This naturally gluten free Almond Cake recipe is infused with orange zest, topped with crunchy toasted almonds and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. Delicious and elegant, this simple almond cake has a moist and tender crumb.
During spring and summer months, we love dessert recipes that are infused with orange and lemon flavors like this Lemon Loaf Cake!
Almond Cake Recipe
This almond cake recipe makes the most tender and light cake. Not overly sweet, this splendid cake has delicate orange and almond flavor with a hint of cardamom. The toasted sliced almonds on top of the cake add a nice crunch that contrast the fluffy texture of this cake.
This recipe comes from my friend from Portugal whose family serves this cake every year as part of their Sephardic Jewish passover celebration. Perhaps not the fanciest cake, this recipe comes together quickly and its easy to make.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- This almond cake is gluten-free, grain free and dairy free.
- This homemade cake recipe is made with only a few simple ingredients.
- Almond flour is packed with protein and nutrients and has an amazing but subtle nutty taste.
- This delicious cake is an understated but elegant dessert that can be served as part of breakfast with a cup of coffee, with your afternoon tea, for a special occasion and even as a Jewish passover cake during the holidays!
- This moist cake has a the right amount of almond flavor without tasting like you are eating almond paste!
Almond Cake Ingredients
For specific amounts check the recipe card below.
- Almond Flour: We keep this cake gluten free by not using all purpose flour or cake flour. Naturally gluten free and grain free, almond flour is made completely with finely ground almonds. Almond flour is a great source of protein and packed with nutrients.
- Eggs: Egg whites give this cake its airy and fluffy texture. Egg yolks provide structure.
- Sugar: Adds sweetness and moisture.
- Flavorings: Almond extract, pure vanilla extract, ground cardamom and orange zest.
- Oil: Keeps baked goods moist. I prefer using a very mild tasting oil such as vegetable oil.
- Garnishes: Confectioners’ sugar and toasted almonds (sliced).
How To Make Almond Cake From Scratch
Here are the highlights on how to make this almond flour cake. For specific instructions, check the recipe card below.
- Prep: You will need a 9-inch round cake pan greased and lined with parchment paper.
- Whisk: In the bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
- Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts, oil and the orange zest.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Add the almond flour and the ground cardamom and mix to combine. The cake batter will look very dense.
- Fold Egg Whites: Gently, fold the egg whites into the almond cake batter until combined. Do this in thirds so the egg whites won’t deflate due to the density of the cake batter.
- Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes. Run a knife or thin spatula around the sides of the cake and remove from the pan.
- Garnish and Serve: Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with almonds. Serve.
Is Almond Flour Good For Baking?
Yes! Almond flour is made with a single ingredient, almonds. It’s gluten-free, grain free and makes light cakes that have a subtle nutty flavor. Almond flour is packed with nutrients and protein and since almonds are a healthy fat, you will need less oil (or butter) when using it for baking.
Are Ground Almonds the Same as Almond Flour?
Not really. Almond flour is made with skinless almonds that are finely ground to a thin texture while ground almonds are made with nuts that have skins and are ground to a coarser texture.
What’s the Difference Between Almond Meal and Almond Flour?
Almond meal is made with unpeeled raw almonds while almond flour is made from blanched (peeled) almonds . Almond flour has a lighter color and finer texture compared to almond meal.
Can I Substitute Almond Flour With Almond Meal To Make Cake?
When making almond cake, it’s best to use almond flour. Although both almond meal and almond flour can be used interchangeably in baked goods like cookies and quick-breads, cakes benefit greatly from the fine texture and mild flavor of almond flour.
This recipe has not been tested with almond meal.
Storing and Freezing
You can keep this orange almond cake covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge stored in an airtight container for 5 days.
Cool and wrap the cake tightly or store it in an airtight container in the freezer for 2 months.
Almond Cake Recipe Tips
- Use almond flour not almond meal.
- Measure the almond flour properly. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level off the top with the flat edge of a knife.
- Although using orange or lemon zest in this recipe is optional, I HIGHLY recommend that you give them a try.
- Besides the sliced almond topping and powdered sugar, you can serve this delicate cake with fresh berries or fresh fruit.
Take A Look At These Other Easy Cake Recipes:
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Fresh Strawberry Cake
- Carrot Cake with Grand Marnier Cream Cheese Frosting
- Butter Pecan Cake
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Almond Cake Recipe
- 7 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest or lemon zest (optional but highly recommended)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 4 1/2 cups (420 grams) almond flour (see notes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 to 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted for garnish
- Orange or lemon slices as garnish optional
- Berries, whipped cream, stewed berries or ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then grease a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray or with oil or melted butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk to blend. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts, oil and the orange zest.
- Add the almond flour and the ground cardamom and mix to combine. The cake batter will look very dense.
- Gently, fold about 1/3 of the egg whites into the almond cake batter until combined.
- Add another third of the whites and fold until just combined. Add the remaining whites and fold just until incorporated, scraping the bottom and sides of the mixer to make sure the ingredients are evenly combined
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cake to rest for 10 minutes. Run a knife or thin spatula around the sides of the cake and remove from the pan.
- Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with almonds. Serve.