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. Holy cow this is delicious. Skipped the confectioners and white sugar and only used 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Filled the directions from there, although I didn’t have a 6in cake pan. Just used a 6in non stick pan and wrapped aluminum foil around the handle. At 35 minutes the top was brwn and chewy, the middle looking slightly undone, but perfect and done was awesome. I used a splash of almond and vanilla extract and it made the almond just jump out. May try it with lemon next time. So wonderful!

      1. Thanks Aisha! We’re so happy you loved it. Do let us know how it turns out with the lemon.

    2. Loved it!! Used brown butter and orange zest for more flavor. I also topped the cake with blueberries and sliced almonds right before baking it! It’s phenomenal!

      1. There are few things that are not exponentially improved by mascarpone, yes, Dee?! Brilliant trick. (I may borrow that…) Thanks so much for sharing the idea and that gorgeous photo!

    3. I saw this first posted in October and just HAD to make it! I didn’t have a 6” pan and wasn’t dressed to go out & buy one. Besides, I had to make it NOW! Maybe I could Macgyver one up?

      I made a 6” square using parchment paper & staples and sat it inside my 8” cake pan. That worked except I needed something to support the sides. I didn’t have my baking beans or dried beans. Rolled aluminum foil? I wasn’t going to waste that. Decided on popping corn.

      I whipped up the batter easy-peasy. Poured it into the pan. Adjusted the corn kernels for maximum engineering integrity and put the pan into the oven.

      I sat down for a cuppa which is when I began to wonder what the popping temperature is for corn. Google says it’s 150C which it kindly converted to 305F.

      The oven was at 325F.

      I spent the next 25 minutes listening for minor explosions from the oven. I tried to reassure the cats by saying “What could possibly go wrong!”

      When the timer went off, I gingerly cracked open the oven door. And then a bit more … and everything was great! Not a single kernel popped.

      Even better, the cake is yummy.

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