Maple Nut Cake (Gluten Free Vegan)

I love almond flour!  It makes baked goods so delicious with a sweet hint of almond while adding extra protein!  I love to use it in crusts and have recently began using it in cakes as well with some gluten free baking.  Last weekend I decided to make a layer cake using it as well as a few other nut flours.  I have to admit, I have never used any nut flours besides almond before, but when I discovered that there was a lot of nut dust at the bottom of my container of walnuts at home, I figured why not try some other ones as well?!  Plus, I had gotten my hands on some hazelnut flour so I thought the trio of nuts would make it a delicious cake!  Not wanting it to be too heavy however, being that I was going for a gluten free and vegan cake (so no eggs to lift the nut flours), I combined the nut flours with some coconut flour.

I used coconut milk as the liquid in the batter, and added maple sugar and maple extract as maple and nut is one of my favorite combinations and I knew it would make the cake taste heavenly!  Not to be forgotten however, vanilla needed to be there as well.  I honestly did not know what to expect, since this was an experiment and  I had also experimented with the rising agents and liquids, but when the cake emerged from the oven it had risen properly and smelled wonderful!  Once it had cooled, I debated whether or not to make a chocolate frosting...and decided not.  I wasn't in a chocolate sort of mood.  I was just going to use some vegan cream cheese for a creamy frosting, but I thought, what the heck, let's make it almond butter cream cheese maple frosting!  That was the correct choice for frosting, because seriously I could not stop tasting it.  It was creamy, nutty and sweet, so perfect for the nut filled cake!  I thought the top of the cake needed to be garnished with something crunchy since the cake was already soft, and the frosting was creamy so I topped it off with toasted sweet and salty maple nuts to make this cake crave worthy. It was wonderful!  The layers were nutty and light with a hint of maple and the most wonderful flavor from all of the nut flours combined.  The frosting which sandwiched them together was creamy and almondy, and the crunchy nuts on top completed the deliciousness with a hint of sea salt.  I was in heaven as I indulged in it! If you would like to experience the deliciousness for yourself, here is the recipe!


Maple Nut Cake (Gluten Free Vegan)
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake

2 6 inch cake pans

Ingredients:

Salted Maple Nuts:

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sliced walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp maple sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

 

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup ground hazelnut meal
  • 1/4 cup ground walnut meal*
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups light organic coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar

 

Frosting:

  • 2 15 oz cans full fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut butter

 

Instructions:

  1. To make nuts, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Toss nuts together with maple syrup, sugar and sea salt and spread out on pan.  Bake for about 10 minutes until toasted.  Remove from oven and let cool but leave oven on for cake.
  2. For the cake, line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with coconut oil.
  3. Whisk almond flour, walnut meal, hazelnut meal, coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, milk, vanilla extract, and maple extract, together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in cider vinegar and stir quickly.
  4. Transfer cake batter to prepared pans, place in the oven, and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Cool cakes completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier (so they don't crumble). When chilled, slice cakes horizontally in half so that you have 4 layers.
  6. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl, and place in the freezer until thickened. You want to whisk it every 15 minutes and you know it is ready when it is thick like whipped cream, about 30-45 minutes depending on how warm it has gotten.
  7. To assemble cake, place one layer on a plate, and top with about 3/4  cup frosting. Spread out over cake layer to the edge.  Top with another cake layer and repeat, then the next 2 layers ending with a top layer of cake. To frost cake, spread frosting over top and sides, smoothing out as you go. Decorate cake with maple nuts and enjoy!

 

*To make walnut meal, grind walnuts until very fine and put through a fine meshed strainer to remove any large chunks
*If you want to make it easier on yourself, and you just have almond flour on hand, go ahead and use it in place of the hazelnut and walnut flours.
*If you would like a 4 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.

 

 

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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

47 Comments
  1. March 6, 2012 at 13:12
    Reply

    I just baked for the first time with coconut oil.... ah, AMAZING! I think I'm addicted... and I'm sure I would be addicted to this cake! lol. Happy Tuesday chica! :D

  2. March 6, 2012 at 14:43
    Reply

    That cake looks beautiful, I'm sure it tastes amazing too. Just the ingredients in the frosting alone- yum!

  3. March 6, 2012 at 15:03
    Reply

    This looks awesome...bookmarked<br /><br />Aarthi<br />http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

  4. March 6, 2012 at 15:43
    Reply

    Amy, this cake is fabulous! All the flavors make for a heavenly combination. Thank you for sharing!

  5. March 6, 2012 at 15:57
    Reply

    Wow, what a perfect cake! Awesome job on the decorating, and the flavors sound fantastic. I will have t try out almond flour, sounds like a wonderful alternative!

  6. March 6, 2012 at 20:20
    Reply

    This looks amazing! The layers look so delicious with the frosting, serious yum!!

  7. March 7, 2012 at 01:44
    Reply

    Yum! I'm not a huge maple fan, but I loveeeee almond flour and coconut flour!

  8. March 7, 2012 at 05:04
    Reply

    You have officially made the cake of my dreams - I salute you oh baker!<br /><br />Cheers<br />Choc Chip Uru<br />Latest: Brown Butter Mixed M&M Chewy Cookies

  9. March 7, 2012 at 21:31
    Reply

    I have a gluten free friend - I should make this for him, he would LOVE it!!! Very cool.

  10. March 9, 2012 at 02:57
    Reply

    I love nut flours for cakes like this. Those layers of frosting look irresistible.

  11. Nana Clare's Kitchen
    March 9, 2012 at 04:24
    Reply

    Amy, that cake looks amazing! My son needs gluten free, along with several of my friends, so I really appreciate the recipe. Your photography is drool-worthy! Nana Clare's Kitchen

  12. March 9, 2012 at 13:36
    Reply

    Amy, you're quite the cake decorator. The layering is very skillfully done. This cake wouldn't last very long in my household... toothsome!

  13. March 11, 2012 at 15:08
    Reply

    This is a gorgeous cake! I've never used almond flour, I'll have to give it a try, the flavor sounds awesome, yum!

  14. June 12, 2012 at 05:12
    Reply

    I have just read & re read this wonderful recipe for this absolutely delicious sounding cake BUT in the cake ingredients it calls for 3/4 cup COCONUT FLOUR <br />1. I CAN NOT FIND WHERE TO ADD THIS COCONUT FLOUR IN THE METHOD<br />In relation to the addition of the COCONUT FLOUR do you add it with all the other flours OR do you ADD it to one of the other flours before & do you sift it in?<br /><br />2. WHere does one buy COCONUT FLOUR from please?

  15. June 12, 2012 at 12:28
    Reply

    You add it with the other flours, as listed above. I bought it at a natural foods store, but it can be bought online as well from Bob's Red Mill.

  16. July 2, 2013 at 15:50
    Reply

    Hi,<br /><br />I want to make this but we are not vegan, just love the consistency of this cake. Do you think it would make a huge difference is i sub more walnut flour for the hazelnut flour and would this taste good with a chocolate fudge frosting?<br /><br />Anna

    • July 3, 2013 at 01:04
      Reply

      I think it would work the same, or even just using additional almond flour. Yes it would!

  17. July 4, 2013 at 12:00
    Reply

    Hi<br />I made this cake but doubled the recipe because I'm making it as a birthday cake. The cake did not rise at all with the 11/2 tsp of baking soda. I'm going to make another layer to put on top of it. Do you think using 2 tsp baking powder and 2 tsp baking soda would make a difference. I used all the ingredients mentioned here but I have an 8.5 inch pan. <br /><br />Anna

    • July 4, 2013 at 21:37
      Reply

      Hmm, mine rose just fine. Did you double the baking powder too? Maybe it was just too big as a larger cake to rise well. I would try the larger amounts of powders.

    • July 5, 2013 at 03:02
      Reply

      I made a few changes. Used only half of the coconut oil as I found the first one to be pretty oily and I used 2 tsp baking soda and 2 tsp baking powder.

    • July 5, 2013 at 12:01
      Reply

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    • July 5, 2013 at 12:03
      Reply

      That might be why the cake did not rise, it needs the liquid and if you doubled it it should 1 Tbsp Baking soda.<br />

  18. Anonymous
    November 21, 2013 at 00:38
    Reply

    Do you think I can use whipped coconut cream as a frosting?

    • November 21, 2013 at 03:42
      Reply

      You can try, but it may be a bit too soft at room temperature, it tends to run.

  19. Anonymous
    November 23, 2013 at 17:26
    Reply

    Hi Amy,<br /><br />I don't have 6-inch baking pans. Can I use a 11x13 Pyrex glass baking dish instead? (I have a smaller one if that would work better.) Also, I'm not vegan. Can I sub butter instead of coconut oil? Thanks! Mary

    • November 23, 2013 at 23:03
      Reply

      You would be better off using a smaller one since this is a 6 inch cake. It should be fine as long as you do not mind it being a sheet cake instead of a layer cake. Yes, you can sub butter.

  20. Anonymous
    November 23, 2013 at 23:55
    Reply

    Thanks for your quick reply! One more question. Will this cake taste as good if I make it the day before it's eaten?

    • November 24, 2013 at 00:54
      Reply

      Yes it will!

  21. Anonymous
    March 1, 2014 at 15:36
    Reply

    Hi Amy,<br /><br />I want to make this cake, the combination of ingredients sounds perfect. I didn´t find almond flour and I thought to replace the almond flour for almond meal. Do you think it will work?

    • March 2, 2014 at 00:13
      Reply

      They are pretty much the same thing, so yes ;)!

  22. Anonymous
    May 20, 2014 at 00:46
    Reply

    Hi Amy! Beautiful cake! I've made your cake twice & each time it turned out very oily. It smelled delicious but we couldn't eat it. Before I try again, is there anything I need to know about baking with coconut oil? I used Trader Joe's coconut oil. I also used almond milk. Thanks for your help!!

    • May 20, 2014 at 21:39
      Reply

      Hmm, mine was not oily at all. It may have been that your coconut oil was not incorporated properly. When using coconut oil in a recipe like this, you must make sure it is liquefied (warmed) and the other ingredients are at room temperature, not cold, or it will clump and not blend properly.

  23. Jessica
    June 1, 2014 at 08:35
    Reply

    This cake worked really well as cupcakes. One recipe of batter made 21 cupcakes (could have filled a little higher and had 18). Thank you!

  24. Anonymous
    October 2, 2014 at 06:48
    Reply

    Can you replace the maple extract with maple syrup?<br /><br />Thanks

    • October 6, 2014 at 04:26
      Reply

      No, because it will not be enough to actually flavor the cake. You can leave it out though, and the cake will still be delicious!

  25. Brittany
    November 23, 2015 at 23:49
    Reply

    Hi Amy! I came across your recipe and looks (and sounds) absolutely delicious, especially with all the great reviews. I am planning on making it for Thanksgiving this week. Question: Would I be able to just use Almond Flour ONLY rather than all of the flours?

  26. December 31, 2015 at 10:08
    Reply

    This cake looks wonderful. Sadly we dont get coconut flour or almond flour here. Do you know what I could use instead?

    • December 31, 2015 at 13:47
      Reply

      Those are two things that you can make yourself, and I actually did for this recipe. Just buzz them in a high speed blender just until flour is made (but not too long or you will get butter) separately.

  27. Malisa
    May 26, 2016 at 01:27
    Reply

    Hello, i want to make this for my son's 2nd birthday. Has anyone doubles the recipe with success? I only have 9inch pans. Also do i really need 4cans of coconut milk for the frosting?? Seems like a lot...

    • May 26, 2016 at 12:34
      Reply

      If you don't cut the layers in half to make 4 layers, then you should only need 2 cans. I have not tried doubling it because I have a small family, but it should work. If you only do the two 9 inch layers it will be easier too. Otherwise, with 4 layer, it needs a lot of frosting (because you need at least a cup for in between layers too) so yes it would need 4 cans or you might not have enough.

  28. Malisa
    May 27, 2016 at 00:29
    Reply

    Thank you for the response! Last question what would thr cook time be fir the double batch??

    • May 27, 2016 at 12:08
      Reply

      55 minutes to about an hour. When the tester toothpick comes out almost clean with a few moist crumbs attached.

  29. November 17, 2018 at 00:14
    Reply

    Wow this cake looks amazing. I can't wait to make it. It looks perfect with all those great flavors. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

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