Plain & Simple Almond Cake – Gluten-Free (Tuesdays with Dorie)

Making a cake usually involves four ingredients. This recipe needs only three. Nothing more than its magic trinity of ingredients–eggs, sugar and almond flour, according to Dorie Greenspan, to make this cake great. Plain and simple, but full-flavored. More than that, this cake is gluten free and low fat. Wheat flour or butter is not needed, period.

This almond cake is so uncomplicated to do; you don’t even need a recipe. Just assemble the three basic ingredients, eggs, sugar and almond flour, in equal weights. For a 9-inch round cake pan, it takes five large eggs (45 grams each), 200 grams (1 cup) of sugar and 200 grams (2 cups) of almond flour. A dash of vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt surely add a depth of flavor.

How can this amazingly good cake be so simple? No hoax, just a few considered steps.

Well, you do need to separate the egg whites from the yolks. The yolk combines with all but two tablespoons of sugar until the mixture lightens. Beat the egg whites and the remaining sugar (sugar helps to stabilize the whites) in a stand mixer, until they form medium peaks (with curved tips). Fold the whipped whites and almond flour gently into the egg yolk mixture. Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown. All can be done in under an hour. For this set of instructions? Less than 100 words!

A few tips:

  • No baking powder or other leavening agent is used. It’s essential to keep the batter light and airy. Be gentle as you fold the egg whites into the other ingredients. You don’t need to blend thoroughly, just use light touches.
  • Thoroughly butter a 9-inch springform pan, including the parchment paper at the bottom, to prevent the cake from sticking.
  • Don’t use a smaller pan. I did it. Bad idea! You don’t want a thick layer of batter to weigh down the crumb structure of the cake and make it dense. Back to the first point. Lightness matters.


Top the cake with almond slices and confectioners’ sugar (optional)


To see how other Tuesdays-with-Dorie bakers tackle this plain and simple almond cake, look here.


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  • Reply
    May 9, 2017 at 9:02 am

    This is an easy and delicious cake – great to have in one’s repertoire.

  • Reply
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    May 9, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Loved this “non recipe” too! I did use smaller pans (three minis for half the mixture) and the cake turned out light and fluffy. Did wonder if a 9-inch tin was large enough – the recipe should say is should be deep because this made a LOT of batter!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Your cake looks delicious and I love the Almond slices on it. I will definitely do that next time I make this cake. Yum!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2017 at 5:05 am

    Great tips, and your cake looks marvellous!!

  • Reply
    Diane Zwang
    May 11, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you for all your helpful hints. I love that you topped them with sliced almonds, I think I will do that when I make it.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2017 at 9:42 am

    pretty presentation!

  • Reply
    steph (whisk/spoon)
    May 28, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    this looks so great with the sliced almonds on top! i’ll remember that (and your tips) for next time– i liked this one a lot.

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