Flourless Almond Cake Recipe

A flourless almond cake that’s French and flavorful, this amandier is crisp and crunchy on the outside, dense and chewy on the inside, and gluten-free through and through.

Flourless Almond Cake Recipe

Also known as amandier or gâteau de Visan, after the Provençal village where it originated, this flourless almond cake is, in the words of the author, “exceptionally sweet, moist, and dense, almost more like a giant almond macaroon or a marzipan confection of some sort, buttery and almond and chewy.” That pretty much sums it up, although it should be noted that unlike many gluten-free cakes, this one is quite crisp and crunchy on the outside, while dense and moist and chewy on the inside. The author suggest sipping coffee or strongly brewed tea to nicely offset the cake’s sweetness.–Renee Schettler Rossi

*Kosher For Passover

This flourless almond cake can easily be made kosher for Passover by paying careful attention to the ingredients. Most conventional confectioners’ sugar contains cornstarch, which is not kosher for Passover. However, many brands of organic confectioners’ sugars instead contain tapioca starch. Check the ingredients list to be certain. You’ll also need to substitute the seeds from a vanilla bean for the vanilla extract. Depending on how much you fancy the flavor of vanilla, you can use anywhere from 1 inch of a vanilla bean to 1/4 the entire vanilla bean in this recipe.

Special Equipment: 6-inch round cake pan

Flourless Almond Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes one 6-inch (15-centimeter) cake


  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) ground almonds (almond flour), sifted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup (2 ounces or 50 grams) confectioners’ sugar*
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (1 1/2 ounces or 40 grams), beaten
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces or 60 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract*


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line the base of a 6-inch cake pan with parchment paper cut to fit and generously butter the bottom and sides of the pan.
  • 2. In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, salt, confectioners’ sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the beaten egg, melted butter, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. The batter should be quite thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top.
  • 3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Carefully turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack and let it cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap until serving. The almond cake will keep in an airtight container, or well wrapped in plastic wrap, for several days, though it’s unlikely that anyone will resist for that long.

Flourless Almond Cake Variations

  • Feel free to vary the recipe with lemon or lime zest in place of the vanilla or even a tablespoon of orange flower water instead.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Hey, there. Just a reminder that all our content is copyright protected. Like a photo? Please don't use it without our written permission. Like a recipe? Kindly contact the publisher listed above for permission before you post it (that's what we did) and rewrite it in your own words. That's the law, kids. And don't forget to link back to this page, where you found it. Thanks!

Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Irene Seales

Apr 07, 2016

This simple recipe produces a densely delicious cake that can easily be put together in the spur of the moment. It can be served as suggested, in thin slices with tea or coffee, or plated with a dollop of cream (unsweetened since the cake has so much sweet marzipan-like flavor). I actually made it twice, and I think that, at least for my oven, a slightly longer baking time and more attention to beating the egg helped improve the second one. The first one came out lightly golden at 35 minutes with the classic smooth sheet on top, pulling away slightly form the edges of the pan, but when I turned it out, it looked concave. It was still delicious both the first night and the next day, though it became more dense. For almond lovers, that is still all good. I set that one aside and made a second cake the next day. I thought that since, unlike other almond cakes where you whip the egg whites separately, maybe I needed a bit more egg volume, so I chose a larger egg and, using a wire whisk by hand, really beat it a full 1 1/2 or 2 minutes. I still folded in the egg and melted butter as gently as I could. The other thing is to be gentle with the filled pan and just place it in the oven (i.e., don’t rap the cake pan to release air like you might have been taught as a kid making his or her first cakes). This needs to just have the batter smoothed and then baked. Resist the urge to open the oven to check on it. Just test it at 35 minutes and be sure the color is right—you want a toasted, golden look. If it isn’t quite there yet, give it another 5 minutes. It turns out easily—I put a second piece of parchment on the cooling rack to turn it over onto. Cut with a very sharp or serrated knife. No need to add anything, though a small dollop of unsweetened cream and a bit of citrus zest or a sprig of mint would be elegant for guests. It makes a 6-inch cake that can easily serve 8 if you don’t hide it and keep it for yourself. I stored my wrapped cake in the fridge, and it had a nice firm denseness that was even better the second day. My mate rated this an 11! I appreciated this cake all the more when I saw the prices it sells for online! Not bad for 15 minutes prep and a little patience.

Testers Choice
Sarah Heend

Apr 07, 2016

This flourless almond cake certainly won’t win any awards for looks—the top was pale and slightly lumpy looking, and the inside crumb was dense and less than photogenic. But the flavor and the aroma more than made up for its lackluster appearance. The almond flavor was subtle but nicely complemented by a hint of vanilla. The cake came together in no time with just a bowl and a spoon, which means that I can have fresh almond cake in less than an hour with little cleanup. I will definitely be making this again, though I might add a touch of almond extract next time in addition to the vanilla extract. I have a 6-inch cake pan that I've never used, so I was thrilled to find a recipe for a 6-inch cake. The finished cake was about 1 inch tall. I was already mixing up the cake when I realized there was no leavening of any kind. I was afraid the cake would be too dense, but it was fine. After 35 minutes of baking, the cake still seemed soft and looked raw on top. After 40 minutes, the cake was firm, and a tester came out clean. My almond flour was made from natural almonds, not blanched almonds. I imagine that’s why my cake was less golden than the picture. The flavor of the cake was very subtle and fairly sweet. I would've liked a touch less sugar. The edges were nice and chewy, and the middle was decadently buttery and soft.

Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

Apr 07, 2016

It would be hard to eat just one thin slice of this cake. In fact, it would be next to impossible. This cake is quite irresistible. The cake isn't very tall. It's worth investing in a 6-inch cake pan, which isn't difficult to track down. At 35 minutes, the cake didn't look done. At 40 minutes, the toothpick tested clean. This was the first one, the one that broke a bit on removal from the pan. I was baking with a friend, and we thought we would try 48 minutes on the second round. The second time, the cake looked golden brown, browner than anticipated, at 45 minutes. We were still seeing a bit of uncooked batter in the center at 45 minutes. My thought is at least 48 minutes is needed and maybe even a few minutes longer. The texture was so lovely each time, especially around the edges, and the color was beautiful. The buttery almond flavor was divine, and while there certainly wouldn’t be any harm in trying the cake with the citrus zest or orange flower water suggested, I'd also try substituting rose water for the vanilla. Lastly, I dare anyone, even a solo eater, to try to keep this cake around for any length of time, though it's nice to know this could be done successfully if my willpower would cooperate! This is lovely with a cup of nice, strong black tea.

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Apr 07, 2016

This flourless almond cake is definitely not a tender crumb cake you might associate with the term "cake," but it was a very flavorful little gluten-free cake. The almond and vanilla flavors were very pronounced, which we liked. I used an 8-inch buttered pan with parchment paper. It took 27 minutes to turn golden. The cake didn't rise very much but remained sweet and crunchy on top. I used 1 large egg. It was approximately 2 3/4 tablespoons in volume. I served our almond cake in thin slices with fresh peaches and softly whipped cream. It was an irresistible gluten-free dessert!

Testers Choice
Adrienne Lee

Apr 07, 2016

This is a good recipe in terms of taste. Itʻs like a very large cookie, albeit a very soft cookie, rather than a cake.

Testers Choice
Dawn E.

Apr 07, 2016

This quick-to-prepare, light-tasting cake or rather confection has just the right amount of sweetness and the lovely taste of almond. The almond cake recipe is easy to assemble and the cake turns out moist in the middle and slightly firm at the edges. I did not have a 6-inch cake tin, so I just heaped the batter on a buttered parchment sheet, smoothed in into a circle with the back of a spatula, and placed it in a 9-inch pie dish, leaving several inches of empty space between the edge of the pie plate and the batter. The free-formed cake cooked up beautifully and I knew it was done when the toothpick came out clean after about 40 minutes or so. It was cut into wedges and served warm with espresso and milk and enjoyed by all who tried it. Everyone asked for seconds!

  1. Ellen says:

    David, I could kiss you for mentioning the K-for-Passover powdered sugar. I hadn’t known it existed. This cake is perfect for Passover because anyone would love it at any time. Thank you thank you!!!

  2. This looks wonderful, and a great candidate for Passover, perhaps with whipped cream and berries. (In addition to finding a confectioners’ sugar without cornstarch, you’d want to use vanilla bean in place of extract.) Has anyone tried it with olive oil in place of butter? It seems a natural match for the almonds. (I’ll report back if I do.)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Jennie, many thanks for touching base and especially for the vanilla bean trick, I’ve added that to the recipe. We did not test it with olive oil but you’re right, it does seem a likely match. Kindly let us know how it goes!

  3. I need to see what size my smallest cake pan is; if it’s 6 inches, I will try this right away; if not, I’ll get a 6-inch pan, which sounds like an excellent size for a cake! I make an almond cake from Alice Medrich that has 1 1/2 ounces of flour and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder so I am interested to see what how different this cake will be with none! Mine also has almond extract and a little Amaretto, no vanilla, so it will most likely be a good addition to my arsenal of the kind of cakes I like—no icing with enough flavor to stand on its own (except for some Jeni’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream, of course)!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Oh, Victoria, you said the magic words—Jeni’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream! I am a fool for that. I also think you’ll really like the presentation of a 6-inch cake. You can also make layer cakes that are stacked 6-inch cakes and they tend to look truly spectacularly due to the towering effect. That size is also, natch, much more practical for those of us with smaller households. Do let us know how it goes, please and thanks!

      • Renee,

        What I consider my neat trick for Jeni’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream is I substitute 3 tablespoons of Lyle’s Golden Syrup for the ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of light corn syrup. It gives the ice cream a very slight caramel-ly taste. I really love it and hope you will try it sometime.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          (Steps away from the computer to unpack our ice cream maker canister and make space for it in the freezer…)

  4. I finally made this cake yesterday. I blitzed whole unblanched untoasted almonds in the food processor to make my own flour and did not sift it. I used India Tree Icing Sugar (confectioners), which I sifted through a strainer because I find confectioners’ sugar tends to clump, and India Tree Castor Sugar, and followed the rest of the instructions explicitly. After baking for exactly 35 minutes, I removed the cake from the oven, immediately ran an offset spatula around the edge and removed it from the cake pan. It was PERFECT! I have already added this to my repertoire. It is different and very special, more like a macaroon than a cake. Perfect for four – maybe even six people if topped with ice cream or Crême Chantilly with a little Luxardo Amaretto added. Next time I will stick with the India Tree Icing Sugar but try organic sugar instead of the castor sugar. The larger beige crystals might add a nice touch.

  5. Robin Forman says:

    This cake came out fantastic! Cooked to perfection. I used confectioners’ maple sugar and granulated maple sugar and it added a mild flavor that was delicious. Thank you for a great gluten-free recipe that was super easy to make. RF

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You’re welcome, Robin. Love to hear that you found this to be as irresistible as we did!

  6. Lauren Slaff says:

    “Most conventional confectioners’ sugar contains cornstarch, which is not kosher for Passover. However, many brands of organic confectioners’ sugars instead contain tapioca starch.”
    Who knew?
    Yeah, I’m not a huge baker but I did attend culinary school and have been around the block once or twice (usually to try and vindicate myself of the extra serving of cake) and i had NO IDEA that confectioners sugar contained anything but, well, sugar!
    I am such a lapsed Jew that I really couldn’t care less about keeping Passover, but thanks for teaching me something new. I feel a little silly to be honest. About the sugar, not Passover.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lauren, you’re welcome. And no need to feel silly. To be honest, I didn’t know that until I’d been working as a food editor for several years and was researching a problem with a recipe. As you said, who knew?! It’s all good. Just like this flourless almond cake. Looking forward to hearing which other recipes on the site intrigue and teach you…

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Send it along. Covet one of those spiffy pictures of yourself to go along with your comment? Get a free Gravatar. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.


Daily Subscription

Enter your email address and get all of our updates sent to your inbox the moment they're posted. Be the first on your block to be in the know.

Preview daily e-mail

Weekly Subscription

Hate tons of emails? Do you prefer info delivered in a neat, easy-to-digest (pun intended) form? Then enter your email address for our weekly newsletter.

Preview weekly e-mail