranberry fruit crisp? I was thinking of combining the vanilla cake with apples and possibly microwaving it(for convenience) or baking it for crispness. Has anyone tried this?

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    25. Emily says:

      Made these as cupcakes & the center deflated… Taste good but not sure how to fix this divet issue???

    26. Marcy says:

      I’m so in love with this cake. On a no sugar, low carb diet, this is great. I subbed the honey with sugar free vanilla flavoring (like you use in coffee) and added some monk fruit in the raw as well. This turned out amazing. I made 1 layer and used it to make a strawberry shortcake. It was fantastic and lots of people said they wouldn’t have known it was low carb if I hadn’t told them. Thanks!!

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    28. Daun says:

      I was making this recipe for my carb free grandson’s b-day. I had to substitute splenda for the honey, vinegar for the lemon juice and clarified butter for the oil. The cake did not rise much. I did use new baking soda which I proofed. Do you have any idea why I did not get the rise. I hand mixed it to not over beat the eggs.
      I actually make gluten dairy free products which have no gums in them only natural ingredients so am familiar with rising problems.

    29. Jeanne says:

      What about Protein Powder? Would that help?

    30. Sarah says:

      Do you think this recipe would work without the egg? We are allergic. Possibly replace with applesauce Or banana? I’m desperately looking for a recipe for my bday on Thursday!

      • Erica says:

        I don’t know since I haven’t tried it, sorry. Banana is more likely to work. Can you use flaxseed eggs? that works well when the recipe calls for 2 eggs or less, in general.

    31. Mariana says:

      Curious whether you have any thoughts on why my cake rose and then collapsed when i checked it at 20 min? It rose well but was still jiggly in the middle, so put it back in for 5min. When I took it out, it looked more like a volcano. I followed the ingredients, using avocado oil for the oil. It tastes yummy, but somewhat malformed for icing. 🙂 Thx for all the delish recipes, Erica!

      • Erica says:

        Not sure if the icing fell or the cake, or both, but sorry to hear. I don’t use this recipe often but others had had success with it. My reliable cake recipe is in my SCD cookbook (using almond flour), and I have one in my Coconut flour cookbook as well (using coconut flour).

    32. Mariana says:

      Will check those out…thx Erica!

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