Gluten Free Almond Cake

Gluten Free Lemon Almond Cake

Gluten Free Almond Cake

Early on, we decided on a three course breakfast for our guests. Since the crafty Innkeeper is a baker, the first course had to be an amazing pastry, perfect for leisurely enjoying with a cup of our fresh roasted coffee. From fresh made pain au chocolat to our signature scones to Vic’s chocolate chip banana muffins, we love starting the day with something a little bit sweet.

The first time we had a gluten free guest, we ran into a dilemma – serve everyone a gluten free pastry or make two separate pastries. With up to fourteen guests at breakfast, having one option was the easiest but the fact is that many gluten free baked goods are really good – for gluten free. We wanted some options that are just plain really good. We found it with this almond cake adapted from a King Arthur recipe.

We use all almond flour in the cake making it higher protein and lower carb than a traditional pastry and we often adapt it to be diabetic friendly by subbing in erythritol for the sugar. We switch up the toppings and flavorings with peaches, strawberries, lemon or orange zest, or even chocolate chips when we are feeling feisty. Fruit toppings can be added fresh after baking or placed in the bottom of the cake before baking and cooked into the cake.

This gluten free almond cake is lighter than air, extremely tender crumbed, and just sweet enough for a breakfast pastry, although we have been known to use it as a base for dessert as well. Best of all? Even staunch lovers of all things wheat flour based will adore this cake.

  • 4 Large Eggs, seperated
  • 1/2 C Sugar or Erythritol (or other 1:1 sugar substitute), divided in half
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 C Almond Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Orange or Lemon Zest
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 deg F. Butter and sugar an 8″ cake pan. If baking fruit in, place in a thin layer on the bottom of the cake pan. Set aside.
  2. Whip egg yolks, 1/4 C of sugar or erythritol, and vanilla extract until light yellow and fluffy. Stir in almond flour, baking powder, salt, and zest. The mixture will be very thick.
  3. Whip egg whites and remaining sugar or erythritol to soft peaks. Fold in halves into the almond flour mixture. If you are adding any inclusions like chocolate chips, fold those in now.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once baked, allow to cool partially in the pan and then turn out onto a cake plate.
  5. Top as desired with powdered sugar, fresh fruit or berries, or even a chocolate drizzel and enjoy!

Ready to experience your Smoky Mountain getaway? Book your room today and enjoy the peaceful sound of our stream, plush king sized beds, and an amazing three course breakfast.


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Chef Victor Johnston, Owner of Red Leaf River Inn in Waynesville North Carolina

Thanks for visiting! I’d love to host you during your stay in North Carolina!

– Victor

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