This strawberry almond cake recipe is also dairy free (except for the frosting), gluten free, and free of refined sugars. It may sound like this cake is also deliciousness free but I promise you would never know that this is a healthier strawberry cake recipe. If you have a little bit of extra time, you have the option to make these into cupcakes, which I did for Valentines Day. Either way, this is the perfect, delicious sweet treat!
Not only is this cake delicious, but it is what I would consider a "healthier" dessert option. There is no technical definition of what "healthier" means but I will explain below what makes this cake healthier and it's not simply because it is gluten free.
What makes this recipe healthier?
First, I use almond flour and oat flour instead of regular wheat flour or regular gluten free all purpose flour. Using the oat and almond flour does make the cake gluten free HOWEVER, "gluten free" in and of itself does not equate to "healthy". What makes these flours a healthier option is a couple things - one, they are both higher in fiber than regular wheat flour. Fiber has a long list of health benefits that you can read more about here. Second, almond flour also has some healthy fats that regular flour doesn't have.
Second, this cake is sweetened with honey instead of white sugar. At the end of the day, sugar is sugar and honey is going to raise your blood sugar pretty much the same as white sugar does. However, what makes honey a bit healthier is that it is less processed and is a more natural sweetener. Honey also contains antioxidants which may have some protective effects for various conditions such as diabetes, heart health, gastrointestinal health, and possibly in cancer treatment (1).
When developing recipes as a dietitian, one of my goals is to make healthy food taste delicious. There are plenty of recipes out there that have been turned "healthy" but if it scarifies the enjoyment of eating that food, then it really defeats the purpose. My goal is to find the middle ground between healthy and delicious and I think you will agree with me that these cupcakes fit the bill!
What you'll need
This is not an extensive list of the ingredients you need to make this recipe. See the full recipe below for a complete list of ingredients.
Food processor or high speed blender: my Vitamix is hands down my favorite piece of kitchen equipment. It is definitely pricey but I can attest that it is far superior to any other blender I have used and very versatile in what you can use it for. I have had mine for probably about 5 years or so. I use it for smoothies, energy balls, soups, sauces, making oat flour, nut milks, etc. There really are so many different things you can use it for.
Oat flour: you can either purchase oat flour or make your own (I have done both). Making your own can is cheaper than buying it pre made. To do so, add oats to a high speed blender (this is where the Vitamix comes in handy) and blend until you have a fine powder.
Cashew butter: I used to get my cashew butter at Trader Joes but lately I haven't been able to find it there. I now get mine at Target but you can get it at most other groceries stores as well.
Freeze dried strawberries: you'll turn this into a powder that you will use to make the cake. I recommend buying extra so you have some leftovers. They are great for decorating after you frost your cake/cupcakes and also make for a really tasty snack and oatmeal or yogurt topping.
Almond milk: if you're interested in making your own almond milk, click here to see my reel on how to do so.
How to make strawberry almond cake
When making this recipe you have the option to make a cake or cupcakes. The benefit of making a cake is that it's a little less work because you only have to deal with one pan and frosting one cake. On the other hand, cupcakes do take a little bit longer but they can be cute and fun to decorate - the choice is yours and you can't go wrong!
Once you've decided if you're going to make cake or cupcakes, either grease your cake pan or add 12 cupcake liners to a muffin tin.
Next, you want make the freeze dried strawberry powder. To do this, put the 1oz bag of freeze dried strawberries into a food processor or blender and process until you have a powder. This should come out to about ½ cup powder.
Next, add ~1 cup of strawberries to a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a smooth to slightly chunky puree. Measure out ⅓ cup and set aside.
Add the cashew butter, pureed strawberries, and honey to a large bowl and mix well. Next add the eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, add the oat flour, almond flour, freeze dried strawberry powder, baking powder, and salt and combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour the cake batter into a greased 8 x 8 baking dish and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes. You can insert a tooth pick into the center of the cake to test to see if the cake is done. You will know the cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean.
Strawberry Almond Cake (gluten free)
- ⅓ cup cashew butter
- ⅓ cup strawberry puree ~1 cup whole strawberries
- ½ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup oat flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 1oz bag freeze dried strawberries (~½ cup freeze dried strawberry powder)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- If making into a cake, grease an 8 x 8 baking dish. If making into cupcakes, line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Add the bag of freeze dried strawberries to a high speed blender or a food processor. Process until you have a powder and set aside. You should have about ½ cup of strawberry powder.
- To the same blender or food processor, add ~1 cup of fresh strawberries and blend/puree until you have a smoothy to slightly chunky puree.
- In a medium sized bowl, add the oat flour, almond flour, freeze dried strawberry powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the cashew butter, pureed strawberries, and honey and mix together.
- Next add the eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- If making into a cake, pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- If making into cupcakes, spoon the batter into the liners. Fill about ¾ full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before frosting.
- While the cake or cupcakes are are baking, add all of the ingredients for the frosting to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, mix everything together until it is light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes). Taste the frosting and adjust the ingredients as needed.
- Wait until the cake or cupcakes have completely cooled and then frosting your cake or cupcakes.