Flourless Almond & Coconut Cake

For the past two weeks, I keep hearing laments about the end of the summer.  Perhaps late August marks the end of the season for those who have children who return to school, but I just checked and summer doesn't officially end until September 23rd.  September is one of the nicest months of the year in Colorado and my garden is just now beginning to produce delicious produce.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves and start thinking about pumpkins and apples and leaves changing color just yet.

My tomatoes are just now starting to ripen in large quantities (these are Cherokee Purples).  There is little that tastes better than a tomato straight from the vine.

My tomatoes are just now starting to ripen in large quantities (these are Cherokee Purples).  There is little that tastes better than a tomato straight from the vine.

Blythe will be eight months old this week.  Time is absolutely flying and I love being a Mom.  A Mom.  How crazy is that?  Recently I feel like I've found my rhythm at home and at work and am finally able to do a bit of cooking and have even read a book or two (this one, written by a friend and classmate from college, I really enjoyed - other than that, I've mostly been reading chick lit, which is about all I can handle on limited sleep).  Part of returning to cooking is accepting that my days of luxuriating over a recipe for hours on end are over.  Whatever I want to accomplish in the kitchen must occur while Blythe is napping or after she goes to sleep (when I strive to be as productive as possible because I know every minute I am awake is one fewer that I'll sleep), so I'm focused on simple recipes, ingredients that can be prepped in advance, planning for meals for the whole week (with a bonus if I can also make lunches from those meals), and trying to take advantage of all the delicious summer produce.  I'm learning to love my slow cooker (this stew was quite good, as was this barbacoa, which I served with taco fixings and then ate over salad for lunch on subsequent days) and would love any recipe suggestions so I can use it more.

This week's harvest

This week's harvest

Blythe enjoying her first tomato from the garden.

Blythe enjoying her first tomato from the garden.

Since late spring, this Flourless Almond & Coconut Cake recipe has been my go-to dessert for dinner parties, gatherings with friends, taking meals to people, etc.  It is a breeze to make, gluten-free, and delicious.  The mixture of almond and coconut flours gives the cake the best flavor and it isn't overly sweet.  Serve it on its own or with some whipped cream or fresh fruit or berries (Palisades peaches are in season right now and they would be perfect sliced on top of this cake).  Would it help persuade you to make this if I told you the same friend who introduced me to this kale salad shared this cake with me?  Now you know the cake will be good!

Flourless Almond & Coconut Cake
Yield = One 9-inch cake
Recipe from Food52

Note - If you live at altitude like me, I'd add an additional 3 tablespoons of flour (either the coconut, the almond, or all-purpose if you don't need the dessert to be gluten-free).  

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal or almond flour (I have made this with both and I find that it is easier to find almond flour in the grocery store.  The difference between the two is explained in detail here, but the gist is that almond meal is coarser and includes the skins and almond flour is finer and made from blanched almonds.)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.  I sometimes line the whole pan with parchment rather than just the bottom. I've also used a pie dish and a square cake pan of similar size.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs (one at a time), mixing until incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond meal, coconut flour, and baking powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly.  I've added the dry ingredients directly to the wet ingredients before with great success. I'm not advocating for shortcuts, but sometimes washing one more bowl just seems like too much to handle.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so. Once cool (in the pan or out of the pan, either works), chill the cake in the refrigerator. It is VERY moist and needs to chill slightly to firm up.
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Our Colorado girl!  

Our Colorado girl!