Would you look at that red, white and blue showstopper? I’ve been dreaming of this almond cake concept for months, and I’m sharing it just in time for your Fourth of July festivities. It’s my abstract, gluten-free version of a flag sheet cake.
This gluten-free almond cake is lightly sweetened with maple syrup (or honey), infused with fresh lemon flavor, and topped with creamy Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries and blueberries. It’s a winner!
The cake itself is tender and possesses an almost graham cracker-like flavor, thanks to the combination of almond meal and maple syrup. It’s not overtly sweet like boxed cake mixes, but it definitely tastes like a treat.
This beauty would be a dessert for any occasion (use any variety of seasonal fruit). It’s also wholesome enough to pass for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack.
The best part? It’s very easy to make! No mixer required.
This cake’s nutrition profile begs a mention, too. While it’s not a low calorie cake, it does offer a good amount of fiber and protein, thanks to the almond meal base.
It’s made with olive oil instead of butter, so most of the fat is the heart-healthy monounsaturated variety. Not many cakes can make these claims, and this one does it with style.
Almond Cake Notes & Tips
A springform pan (most often used for cheesecake) is best for this recipe. It looks like a round cake pan but you can remove the sides when the cake is done baking. I bought my springform at TJ Maxx forever ago, but here is my favorite bakeware brand’s springform (affiliate link).
Don’t over-bake this cake! It’s done when it’s firm to the touch in the middle. When it’s properly baked, it’s tender, moist (sorry) and you can appreciate the almond-maple-lemon flavors in all of their nuanced glory.
This simple cake recipe is versatile. It’s delicious even without toppings, and a slice would go well with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of fruit compote or yogurt.
You can change the citrus (orange is delicious) and fruit topping, too—think sliced ripe peaches later this summer, homemade applesauce in the fall, and raspberries and strawberries for Valentine’s Day.
Please let me know how you like this cake in the comments! I hope it’s a smashing success at your Independence Day get-together.
Gluten-Free Almond Cake with Berries on Top
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour (plus 30-minute cooling time)
- Yield: 1 cake 1x
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
This delicious gluten-free almond cake recipe is easy to make and naturally sweetened. Top with yogurt and fresh berries for a party-worthy cake! Recipe yields one 9-inch cake, enough for 8 slices.
- 2 cups firmly packed almond meal or almond flour (8 ounces), plus extra for dusting the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 2 medium lemons, preferably organic), plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or whipped cream
- ½ pound ripe strawberries, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (6 ounces)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease a 9″ springform pan* and dust it with almond meal to prevent sticking.
- To make the cake: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the almond meal, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to blend.
- Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat with a whisk until the yolks and egg whites have blended together. Add the maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon zest and whisk to blend. Pour the wet ingredients into the almond meal mixture and stir until there are just a few clumps remaining.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan (it will be runny; don’t worry). Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and the center is firm to the touch.
- Meanwhile, to make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon maple syrup until blended. (If you’re using honey instead and having a hard time blending it into the lemon juice, place the bowl on top of your stove to warm it up while the cake bakes, or warm it briefly in the microwave until you can whisk them together.)
- Once the cake is out of the oven, place the cake, pan and all, on a cooling rack. While the cake is warm, use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over the top of the cake. It should soak right in.
- Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes. Carefully remove the outer piece from your springform pan.
- Spread yogurt evenly on top, then place strawberries and blueberries on top. Sprinkle with some additional lemon zest, then slice the cake with a sharp knife and serve! Store any remaining cake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.
Recipe adapted from the lemony almond-blueberry cake in my cookbook, and my almond cake with roasted strawberries and rhubarb on top.
*Springform note: You are going to have a much easier time getting the cake out of a springform pan, so I recommend using one. That said, you might be able to make this work in a 9″ cake pan. Generously grease the pan (bottom and sides), and then cut a round of parchment paper to neatly fit inside the bottom. Place it inside, pour the batter on top, and bake/glaze/cool as directed. Use a knife to loosen the outer edges of the cake before carefully inverting it onto a plate. Remove the paper, top with yogurt and berries, and serve.
Change it up: Top this cake with any fresh fruit you’d like! You can also change the flavor by choosing honey instead of maple syrup, or using a different citrus fruit for the zest and glaze (orange is very nice). See additional topping options below.
Make it dairy free: Use coconut whipped cream or almond butter instead of Greek yogurt. Or, you can make a simple glaze by whisking lemon juice into powdered sugar until it has a drizzly consistency. Generously drizzle it over the cake, then top with berries and generously drizzle over the berries to help keep them in place.
Egg note (for vegans/allergies): I’m sorry, the eggs are absolutely essential to this cake. Do not attempt with flax eggs, unless you want gross almond pudding!