Paleo Vanilla Cake Recipe

Paleo vanilla cake. Most are dense and crumbly and disappointing. Not this lovely incarnation that relies on almond flour, beaten egg whites, and baking soda for its towering stature, lovely texture, and birthday cake-worthy magnificence.

Paleo Vanilla Cake Recipe

Say “paleo cake” and most folks think of dense, crumbly, disappointing approximations of cake. Not this lovely paleo vanilla cake from the magnificent My Paleo Patisserie by Jenni Hulet. The recipe relies on almond flour, like most paleo cakes, although it also calls for the notable addition of baking soda and whipped egg whites, which lend the cake its lofty stature and lovely texture. So much so that folks who never deign to do paleo swear they’ll be making this cake again. And again. Tasting is believing.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Special Equipment: 6-inch cake pan

Paleo Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • One 6-inch (15-cm) cake


  • 1/3 cup (65 g) palm shortening or ghee, plus more for the pan
  • 1 3/4 cups (175 g) almond flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup or honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Coat a 6-inch round cake pan with palm shortening or ghee and line it with a parchment paper circle cut to fit the pan.
  • 2. In a small saucepan, melt the shortening or ghee over low heat and then set aside to cool slightly.
  • 3. Separate the eggs and place the whites in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and place the yolks in another bowl along with the melted shortening, maple syrup, vanilla, and lemon juice and whisk to combine.
  • 4. Add the egg yolk mixture to the large bowl with the flour and whisk till the batter is smooth and no lumps remain.
  • 5. Using a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they look like softly whipped cream and hold soft peaks when you pull out the beaters, about 1 1/2 minutes. Set the egg whites aside for a moment.
  • 6. Stir the baking soda into the batter and then, using a rubber spatula, immediately beat 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the batter, mixing just until barely combined and some streaks remain. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites into the batter, mixing until only a few streaks are left. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared cake pan
  • 7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake and turn it onto the rack. Let cool completely.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Jan 18, 2017

This paleo vanilla cake was delicious. It was fragrant, nutty, and amazingly moist. Whereas normally cakes made without wheat flour are very heavy, the almond flour and arrowroot flour produce a slightly dense but very moist cake. The beaten egg whites definitely contributed to the lighter texture of the cake. I used palm shortening and honey. I think the cake would lend itself to lemon curd, chocolate glaze, or any sweetened fruit. I served it with sliced strawberries and softly whipped cream. [Editor's Note: Of course, some of these toppings aren't paleo, but those of you who do keep paleo know who are you and what to do.]

Testers Choice
Adrienne Lee

Jan 18, 2017

This paleo vanilla cake is fantastic. It was actually easy to make. The last-minute addition of baking soda really does create a lighter texture. I'm a little unhappy about the arrowroot flour as itʻs expensive. Would I make this cake again? Yes. As a personal preference, I avoid things that are labeled paleo unless I need to make something for work. But I would definitely make this again. I might try using baking powder instead of baking soda because it tends to give baked goods a more gentle rise.

  1. Josey Day says:

    I have had no success making grain-free cupcakes until I’ve found this recipe. I’ve never really liked almond flour because of the dense texture and the after taste but this recipe is really good. Thank you very much!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      You are so very welcome, Josey! It’s magnificent to hear that this has filled a void for you! Seriously, you made my day, my week, maybe even my month, Josey. Many thanks for taking the time to let us know!

  2. Maureen O'Reilly says:

    The photo appears to depict both vanilla and chocolate cakes. What are the changes to the recipe for the chocolate version? Hope to make this for a niece with celiac, and the reviewer results were very encouraging.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Maureen, we actually have the chocolate version in testing at the moment and intend to update the recipe as soon as we can. At the moment we’ve had one person make the chocolate version with success but we always wait until we have at least two spectacular results before we post a recipe. Do we have a little time? Perhaps a week? If not, kindly email me at and I’ll share with you the chocolate version.

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