Some may scoff at the idea that a four-ingredient cake could be just as scrumptious or hold its own against the big boys at the dessert table. What may be even more surprising is that a four-ingredient showstopper can be both grain-free and gluten-free.
The four-ingredient almond cake may sound unassuming, with its humble ingredients: almond flour, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. But, we assure you, one bite of this almond cake will have you feeling hoodwinked.
Although the almond cake requires only four simple main ingredients, don't expect to whip them in a mixing bowl and call it good. This delicate almond cake demands more finesse, resulting in some impressive culinary magic.
Get ready to enjoy a sweet, tender, and fluffy cake, bursting with flavors reminiscent of a simple macaron, that will have you saying, "Wow, that's good!"
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter, and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Set aside.
Separate the eggs: Add the egg yolks to one large bowl and the egg whites to another large bowl. Discard the shells.
Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar at medium-high speed. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes light in color and creamy in consistency, about 2 minutes.
Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in the almond flour. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Using an electric hand mixer (with clean attachments) beat the egg whites on high speed until they are creamy and glossy and have stiff peaks and clump inside the whisk, about 5 minutes.
Using a flexible silicone spatula, add a small portion of the egg whites to your almond batter. Incorporate the egg whites with a folding motion by scooping from the bowl's bottom, lifting and folding over the batter. Resist the urge to stir the batter (this will deflate the egg whites).
Add the remaining egg whites to the almond batter. Using your silicone spatula, continue the scoop, lift and fold motion until the batter and egg whites are just fully incorporated. Try not to overmix, as this will also result in deflating the egg whites. The goal is to gently bring the two mixtures together without over handling.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake will appear lighter in color but will be firm to the touch.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert the cake onto a wire cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely.
If you prefer, use a mini strainer to dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar and garnish with sliced fruit such as strawberries. Enjoy!
Transforming your almond cake into a dessert suitable for a keto diet is easy as 1-2-3! All you need to do is swap out your granulated sugar for a granulated sugar-free alternative, such as Swerve Sweetener. If you prefer to garnish your keto almond cake, grab a bag of Swerve Confectioners Sweetener.
Fewer ingredients does not always equate to easy. Although this recipe calls for only four elements, it requires some patience and skill, like beating egg whites and incorporating them correctly into the batter.
To form stiff peaks, you'll whip room temperature egg whites using a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer. Beat the egg whites on high speed for about 5 minutes. The egg whites will appear creamy and glossy. When you turn your whisk (or attachments) upside down, the egg whites will make a pointy tip (peak) that won't collapse. The peaks should be stiff and upright.
You certainly could add baking powder to your four-ingredient almond cake and quickly beat in the eggs without separating them. We agree that this would be a much easier process. But, you'd be disappointed in the quality of your cake. The cake would be dense, crumby, and unappealing. It would be just another "gluten-free cake."
What makes this cake so unique are the egg whites. Taking the extra step to separate the eggs, and fold in the egg whites, make for an incredibly tender, delicious cake, putting this cake on another level.