Flourless Almond Cake

This flourless almond cake is made with ground almonds and quick and easy to toss together. It’s French-inspired and flavorful and gluten-free through and through. Crisp and crunchy on the outside, dense and chewy on the inside. Perfect for Passover.

A round flourless almond cake on a wooden baking paddle with almonds scattered around it

“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’s how the author describes this flourless almond cake. That pretty much sums it up. Unlike many gluten-free cakes, this one is quite crisp and crunchy on the outside, dense and moist and chewy on the inside. And those of you for whom this seems familiar, it’s also known as amandier or gâteau de Visan, after the Provençal village where it originated. A cup of coffee or strongly brewed tea nicely offsets the cake’s not-so-subtle-yet-still-lovely sweetness.–Renee Schettler

*How To Make This Cake In An 8-Inch Cake Pan

This cake was originally devised to be made in a 6-inch cake pan. Which, admittedly, isn’t terribly convenient for most of us home bakers. However, we’ve heard from folks who’ve made use of their 8-inch cake pans and they simply doubled the recipe and baked it a little longer. But know that others have had success with this in case you’re wanting this cake but not wanting to wait for Amazon to deliver a new pan (or not wanting to splurge on an extra piece of kitchen gadgetry).

Flourless Almond Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (39)
  • 15 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 8
4.9/5 - 39 reviews
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Special Equipment: 6-inch (15-cm) round cake pan* (see * below)

Ingredients


Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a 6-inch cake pan* (see * above) with parchment paper cut to fit and generously butter the bottom and sides of the pan.

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. Bake for 35 to 45 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 highly unlikely that anyone will resist for that long. Originally published April 7, 2016.

Print RecipeBuy the Baklava to Tarte Tatin cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    Flourless Almond Cake Variations

    • Flourless Almond Cake With A Hint of Citrus
    • 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.

    • Flourless Almond Cake That’s 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 isn’t kosher for Passover. However, many brands of organic confectioners’ sugars instead contain tapioca starch. Check the ingredients list to be certain and look for the kosher symbol on the packaging. 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.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    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 texture was so lovely, 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.

    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.

    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.

    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 didn't have a 6-inch cake tin so I just heaped the batter on a buttered parchment sheet, smoothed it 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!

    HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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    Comments

    1. Okay, so here goes David. I made the cake to the recipe without any substitutions. I am happy to report that I had frozen my first version and was able to do a side by side taste comparison. What do you know – the difference was – wait for it………………….. negligible. Three of us tasted the two versions under highly clinical conditions i.e. we love cake and dived in – and eh voila – we could barely discern a difference. So, going forward, I will make it with avocado oil because it does the trick and is healthier and I like staying away from butter in baking – I like the challenge. So there:). The good news is that the cake freezes beautifully and tastes better the next day and even when frozen. it does make a small cake however – more like a large biscuit:).

    2. I wanted to make this cake without butter so I made it with avocado oil instead of butter. I doubled the quantities as I wanted a bigger cake. I don’t understand how you would have gotten a very big cake with the original quantities as stated above, as the one I made with doubled quantities wasn’t very big either. I put almond extract in addition to the vanilla, which was also good. I would call it more of a dense brownie kind of texture than a cake. It is quite sticky – did anyone else think so? I put parchment paper in the tin and won’t be doing that again because it was a pain to get off the cake without breaking the cake. I love cakes made with almond meal but I’m not quite sure about this one as yet. It is not bad but I am going to reserve judgment until I make it with the original quantities and butter instead of oil. I will report back.

      1. Sagar, with all the substitutions you made, it’s hard to make a judgment call. Avocado oil and butter are not interchangeable in baking. Also, I never, ever suggest doubling a baking recipe. It often doesn’t work out. Instead I suggest making two of the recipe. Last, the recipe makes a 6-inch cake, which is specified in the servings section.

    3. “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.

      1. 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…

    4. 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

    5. 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.

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