I came across the original recipe for this gluten-free almond cake by Dr. Maya Adam while taking her course about child nutrition and cooking. The original version is delicious but it’s a little rich for me. So I played around with the recipe for a few weeks in the teeny tiny foodie test kitchen and came up with a version that is a little lighter but just as delicious. The addition of lemon brightens the cake and cuts the richness. In place of refined sugar I used natural cane sugar, which is less processed, meaning it retains some of the beneficial nutrients found in the sugarcane plant. Lastly, I added unsweetened, shredded coconut because I’m basically obsessed with coconut right now. Besides the fact that I love the flavor, coconut is ridiculously good for you and has major immune system boosting power. Since my family just spent a week knocked out by a nasty virus that hit all three of us, a delicious ingredient that also builds immunity is definitely getting added to everything.
Now that we can all eat again, of course.
I enlisted my teeny tiny sous chef to help me make a batch of this cake the other day. Eliana has always been really interested in what I cook, and now that she’s almost 3 years old (gasp!), I’m trying to give her more jobs in the kitchen. Some jobs definitely require more of my help such as using a hand mixer, scooping out and leveling off dry ingredients or zesting and cutting open the lemons. But other tasks, like opening the stick of butter, greasing the baking dish and pouring dry ingredients into the bowl are simple enough that she can do on her own. She’s interested in helping and very interested in being independent, so I’m actively involving her more and more. Without a doubt, all cooking tasks take much longer when she helps, so if you’re trying to get your little chef to help out in the kitchen, be prepared for a longer cooking session.
While I wasn’t able to get photos of everything she did to help out, there are some below.
- Coconut Almond Cake
- Yields 12-15 servings
- -7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- -A little less than ¾ cup Wholesome Sweeteners Fairtrade Natural Cane Sugar
- -1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- -3 whole eggs
- -1 egg white
- -¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- -Juice of 1-2 lemons
- -Zest of 2 lemons
- -2½ cups almond flour (aka almond meal)
- -1½ teaspoons baking powder
Heat the oven to 325° and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, blend the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, coconut, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract and blend again.
Add the flour and baking powder and blend until all ingredients are combined.
Pour the batter into the baking dish and spread it out a little bit. While it cooks the batter will spread out even more to the edges of the baking dish.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
Cut into small squares and enjoy!